The San Jose City Council voted, yesterday, to charge commercial developers additional fees to build affordable housing.
Under the new plan, commercial developers will have to pay fees based on the square footage of their development. Buildings over 100,000 square feet will cost an additional 12 or 15 dollars per square foot, depending on when they pay. So, for example, the extra charge to build a new big box store store could be nearly 2 million dollars.
Developers will also have the option not to pay the fee, if they agree to build affordable housing.
City Officials in San Jose have been discussing the ‘commercial linkage impact fee’ to support affordable housing for five years. Councilmember Sergio Jimenez said during the meeting:
“I’m very excited about whatever money whether in the present or years to come that’s gonna be derived from this fee, so we can make sure that everyone can continue to live in San Jose.”
A study done earlier this summer recommended a fee considerably higher than the one that was passed. And, in fact, the four council members who voted against the new fee argued that it should be higher.