The Mountain View City Council voted to increase fees on new rental, office, high-tech, and industrial development, but made no change to fees on new ownership housing. In making its decision, the council discussed the serious lack of available ownership housing in Mountain View and the need to keep ownership an attractive option for developers. The City dedicates these fees to funding Mountain View’s affordable housing programs.
Developers are currently charged 3 percent of the sale price on new ownership housing. This is a Below-Market-Rate (BMR) in-lieu fee, meaning the developer can either pay the fee or build a certain number of BMR units for low-income individuals. The council discussed raising that fee to as high as 5 percent. SILVAR Government Affairs staff spoke out against the fee increase. Staff raised concerns about new projects becoming unaffordable to build and the possibility that buyers would ultimately pay the fee.
In the end, the City Council increased fees on new rental housing from $10.26 per square foot to $17.00 per square foot, $2.00 above the staff recommendation. Fees on new office, high-tech, and industrial were increased dramatically, from $10.26 per square foot to $25.00 per square foot, one of the highest in the region.
The new fee structure takes effect 60 days after the December 9, 2014 council meeting. Any project currently in the entitlement process is exempted from the new fees.