Inclusionary Zoning

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normalthings
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by normalthings »

Rabble wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:56 pm
From Kevin Collison's 1/18 column referencing a letter in support of the legislation: "Kansas City is behind the curve when it comes to implementing affordable housing policy," the letters continue, adding several peer cities including Minneapolis, Nashville and Denver have set-aside policies for affordable units.

Has anybody checked to see if any of this is true? It's popular to distrust ethnic-urban politicians, but I'd be a little skeptical of the data provided by the development community, it all sounds about 30 years old.
Those 3 are target cities, not peers. Those 3 are much much stronger real estate markets and growing faster. 2 are far larger players in general. All 3 have much more national investment, construction, and movement.

For reference, I believe Nashville's current single day condo sales record is $80 million+. No way that KC has ever sold more than the single-digit millions. How did they get the ball rolling? They leveraged incentives to attract development and jobs. Q already cut the EDC budget and let large prospective firms known that he couldn't care less if they invest in the core. He is letting off the gas on every front.

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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by TheLastGentleman »

Maybe I missed something along the way, but I’d like to know what you all think the solution to the over gentrification of the cores of cities actually is? If inclusionary zoning is bad, then by what alternative mechanism do we ensure there will still be a place for low income people in our downtowns as they grow?

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by Rabble »

normalthings wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:07 pm
Rabble wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:56 pm
From Kevin Collison's 1/18 column referencing a letter in support of the legislation: "Kansas City is behind the curve when it comes to implementing affordable housing policy," the letters continue, adding several peer cities including Minneapolis, Nashville and Denver have set-aside policies for affordable units.

Has anybody checked to see if any of this is true? It's popular to distrust ethnic-urban politicians, but I'd be a little skeptical of the data provided by the development community, it all sounds about 30 years old.
Those 3 are target cities, not peers. Those 3 are much much stronger real estate markets and growing faster. 2 are far larger players in general. All 3 have much more national investment, construction, and movement.

For reference, I believe Nashville's current single day condo sales record is $80 million+. No way that KC has ever sold more than the single-digit millions. How did they get the ball rolling? They leveraged incentives to attract development and jobs. Q already cut the EDC budget and let large prospective firms known that he couldn't care less if they invest in the core. He is letting off the gas on every front.
KC does have a weak-mayor system.

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normalthings
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by normalthings »

Rabble wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:37 pm
normalthings wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:07 pm
Rabble wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:56 pm
From Kevin Collison's 1/18 column referencing a letter in support of the legislation: "Kansas City is behind the curve when it comes to implementing affordable housing policy," the letters continue, adding several peer cities including Minneapolis, Nashville and Denver have set-aside policies for affordable units.

Has anybody checked to see if any of this is true? It's popular to distrust ethnic-urban politicians, but I'd be a little skeptical of the data provided by the development community, it all sounds about 30 years old.
Those 3 are target cities, not peers. Those 3 are much much stronger real estate markets and growing faster. 2 are far larger players in general. All 3 have much more national investment, construction, and movement.

For reference, I believe Nashville's current single day condo sales record is $80 million+. No way that KC has ever sold more than the single-digit millions. How did they get the ball rolling? They leveraged incentives to attract development and jobs. Q already cut the EDC budget and let large prospective firms known that he couldn't care less if they invest in the core. He is letting off the gas on every front.
KC does have a weak-mayor system.
Policy and the public face is set by the mayor. Developers and businesses meet with him directly when they are working on an investment. His actions at these meetings and in public have 100% already caused us to lose out on jobs adds and development projects

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normalthings
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by normalthings »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:30 pm
Maybe I missed something along the way, but I’d like to know what you all think the solution to the over gentrification of the cores of cities actually is? If inclusionary zoning is bad, then by what alternative mechanism do we ensure there will still be a place for low income people in our downtowns as they grow?
Providing additional incentives or funding for affordable creates more affordable units than restricting how much is built does. We also need to streamline the development application processes and legalize a variety of urban housing types.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by Rabble »

normalthings wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:03 pm
TheLastGentleman wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:30 pm
Maybe I missed something along the way, but I’d like to know what you all think the solution to the over gentrification of the cores of cities actually is? If inclusionary zoning is bad, then by what alternative mechanism do we ensure there will still be a place for low income people in our downtowns as they grow?
Providing additional incentives or funding for affordable creates more affordable units than restricting how much is built does. We also need to streamline the development application processes and legalize a variety of urban housing types.
I am curious about legalizing a variety of urban housing types. Please expound.

Rabble
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by Rabble »

normalthings wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:57 pm
Rabble wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:37 pm
normalthings wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:07 pm


Those 3 are target cities, not peers. Those 3 are much much stronger real estate markets and growing faster. 2 are far larger players in general. All 3 have much more national investment, construction, and movement.

For reference, I believe Nashville's current single day condo sales record is $80 million+. No way that KC has ever sold more than the single-digit millions. How did they get the ball rolling? They leveraged incentives to attract development and jobs. Q already cut the EDC budget and let large prospective firms known that he couldn't care less if they invest in the core. He is letting off the gas on every front.
KC does have a weak-mayor system.
Policy and the public face is set by the mayor. Developers and businesses meet with him directly when they are working on an investment. His actions at these meetings and in public have 100% already caused us to lose out on jobs adds and development projects
Yes, but the rest of the city council has equal votes. I just can't believe this one man, a weak-mayor, can send us down a road of ruin.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by CrossroadsUrbanApts »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:30 pm
Maybe I missed something along the way, but I’d like to know what you all think the solution to the over gentrification of the cores of cities actually is? If inclusionary zoning is bad, then by what alternative mechanism do we ensure there will still be a place for low income people in our downtowns as they grow?
Genuine question - what do you mean by over gentrification? Is building an apartment building on a surface parking lot over-gentrification?

In my experience, the cost of housing rises in an area not because of development, but because of shifts in housing location preference. Development then follows as a reaction to that exogenous shift. Stopping development doesn't stop the shift in demand.

Stopping development in 96% of San Francisco did not stop prices from rising when the city was creating dozens of jobs for every new housing unit. The Mission District in SF has seen virtually no development and yet rents have risen astronomically. Why? Because it is located directly on a major BART line and is sunny and warm relative to the rest of the city.

Development actually moderates the increase in prices. Market rents in the Crossroads increased from probably about $1.00/SF to $1.75/SF from 2010 to 2016. Virtually no development occurred during this time. Where are rents more than four years later after lots of building? Probably about $1.75/SF, maybe a little higher at the highest-end buildings. Supply has actually started to meet the increase in demand.

If you want to preserve naturally affordable housing in the face of an increase in demand for urban core housing (because millennials aren't scared of cities like their parents), then encourage and incentivize enough building so supply can meet demand. AND have the City buy existing apartment buildings and make them permanently affordable. Have the Housing Authority buy the failing Pickwick and rent it out as affordable housing.

The only thing this ordinance will do is make fewer projects happen (especially fewer developments under 200 apartments). So I expect prices to start rising again unless there is a pronounced exogenous shift in demand. The pandemic could cause that shift in preferences from city to suburb. I don't buy it, but it is certainly possible.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by kas1 »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:30 pm
Maybe I missed something along the way, but I’d like to know what you all think the solution to the over gentrification of the cores of cities actually is? If inclusionary zoning is bad, then by what alternative mechanism do we ensure there will still be a place for low income people in our downtowns as they grow?
It seems like the first question to ask is if it's desirable and necessary to have mixed-income neighborhoods. One of the common complaints about gentrification is that the neighborhood businesses get replaced by new businesses selling the same products and services at much higher prices, and I've met many people who have grown up poor who tell me they feel uncomfortable and out of place in posh neighborhoods. In a capitalist economy you're always going to be swimming upstream if you try to get people of different income levels to all live side by side. To what extent is that actually desirable and beneficial? It's important for lower income people to have access to jobs and opportunity, but it does not necessarily follow from that that you need rich people and poor people living in the same building. (There are benefits to not having high concentrations of poverty, but that's not what I'm discussing here since most "affordable housing" discussions in the US are about providing a lifestyle upgrade to people who are employed and doing okay.)

In the grand scheme of things, the most important thing is to ensure that enough housing is being built to keep up with population growth. As long as there's enough homes for everyone to have one, the prices will sort themselves out on their own so that everyone has a place to live. I'm deeply skeptical of policies which rely on magical thinking to try to circumvent the laws of supply and demand. If developers must take a loss on a certain percentage of units that they build, then they'll need to charge more for the remainder in order to cover the construction costs. The end result is higher rents for all but the handful of lucky people who won the affordable housing lottery, and in the long run it can lead to housing shortages due to insufficient levels of new construction.

The Kansas City metro already has a pretty healthy approach to infill construction in that high quality new projects are being built in a lot of different nodes that are geographically distinct. This helps a lot to limit the harmful effects of intense gentrification. (ie, the whole metro area can't gentrify simultaneously.) And the liberal use of incentives helps keep rents down, promoting new construction in neighborhoods that are already affordable and which don't normally see much investment. And most of the infill development comes in the form of replacing defunct commercial developments rather than replacing existing housing, so there's not a lot of direct displacement of residents. I don't understand why anyone would want to tinker with this formula, especially by emulating policies which have not been successful elsewhere.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by Rabble »

The grandchildren of the white flight have grown tired of the suburbs and are back in town wanting to dictate terms. But the grandchildren of those left behind aren't cooperating. Epic American story in the making.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by chaglang »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:30 pm
Maybe I missed something along the way, but I’d like to know what you all think the solution to the over gentrification of the cores of cities actually is? If inclusionary zoning is bad, then by what alternative mechanism do we ensure there will still be a place for low income people in our downtowns as they grow?
I cannot take credit for this list, but here are some ideas that KCMO can do to reduce housing costs and increase supply (which will also reduce housing costs):

permit ADU's by-right
fund mixed income construction
maintenance and rehab fund for existing units out of supply
require voucher acceptance
remove parking minimums
don't require UR rezoning for abatements with affordable units
reintoduce infill lot ordinance
remove the park impact fee for platted urban lots
permit social housing and dorm housing with shared kitchens/baths
remove minimum sf requirements
allow up to 4plexes by-right on SFH lots
allow lot size exemptions where multifamily is permitted by zoning but impossible to build
financially penalize long vacancies/land squatting

It's hard to see how developers won't raise the rents in the non-affordable units to offset their losses on the low-AMI units. This would likely give neighboring, existing multifamily units the green light to raise their rents faster than they had previously. And then we have a rent spike in all but the 20% of affordable units. The city's own study concluded that most of the affordable units will be studios, which will do nothing for poor families. If the ordinance results in even a modest overall rent spike, it's made the situation for poor families worse.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by smh »

From that list I would pick the following as the highest priorities in order of preference:
- Requiring voucher acceptance (unclear if the new ordinance accomplished this?)
- 4-plexes by right
- Remove parking minimums
-ADUs by right

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chaglang
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by chaglang »

I'd be pushing anything that will unblock incremental development. Not everything has to be 150 units, but the city is geared for that.

I'm also curious where this over-gentrification (as opposed to just gentrification) is actually happening, and how we are defining/measuring that.
Last edited by chaglang on Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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smh
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by smh »

From that list I would pick the following as the highest priorities in order of preference:
- Requiring voucher acceptance (unclear if the new ordinance accomplished this?)
- 4-plexes by right
- Remove parking minimums
-ADUs by right
chaglang wrote: It's hard to see how developers won't raise the rents in the non-affordable units to offset their losses on the low-AMI units. This would likely give neighboring, existing multifamily units the green light to raise their rents faster than they had previously. And then we have a rent spike in all but the 20% of affordable units. The city's own study concluded that most of the affordable units will be studios, which will do nothing for poor families. If the ordinance results in even a modest overall rent spike, it's made the situation for poor families worse.
If the goal is to eliminate incentives for new development this ordinance might achieve that--at least for smaller projects. And to build on your point, that additionally means the rents in non-incentive buildings will go up as developers work to close a gap in their proformas. And of course there will be no "affordable" units in such buildings.

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chaglang
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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by chaglang »

"Other cities do this" has been tossed around here and by the Star, but I'm also curious what other structures those cities have in place to get affordable housing built that KC doesn't. Specifically, funding sources like CDC's, etc.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by flyingember »

permit ADU's by-right
Yes
fund mixed income construction
The city should never help fund projects. It's the same incentive problem that's led to fights in neighborhoods.
maintenance and rehab fund for existing units out of supply
With a focus on non-profits and community projects
require voucher acceptance
Should never require anything
remove parking minimums
Like parking minimums, this one is a requirement that should go away
don't require UR rezoning for abatements with affordable units
Zoning needs a top to bottom overhaul.
reintoduce infill lot ordinance
Seems redundent
remove the park impact fee for platted urban lots
Fees should be the same citywide.
permit social housing and dorm housing with shared kitchens/baths
Aren't hostels already legal?
remove minimum sf requirements
This is an area of zoning that's messed up. A 0.2 acre lot shouldn't have the same size limitation as a 1.2 acre lot if zoned the same.
allow up to 4plexes by-right on SFH lots
I woudn't allow a number of units, I would enable as many units as possible up to a maximum size in residential neighborhoods. If you want to build an 8 plex instead of a 3200 sq ft home, and set it up as 8 small units it should be allowed.
allow lot size exemptions where multifamily is permitted by zoning but impossible to build
Don't even exceptions but codify the rules to be permissive with no exceptions allowed.
financially penalize long vacancies/land squatting
This one is bad, because the difference between land squatting and using a proprty for junk storage and not maintaining would be legally different

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by smh »

flyingember wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:26 am

require voucher acceptance

Should never require anything
I'll bite. Why should we allow source of income discrimination? Aren't dollars dollars?

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by beautyfromashes »

Call me cynical, but I don’t ever see poor people filling the majority of those units. They’ll be filled with rich retirees with large assets in an LLC or in their kids trusts who have no debt and purposefully take low incomes keeping them under the requirement. The system is easy to game.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by chaglang »

Hostels are legal but temporary housing. Social housing is a long-term/permanent housing situation.

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Re: Inclusionary Zoning

Post by smh »

beautyfromashes wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:46 am
Call me cynical, but I don’t ever see poor people filling the majority of those units. They’ll be filled with rich retirees with large assets in an LLC or in their kids trusts who have no debt and purposefully take low incomes keeping them under the requirement. The system is easy to game.
My experience years ago as an early 20-something was that a lot of these units were filled with college aged people at least one of whom was making an income within the requirements. Whether the roommate was on the lease or not...who could say... But to your point, I did not get the impression this was accessible housing for the kinds of families that advocates believe they are helping. Rather it helped college kids be closer to the action and to some extent I suspect helped bartenders and servers live around downtown, which isn't the worst goal. But it isn't what's being advertised.

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