Evanston aldermen Monday are to consider revisions to the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance that would offer developers greater height and density but require more construction of on-site affordable housing in return.

The 19-page ordinance would vary the bonuses offered by zoning district.

Residential districts would offer increased lot coverage and impervious surface limits, greater unit density and building height.

Downtown and commercial districts would offer increases in floor area ratio and density.

In all zones developers would not have to provide parking for the inclusionary units. For projects where market-rate tenants would be denied on-street parking permits, inclusionary unit tenants would qualify for such permits.

The existing ordinance seeks to have 10 percent of units in new developments be affordable, but gives developers the option of paying a $100,000 fee in lieu for each affordable unit not included in the project.

Under the amended ordinance, the in-lieu fee would be raised to $175,000 per unit downtown and $150,000 elsewhere.

In addition, developers of rental projects would have to include at least 5 percent affordable units on site and would receive additional incentives if they built the full 10 percent on site.

Condominium developers, who the city’s legal staff believes can’t be legally required to provide on-site units, would see their fee in lieu rise to $262,500 downtown and $225,000 elsewhere.

The ordinance revisons were developed during a year-long process by an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Subcommittee of the City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. So no height increase downtown?

    “Downtown and commercial districts would offer increases in floor area ratio and density.“  So, no extra height downtown? The last iteration did. Can you please detail out new heights that will be allowable?

    1. Height

      Greater floor area ratio and density equates to greater actual buildable height.

      Actual potential heights are dependent on the size of a parcel and many other variables that differ from zone to zone.

      Not trying to be evasive … but the calculations are so complex that definitive answers that apply to more than a single parcel are extremely difficult to come up with.

      — Bill

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