- Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
- September 7, 2022
September 7, 2022
The City desires to accommodate persons with disabilities. Accordingly, any physically handicapped person, pursuant to Chapter 286.26 Florida Statutes, should, at least 48 hours prior to the meeting, submit a written request that the physically handicapped person desires to attend the meeting.
I. CALL TO ORDER
II. ROLL CALL
III.. DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
August 17, 2022
V. OLD BUSINESS
A. HOUSING AUTHORITY JOINT MEETING REQUEST
Request made by Member Richardson regarding a joint meeting with Housing Authority to discuss common goal and actions needed to address the housing crisis.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
1) Incentive A: Expedited Permitting
2) Incentive B: Modification of Impact Fee Requirements
3) Incentive C: Increase Allowable Density Levels
4) Incentive D: Reservation of Infrastructure Capacity for Affordable Housing
5) Incentive E: Allowance of Affordable Accessory Residential Units in Residential Zoning Districts
VII. PETITIONS AND REQUESTS FROM THE PUBLIC PRESENT (OPEN FORUM)
A. Chairman update
B. Members update
C. Staff update
CITY OF TITUSVILLE
AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 7, 2022
3:00 P. M.
The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee meeting was held at the Harry T. Moore Social Service Center, 725 S. DeLeon Avenue.
Members present were Committee Chairperson Joe C. Robinson, Member Bill Gary, and Member Joe Richardson. City Staff present were Terrie Franklin, Neighborhood Services Director, Tracy Davis, Neighborhood Services Planner, Sheila Martin Special Projects & Administrative Coordinator, and Tim Ford Community Development Redevelopment Planner.
I. Meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m.
II. Roll Call
III. Quorum established by roll call.
IV. Approval of Minutes
Chairperson Robinson stated that the approval of the August 17, 2022 minutes must be tabled because the committee did not have a quorum of the members that attended the August 17, 2022 needed to vote on the minutes. Approval of minutes tabled for next meeting on September 21, 2022.
V. OLD BUSINESS
Terrie Franklin emailed Bob Lambert at the Titusville Housing Authority regarding a joint meeting with the Titusville Housing Authority. Bob Lambert replied that he would agree to meet with the AHAC at THA’s next meeting. This meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 6:30PM, in the Conway Building, located at 624 Hopkins Avenue. Chairman Robinson requested that the meeting information be forwarded to Virginia Blaylock. If the AHAC elects to meet with the THA at this meeting, Bob Lambert needs to be emailed and notified as such. Chairman Robinson stated that it would be beneficial for the AHAC to attend this meeting for reasons such as the ad in the newspaper regarding the school board and the county partnering for affordable housing and that this meeting between the THA and AHAC would provide an opportunity to investigate possible partnership regarding affordable housing. The THA has land and some money, but not enough to start a project, and this meeting would be a start to see what THA has and maybe we can partner with them to make some realities come about for affordable housing.
Chairman Robinson introduced Tom Ford who is attending the meeting in place of Brad Parrish, who was not able to attend in person.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
- Incentive A: Expedited Permitting
Current incentive written into city policy is that anything associated with affordable housing projects are expedited in a 25% reduction in review time versus all other projects.
It was discussed that the expedited permitting is now configured based on a percentage versus days so that as procedures change, the expedition can still remain. Therefore, the 25% still applies to days regardless.
Chairman Robinson asked about any prospective developers that are looking to work with the city, specifically possible tax credit incentives. Terrie Franklin advised that there is one (1) developer that does apply each year for the tax credit, however, there is an issue with tax credits due to the limitations that are imposed on developers regarding the specifications of housing types and location, such as generally, when the state sends out a proposal the project has to meet something that the state wants done, like for special needs or workforce and the project has to be located in a qualified census track. Terrie Franklin further stated that there does seem to be one developer that reaches out each time the state releases an RFQ that will contact her and want to know if the city will provide the required matching, and this time the city does have the ARPA grant. Aside from this developer, Terrie Franklin stated that normally, the interest in RFQ’s stem from local property owners that have acquired rental properties and want to know more information, but concerning a large affordable housing project, Terrie Franklin has only been contacted by one (1) developer.
Chairman Robinson requested that for future meetings, information be compiled that details the amount of available property owned by the city within the census track, and how much available land exists within the census track so that we can discern if affordable housing projects are feasible within the census track, to which Terrie Franklin advised that because of the NRSA strategy plan, this data already exists in the associated maps regarding vacant, multifamily properties, that are not city owned, and that as far as city owned properties, there are currently only two (2) properties that are buildable within the census track, and that the other city owned properties that are within the census track are right of ways, stormwater ponds, or drainage ditches and therefore are not developable.
Chairman Robinson asked about if there was a serious developer that approached the state, does it have to be within the census track even if there is not enough property available. Terrie Franklin responded that it does have to be in the census track, however, Titusville’s ARPA RFP is city-wide. Terrie Franklin stated that she was aware of two (2) developers, one of which is the Brevard Homeless Coalition, looking at the same piece of property, which is located near Barna and Harrison, for a tax credit deal, but they were not successful.
Chairman Robinson proceeded to speak about a call that he had received prior to the pandemic regarding North Brevard Charities possibly purchasing the property located at the corner of Barna and Harrison, behind the Grove Church. Further, Chairman Robinson stated that this particular piece of property is a good spot of land that could hold a lot of housing and that this matter would need to be researched. Terrie Franklin advised that this property would be located outside of the target area because the census track ends at Sycamore.
Chairman Robinson suggested that, because when dealing with government dollars, is it possible that if property for affordable housing is identified, can we drive the expedited process faster than 25% because of the present availability of land.
Terrie Franklin responded that within the 2023 Housing Incentive Plan, under the first incentive, language could be included to state something to the effect of “city supported or partnered projects would receive priority in expediting”.
Committee voted and consensus agreed to the language suggested by Terrie Franklin to be included in the 2023 Housing Incentive Plan.
2. Incentive B: Modification of Impact Fee Requirements
Chairman Robinson asked about the impact fees related to affordable housing that the city has and Terrie Franklin responded that the impact fees imposed on affordable housing are no different because projects fees are assessed according to the units and the size of the utilities hook-ups. Terrie Franklin also stated that the impact fees assessed include the regular permit fees, site development review fees, zoning if applicable, and condition use fees if applicable. Terrie Franklin informed the committee that after the last incentive plan, within the City ordinances, the City is now allowed to waive permit fees and application fees for affordable housing projects, notwithstanding water and sewer connection fees as they cannot be waived due to the City charter.
Member Richardson stated that there are not that many available sites, so we could ask the city to reduce impact fees by 25% for affordable housing, and Chairman Robinson inquired about ways in which the county could be approached regarding reducing the impact fees.
Terrie Franklin stated that the county assesses impact fees and the city collects, like fire and police. Tim Ford stated that there are portions of impact fees that are collected by the county, and given back to the city, but, the county collects for roads.
Terrie Franklin stated that the impact fees collected are used to support the necessary infrastructure, but we do have the advantage to waive permit and application fees, and Tim Ford added that services provided by the infrastructure are calculated based on the portion that is paid in.
Member Gary asked staff if there are any federal funds or federal incentives available to cities to assist in affordable housing developments. Terrie Franklin responded that there are Bills that have to do with zoning regulation and grants to assist with the fees. Member Gary asked about using ARPA COVID grant money for affordable housing and Terrie Franklin responded that the City has set aside $845,000 out of the ARPA grant for affordable housing, to help with soft costs, permit fees, predevelopment costs, and things of that nature and these funds are not intended to totally subsidize the project, but to assist with permitting and etc.
Terrie Franklin informed the committee that regarding Incentive B, within the 2022 Housing Incentive Plan, it was stated that “due to local restrictions and regulations, these fees could not be waived or modified, but other deferment options could be considered. There was a consensus amongst the Committee member that any and all incentives should be considered to increase affordable housing units. This could be funded through grants or deferment methods.” Which, both have been done.
Chairman Robinson suggested tabling Incentive B until after the meeting with Bob Lambert of the THA, because THA will provide additional perspectives on affordable housing.
The Committee discussed that the issues within Incentive B would benefit from the meeting with Bob Lambert of THA.
Committee members agreed to table Incentive B until after the October 4, 2022 meeting with Bob Lambert of the THA.
3. Incentive C: Increase Allowable Density Levels
Chairman Robinson stated that density is not going to encompass land in the future, it will encompass the sky because inevitably, development will need to start going up due to the restrictions imposed by the state and the lack of available land within the target zones.
Chairman Robinson asked what could be done to ensure that the allowance of density takes into consideration multilevel units. Member Richardson spoke about the exception that was made in the 1960’s for the Titusville Towers when they were built 12-15 stories high. Chairman Robinson then asked how will this same issue be addressed when this type of development occurs in an economically disadvantaged area and what are the height restrictions now.
Tom Ford commented that the height restrictions are not that high, and that zoning governs this issue, and in the target area, the restrictions are 35 feet high and 15 dwelling units per acre.
The committee then discussed Luna Trails, which is 3 stories high and located within the target area, and no variance was needed for this development.
The committee discussed that homeowners in the target area may provide pushback on multifamily developments because they feel it detracts from their community and herein lies the responsibility of the Committee to meet and discuss with these homeowners the state of the affordable housing crisis.
Terrie Franklin discussed how last year tiny home communities were discussed, however, Chairman Robinson stated that tiny homes are generally feasible when larger pieces of properties are available and that we need to look into what we will need to do to increase the allowable height for affordable housing projects to at least 45 feet.
Terrie Franklin stated that the City has a lot of substandard lots that don’t meet the minimum lot size, and that there could be an incentive for these substandard lots.
Terrie Franklin informed the committee that the higher a developer builds, the higher the costs incurred are to build, such as the costs incurred to install sprinklers and elevators that are needed when a development exceeds 3 stories.
Tim Ford discussed that midrise developments can hold a tremendous amount of density and do not go up very high, an example being in Boston, MA.
The committee agreed to recommend incentives for substandard lots that would increase the height when dealing with density.
4. Incentive D: Reservation of Infrastructure Capacity for Affordable Housing
Terrie Franklin stated that this has always been a tricky incentive because it deals with sewer and the City reserving the capacity of its system for units. Chairman Robinson stated that he has been informed that we have plenty of capacity.
Member Richardson stated that it would be interesting to know what the capacity was for the two dates that the Artemis launch was scrubbed, specifically if we had enough sewer and water capacity to meet the demand of the tourists that were in Titusville; demand versus capacity.
The Committee discussed the recent development located past Highway 50, wherein the main sewer line was not big enough to handle the density of the proposed development.
The Committee discussed last year’s recommendation to Council, which was to encourage research into ways to create incentives for this issue as the fees can be a deterrent for developers and that until feedback has been received that the infrastructure is overloaded, the prior year’s recommendation is sufficient to address this incentive.
The Committee voted to leave Incentive D as is.
5. Incentive E: Allowance of Affordable Accessory Residential Units in Residential Zoning Districts
Meeting had to be adjourned before discussion of Incentive E could be discussed.
Incentive E tabled for next meeting.
VII. Petitions and Requests from the public
Ensure that everyone receives a copy of the newly released 2023 HUD Fair Markey Rents housing costs.
Member Richardson discussed the October 4, 2022 meeting and the AHAC meeting scheduled for the following day on the 5th.
C. Staff update
Terrie Franklin discussed that during the last meeting committee discussed possible bylaws, Chairman Robinson and Member Richardson were given sample bylaws to review.
Tracy Davis discussed her attendance at the 2022 Affordable Housing Conference in Orlando and that the discussion of the AHAC meeting were also topics discussed at the convention, and that bigger cities are encouraging residents to put tiny homes in their yards and to build apartments over their garages, as accessory dwellings, to thereby ease housing demands. Terrie Franklin informed the Committee that in Titusville, apartments over garages cannot have separate kitchens or separate electric services, notwithstanding the allowable zoning restrictions.
Tim Ford provided the City code for accessory dwellings, the definition is an ancillary or secondary living unit to a single-family dwelling use that has a separate kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area, existing either within the same structure or on the same lot as the primary dwelling unit. Not permitted as accessory to multifamily dwelling or mobile home.
With no further business or discussions, Chairman Robinson adjourned the meeting at 4:02 p.m.