Affordable Housing and Employee Accommodation Ordinance and Fee

Affordable Housing and Employee Accommodation Ordinance and Fee were adopted by the the County Board of Supervisors on October 27, 2020 and will be in effect starting on January 1, 2021. 

Affordable Housing Ordinance

The purpose of the ordinance is to increase affordable housing in Placer County by requiring that at least 10% of the units of all new private housing development projects are in the affordable range.

Affordable Housing Fee

Developments with 8 to 100 units have the option to instead pay an in-lieu fee of $2.00 per habitable square foot of each market rate unit.

Employee Accommodation Fee

The Employee Accommodation Fee is $2.00 per net building area square foot and applies to all new non-residential (commercial) development in the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe area. Payment of the fee is required prior to building permit issuance. The intent is to address the affordable housing demand from new workers resulting from the construction of non-residential development such as hotels, office space, retail, and restaurants.

  1. How was the $2.00 fee determined?
  2. What will the fee be used for?
  3. What development projects are affected by the ordinance?
In 2015, Placer County contracted with Hansford Economic Consulting and Minitier Harnish Planning consultants to provide an eastern and western nexus-based Workforce Housing Fee Study. The goal of this study was to determine the maximum justifiable impact or in-lieu fee. 

Placer County considered the maximum justifiable fees and the fees of other jurisdictions like the City of Sacramento, and they also sought the opinion of the public. Taking all these factors into account, the $2.00 in-lieu fee was decided upon to increase affordable housing in the County while also not impeding upon development projects. 

Exempt Projects

  • Residential full-time occupancy projects seven (7) units or less, or residential projects with  majority of units are less than 1,600 square feet 
  •  All public projects
  •  Accessory dwelling units and deed restricted affordable housing
  •  Rehabilitation of existing residence or conversion of nonresidential to residential
  •  Single dwelling unit constructed by an owner/builder
  •  Dormitories, fraternity/sorority houses, boarding housing, residential hotels, single room occupancy units, and live/work units (not considered a permanent dwelling unit) 
  •  Development of an infill site, and warehouse or industrial developments (such as in the Sunset Area)
  •  Residential project located within a “transit priority area”
  •  Homeless/emergency shelters, care homes, community care/health care facilities, childcare facilities, churches, mobile home parks
  •  Residential mixed-use project with at least 70% of the total project floor area is constructed for residential use

To see the full list of exemptions refer to Section 15.65.050 under Exempted Development on pages 6-7 here.

How to Calculate the Fees

Affordable Housing Fee for New Residential Development

Number of Units30
Unit Size2,800 square feet*
Total Square Footage30 x 2,800 = 84,000
Fee Assessed84,000 x $2.00 = $168,000

*Habitable square foot of each market unit

Employee Accommodation Fee for New Non-Residential Development in East Placer County

Size of Development150,000 square feet*
Fee Assessed150,000 x $2.00 = $300,000

*Gross square feet non-residential minus existing square feet floor area