For Developers

Affordable Housing Requirements for Developers

The City of San Rafael requires all new developments, residential and non-residential, to contribute towards the provision of affordable housing. On February 16, 2021, the City Council adopted an amendment to the Affordable Housing Ordinance 1990 and associated Resolutions 14890 and 14891 amending the affordable housing obligation for residential projects. The majority of the requirements are contained in Section 14.16.030 of the Zoning Ordinance of the San Rafael Municipal Code. The Zoning Ordinance can be viewed at Municipal Codes. Check out our affordable housing requirements.

Affordable Housing In-Lieu Fee

On December 19, 2022, the City Council adopted Resolution 15179, updating the affordable housing in-lieu fee for each affordable housing unit effective July 1, 2023. This fee is based on the Inclusionary Program and In-Lieu Fee Study. The resolution provides for annual adjustment of the fee based on the changes in the California Construction Cost Index or comparable index as selected by the Community Development Director.

Commercial Linkage Fee

In December 2023, the San Rafael City Council adopted amendments to San Rafael Municipal Code Section 14.16.030 updating the City’s commercial linkage fees. A commercial linkage fee is a type of impact fee that charges new commercial development for its role in creating new demand for affordable housing. It is based on the finding of a reasonable relationship between the new employment created by commercial development, and the accompanying need for affordable housing for new worker households. The study supporting the fee is available here. The fee updates will go into effect July 1, 2024.

Staff Involvement in Affordable Housing

We provide predevelopment technical assistance on many of the sites that have major issues or site development costs that can preclude housing development and/or redevelopment.


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