'Historic night for Naperville': City council poised to pass Affordable Housing Incentive Plan

After years of attempts to formulate an acceptable plan, the Naperville City Council is poised to pass an ordinance granting incentives for developers to build affordable housing in the city.

Last week's unanimous vote authorizes the city staff to craft a proposed Affordable Housing Incentive Program ordinance allowing developers to choose from a variety of construction and fee incentives depending on the amount of affordable housing they build and the cost for housing.

Mayor Steve Chirico praised the years of work that went into creating a plan he expects to endure.

“This is something we've been working on as a council for a couple years now,” he said. “For an ordinance to really pass the test of time, it needs to go through that process.”

The choice of incentives includes reductions to yard setbacks, park district land donations, open space requirements and city fees. The menu also features an increase in lot coverage and building heights, parking allowances and a variance on the required amount of masonry used on facades.

Density bonuses will be offered. Rental units and for-sale housing will be included, but the ordinance will prohibit any property zoned for single-family or duplex uses from participating in the program.

Developers would be offered a certain number of incentives based on the number of affordable units offered and price points for the housing. Affordability calculations are based on regional and local median household incomes.

“This is a historic night for Naperville,” Councilman Ian Holzhauer said. “We're envisioning an inclusive future where people who work in Naperville can afford to live in Naperville.”

The Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the proposal. After analysis from an outside consultant and numerous workshops, in addition to reviews and adjustments by city officials, the ordinance is expected to be approved at an upcoming council meeting.

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