Libertyville considering requiring 15% attainabile housing in any new developments
Village leaders Tuesday will get their first look at a proposed new rule requiring that "attainable" housing be included in new residential developments in Libertyville.
The village board will discuss the recommendation for an attainable housing ordinance during an informal work session beginning at 6:30 p.m. at village hall, 118 W. Cook Ave.
As recommended, the rule would be mandatory for all new residential developments of five or more units. It would require at least 15% of the total number of units in a development be priced so that those making a certain percentage of the area median income can afford them.
The idea is to provide a range of housing and rental options for those with low to moderate incomes, according to Ashley Engelmann, deputy village administrator.
State law enacted in 2003 requires at least 10% of year-round housing stock be considered affordable. If a community drops below that, it is required to develop a plan to increase the number of affordable units.
As of 2018, 15% of Libertyville's housing was considered affordable, so the village is not required to create a plan at this point.
However, according to the draft ordinance, increasing land value and the conversion of existing units into more expensive ones have added pressure to make more attainable housing available in the village.
In July 2019, then-Mayor Terry Weppler revived the village's Human Relations Commission to develop an attainable housing ordinance. After about 20 meetings, the panel in May unanimously approved a draft of the new rules.
The village board will review that recommendation Tuesday and can refer it back to the panel for modifications.
"We're at the point we're ready for the (village) board to give us a review and tell us what the next step will be," Engelmann said.
Ultimately, the proposal will be forwarded to the village's plan commission for a public hearing, which could involve more than one session. The plan commission will then make a recommendation to the village board for a final decision.
As recommended, the attainable housing ordinance would apply to all new residential construction or mixed-use construction with a residential component. Other projects, such as a development that would change the use of an existing building in whole or part from nonresidential to residential also would have to comply.
The attainable units would have to be integrated within the market rate units and built at the same time, according to the proposal. Developers could ask for a waiver of various fees associated with those units.
The recommended ordinance also lists alternatives, such as a cash payment in lieu of building some or all of the required attainable units in a given development.
The village board last month got an overview of the various aspects of the affordable housing law from Rob Anthony, president of the Libertyville-based Community Partners for Affordable Housing.
"There's this growing gap between income and housing. That's what attainable housing is trying to address," he said at the time.
Those who live in attainable housing include local workers in lower- and moderate-income jobs, such as school staff members and hospital and medical employees, young adults who can't afford to return to their hometown, seniors who otherwise would be priced out of the community, people with disabilities, and those experiencing a job loss or other change in circumstances, according to the organization.