November 17, 2014 Housing Action Coalition

How Berkeley Uses the Density Bonus Law

As San Francisco Planning Department staff continue to work on crafting a density bonus proposal, it’s useful to look to other cities to understand how they implement the state density bonus law. The City of Berkeley recently adopted its own interpretation. However, most of the housing projects in the City are built in districts without density standards. This means their Planning Department must define “maximum allowable density.” San Francisco faces a similar dilemma.
The Berkeley Planning Department put together a concise presentation that explains their density bonus ordinance. They calculate and implement density bonuses using 4 basic steps:
1. Calculate the “Base Project;”
2. Calculate Density Bonus;
3. Review Concessions;
4. Grant waivers/reductions of development standards.
SFHAC and its members will continue to work with the Department in hopes of having legislation ready in the first quarter of 2015. Our goal is to implement a citywide measure that will substantially increase housing production, particularly for homes of greater affordability.
See the full Berkeley Planning Department Powerpoint Presentation here.
Click here for a PDF overview.

Define the Base Project density bonus

Define the Density Bonus Project

Concession Analysis

waivers reduced


Image credit: Berkeleyside

Housing Action Coalition

The Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported non-profit that advocates for the creation of well designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe more housing means more choices and better solutions.

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