In 2009, two published Court of Appeal decisions, Building Industry Ass’n of Cent. California v. City of Patterson (“Patterson”) and Palmer/Sixth Street Properties L.P. v. City of Los Angeles (“Palmer”) together upended previous understandings about the validity of, and appropriate analysis applied to, inclusionary housing ordinances — ordinances requiring that a portion of new homes in a development be affordable to lower or moderate-income households. While most communities in the state have adopted inclusionary ordinances as land use controls, Patterson found an inclusionary in-lieu fee to be a type of impact fee, and Palmer found that restricting rents in new developments violates State rent control laws. As a result, city attorneys are left wondering what, if anything, should be done about a city’s inclusionary ordinance.
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