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Affordable Housing
Basic Requirements.
(1) Projects having more than five units: No Special Permit for a development requiring a Special Permit and no Building Permit for a use permitted as of right, shall be issued for a development subject to this section unless the Petitioner provides the percentage of the total dwelling units in the development as affordable housing as described herein, within § 155-5.07(d)(4) and otherwise consistent with this Section.

(2) Nothing in this Section shall preclude a developer from providing additional affordable units, or greater affordability, or both, than the minimum requirements. In no instance shall any permit or Special Permit approval create less than one affordable housing unit, and for purposes of this Section, any calculation of required affordable housing units that results in the fractional or decimal equivalent of one-half or above shall be increased to the next highest whole number.

(3) Affordable units shall be made available to eligible low- or moderate-income households at purchase prices or rents that comply with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Local Initiative Program regulations, 760 CMR 56.00, or any successor program as may be determined by the Special Permit Granting Authority (SPGA) upon recommendation of the Watertown Affordable Housing Trust and as indicated in § 155-5.07(d)(4).

(4) The Rent and Ownership Affordability Requirements are as follows: See § 155-5.07(d)(4) for detailed information.

(5) For Projects with Assisted and Independent Living Units Requirements are as follows: See § 155-5.07(d)(5) for detailed information.
*NOTE: For Assisted Living units, the maximum affordable purchase price or rent shall qualify for the SHI, and shall include base service costs. The base service package shall be indistinguishable between market rate and affordable units.
Methods of Providing Affordable Units.
(1) A covered development with more than five and up to 10 units, shall have the option of providing an affordable unit on site or making a cash payment in lieu of units on site. A Covered Development with more than 10 units shall provide the affordable units on site. However, approval for cash payment in lieu of on-site affordable units may be granted by the SPGA in certain extraordinary circumstances. The SPGA must find that the developer has clearly demonstrated that providing such unit(s) on-site would create significant hardship and that a cash payment in lieu of on- site unit(s) is in the best interest of the City's affordable housing needs.
Any request for alternative means of compliance shall be reviewed by the WHP, which shall then make its recommendation to the SPGA.

(2) The SPGA may authorize that an alternative method of compliance be used, in accordance with the following:
Cash Payment: The SPGA may grant a Special Permit to provide affordable housing through a cash payment to the Watertown Affordable Housing Fund, in lieu of providing one or more of the affordable units required under this Section.
The cash payment for housing units, including Independent Living Units, shall be equal to the most current Total Development Cost as articulated in the MA Department of Housing & Community Development's Qualified Allocation Plan for Low Income Housing Tax Credit, for the areas described as Within Metro Boston/Suburban Area, as adjusted for the type of project and number of units. The cash payments shall also be in accordance with a schedule of affordable housing payments as outlined in § 155-5.07(h)(6) and guidelines adopted and amended from time to time by the SPGA, following a public hearing, in consultation with the WHP and the Watertown Department of Community Development and Planning (DCDP). The cash payment for Assisted Living Units shall be not less than $200,000 per unit.
Location and Comparability of Affordable Units.
(1) Affordable units shall be proportionately distributed throughout the building(s) in a Covered Development.
(2) Affordable units shall be indistinguishable from market-rate units in exterior building materials and finishes; overall construction quality; and energy efficiency, including mechanical equipment and plumbing, insulation, windows, and heating and cooling systems, as determined by the Building Inspector
(3) Affordable units may differ from market-rate units in type of appliances, finishes; however, the affordable units shall be comparable to the base market-rate units in such instances.
(4) Affordable units shall have the same floor area as the median market-rate units of the same number of bedrooms within a margin of 20%; provided that units are not less than the minimum square foot required by DHCD. This criterion shall not apply to Assisted Living Units.
(5) The bedroom mix in the affordable units shall be proportionate to the market-rate units, unless the SPGA authorizes a different mix by special permit upon the recommendation of the WHP.
(6) The SPGA may adopt regulations or guidelines to further define comparability of the foregoing requirements.
(7) The WHP shall provide the Petitioner and SPGA as provided in § 5.07(i) with its recommendations with reference to the Petitioner's proposal in meeting the requirements for affordable housing.

Affirmative Marketing and Local Preference Policy.
Affordable units shall be made available for purchase or rent to eligible low- or moderate-income households under an affirmative marketing plan that complies with federal and state fair housing laws, and fair housing and local preference guidelines established by the Watertown Housing Partnership. No Building Permit for a Covered Development shall be issued unless the Department of Community Development and Planning (DCDP) has determined that the Petitioner's affirmative marketing plan complies with this requirement. The affirmative marketing costs for the affordable housing units shall be the responsibility of the Petitioner.

Preservation of Affordability.
For a Covered Development that provides Inclusion Units:
(A) No Building Permit shall be issued until an Affordable Housing Restriction has been executed by the Petitioner and the SPGA and the Petitioner provides evidence acceptable to the Director of DCDP that the agreement has been recorded at the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds.
(B) For for-sale or homeownership unit, the DCDP shall not authorize or sign off on a Certificate of Occupancy until the Petitioner submits documentation acceptable to the Director of DCDP that an affordable housing deed rider has been signed by affordable unit homebuyer and recorded at the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds.

For a Covered Development that provides affordable housing through a cash payment in lieu of affordable units:
(A) For a Covered Development having 10 units or less that provides affordable housing through a cash payment in lieu of affordable units; the following reduced percentage (%) as described in § 155-5.07(e)(2) shall apply: 10 units - 100%; 9 units- 90%; 8 units - 80%; 7 units - 70% and 6 units - 60%.
(B) The DCDP shall not sign off on Certificate(s) of Occupancy until the Petitioner pays 100% of the required cash in lieu payment.

All legal documentation in connection with the affordable housing units shall be in the standard form provided by the City of Watertown, as approved by legal counsel to the City. If the Petitioner proposes to use documentation other than that provided by the City, any and all costs associated with review by legal counsel to the City shall be paid by the Petitioner.
Submission Requirements and Procedures.
Projects requiring the provision of affordable units under this Section must submit a proposal as to the method of meeting the affordable housing requirements with the application for zoning relief and a copy to the WHP. The WHP shall, in writing, provide the SPGA with their recommendations no later than 40 days from submission. The SPGA may adopt additional submission requirements and procedures not inconsistent with this Section, following a public hearing and consultation with the WHP.

Special Regulations for Inclusion Units.
(1) Use Regulations: Developments with Inclusion Units shall comply with § 5.01: Table of Use Regulations; provided, however, that a Covered Development with not more than 10 multi-family units shall be a permitted use when at least 12.5% of the units are Inclusion Units as defined hereunder, in which case the development shall qualify for review as a Small-Scale Inclusion Development.

(2) Small-Scale Inclusion Development Submission Requirements and Procedures: No Building Permit for a Small-Scale Inclusion Development shall be issued until the SPGA has approved a site plan in accordance with § 9.03: Site plan review of certain residential and non-residential developments and the provisions of this Section. The SPGA may adopt regulations for submission requirements and procedures not inconsistent with this Section, following a public hearing.

(3) Cost Offsets and Affordability Requirements: Inclusion Units provided in excess of what is required in § 155-5.07(d)(4) shall be exempt from the minimum lot area per dwelling unit and/or maximum floor area ratio, as set forth in § 5.04: Table of Dimensional Regulations, provided that the Inclusion Units comply with the following affordability requirements:
Rental Units: For the affordable units, the maximum affordable rent shall be affordable to a household with income at or below 65% area median income (AMI), adjusted for household size.

Local Initiative Program Requirements.
The Petitioner shall be responsible for preparing and complying with any documentation that may be required by DHCD to qualify affordable units for listing on the Chapter 40B Subsidized Housing Inventory. The Petitioner shall also be responsible for provision annual compliance monitoring and certification to the City, or to cover the costs of the City for provision of such compliance monitoring.

See § 5.07: Affordable housing requirements for complete details.