Density Bonus Ordinance Update

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Rocky Hill Veteran's Housing

The City recently amended its ordinance relating to density bonuses.  State law requires cities to grant density bonuses for eligible affordable housing projects, including granting limited incentives or concessions relating to development standards.  State law also requires cities to adopt a local ordinance establishing procedures on how density bonus requests are to be considered.

The City of Vacaville previously had a density bonus ordinance (Vacaville Municipal Code Chapter 14.09.116, Land Use Permits and Approvals, Density Bonus).  However, the state has made several changes to density bonus law.  The updated ordinance conforms to these new laws.  The amendment: 

  1. References state law and eliminate most of the definitions, eligibility criteria and standards for density bonuses that were copied from previous versions of state law.
  2. No longer requires the City Council to pre-review a density bonus concept as an informational item prior to the actual filing of the request for a density bonus.
  3. Eliminates the requirement that all density bonus requests be required to be planned developments. 
  4. Allows some limited density bonus requests to be approved by staff or Planning Commission.
  5. In accordance with the City's General Plan, allow the City Council to approve density bonus requests beyond state required minimums.


The Vacaville Planning Commission will consider the proposed ordinance at its regular meeting on February 19, 2019.  The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Vacaville City Council Chambers (650 Merchant Street, Vacaville).

The proposal will be forwarded to the Vacaville City Council at a later date.

Reference Documents

Density Bonuses Municipal Code Amendment

 February 19, 2019 Planning Commission Report 

Vacaville Municipal Code Chapter 14.09.116, Land Use Permits and Approvals, Density Bonus

California Density Bonus Law

Guide to the California Density Bonus Law