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AUD Multi-unit Housing Program Background

Program Background

On July 30, 2013, the City Council approved the Program Ordinance. This Program facilitates the creation of Photo of 604 East Cota Street. One of the first projects built under the AUD Program.multi-unit housing and carries out a key implementation action of the City’s 2011 General Plan. The intent of the Program is to support the construction of smaller residential units near transit and within easy walking and biking distance to commercial services and activity centers. Increased densities and development standard incentives are allowed in most multi-family and commercial zones of the City to promote additional housing. Rental, employer-sponsored, and limited equity housing cooperative units that provide housing opportunities to the City’s workforce are especially encouraged.


The Program has been monitored closely since 2013 and amended multiple times to provide course corrections to better fulfill its purpose. In 2019, City Council initiate ordinance amendments based on staff recommendations,  public input, and Planning Commission recommendations. In 2020, City Council adopted a subset of previously identified ordinance amendments to better facilitate economic recovery from COVID-19 and construction of new housing developments in the downtown.  

On March 30, 2021, City Council directed staff to release a request for proposals for an economic feasibility study  to understand project viability with the new building size standards described here. The Study will also inform any updates to the City’s Inclusionary Ordinances and amendments to the Density Bonus Ordinance, identify incentives to further increase the production of housing affordable to moderate- and middle-income households, and provide data for refining the Affordable Housing Policies and Procedures. To accommodate the completion of the Study, the AUD Program ordinance was extended to February 28, 2022.

The current AUD Ordinance (effective August 18, 2021) can be found here.

The amendments have been completed in multiple parts, with the final amendment package currently in process. For information on the components of the amendments see below:

  • Final Program Amendments in process and scheduled for completion in 2021, here.
  • Adopted 2020 Downtown-Focused Amendments, here.
  • Adopted Mobilehome Park Overlay Zone, here.
  • Adopted Inclusionary Amendments, here.

Related AUD documents to view:

AUD Program Map Adopted 2020
AUD Program Calculator
AUD Program Common Questions

Applicable General Plan Policies


Architectural Board of Review Design Guidelines
Historic Landmarks Commission Design Guidelines
Infill Guidelines


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Last Updated: Oct 20, 2021
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