Inclusionary Zoning

The City of Lynn formally adopted the Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) ordinance on December 13, 2022. This strategic policy aims to encourage and require developers of residential projects exceeding a specified scale to integrate Affordable Housing components or make designated payments to facilitate the development of such housing elsewhere. Incentives, such as increased density, reduced parking requirements, or expedited permitting, have been incorporated to offset the financial implications for developers. The purpose of this Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance is to provide for the creation of affordable housing throughout the City and to further the Goals of the Lynn Housing Production Plan, "Housing Lynn: A Plan for Inclusive Growth" (Housing Plan), and as may be amended from time to time.

Consistent with Housing Lynn, this Inclusionary Zoning ordinance seeks to further advance the following objectives for the benefit of all Lynn residents:
1. Provide affordable housing options for all Lynn residents and household types and ensure new housing development includes affordable housing accessible to Lynn's population and demographics.
2. Assure that affordable housing is made available on an equal basis to all eligible households without regard to race, religion, sex, or other protected status.
3. To support the City's critical need for additional affordable housing and seek to serve a public purpose by encouraging the inclusion of affordable housing in all new residential and mixed-use residential developments and promote a fair share contribution of affordable housing in all new residential development.

Understanding Inclusionary Zoning:
The Inclusionary Zoning ordinance mandates a specific portion of units within new housing developments to be deed-restricted Affordable Housing, catering to low- or moderate-income households. This approach relies on the private market to generate Affordable Housing, often accompanied by bonus measures to mitigate costs and prevent adverse impacts on the local housing market. Noteworthy precedents in this domain include Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Everett, and Quincy.

Local Impacts:
While IZ is not a substitute for nonprofit, subsidized Affordable Housing development, it serves as a valuable tool to ensure that new market-rate developments offer benefits to residents with lower incomes.

Furthermore, it fosters the creation of mixed-income housing, promoting social integration within buildings and common areas. Inclusionary zoning substantially contributes to the expansion of deed-restricted Affordable Housing without solely relying on limited government subsidies.

The primary goal of this initiative is to align with the community's aspirations and achieve affordability for typical Lynn households with incomes well below the conventional baseline inclusionary requirement of 80% of AMI.


Information for Contractors & Developers:

Thank you for your commitment to complying with the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance of the City of Lynn. Ensuring affordable housing options for our community is a shared responsibility, and your cooperation is essential.

Here's a step-by-step guide to navigating the Inclusionary Zoning process:

1. Building Permit Application:
- Start the process by submitting your building permit application through the City of Lynn's Inspectional Services Department. Ensure that all required documentation for your project is included.

2. Location-Based Calculations:
- Depending on your project's location in Lynn, different calculations for the Inclusionary Zoning fee will apply.
- Be aware that these calculations change annually based on Average Median Income (AMI) limits set by Massachusetts HUD. Consult the current AMI limits for accurate calculations. 

3. Review Process:
- The Inspectional Services Department will thoroughly review your project information.
- if all relevant documentation is received and approved, a letter will be sent directly to you, detailing the Inclusionary Zoning in-lieu fee or the number of on-site units required, based on the project's total units.

4. Payment Schedule:
- If an in-lieu fee is applicable, 50% must be paid at the time of building permit release.
- The remaining 50% is due at the time of the Certificate of Occupancy.

5. On-site Units Provision:
- If you choose to provide on-site units instead of the in-lieu fee, this must be clearly communicated during the project information submission. On-site units are 10% of the additional units built, ex: 10 additional units = 1 on-site units.

Important Notes:
- In-lieu fee calculations are project-specific and change annually based on AMI limits.
- Payments must align with the building permit release and Certificate of Occupancy milestones.
- On-site unit provision exempts the in-lieu fee but requires compliance with the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.