Public Benefit Bonus Policy Brief

This report addresses how public benefits bonus policies allow for specific incentives or bonuses to be granted to a developer in exchange for benefits or amenities for the community.

Public benefits bonus policies allow for specific incentives or bonuses to be granted to a developer in exchange for certain benefits or amenities for the community. This report seeks to address some specific questions, including:

  • How to balance public benefits with an appropriate amount of project bonus?
  • How can a public benefits bonus policy be implemented?
  • What are appropriate benefits and bonuses to include in a policy, and what is a good process to determine them?

This report is written in three parts. Part I provides a discussion of key components and best practices for structuring a public benefits bonus policy. Part II provides in‐depth discussion of three case studies that highlight different approaches to public benefits bonuses in California: San Diego, Santa Monica, and Palo Alto. Part III provides recommendations for the City of Mountain View. Additional resources and examples from other cities are provided at the end of the report, in Appendix A.

This work has been made possible thanks to a grant to Greenbelt Alliance’s partner Forterra from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities under the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

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