Four recently approved ordinances will encourage developers to increase the number of apartment units in Palm Springs, city officials said Wednesday.

The ordinances include height requirement waivers and allowing more residential buildings in the downtown area.

While lot size will decrease for some subdivisions and property owners interested in renting out a casita no longer have to file a land use permit, these new ordinances do not mean housing standards will go away for residences in Palm Springs.

“It’s not like building substandard housing,” Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem Geoff Kors said. “The apartments that are built still have to meet all the standards and regulations. But it allows us to go further in allowing more dense use of the property, so there’s more apartments on the property. Or, increasing height to include more units in the project.”

Specifically, in reference to the height requirements, the two-story rule will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the City Council as to not disrupt the current layout, Director of Planning Services Flinn Fagg said. Housing developments would need to be “generally consistent” with existing structures, per state law.

The ordinances should go into effect within the month, Kors said.

Another step to increasing the number of apartment units in Palm Springs is a 60-unit multi-family housing project approved in January. The project could break ground as soon as next year if federal funds are appropriated.

The recent shake up in housing development was a direct response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s threat to take away gas tax money — largely used for road repair and street widening projects in Palm Springs — if California cities did not build more affordable housing, Kors said.

If Newsom’s plan were to go into effect, these funds would be redirected by 2023, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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