Editorial: Watch out, NIMBYs. Newsom just dumped single-family zoning

Editorial: Watch out, NIMBYs. Newsom just dumped single-family zoning (via @latimesopinion)

9/18/2021 12:33:00 PM

Editorial: Watch out, NIMBYs. Newsom just dumped single-family zoning (via latimesopinion)

California will never build enough housing as a long cities hold single-family neighborhoods sacrosanct and use local control to maintain the status quo.

Of the three housing bills Newsom signed Thursday, themost consequential is Senate Bill 9because it will allow up to four units of housing on a single-family lot. Another, Senate Bill 10, creates a voluntary program that makes it easier for cities to upzone any urban or transit-adjacent parcel of land, including a single-family lot, to allow a building of 10 units or fewer.

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These were controversial bills because single-family neighborhoods have long been held as sacrosanct. But there is a growing recognition in California and beyond that we cannot build enough new housing to meet the needs of the population or in the places we need it most, such as near job centers, good schools or transit, as long as multifamily housing is excluded from

two-thirds of the state’s residential land.California has already passed laws in recent years that allow homeowners to build three units on their property — a house and two granny flats. SB 9 allows one more unit than existing law. It will also give property owners more options in what types of units they build and will allow them to split the lot and sell — not just rent — the new units. These are important changes that legalize a style of construction that used to be quite common in some cities — duplex, triplex and fourplex apartment buildings — next to single-family homes. But SB 9 still has some restrictions. It will not apply in historic districts or in environmentally sensitive areas, like wetlands and certain high fire-risk areas. It also will not apply if a house has been occupied by a renter within the last three years, a provision intended to prevent tenant displacement. headtopics.com

AdvertisementEditorial: To save California, sacrifice single-family zoningTwo fairly modest proposals to allow greater housing density are under debate in Sacramento. They shouldn’t be controversial, and yet they are.Newsom also signed Senate Bill 8, which extends to 2030 a temporary law that speeds housing development approvals and requires that a developer replace any rent-controlled or affordable units that are demolished for new construction.

Kudos to Newsom for not dillydallying on these important bills. The housing shortage is central to so many of California’s most pressing problems: homelessness,poverty, income inequality, clogged freeways and pollution from vehicles driven on long commutes. The state needs to add between 1.8 million and 2.5 million homes by 2025 to ease the housing shortage that is driving up rents and home prices.

In polls and during the lead-up to the recall election, Californians repeatedly cited the state’s unaffordable housing and its corollary, the homelessness crisis, as their top concerns. And this was one area in which Newsom and the leading candidates to replace him all agreed: California must make it easier to build housing.

But when it comes to solutions, there’s less consensus — and political courage. The recall candidates were all eager to rail against the housing shortage, but they adamantly opposed bills to ease local restrictions on development or loosen single-family zoning. That’s a problem. For decades, many local governments have shirked their responsibility to permit more housing, bending to slow-growth, not-in-my-backyard groups that don’t want to make room in their communities for more residents. headtopics.com

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That’s why Newsom, along with Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, deserves credit for pushing Californians out of their comfort zone. Atkins and the Senate, in particular, have come up with proposals to encourage, prod and even force communities to make it easier to build. Land use traditionally has been the domain of local government, but the reality is that California will never build enough housing as long as cities use their local control to maintain the status quo.

Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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opinion So there’s going to be even more empty units people can’t afford? You can build all you want be property management can’t be forced to rent to people especially with bad to no credit just like the public isn’t forced to rent empty rooms at their homes opinion Again he hurts the most vulnerable. They won’t build multi-family in expensive neighborhoods where the land costs too much.

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