Wednesday, June 29, 2022

SB 9 will result in major rezoning of single family residential areas in California

A bill moving through the state legislature would make major changes to zoning requirements in local neighborhoods, allowing multiple residential units within single-family housing lots.

In December 2020, 39th District Senator Tony Atkins introduced Senate Bill 9 (SB9), which “declares that ensuring access to affordable housing is a statewide concern and not a municipal matter”, according to the bill.

According to the nonprofit Livable California, if the bill passes, developers will have three zoning scenarios to choose from, based on lot size, and none will require public review, input, or hearings. The organization calls this the “radical density experiment.”

Where one house now stands, developers can build either four smaller stand-alone homes or two duplexes; A mix of houses, duplex and grandma flats not exceeding 6 units; Or up to 8 units from a mix of houses, duplexes and granny flats, unless the city approves the plan.

Additionally, the bill calls for a minimum lot size of 1,200 square feet, unless a city adopts an ordinance allowing smaller lots. It also prevents a city from requiring more than one on-street parking space per unit, and does not require onsite parking.

On-street parking is not required if the project is within a “high-quality transit corridor” or a half-mile walk of a major transit stop, or if the car share vehicle is located within a block.

Yug Times Photos
A neighborhood in Huntington Beach, Calif., on May. 5, 2021. (John Fredericks/The Epoch Times)

While allowing for increased density, SB9 does not require any unit to be affordable and should not be confused with regional housing needs assessment laws.

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SB 9 would also prohibit cities from requiring development fees to cover the cost of increased demand for sewer, water, road improvements, schools or parks.

Supporters of the bill point out that it will contribute to much-needed housing construction, adding that the state needs an estimated 1.8 million new homes by 2025, according to a release from Senate Democrats.

“Senate Bill 9 promotes neighborhood-scale residential development by streamlining the process for a homeowner to build a duplex into residential areas or sub-dividing an existing lot,” the release said.

“This bill builds on the successful approach of assisted housing units (ADUs) and expands options for homeowners who wish to be part of the solution in solving California’s housing crisis.”

Opponents of the bill say SB9 is likely to have many unintended consequences, from increased demand for city infrastructure due to high-density housing, to potentially higher homeownership costs in the long term.

“This is not good news for young families trying to become homeowners, or homeowners who have bought into single-family communities, nor cities that will be burdened by infrastructure costs and density. The staff required to accommodate the type will make SB9.” Local activist Nancy Skarberg told The Epoch Times.

Scarberg, who runs for Newport Beach City Council in 2020, is closely following the bill. She says that her participation as an active member of various community groups, including the Good Neighbor Policy Advisory Committee, the Newport Heights Improvement Association, the Coalition to Protect the Mariners’ Mile and Still Protect Our Newport, helped her understand the impact of SB9. have helped. throughout California.

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Scarabrough said, “People in California who have specifically bought their homes in a one-family neighborhood with some expectation for space, privacy, security and community, could see significant impacts on their lives if this bill passes.” will be forced to deal with it.”

The proposed bill has already passed the state Senate, the Assembly Committee on Local Government and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development. SB 9 will next be heard by the Appropriations Committee on August 16 and will be sent to the Assembly floor on August 19, 2021.

Lynn Hackman

Lynn is a reporter for the Southern California edition of The Epoch Times based in Orange County. He has enjoyed a career spanning over 25 years as a senior level strategic public relations and contingency planning executive. An editor, blogger and columnist, Lynn also has experience as a television and radio show producer and host. For six years, she co-hosted Sunday Brunch with Tom and Lynn on KOCI 101.5 FM. He is also active in the Newport Beach community, serving as Chairman Emeritus of the Newport Beach City Arts Commission, among various positions with other local organizations.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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