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State Senate Bills 9 and 10 will affect ALL California neighborhoods, whether it be low-income, moderate, higher-income, or even GATED communities. This is not “someone else’s problem”.

Overview:

Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) - PASSED
- Toni Atkins, Author

SB 9 IS A “LOT-SPLITTING” BILL that went into effect on January 1st, 2022. Often misreported as a “duplex” bill, it allows a developer to split a single-family parcel into two equal parcels and build up to four units (two duplexes) — where a single-family home now stands. Visit UnitedNeighbors.net to learn what these bills mean for residential neighborhoods.

Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) - OPT-IN ONLY
- Scott Wiener, Author / Toni Atkins, Co-Author

Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) is an "Opt-In" bill that would authorize a city or county to pass an ordinance, notwithstanding any local restrictions on zoning ordinances, to zone any parcel for up to 14 units of residential density, at a height specified by the ordinance, on any single-family lot if the parcel is located in a transit-rich area, a jobs-rich area, or an urban infill site. (These terms apply to most neighborhoods as defined.) UPDATE; Mayor Gloria has announced he plans to opt-in to SB 10.

SB 9 and SB 10 explained:

•  SB 9 ENDS SINGLE-FAMILY ZONING STATEWIDE

•  OVERRIDES LOCAL ZONING AND CITY POWERS

•  NO REQUIREMENT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING. (A developer’s dream in trendy and high-income neighborhoods)

•  WAIVES DEVELOPMENT IMPACT FEES (DIFS) FOR DEVELOPERS. Those infrastructure fees can add up to more than $15,000 PER UNIT along main transit boulevards.

•  Incentivizes developers to build AWAY from main transit boulevards and INTO residential neighborhoods to avoid infrastructure upgrades and fees. As we’ve seen throughout Southern California, this almost always leads to market-rate or high-end housing developments along main transit routes, displacing and forcing working- and low-income families further away from transit lines. 


•  TAXPAYERS FOOT THE BILL for the infrastructure upgrades necessary to accommodate the new density in residential single-family neighborhoods. 


•  BYPASSES REVIEW under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

•  CLEAR-CUTTING OF URBAN FORESTS (80% of urban trees are on residential properties) to make room for multi-unit structures on single-family lots, transforming residential yards into concrete and heat-inducing hardscapes. This also prevents water from draining naturally through the soil to replenish our aquifers.

•  NO PARKING REQUIRED within ½ mile of “major transit”. Please note that “major transit” includes a bus stop. This is not just near train/light-rail stations.

•  JUST 4-FOOT SETBACKS, crowding up against neighbors (mostly concrete hardscaping since setbacks need to be accessible). No yards required.

•  NO PUBLIC NOTICE. You won’t know until the developer builds next door to you.

•  ALLOWS SPECULATORS TO SQUEEZE DENSITY on lots as small as 1,200 sq. feet. Land studies show that such state-ordered upzoning and speculation drives land costs very high, and in turn, housing costs will spiral upward, not down.

•  SB 10 WOULD ALLOW CONSTRUCTION OF A 10-UNIT APARTMENT BUILDING on ANY single-family residential lot located in a “transit-rich, jobs-rich, or urban infill” area — these terms apply to most neighborhoods as defined. This means that a 14-unit apartment building can pop up on a residential lot where a single-family home now sits.

THERE ARE BETTER SOLUTIONS TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Local Problems Need Local Solutions

Under SB-9 and SB-10, zoning and planning are dictated by Sacramento bureaucrats.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the destruction of California’s residential neighborhoods is the solution to affordable housing. First and foremost, our main transit corridors should be utilized as vibrant live/work corridors with abundant affordable housing instead of underutilized land or outdated single-story storefronts.  

 

Under SB-9 and SB-10, residential neighborhoods become the inexpensive, low-hanging fruit for developers, resulting in a domino-effect of market-rate and high-end, high-density development. Remember, these bills overrule local zoning and bypass CEQA review.

More to come. Please stay tuned for updates on SB 10.

State Legislation (SB-9 and SB-10): List

State Legislation SB 9 & 10

Bypassing Local Control in Urban Planning

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