Pending State Legislation (SB 9 & 10)

Bypassing Local Control in Urban Planning

San Diego is already trying to digest the Atkins diet of unlimited ADUs - we don't need

a smorgasbord of new ways that developers can ruin our neighborhoods!

State Bills SB 9 and SB 10

State Senate Bills 9 and 10, proposed by CA State Senators Toni Atkins and Scott Weiner, will permanently disrupt the quality of life throughout the state and will accelerate the flight of taxpayers from California.

It is important to note that these bills would affect ALL California neighborhoods, whether it be low-income, moderate, higher-income, or even GATED communities. This is not “someone else’s problem”.

Here is an excellent 2-minute video overview of these bills from United Neighbors:


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

Lot Splitting

SB-9 IS A “LOT-SPLITTING” BILL, often misreported as a “duplex” bill. It allows a developer to split a single-family parcel into two equal parcels and build 6 (possibly up to 8) units—a mix of houses, duplexes, and granny flats—where 1 single-family home now stands.

Visit “SB 9 & 10 Review” for what this means for residential neighborhoods.

Senate Bill 10 (SB-10) - Toni Atkins, Co-Author

Abolishment of Single-Family Zoning

Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) would authorizes a city or county to pass an ordinance, notwithstanding any local restrictions on zoning ordinances, to zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density, at a height specified by the ordinance, if the parcel is located in a transit-rich area, a jobs-rich area, or an urban infill site.

Objections to SB-9 and SB-10

Don't Let San Diego's Bad Policies be Enshrined at the State Level



•  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 a 7,500 s.f. 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 10-unit apartment building can pop up on a residential lot where a single-family home now sits.


Local Problems Need Local Solutions

If SB-9 and SB-10 are passed, city planning and development will no longer be in the hands of accountable local elected representatives. Instead, zoning and planning will be dictated by Sacramento bureaucrats who look at a street map of San Diego and think that Kensington is within 1/2 mile of the trolley. (Maybe for hang gliders!) 

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.

For SENSIBLE solutions to AFFORDABLE HOUSING and COMMON SENSE land management, please see the informative video presentation and diagrams on  It’s important to be informed on these bills before it’s too late.

Take Action

1. SHARE our link and these two websites with other Californians you know: and


2. SIGN UP to our mailing list and subscribe to and to receive Action Item emails and updates on these bills, and/or ask how you can assist as a volunteer. 


3. CONTACT your state representatives (this is a state issue that will override any local power) and let them know you strongly OPPOSE these bills. DEMAND real sensible and affordable housing solutions that do not forever destroy California’s residential neighborhoods.  Emailing or writing a personal letter of concern to your state representative is most effective. Calling and/or faxing is also good. 

Info for this post was collected from SB-9,  SB-10, Livable California, and United Neighbors.