On the last days of the legislature’s session, housing-focused bills are passed and sent for executive approval.
By Matthew Royer, Political News Editor
Through alleviating scarcity in zoning, starting Jan. 1, housing relief is coming for millions of Californians.
In the final days of the legislative session, the California State Senate and state assembly met to pass legislation, including housing bills that seek to relieve the short supply of housing options across the golden state. These bills included SB-9, which would require single-family zoned properties to consider developments of two housing units and SB-10, which allows cities to “upzone non-sprawl areas (areas that are close to transit or in existing urbanized locations, thus reducing vehicle usage and long commutes) up to ten unit buildings.” The former enforces a push for duplexes, while the latter accelerates re-zoning for duplexes, triplexes and apartment buildings on lots that single-zoned properties currently occupy.
Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) who serves Senate District 18, which encompasses Valley College, voted in the affirmative on SB-9 but voted in the negative for SB-10. Hertzberg, in April, previously expressed his concerns about SB-10 at a meeting of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.
"Whether it has teeth or is voluntary or not, it's indicative of a philosophy that I can't embrace,” said Hertzberg, the only member of the committee to vote against advancing the bill. “That basically says that we're going to, as a government, create and incentivize and expedite a way to destroy single-family neighborhoods, which I think are critical."
According to Palo Alto Weekly, SB-9 and SB-10 are part of a package supported by a majority of Democrats in the state Senate titled “Building Opportunities for All.” The legislative package, according to Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), “...strikes an appropriate balance between respecting local control and creating the environment and opportunity for production of small-scale development that we so badly need to combat this acute housing crisis that exists in California."
With the governor stamping his approval on the legislation, back home in Los Angeles, the LA City Council took a vote announcing their opposition to the measures. On Aug. 18, a vote cemented the governmental body’s position on the issue, according to Spectrum News. One of two councilmembers to support the bills in a vote, Nithya Raman (Silver Lake), while not directly supporting the Capitol’s actions, was adamant about finding solutions in Los Angeles’ own communities.
“If we're going to tell Sacramento to stay out of our way when it comes to housing policies, then we, in Los Angeles, have to be willing to do the work ourselves and all of the data that we have right now points to the fact that we haven't been doing it,” said Raman, according to the Daily News.