California advances zoning to allow duplexes

“It’s like taking action on climate change – you can’t count on everyone to move forward in unison in a way that gives everyone the assur...


“It’s like taking action on climate change – you can’t count on everyone to move forward in unison in a way that gives everyone the assurance that they are getting a benefit for their cost,” said Michael Andersen, senior researcher at the Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based urban think tank. “Zoning reform has a political cost at all levels, but only has a political advantage at the collective level.

In California, where the median home price recently eclipsed $ 800,000 and more than 100,000 people sleeping outside each night, a vision of a single-family home with a yard to soak up the sun is encoded in residents’ dreams. The move to zoning reform has been a multi-year odyssey with twists and turns of a storyline.

It all started in 2018, when Mr Wiener introduced a bill, SB 827, this would have allowed eight-story buildings near major transit stops, regardless of local zoning rules. After the failure of the bill, Mr Wiener introduced a similar measure called SB 50, which was voted against Early in 2020. Moments after the SB 50 vote, Ms Atkins delivered a speech in which she said “the status quo cannot stand” and pledged “a housing development bill will succeed this year”.

The following month, she convened a Senate housing group that designed a new set of bills that included a duplex bill similar to this year’s SB 9. The measure was passed by the Senate and went to the Assembly on the last day of the legislative session. As the clock approached midnight, Buffy Wicks, a member of the Oakland Democratic Assembly who was not permitted to vote by proxy, arrived. masked and holding her newborn baby to deliver a passionate speech in support of the bill. The bill was passed by the Assembly, but could not allow a Senate approval vote before the end of the session.

Single-family zoning is something of a Californian creation: in 1916, Berkeley became what was probably the first American city to restrict neighborhoods to single-family homes. A century later, it has become a core value that homeowners across the country euphemistically describe as maintaining “neighborhood character.”

According to an analysis of the bill by the Terner Center, SB 9 would allow about 700,000 additional units to be created in existing neighborhoods across the state (California allows about 100,000 new housing units each year). The crucial feature of the bill, Ms. Atkins said, is that allowing landlords to divide their lots would increase homeownership instead of just renting homes.

In a series of speeches before the vote, phrases like “progressive density” were countered by “the chaos of planning”. Some members of the assembly said it would increase generational wealth. Others said it would destroy him.

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Newsrust - US Top News: California advances zoning to allow duplexes
California advances zoning to allow duplexes
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