Governor Vetoes AB 2702, Killing Bill That Would Have Made It Harder For Cities To Stop Second Units on Single Residential Lots
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LBReport.com Learns Councilman O'Donnell & LB City Staff Met w/ Gov's Staff in Mid-Sept. To Reiterate LB Opposition To Bill
(September 30, 2004) -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed AB 2702, a bill opposed by LB City Hall and over 100 CA cities, that would have restricted cities' ability to limit second units on single residential lots.
LBReport.com posts the Governor's veto message below.
LBReport.com has also learned that on September 16, 4th district Councilman Patrick O'Donnell and LB city staff travelled to Sacramento to meet with staff of the Governor's office and reiterate City of LB opposition to the bill based on its preemption of local authority and "one size fits all" approach. Also attending the meeting were representatives of the cities of Santa Monica and El Segundo.
AB 2702 was backed by the CA Association of Realtors but opposed by the League of CA Cities and over 100 CA cities.
On August 25, the Assembly approved final Senate amendments to the bill on a 50-22 vote with LB area Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza voting "yes" and Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-SP-PV) recorded as "absent, abstaining or not voting" after voting "yes" on the bill in May.
AB 2702 earlier cleared the state Senate on a 23-7 with state Senator Betty Karnette voting "no" on the floor and previously in a state Committee.
Governor Schwarzenegger issued the following message in vetoing AB 2702:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 2702 without my signature.
This bill establishes more detailed standards regarding the development of second unit
housing in California. One provision specifically restricts local governments from
requiring a second unit floor space to be less than 550 square feet. This creates a one-size
fits all approach to second units being built in local neighborhoods.
This bill limits the say of local governments, homeowners, and local communities
regarding second units being constructed in their neighborhoods. In effect, this bill
dictates unilateral decisions by the state regarding what type of development is
appropriate for local communities without any community participation.
As a strong proponent of local control, I believe that government is most responsive and
accountable to people when it is close to the people. This bill removes that control away
from local officials, where homeowners and residents can voice their concerns about their
neighborhoods and moves it to a state bureaucracy in Sacramento.
Additionally, with the unanticipated growth from second units on single family
properties, this bill does not take into consideration the impact and ability for local
governments to provide adequate water, sewer and schools.
My Administration is very aware of the lack of affordable housing facing California. At
the beginning of my Administration, I asked the Secretary of the Business, Transportation
and Housing Agency to pursue an aggressive agenda into finding ways of increasing
home ownership opportunities for all Californians. I encourage all housing advocates
and local governments to work with the Secretary to implement this agenda making the
American Dream more affordable and available to our citizens.
For these reasons I am unable to support this bill.
Density is an especially sore point in LB, following a 1980s City Council action that increased density in central city areas and brought "crackerbox" apartments that contributed to destabilizing single family neighborhoods with impacts felt citywide.
As previously reported by LBReport.com, on August 4, LB City Manager Jerry Miller submitted a letter opposing AB 2702 on behalf of the City of Long Beach. Addressed to the bill's author, Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D., Sacramento), the City of LB letter stated in part:
...Though we acknowledge your courage fight for affordable housing, we do not believe AB 2702 is the way to come about this change.
Rather than encourage local, balanced, planned patterns of development that respects local land use priorities outlined in the General Plan, AB 2702 simply imposes a one-size-fits-all approach to second unit development on every community in the state.
AB 2702 mandates standards that have proven unacceptable to the residents of single-family housing. AB 2702 will limit local ability to prohibit absentee-landlord duplexes to be created in single-family neighborhoods, create a substantial problem with parking for the residents, dictate irrational minimum lot and unit sizes regardless of lot dimensions, and lead to a decrease in property value.
For these reasons, we oppose AB 2702 and strongly urge you to reconsider this bill...
LB City Hall's letter opposing AB 2702 was cc'd to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, State Senator Betty Karnette (D., LB) and State Senator Ed Vincent.
AB 2702's supporters and opponents, listed in an August state Senate legislative analysis were:
SUPPORT: (Verified 8/18/04)
California Association of Realtors (co-source)
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (co-source)
Western Center on Law and Poverty (co-source)
Agora Group, Goleta
American Association of Retired Persons, California
Barbara Sanders and Associates, Oakland
Beacon Housing, Los Angeles
Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Los Angeles
Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, Saticoy
California Affordable Housing Law Project, Oakland
California Apartment Association
California Church Impact, Sacramento
California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
California Legislative Council of Older Americans, San
California Partnership, Downey
California Reinvestment Coalition, San Francisco
Center for Community Advocacy, Salinas
Central City SRO Collaborative, San Francisco
Chicano Consortium, Sacramento
Civic Center Barrio Housing Corporation, Santa Ana
Coalition for Economic Survival, Los Angeles
Community Housing Improvement, Chico
Congregations Building Community, Modesto
Council of Churches of Santa Clara County, Cupertino
East Palo Alto Council of Tenants Education Fund
Emergency Housing Consortium, San Jose
Enterprise Foundation, Los Angeles
Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, Los Angeles
Fair Housing Council of Riverside County
Father Joe's Villages, San Diego
First Community Housing, San Jose
Fisher Sehgal Yanez Architects, Inc., Los Angeles
Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries
Fresno West Coalitions for Economic Development
Golden State Mobilehome Owners League, Chapter 24, East
Gray Panthers California
Greenlining Institute, Oakland
Hillview Mental Health Center, Inc., Pacoima
Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, Redwood
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission, Sacramento
Inclusive Homes Inc., Los Angeles
Inquilinos Unidos, Los Angeles
Jericho La Raza Centro Legal, Inc., San Francisco
Loaves and Fishes, Sacramento
Los Angeles Housing Law Project
Los Angeles Housing Partnership, Inc.
Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc., Los Angeles
Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition, Redwood City
Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County and Inland
New Directions, Inc., Los Angeles
Opportunities for Neighborhood Empowerment Company, Inc.,
Orange County Community Housing Corporation, Santa Ana
Partners in Housing, Inc., Ventura
People of Progress, Redding
Planning for Elders, San Francisco
Protection and Advocacy, Inc., Sacramento
Public Advocates, Inc., San Francisco
Public Law Center, Santa Ana
Rubicon Programs, Inc., Richmond
Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation, Ukiah
Renee Franken and Associates, Inc., Carmichael
Sacramento Neighborhood Housing Services
San Francisco Homeless Senior Task Force
Santa Cruz Affordable Housing Advocates
Senior Action Network, San Francisco
Shelter Inc of Contra Costa County, Martinez
Shelter Partnership, Inc., Los Angeles
Skid Row Housing Trust, Los Angeles
Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, Los
Angeles Southern California Housing Development
Corporation, Rancho Cucamonga Southern California Indian
Center, Inc., Fountain Valley
Strategic Actions For A Just Economy, Los Angeles
Tenderloin Housing Clinic, San Francisco
Valley Housing Foundation, Pacoima
Vietnam Veterans of California - Sacramento Veterans
Resource Center Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge and
Services, Los Angeles
West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation
WRJ Group, Inc., Fountain Valley
OPPOSITION : (Verified 8/24/04)
American Planning Association, California Chapter
California State Association of Counties
City of Atherton
City of Bellflower
City of Brea
City of Concord
City of Culver City
City of Daly City
City of Elk Grove
City of Hercules
City of Lafayette
City of Lakewood
City of Moreno Valley
City of Napa
City of Palos Verdes Estates
City of Rancho Cucamonga
City of Roseville
City of San Jose
City of San Luis Obispo
City of San Mateo
City of Santa Monica
City of Seal Beach
City of Thousand Oaks
City of Walnut Creek
Independent Cities Association
League of California Cities
South Bay Cities Council of Governments
Town of Atherton
On its web site, the CA Association of Realtors stated in support of the bill:
Enacted two-decades ago, the [current CA] second-unit law has not lived up to its potential due, in part, to unreasonable obstacles imposed by local governments. To encourage the development of such units, C.A.R. successfully co-sponsored AB 1866 (Wright) in 2002, which stated that a second-unit building permit must be approved without a hearing if the proposal complies with all of the local government’s development requirements. However, AB 1866 did not address specifically what reasonable standards local governments may apply to second units -- causing local governments to become creative and restrictive with their new "ministerial" guidelines in order to force a hearing for such additions or to effectively prohibit the construction of new second units.
To counteract this problem, this bill will specify that local governments cannot adopt ordinances that have the practical effect of barring second units from a community. The bill is aimed at preventing arbitrary restrictions that are meant to make it exceedingly difficult to put such units on a property. If approved, this legislation will continue to allow communities the flexibility to design guidelines and zoning code requirements that are appropriate for their neighborhoods, while at the same time, and perhaps most importantly, allowing property owners the ability to build units that are sufficient in size for
their needs and aesthetically pleasing -- without encroaching on the privacy of other property owners.
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