|(April 29, 2019, 7:55 p.m., updated April 30, 9:50 a.m.) -- Councilman Al Austin and Councilwoman Stacy Mungo have agendized an item for the
In their agendizing memo, Councilmembers Austin and Mungo write:
[Scroll down for further.]
Up to four Councilmembers total can sign onto an agenda item; it's not clear whether one or two others will do so before noon Friday (May 3) when a supplemental agenda is published.
[UPDATED} A Council policy setting action (different from an ordinance) can be adopted with a majority of a quorum (minimum five) Councilmembers present. That means, if only five Councilmembers were present, it could carry on a 4-1 or even 3-2 vote. However, whatever the Council vote, it would be subject to a possible veto by Mayor Garcia, subject to a Council voted override. (If the Council acts by adopting a resolution, six Council votes are needed to override the veto; if the Council acts by simply adopting a "minute order," the Council can override the veto with only 2/3 of Councilmembers "present.") [end UPDATE]
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, Councilwoman Mungo said at an April 18 meeting of the Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association that SB 50 is "going to try to overturn all of the work we did with LUE [Land Use Element]" and added "I stand opposed to that and I'm bringing it back to City Council..." (drawing applause.)
Density is an especially sore point in Long Beach, where 1980's City Hall pro-developer policies enabled "crackerbox" apartment density in single-family home neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The result saddled the City with a number of chronic issues (including parking.) LB's experience with "crackerbox" density was among the reasons for grassroots LB neighborhood opposition to increased density proposed by LB city staff in 2017-2018 Land Use Element changes.
On April 16, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to oppose SB 50 (unless amended to exclude Los Angeles). A few days earlier, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (SF's City Council) voted by a super-majority to reverse support for SB 50 voiced by SF's Mayor.
At the April 24 state Senate Governance and Finance Committee meeting, state Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D, Los Angeles-SFV) criticized SB 50, and while supporting Governor Gavin Newsom's housing plans, Sen. Hertzberg cited the L.A. City Council's voted opposition in casting his vote to oppose the bill. (Committee vote was 6-1-1 to advance SB 50 to the state Senate Appropriations Committee (for state budget impacts), one vote from a full state Senate vote.
A little over three weeks earlier, LB-area state Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB [908015/90803]) voted "yes" on SB 50 in the state Senate Housing Committee, and his "yes" vote helped send SB 50 to the April 24 Governance/Finance Committee which has now advanced it further with amendments summarized in this document (source: office of state Sen. Mike McGuire (D, No. Cal coast). To view SB 50's text prior to the agreed amendments, click here. A revised text for SB 50 won't be online for some time.
In a Sunday April 28 Facebook comment, Senator Wiener noted that a New York Times editorial has endorsed SB 50:
In advance of the April 24 Committee meeting, the Senate's Governance and Finance Committee's legislative analysis listed support and opposition as of April 19 as follows:
The City of Long Beach has taken no publicly stated position to date on SB 50, which was introduced on December 3, 2018, although the Council voted in November 2018 (without dissent) to approve a 2019 "state legislative agenda (recommended by the Council's state legislation committee, comprised of Austin, Gonzalez and Richardson) that included the following policies: "Oppose legislation that would reduce the City's local land use authority" and "Oppose legislation that preempts the City's existing control over local matters."
On December 14, 2018, Councilwoman Gonzalez announced her candidacy for a vacated LB-S.E. L.A. County state Senate seat. She was swiftly endorsed by LB Mayor Garcia and (among others) state Senator Wiener, and announced that Councilman Richardson would serve as her "campaign chair."
Councilwoman Mungo was a member of the state legislation committee until the latter half of 2018, when Mayor Garcia replaced her with Councilman Richardson. Mungo endorsed Gonzalez for state Senate run in the initial multi-candidate March election (now in its two-candidate runoff phase); to our knowledge, Councilman Austin (who sought the state Senate seat but ended campaigning in late January) has made no endorsement in the race.
The Council's state legislation committee may recommend Council policy positions but its recommendations and approval aren't required for Council voted policy action. On multiple occasions, the Council has voted to support or oppose Sacramento bills without state legislation committee discussion or recommendations.
SB 50 would basically preempt certain aspects of locally-enacted single family zoning, It would prevent cities from limiting density within a half mile of fixed rail, or a quarter mile of high frequency bus stops (amended April 24 to specify every ten minutes) or -- regardless of transit -- in areas deemed "jobs-rich" (at or above regional median income and near quality schools.) It would require cities to allow apartments, duplexes/triplexes/fourplexes with 0.5 parking spaces per unit in residentially zoned areas (including the Coastal Zone for infill.) In addition, within half a mile of fixed rail stops, SB 50 would override local height limits lower than either 55 feet or 45 feet. (Areas adjacent to high frequency bus stops and areas designated "job-rich" areas would become subject to density increases and reduced parking requirements but not the specified building height increases; in those non-rail transit adjacent areas, local height limits will apply.)
April 30, 9:55 a.m. Text re Council quorum majority vote detailed, clarified.
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