It's Back: Sac'to's SB 9 (Co-Authored by LB State Senator Gonzalez) That Would Allow Four Housing Units (Opponents Say Six) On Single Family Home Lots Just Advanced In State Senate Committee; LB City Hall Silent (Again); State Senator Umberg Votes "Yes"
|(April 15, 2021) -- As flashed earlier today (April 15) on LBREPORT.com, the state Senate Housing Committee -- with SE LB state Senator Tom Umberg (D) voting "yes" -- advanced SB 9 that would allow four housing units (opponents say up to six) on single family home lots.
Today's vote sends SB 9 to the state Senate Governance and Finance Committee for a likely late April hearing. SB 9 is co-authored by state Senator Lena Gonzalez (D, LB-SE LA County). and in today's Housing Commitee hearing SB9's primary author, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D, San Diego), acknowledged that (despite its duplex verbiage) SB 9 allows up to four housing units on single family home lots.
Livable California says SB 9 allows up to six units and invites "McMansions" on single family home lots. "SB 9 is an unprecedented experiment that invites speculators and big investors to disrupt homeownership and harm the stability of 21M Californians," states Livable California on its website.
SB 9 supporters say SB 9's is a "modest" [their term] increase in density needed to deal with California's "housing crisis." Some also argue SB 9 addresses present day effects of past racial discrimination reflected in single family home zoning.
Long Beach City Hall has currently taken no position on SB 9 whiich is nearly identifical to last year's SB 1120. The City of LB remained neutral throughout last year's legislative process as SB 1120 advanced to near passage, but was strongly opposed locally by Corliss Lee's grassroots The Eastside Voice.
For quick launch on-demand audio of the April 15 state Senate committee hearing, click here
A Senate Housing Committee legislative analysis states that SB 9:
a) Clarifies that no more than two units are authorized when providing for ministerial approval of a duplex on a single-family parcel.
Long Beach City Hall's Government Affairs Manager, Dr. Tyler Curlet, says the City hasn't taken a position on SB 9 "at this time [since] it's still early in the legislative session [and] we continue to monitor these bills as they’re amended through the committee process."
Below are the CA cities currently opposing SB 9. .
Cities of Arcata, Azusa, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Camarillo, Carpinteria, Carson, Cerritos, Chino, Chino Hills, Clayton, Clearlake, Clovis, Cupertino, Cypress, Diamond Bar, Dorris, Downey, Dublin, Eastvale, El Segundo, Escalon, Fortuna, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Glendora, Grand Terrace, Half Moon Bay, Hesperia, Hidden Hills, Irvine, Irwindale, Kerman, King, La Palma, La Verne, Lafayette, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Lakeport, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lomita, Los Alamitos, Los Altos, Martinez, Maywood, Menifee, Merced, Mission Viejo, Monterey, Moorpark, Murrieta, Newman, Newport Beach, Norwalk, Novato, Oakdale, Ontario, Orinda, Palo Alto, Palos Verdes Estates, Paramount, Pismo Beach, Placentia, Pleasanton, Poway, Rancho Cucamonga, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho Santa Margarita, Redding, Redondo Beach, Rohnert Park, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Gabriel, San Jacinto, San Marcos, San Marino, Santa Clara, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Saratoga, Signal Hill, South Pasadena, Stanton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Tracy, Vacaville, Ventura, Vista, Westlake Village, Whittier, and Yorba Lind
Despite policy-settimg Council verbiage in the 2021 "state legislative agenda" reciting opposition to bills harming local control, City Hall management hasn't taken a position on SB 9. >City Hall's Government Affairs Manager is Dr. Tyler Curly, formerly Mayor Robert Garcia's Legislative Deputy, later Chief of Staff for former 1st District Councilwoman (now state Senator), Lena Gonzalez, a co-author of SB 9, and most recently served in Senator Gonzalez's office as her Legislative Director/Policy Liaison.
Dr. Curly and city management don't set city policy; a majority of the City Council does. The Council's three-member "State Legislation Committee" can offer recommendations to the full Council, and Committee chairs (chosen by Mayor Garcia) have the unilateral power to schedule Committee meetings and schedule their agenda items. The State Legislation Committee chair when SB 1120 was introduced (basically identical to SB 9) was Councilman Rex Richardson (chosen by Garcia to replace Councilman Austin as chair in mid-December 2019.) Richardson let SB 1120 advance through passage by the state Senate and by the Assembly with no City opposition. SB 1120 came within just minutes of final state Senate approval (that could have sent it to Gov. Newsom) but failed to meet a Sept,. 1 midnight hour deadline.
In December 2020, Richardson was State Legislation Committee chair when SB 9 (the replacement for SB 1120) was introduced but held no State Legislation Committee discussion of SB 9. On Feb. 2, 2021, Mayor Garcia chose now Vice Mayor Richardson to chair the Council's Federal Legislation Committee and Garcia named Councilman Roberto Uranga to chair the State Legislation Committee. Uranga failed to agendize State Legislation Committee discussion of SB 9 as it passed its state Senate Committee Housing Committee April 15, 2021 (with voted approval SE LB state Senator Tom Umberg) and SB9 is now scheduled to be heard by the state Senate'Governance and Finance Committee on April 22, 2021.
Through this entire process, the LB Council's "State Legislation Committee" under Mayor-chosen chairs Richardson and now Uranga -- let SB 1120 and now SB 9 (both co-authored by state Senator Lena Gonzalez) quietly advance with no discussion or recommendations to the full Council.
At the same time, the Council's State Legislation Committee recommended, and the Council voted to approve, a City "State Legislative Agenda" consisting of general statements of City policy that city management is supposed to follow. The City's 2020 and 2021 "State Legislative Agenda" recites that the City will "Oppose legislation that would reduce the City’s local land use authority" and legislation that "would reduce the City’s local land use authority and support implementation of the City Council adopted planning documents."
a) Support policies and legislation that protect and/or expands the City’s authority and rights over its affairs.
Regardless of inaction by the Council's State Legislation Committee, any Councilmember(s) could have agendized SB 1120 in 2020 and could now agendize SB 9 for full City Council action.
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