Former Long Beach Mayor Foster Wants CA Voters To Change State Constitution. He's
|(August 18, 2019, 10:10 a.m.) -- Former Long Beach Mayor (2006-2014) Bob Foster wants California voters to change CA's constitution. LBREPORT.com has obtained the draft text of a proposed state constitutional amendment on which Mr. Foster is listed as a co-proponent along with four others: Sara Wan (former CA Coastal Commissioner), Donna Frye (former San Diego Councilwoman/former SD Mayoral candidate), David Takashima (Mgr. Fed'l/State Gov't Affairs for City/County of San Francisco) and James LaMattery (San Diego area realtor who opposes policies of incumbent SD Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the SD City Council that invite increased residential density, higher building heights and reduced parking requirements.)
LBREPORT.com has learned that although the text may still be developing and is subject to changes, the proponents have submitted their draft text to the CA Attorney General's office for review. After receiving the State Attorney General's review, the proponents may revise/amend/change/tweak the measure's text.
At some point, the proponents may submit their finalized measure text for an official title and summary and either begin collecting nearly a million valid signatures of CA registered voters to put it on a future general election ballot OR try to persuade Sacramento's legislative leadership (with a Democrat super-majority in the Assembly and state Senate) to put the measure on the ballot. A majority of CA general election voters would decide whether to enact it or reject it.
The proponents have labeled their constitutional amendment the "Workforce Housing and Neighborhood Protection Act." It opens by declaring that "Land-use planning and zoning are fundamentally local functions. No State law that facilitates or mandates an increase in housing density within the jurisdiction of any local government shall be enforceable if the law conflicts with any planning or zoning law adopted by the local government."
However the measure immediately adds that this "shall not prevent the enforcement of a State law that facilitates or mandates an increase in housing density within the jurisdiction of any local government if both of the following conditions have been satisfied":
[Scroll down for further.]
The measure applies the following definitions:
The measure's draft text doesn't define [or cite examples of] "federal, state, and local infrastructure requirements" that City Halls must "satisfy" before giving final approval to increased housing density and (by the measure's terms) blunting state constitutional challenges to Sacramento laws that facilitate or mandate increased housing density.
Proponents' position appears to be [our rough summary/paraphrase] that if Sacramento imposes housing density quotas on cities, Sac'to -- meaning state taxpayers -- should pay for the infrastructure (broadly defined) to support it. (We published the wonky details of the draft because the devil is often in the details.)
The proposed constitutional amendment includes text specifying that it is to be "liberally construed to achieve the purposes of requiring State housing policies to improve housing affordability without shifting cost burdens to local taxpayers and neighborhoods and without undermining local land-use and zoning control; ensuring that any community required to absorb additional housing density as a result of State legislation has up-to-date infrastructure to accommodate the density without degrading the community's quality of life; providing local governments with flexibility to determine the size of dwelling units in order to meet local housing demand; encouraging the development of workforce housing at a lower cost to the occupants; and avoiding unfunded State mandates on local government."
An effort by LBREPORT.com to reach former Mayor Foster for comment and additional information was unsuccessful.
LBREPORT.com spoke with co-proponent San Diego area realtor James LaMattery, who stressed that he was speaking for himself, not necessarily for other co-proponents of the draft text. (Material in brackets  by LBREPORT.com.)
Mr. LaMattery said he believes that if the state imposes housing quotas as it already does and will likely continue to do, the state [state taxpayers] should write the check for infrastructure needed to support the increased density and cities that take the state money must actually provide the density-supportive infrastructure.
Mr. LaMattery said the current system has effectively enabled developers to build high rise luxury units without concern for affordability and often without access to transit and without sufficient parking. Mr. LaMattery said the draft ballot measure, which he acknowledged may undergo changes, isn't a panacea but he believes it would be a first step to bringing all sides -- developers, impacted neighborhood residents, local and state elected officials -- to the table on housing increases.
Aug. 18, 1:13 p.m. Added rough summary/paraphrase of what appears to be proponents' position.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:
Follow LBReport.com with:
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com
Hardwood Floor Specialists
Call (562) 422-2800 or (714) 836-7050