L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson (L.A. County Supervisor Candidate And Former Ass'y Speaker) Urges Gov. Newsom And Assembly Speaker Rendon To Reject SB 1120 As Destabilizing Black Communities And Inviting Gentrification; Bill's Supporters Duck Tuesday Planned Vote Which Could Come Weds Or Later This Week
|(Aug. 25, 2020) -- In a surprising development, Sacramento's Assembly did NOT take up SB 1120 on Tuesday (Aug. 25). It may be an indication that the bill's proponents have encountered resistance to the measure that would allow four housing units on single family home lots statewide.
The bill's supporters likely won't bring it to a vote unless they believe they have at least 41 supportive votes in the 80 member Assembly. That had been expected today...but didn't happen. The vote may now happen Wednesday (Aug 26) or later this week...or anytime before Aug. 31. The upcoming Assembly vote will decide whether SB 1120 dies or advances (after a final state Senate vote) to Governor Gavin Newsom.
A source with Sacramento ties tells LBREPORT.com "There's pushback. People are pissed as they learn bill would allow four residential units on single familly home lots."
Some of that pushback carries political clout. On Aug. 21, Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson -- a former Speaker of the state Assembly -- now running for L.A. County Supervisor sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D, NLB-Paramount) urging them "to reject SB 1120...This bill would accelerate the gentrification already occurring in Los Angeles and could permanently wipe out the few remaining Black communities we have left by destroying the stability of our historically and culturally single-family neighborhoods and communities."
In his letter to the Governor and Assembly Speaker, Councilman Wesson writes in pertinent part:
This bill would be particularly detrimental to African Americans and other communities of color in Los Angeles...[communities that I represent are predominantly Black and very diverse, there are so many individuals, couples and families in my district who have fought against the odds against them to be able to purchase their own house. These neighborhoods are some of the most desirable communities in Southern California and the country for real estate speculators, and SB 1120 would only make the prospects for speculators looking to destroy existing housing and build luxury apartments more lucrative,"
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SB 1120 contains both "duplex" provisions and "urban lot split" provisions. Its duplex provisions require cities to grant "ministerial" (checklist type) approval to proposed housing development projects with two residential units on parcels zoned for single-family residences. Its "urban lot split" provisions require ministerial approval to subdivide an existing parcel to create two new parcels of equal size no smaller than 1,200 square feet (unless a local ordinance allows a smaller minimum.) Garages and yards are not required.
The Assembly Local Government Committee's legislative analysis acknowledged "Under this bill, a property owner could independently seek ministerial approval for an urban lot split, a duplex, or the owner could seek approval for both an urban lot split and a duplex."
In other words, under SB 1120 an owner or developer could take a single family zoned parcel with one home on it, subdivide it into two equal size lots and then build two homes on each lot (four residences on what had been a single family home lot.)
The City of Long Beach allowed SB 1120 to advance since its mid-February introduction without City opposition. Councilmembers Stacy Mungo and Daryl Supernaw, whose ELB districts are filled with single-family-home neighborhoods -- took no agendized action to put the City of Long Beach on record opposing SB 1120. The Council's "State Legislation Committee" (which can recommend buy not set city policy) didn't discuss the bill. Any Councilmember(s) could have agendized an item ("on any Tuesday") to oppose SB 1120...and none did.
The non-profit advocacy group Livable California says SB 1120 "crushes single-family streets and directly attacks homeownership by ending single-family zoning everywhere." LBREPORT.com lists the bill's supporters and opponents as of early-August below.
For the record, below are supporters and opponents of SB 1120 as of Aug. 7, listed in the Assembly Local Government Committee's legislative analysis. :
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