A paid public communication by Livable California
UPDATE from Livable California On Nine Bad Housing Bills
Two bad bills -- AB 1279 (opposed by City of LB) and AB 3107 -- are now dead (a victory, pulled by their author.)
On Aug. 6 three other bad bills were approved by the State Senate Housing Committee: AB 725, AB 2345 (lets developers override city standards on height, open space, parking, setbacks, side yards and other careful planning) and AB 3040 (lets cities "upzone" single-family areas to fourplexes)
On Aug. 11, SB 1120 (co-authored by state Senator Lena Gonzalez, it would crush single-family zoning, allowing 4 market-rate homes where a one home now stands) and SB 902 will be heard in the Ass'y Local Gov't Committee. SB 902 lets city councils toss out voter-approved protection of lands.
SB 1085, SB 995 remain problematic.
Reach us at: contact@livableca.org
LBReport.com

News / In Depth

Sac'to Bill Would Invite A Council Majority To Adopt An Ordinance Zoning Any Parcel For Up to 10 Units Of Residential Density In These Types Of Neighborhoods; SB 902 Comes To Assembly Committee Hearing Tues. Aug. 11.



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(Aug. 8, 2020, 9:10 p.m.) -- Remember the controversy and emotional Town Hall meetings in response to increased density in a city staff-desired revision of LB's Land Use Element (LUE)?

A Sacramento bill. that the City has allowed to advance without City opposition, could reawaken those issues.

SB 902 would let a City Council (by a simple majority vote) pass an ordinance to zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density per parcel in areas the bill defines as transit-rich, jobs-rich; or urban infill. The bill makes it easy for a Council majority to do so, exempting the ordinance from review of its impacts under the CA Environmental Quality Act (CEQA.) And, it would let the Council adopt the zoning ordinance even if it conflicts with or would overturn a local voter initiative [an issue a Committee staff analysis acknowledges raises constitutional issues.]

SB 902 passed the state Senate in June (details below) and is now scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Local Government Committee on Tuesday Aug. 11. (The Committee, comprised of a majority of Democrats, has no members from Long Beach.)

SB 902 is authored by state Senator Scott Wiener (D, SF) [joined by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D, SD)]. The bill includes parts of Sen. Wiener's former SB 50 which failed state Senate passage in January 2020. At that time, state Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB-west OC) helped stop SB 50's advance by simply not voting...but when SB 902 came to the state Senate on June 22, 2020, Sen. Umberg voted for it, advancing it to the Assembly. (The state Senate vote was 33 yes, 3 noes and 4 no vote recorded.)

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Below are SB 902's definitions of areas in which a Council majority could enact an ordinance allowing 10 units of residential density:

A "Jobs-rich area" would be identified by [Sacramento's Housing and Community Development Dept.] in consultation with the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) as high opportunity and either is jobs rich or would enable shorter commute distances based on whether, in a regional analysis, the tract meets both of the following:
i) The tract is high opportunity, meaning its characteristics are associated with positive educational and economic outcomes for households of all income levels residing in the tract; and,
ii) The tract meets either of the following criteria:
(1) New housing sited in the tract would enable residents to live near more jobs than is typical for tracts in the region; or,
(2) New housing sited in the tract would enable shorter commute distances for residents, relative to existing commute patterns and jobs-housing fit.
Sponsor

Sponsor

SB 902 defines a "transit-rich area" as "a parcel within one-half mile of a major transit stop, or a parcel on a high-quality bus corridor [as defined below] and a "major transit stop" means a site containing any of the following:

i) An existing rail or bus rapid transit station;
ii) A ferry terminal served by either a bus or rail transit service; or,
iii) The intersection of two or more major bus routes with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods.

The bill defines a "high-quality bus corridor" as one with "fixed route bus service that meets all of the following criteria [ultimately controlled in LB's case by LBTransit, whose non-elected board is chosen by Mayor Robert Garcia.]:

i) It has average service intervals of no more than 15 minutes during the three peak hours between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., inclusive, and the three peak hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., inclusive, on Monday through Friday;
ii) It has average service intervals of no more than 20 minutes during the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., inclusive, on Monday through Friday; and,
iii) It has average intervals of no more than 30 minutes during the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., inclusive, on Saturday and Sunday.

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/center>

"Urban infill site" means a site that satisfies all of the following:

i) A site that is a legal parcel or parcels located in a city if, and only if, the city boundaries include some portion of either an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau (Census Bureau), or, for unincorporated areas, a legal parcel or parcels wholly within the boundaries of an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the Census Bureau;
ii) A site in which at least 75% of the perimeter of the site adjoins parcels that are developed with urban uses. For the purposes of this provision, parcels that are only separated by a street or highway shall be considered to be adjoined; and,
iii) A site that is zoned for residential use or residential mixed-use development, or has a general plan designation that allows residential use or a mix of residential and nonresidential uses, with at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development designated for residential use.

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The Assembly Committee's staff analysis raises CEQA issues

...A number of stakeholders have raised concerns with exempting the zoning ordinances specified in this bill from CEQA. They argue that the CEQA exemption in this bill removes the ability of local governments to be fully informed of the ordinanceís potential environmental consequences. Without this review, a local government might not be properly informed of traffic impacts, air impacts, compatible use issues, or other environmental effects. They express concern that bypassing CEQA in this manner could create a liability for decision-makers. They also question whether it is appropriate for the public to live with the results of a zoning ordinance that might not have been fully vetted

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. .

The Committee analysis also notes that as written, a city could "zone for up to 10 units of housing on a site that was never planned or zoned for residential use (i.e., commercial, industrial, or agricultural) without any CEQA review of that zoning action. While it is unknown if or how many parcels in transit-rich or jobs rich areas are not already zoned for residential or residential mixed-use development, the Committee may wish to consider the potential outcomes of allowing zoning for up to 10 units of residential density in transit-rich or jobs-rich areas as those terms are defined in this bill."

The Committee analysis also notes that the bill "contains no requirements for affordability of housing that eventually could be built on parcels zoned according to its provisions. Some stakeholders worry that units would all be market-rate and that the bill will do nothing to address California's shortage of affordable housing..." (The American Planning Association, in support of the bill, has encouraged the author to "incorporate equity and affordability provisions, particularly including the clarification that local inclusionary, community benefits requirements, and value capture schemes do not constitute a 'limitation' as used in (SB) 902.")

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REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

Support
California YIMBY [SPONSOR]
350 Bay Area Action
350 Sacramento
All Home
American Planning Association, California Chapter
Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California Chapter
Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)
Bay Area Council
Bay Area Housing Advocacy Coalition
BRIDGE Housing Corporation
California Apartment Association
California Association of Realtors
California Building Industry Association
California Chamber of Commerce
California Community Builders and The Two Hundred
California Downtown Association
Central City Association
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
City of Fullerton
City of Oakland
Council of Infill Builders
East Bay for Everyone
Facebook
Generation Housing
Habitat for Humanity California
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
Hollywood YIMBY
House Sacramento
League of Women Voters of California
Livable Sunnyvale
Los Angeles Business Council
Los Angeles County Business Federation (BIZFED)
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Monterey Peninsula Renters United
New Pointe Communities
Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
North County YIMBY
Orange County Business Council
Peninsula for Everyone
Salesforce.com
San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
San Francisco Housing Action Coalition
Santa Cruz YIMBY
Schneider Electric
Silicon Valley At Home (SV@HOME)
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
SLO County YIMBY
South Bay YIMBY
South California Rental Housing Association
South Pasadena Residents for Responsible Growth
Sv@home Action Fund
Techequity Collaborative
The Greenlining Institute
The Two Hundred
TMG Partners
Up for Growth
Valley Industry & Commerce Association
Ventura County YIMBY
Westside Young Democrats
YIMBY Action
YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County
YIMBY Voice
Zillow Group

Support if Amended
AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Oppose
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Angeles Mesa Homeowners Community Group
Brentwood Homeowners Association
Brynhurst Avenue Block Club
California State Association of Electrical Workers
California State Pipe Trades Council
Cherrywood Leimert Park Block Club
Cities Association of Santa Clara County
Citizens Preserving Venice
Citizens Protecting San Pedro
Cities of El Segundo, Hidden Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach,
Saratoga, Thousand Oaks, and Torrance
Communities United CD7
Comstock Hills Homeowners Association
Contra Costa Taxpayers Association
Coral Tree Endowment Fund
Families of Park Mesa Heights
Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associations
Franklin Corridor Coalition
Friends of Sunset Park
Grayburn Avenue Block Club
Graylawn Neighbors for Quality of Life
International Elevator Constructors Union
Leimert Park - Edgehill Drive Residents Association
Livable Riverside & Moreno Valley
Mission Street Neighbors
New Livable California Dba Livable California
Noe Neighborhood Council
North Santa Ana Preservation Alliance
Northeast San Fernando Valley Activists
Orange County Council of Governments
Protecting Our Foothill Community
Riviera Homeowners Association
Shadow Hills Property Owners Association
Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association
Southeast Torrance Homeowners' Association, Inc. (SETHA)
Sunnyvale Neighbors
Sunset-Parkside Education and Action Committee (SPEAK)
Sustainable Tamalmonte
Tamalpais Design Review Board
Tarzana Property Owners Association
Telegraph Hill Dwellers
Victoria/54th Ave Block Club
View Heights Block Club
WCH Association
Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers
Westwood Hills Property Owners Association
Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition
Individual letters (34)

Oppose Unless Amended
Bay Area Transportation Working Group
California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
California State Council of Laborers
California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
Cities of Agoura Hills, Cupertino, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon
International Union of Elevator Constructors
International Union of Operating Engineers, Cal-Nevada Conference
Pacific Palisades Community Council
State Building & Construction Trades Council of California
Town of Danville
Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund

Where's Long Beach?

SB 902 was introduced on.Jan. 30, 2020. The City of LB took no position on the bill as it advanced. The City Council's "state legislation committee" never discussed SB 902. (It didn't meet on any then-advancing state bills from Dec. 17, 2019 under then-chair Austin with Richardson until June 24, 2020 under new chair Richardson, with Uranga and Austin.) On June 24, the Committee agenda under chair Richardson consisted of "receive and file a report on the California Legislative Black Caucusís 2020 Bill Package," "receive and file report on 2020 State proposals for police reform" and "review the Cityís 2020 Adopted State Legislative Agenda and provide direction for staff to return to the Committee with potential amendments to the 'Public Safety' section."

As SB 902 advanced, any Councilmember could have agendized a City Council item to take a position on the bill. None did.

If SB 902 clears the Assembly Local Government Committee on Aug. 11, it must win approval in the full Assembly floor, then return to the state Senate for a concurrence vote in any Assembly amendments..

Disclosure: Livable California purchased an advocacy ad on LBREPORT.com (July 29-Aug. 11) opposing "9 bad housing bills," among which was SB 902. The above article's content is independently produced by LBREPORT.com which is solely responsible for its content.


Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.


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