Sac'to Senator Wiener (Authored SB35) Introduces New Bill -- SB 827 -- Offering Housing Developers Density Bonus/Exemptions From Various Req'ts Within Half-Mile/Quarter Mile From Transit
|(Jan. 4, 2018, 9:55 a.m., updated 3:50 p.m.) -- State Senator Scott Wiener (D, San Francisco) (who authored SB35) has introduced SB827, a bill that would give housing developers what it calls a "transit-rich housing bonus" for residential developments within a 1/2 mile radius of a "major transit stop" or a 1/4 mile radius of a "high-quality transit corridor" (all terms that it defines, below.)
SB 827 would exempt projects that receive such bonuses from a number of requirements, including maximum controls on residential density or floor area ratio, minimum automobile parking requirements and design standards that restrict the applicant's ability to construct the maximum number of units consistent with any applicable building code, and maximum height limitations.
UPDATE: In a release, Sen. Wiener describes SB827 as follows:
[Sen. Wiener release text]
[End UPDATE] .
[Scroll down for further.]
SB 827 specifies the following:
SB 827 goes on to state:
(b) Notwithstanding any local ordinance, general plan element, specific plan, charter, or other local law, policy, resolution, or regulation, a transit-rich housing project shall receive a transit-rich housing bonus which shall exempt the project from all of the following:
SB 827's full text as introduced is visible at this link.
On December 13, 2017, Sen. Wiener wrote the following on his Facebook page:
We need to do better building housing that is neither high-rise nor extreme low density (like single family) - basically, smaller apartment buildings in what are currently low density areas. This "missing middle" housing makes a big difference - allowing lower-cost density near transit while retaining a neighborhood's human scale. Smart zoning adjustments to low-density neighborhoods to allow this kind of housing will go a long way toward making housing more affordable and sustainable. [Comemnts on a
Senator Wiener's SB35 (enacted into law in 2017) is a complex bill detailed by LBREPORT.com here that significantly impacts land use decisionmaking locally. In general terms, in specified circumstances where SB35 applies, it neuters the public's grounds for objecting to a multi-unit housing project's significant impacts under the CA Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), erases city-adopted parking requirements for such developments and substitutes Sacramento standards with minimal or no parking required in some circumstances, and requires City Hall to approve certain multi-unit housing-developer sought projects if they otherwise fit within the maximum allowed objectively stated standards in the City's General Plan (including Land Use Element) or zoning.
For reasons still not fully explained publicly, the City of Long Beach failed to oppose (remained "neutral" with "watch" position) on SB35 and other housing-developer related bills (supported by Sacramento Dem-leadership) despite a LB Council-approved 2017 "state legislative agenda" reciting that the City would oppose Sac'to legislation damaging to local control. The City Council's Mayor-chosen "State Legislation Committee" (Austin, Mungo, Gonzalez) approved the 2017 state legislative agenda in January 2017 and sent it to the Council which approved it in April 2017,..but the Council's State Legislation Committee then failed to meet from Jan. 10 until November (when the Sac'to legislative session had ended), effectively letting SB35 and similar Dem leadership-backed housing bills advance to enactment without City of Long Beach opposition. A few months ago, Councilman Austin (term limited in the 8th Council district) indicated to LBREPORT.com that he's considering a run for state Senate [if incumbent state Senator Ricardo Lara (D, LB-Huntington Park) is elected Insurance Commissioner in November.]
While the state legislation advanced, LB city staff simultaneously advanced a density-promoting Land Use Element (LUE) revision without publicly discussing the advancing bills' impacts on the LUE's proposed changes. The LUE, with accompanying density increase maps and an Urban Design Element, is now expected to reach the Council for voted direction in the coming weeks and months.
State Senator Ricardo Lara (D, LB-Huntington Park), state Senator Janet Nguyen (R, SE LB-west OC) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (NLB-Lakewood-Paramount) voted for SB 35. Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D, Long Beach-San Pedro) was one of a handful of Democrats who voted "no" on SB35 although he supported other bills in the Dem leadership-backed housing package.
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