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Hours Before LB Council Votes On City Stance re Sac'to's SB 50 (Increased Density/Overrides Some Aspects Of Local Residential Zoning): (1) Councilwoman/State Sen. Candidate Gonzalez Says She Opposes SB 50 As Currently Written; (2) Housing LB Issues Release "Oppose Unless Amended" (Full Text)

Related: At last night's candidate forum, state Sen. candidate Guerrero flatly opposed SB 50 -- not simply "as amended" -- based on its loss of local community control


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(May 7, 2019, 11:50 a.m.) -- LBREPORT.com reports as breaking developments just hours before a scheduled Long Beach City Council vote tonight on what position the City of Long Beach should take regarding SB 50, currently-advancing Sacramento legislation (primary author: state Sen. Scott Wiener, D, SF) that would override aspects of local single family home zoning to enable and incentivize increased density.

  • (1) Long Beach Councilwoman/state Senate runoff candidate Lena Gonzalez stated during last night's (May 6) candidate forum that she opposes SB 50 as currently written (SB 50 AUDIO clip here). She made no explicit reference to the upcoming May 7 Council vote on the matter but did discuss a number of related housing issues (included in the audio clip.) Her runoff opponent, Jack Guerrero, stated that he opposes SB 50 -- regardless of whether it's amended -- based on its loss of local community control (his views also included in the SB 50 AUDIO clip here.) Whichever candidate is elected [with vote-by-mail ballots flying now and over half of LB in the voting area] will have the power to cast Sacramento votes on SB 50 and other locally preemptive state legislation.)

  • (2) Housing LB has issued a release (May 7) recommending an "oppose unless amended" stance on SB 50 (full text follows):

    [Housing LB May 7 release text] Back to the Drawing Board: SB50 Falls Short on Affordability Requirements

    Housing Long Beach has joined the growing ranks in Long Beach who are lining up against SB50. The local advocacy organization says the proposed legislation does not go deep enough with its affordability requirements.

    "This is a deeply flawed proposal that offers more incentives to build market rate housing in urban areas already threatened by gentrification," said Josh Butler, Executive Director of Housing Long Beach.

    Housing Long Beach is taking an "oppose unless amended" position and is encourages the legislations authors to do more authors to require deeper levels of affordable housing and anti-displacement measures.

    While many in Long Beach seem opposed to the legislation due to lack of local control, Butler says "SB50 gives away too much power and value to developers and fails to do enough to protect working class people and communities of color from gentrification."

    "Long Beach needs to build, but, we need to build affordable housing, not more market rate housing nobody can afford," said Butler, "SB50 just press down on the gas pedal of gentrification."

    [Scroll down for further.]




As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, on April 2, 2019 LB-area state Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB [908015/90803]) voted "yes" on SB 50 in the state Senate Housing Committee, which advanced SB 50 to the April 24 Governance/Finance Committee which has now advanced it further.

On April 16, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to oppose SB 50...unless amended to exclude Los Angeles. A few days earlier, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (SF's City Council) voted by a super-majority to reverse support for SB 50 voiced by SF's Mayor.

At the April 24 state Senate Governance and Finance Committee meeting, state Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D, Los Angeles-SFV) criticized SB 50, and while supporting Governor Gavin Newsom's housing plans, Sen. Hertzberg cited the L.A. City Council's voted opposition in casting his vote to oppose the bill. (Committee vote was 6-1-1 to advance SB 50 to the state Senate Appropriations Committee (for state budget impacts), one vote from a full state Senate vote.

On April 29, 8th dist. Councilman Al Austin (chairs state legislation committee) and 5th dist. Councilwoman Stacy Mungo (formerly a member of that committee) co-agendized a May 7 City Council item to oppose SB 50 ("Request the City Council to oppose Senate Bill 50 (Wiener), which would preempt local zoning laws to allow higher density housing near "transit-rich" and "jobs-rich" areas, including in single-family neighborhoods, and take a "one-size-fits-all" to addressing land use for housing throughout the entire state.")

On May 2, Councilwoman Price told LBREPORT.com (in response to our inquiry): "...I will be urging my colleagues to oppose SB50 and to do so as a council. I am not sure where any of my other colleagues will fall on this topic. It's important for the city to maintain local control. As a charter city, we should always advocate for the right to be able to develop local policies that are consistent with our local needs, challenges and opportunities. Obviously, issues of state concern will override local policies, but when we are talking about land use, we have to try to maintain local control to whatever extent we can so that we have some options to work with as development and housing trends change."

On May 2, CityWatchLA.com published an article by former Los Angeles city planner Dick Platkin (a former Los Angeles city planner now a boardmember of United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles) analyzing/commenting on recent amendments to SB 50. In his analysis/commentary at this link, Mr. Platkin opens with: "The legislation is complex, even though its essence is clear. If adopted, it would accelerate the construction of tall, dense, luxury rental apartments throughout the entire State of California, including Los Angeles. It puts Wall Street into your Backyard (WIMBY), whether you live in an apartment or a house, by exempting most local land use decisions from zoning, planning, and environmental laws." And Mr. Platkin proceeds to list what he describes as "the grisly section-by-section details of the billís most recent amendments." CityWatchLA.com's analysis/commentary piece by Mr. Platkin can be viewed at this link.

Density is an especially sore point in Long Beach, where 1980's City Hall pro-developer policies enabled "crackerbox" apartment density in single-family home neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The result left a number of LB neighborhoods with chronic issues (including parking.) LB's experience with "crackerbox" density was among the reasons for grassroots LB neighborhood opposition to increased density proposed by LB city staff in 2017-2018 Land Use Element changes.

To date, the City of Long Beach has taken no official position SB 50 (introduced Dec. 3, 2018) despite the City Council's November 2018 vote to approve a 2019 City of Long Beach "state legislative agenda" (general policies on Sacramento legislation) that included "Oppose legislation that would reduce the City's local land use authority" and "Oppose legislation that preempts the City's existing control over local matters."

Sponsor

Sponsor

The May 7, 2019 agenda item to oppose SB 50 can be adopted with a majority of a quorum (minimum five) Councilmembers present. That means, if only five Councilmembers were present when the item is called, the item could carry on a 4-1 or even 3-2 vote.

If it carries, it would be subject to a possible veto by Mayor Garcia, subject to a Council voted override. If the Council's voted action is to adopt a resolution, six Council votes would be needed to override a Mayoral veto. If the Council's voted action is to simply adopt a "minute order," the Council could override a veto with only 2/3 of Councilmembers "present."

Sponsor


In a Sunday April 28 Facebook comment, Senator Wiener noted that a New York Times editorial has endorsed SB 50:

Sponsor

Sponsor

In advance of the April 24 Assembly Committee meeting, the Senate's Governance and Finance Committee's legislative analysis listed support and opposition as of April 19 as follows:

Support: 3,025 Individuals; 6beds, Inc.; AARP; Bay Area Council; Bridge Housing Corporation; Building Industry Association of The Bay Area; Burbank Housing Development Corporation; Calasian Chamber of Commerce; California Apartment Association; California Chamber of Commerce; California Community Builders; California National Party; California Yimby; Dana Point Chamber Of Commerce; Emeryville; City of; Facebook, Inc.; Fieldstead and Company, Inc.; Fossil Free California; Greater Washington; Hamilton Families; Local Government Commission; Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Ms.; Murrieta Chamber of Commerce; Natural Resources Defense Council; North Orange County Chamber of Commerce; Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; Office of The Mayor, San Francisco; Orange County Business Council; Oxnard Chamber of Commerce; Related California; Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce; Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce; Schott & Lites Advocates Llc; Silicon Valley At Home (Sv@Home); Silicon Valley Leadership Group; South Bay Jewish Federation; South Bay Yimby; Spur; State Council on Developmental Disabilities; Stripe; Technet-Technology Network; The Silicon Valley Organization; Tmg Partners; Valley Industry And Commerce Association; Yimby Action
Opposition: 1,850 Individuals; Aids Healthcare Foundation; Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (Acce) Action; American Planning Association, California Chapter; Asian Pacific Environmental Network; Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association; Bay Area Transportation Working Group; Berkeley Tenants Union; Brentwood Community Council - West Los Angeles; Causa Justa :: Just Cause; Central Valley Empowerment Alliance; Century Glen Hoa; City of Brentwood; City of Chino Hills; City of Cupertino; City of Downey; City of Glendale; City of Lafayette; City of Lakewood; City of La Mirada; City of Palo Alto; City of Rancho Cucamonga; City of Rancho Palos Verdes; City of Pinole; City of Redondo Beach; City of San Mateo; City of Santa Clarita; City of Solana Beach ;City of Sunnyvale; City of Vista; Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods; Preserve LA; Concerned Citizens of Los Feliz; Cow Hollow Association; Dolores Heights Improvement Club; Dolores Street Community Services; East Mission Improvement Association; East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice; City of Glendora; Grayburn Avenue Block Club; Homeowners of Encino; Housing for All Burlingame; Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco; Jobs with Justice San Francisco; Jordan Park Improvement Association; Legal Services for Prisoners with Children; League of California Cities; Los Angeles Tenants Union - Hollywood Local Case Worker; Los Angeles Tenants Union -- Networking Team; Miraloma Park Improvement Club; Mission Economic Development Agency; New Livable California Dba Livable California; Noe Neighborhood Council; Northeast Business Economic Development Dba Northeast Business Association; City of Pasadena; Planning Association for the Richmond; Poder; Redstone Labor Temple Association; Regional-Video; Sacred Heart Community Service; San Francisco Senior And Disability Action; San Francisco Rising Alliance; San Francisco Tenants Union; Save Capp Street; Senior and Disability Action; SF Ocean Edge; Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association; South Bay Cities Council Of Governments; South Brentwood Residents Association; South of Market Community Action Network; Stand Up For San Francisco; Sunset-Parkside Education And Action Committee (Speak); Sutro Avenue Block Club/Leimert Park; Telegraph Hill Dwellers; Tenant Sanctuary; Tenants Together; The San Francisco Marina Community Association; Toluca Lake Homeowners Association; United to Save the Mission; Urban Habitat; West Mar Vista Residents Association; Yah! (Yes to Affordable Housing)

Developing...with further to follow on LBREPORT.com


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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