SB 50 Advances Now?"> Mayor Garcia Holds Invitation-Only "Reception" For State Senator Umberg Who Took Office Five Months Ago And Voted "Yes" On SB 50 (Sac'to Override Of Local Control On Aspects Of Single Family Home Zoning)In April Committee Hearing; What, If Anything, Did Garcia Tell Sen. Umberg As <nobr>SB 50</nobr> Advances Now?
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Mayor Garcia Holds Invitation-Only "Reception" For State Senator Umberg Who Took Office Five Months Ago And Voted "Yes" On SB 50 (Sac'to Override Of Local Control On Aspects Of Single Family Home Zoning)In April Committee Hearing; What, If Anything, Did Garcia Tell Sen. Umberg As SB 50 Advances Now?

Among invited electeds and Mayoral appointees was LB Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, now in runoff for a state Senate seat


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(May 4, 2019, 6:50 a.m.) -- LBREPORT.com has learned that at late afternoon/early evening Friday (May 3), Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia held what was described as a "reception" at Boathouse on the Bay for state Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB / west OC), a former state Assemblyman elected to the state Senate in November 2018, took office in December 2018.

Before dawn today (May 4), LBREPORT.com emailed Mayor Garcia and his chief of staff the following regarding the event in connection with SB 50, an advancing measure by state Senator Scott Wiener (D, SF) that would override aspects of local single family home zoning to enable and incentivize increased density:

  • 1) Did Mayor Garcia say anything during the event to the crowd or to Senator Umberg regarding SB 50 and if so what did the Mayor say and what did Senator Umberg say in response?

  • (2) What is Mayor Garcia's position on SB 50?

    (3) What is the Mayor's position on Tuesday's City Council agendized item re SB 50?

LBREPORT.com will report the Mayor's responses as received.

As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, Senator Umberg voted "yes" on SB 50 in an April 2 hearing in the Senate Housing Committee. His vote advanced it to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee (April 24) which amended the bill and advanced it to the Senate Appropriations Committee (for a hearing on its state budget impacts), one step from a full state Senate floor vote.

The invitation-only "reception" drew a sizable crowd including some Long Beach electeds and Mayoral appointees. Among those visible was LB Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, endorsed by Mayor Garcia in a runoff for a LB-southeast L.A. County state Senate seat (vote by mail ballots launch May 6, election day is June 4.)

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To date, the City of Long Beach has taken no official position SB 50 (introduced Dec. 3, 2018) although the City Council voted in November 2018 vote to approve a 2019 "state legislative agenda" (City policies on Sacramento legislation) that included the following: "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."

On May 7, the Council is scheduled to vote on an item agendized by Councilmembers Al Austin and Stacy Mungo to oppose SB 50. As reported yesterday (May 3) by LBREPORT.com, Third dist. Councilwoman Suzie Price has (in response to our inquiry) told LBREPORT.com that she will be urging her Council colleagues to oppose SB 50 "and to do so as a Council." Councilwoman Price told LBREPORT.com (email May 2, 8 p.m. hour): "...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." Mr. Platkin's article lists 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.

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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.

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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 formally 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.")

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."

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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.


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

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)

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


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