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 Among invited electeds and Mayoral appointees was LB Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, now in runoff for a state Senate seat
Among invited electeds and Mayoral appointees was LB Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, now in runoff for a state Senate seat
|(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:
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.
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
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."
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:
Developing...with further to follow on LBREPORT.com
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