Councilmembers Austin, Mungo And Price Hastily Agendize Sept. 7 Item To Oppose And Urge Veto "If Necessary" For Sac'to Housing Density Bills SB 9 and SB 10. Their Item Comes After Eastside Voice Urged 2022 Removal Of Council Incumbents In CDs 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 For Failing For Months To The Agendize Bills For Council Opposition
SB 9 co-authored by LB State Senator Gonzalez would require (except In historic districts) Allowing Four Housing Units on single family lots And prohibit requiring add'l parking within half mile of public transit; SB 10 would let Council majority enact ordinance without CEQA public review allowing up to 10 unit buildings on single family lots within half mile of transit
|(Sept. 3, 2021, 5:55 a.m.) -- Councilman Al Austin, joined by Councilmembers Stacy Mungo and Suzie Price -- the latter two seeking re-election in 2022 -- plan to hastily agendize a Sept. 7 City Council item to "communicate the City of Long Beach's opposition to Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 10 to our state legislative delegation and Governor's office, expressing our serious concerns and urging a veto, if necessary."
Their action comes after the president of the Eastside Voice, Corliss Lee, urged voters to replace Council incumbents in CDs 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 in the 2022 election cycle for failing (along with Mayor Robert Garcia) since Dec. 2020 -- through the entire Assembly and state Senate voting process -- to agendize City Council opposition to the bills. The incumbents spurned months of public requests to do so, effectively letting the bills advance through multiple legislative voted actions without City opposition.
SB 9, co-authored by former CD 1 Councilwoman no state Senator Lena Gonzalez (D, LB-southeast LA County) would require (except in historic districts) allowing four housing units on single family lots and prohibit requiring additional parking if the property is within half a mile of well-served public transit (including bus lines.)
SB 10 would let a City Council majority enact an ordinance without CEQA public review of its impacts allowing up to 10 housing unit buildings on single family lots within half a mile of transit.
"Long Beach has been working continuously to update our City's zoning, policies and ordinances to facilitate the construction and rehabilitation of additional housing, including affordable and workforce housing. However, SB 9 and SB 10 are not consistent with the efforts that our City has been undertaking, including significant public outreach and engagement, to facilitate the development of new, affordable housing, while maintaining the integrity and character of our neighborhoods, the three Councilmembers write in their agendizing memo.
The three Councilmembes' stance is similar to a June 23 letter (previously reported by LBREPORT.com) in which Councilwoman Price voiced similar City Hall defensive verbiage on her Council letterhead "in her personal behalf."
Addressed to "Long Beach Delegation to the State," Price stopped short of opposing SB 9 and said "I defer to you on how that balance could be reached but I hope you will consider something along those lines as the discussion moves forward." (Like the Council's other incumbents, Price could have, but didn't, agendize SB 9 for Council policy action.)
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LBREPORT.com and the Beachcomber reported on the bills in detail as they advanced without City Hall opposition. (News pages of other LB outlets remained mainly mum, relegating the issue to occasional letters and op-eds.) The Eastside Voice, joined by the Lakewood Village Neighborhood Ass'n, Citizens About Responsible Planning, and Carlos Ovalle's "People of Long Beach", alerted residents via social networks. (Mr. Ovalle, a co-founder of LB's Reform Coalition, recently declared his CD 7 candidacy to replace incumbent Roberto Uranga in 2022.)
The Austin-Mungo-Price agendizing memo cites a Mungo-requested July 20 Council item that didn't oppose either bill but sought a city staff report in August (after the legislature's policy committees had already approved the bills) on the bills' potential Long Beach impacts if they become law. The resulting city staff report to the Council's "State Legislation Committee" downplays the bills' impacts and came after the bills had already been heard and approved in Assembly and state Senate policy committees.
The Austin-Mungo-Price agendizing memo inaccurately recites that the bills "are nearing the completion of the legislative process" when in fact they've already been approved by voted actions in both the Assembly and state Senate, officially engrossed and now on their way to Governor Newsom. He can sign them into law, let them become law without his signature or veto them...which could come either before or after a Sept. 14 recall election in which CA voters may or may not remove him.
"The last day for the Legislature to vote on bills is September 10" the Austin-Mungo-Price agendizing memo recites (despite passage of the bills in after both houses of the state legislature.) LB area state Senators Lena Gonzalez and Tom Umberg (the latter representing SE LB and up for re-election in 2022 -- voted "yes" on both bills on final passage. Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D, LB-San Pedro) voted against the bills but Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D, LB-Paramount) and Mike Gipson (D, NLB-Carson) voted "yes" on the bills on final passage.
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