Once again the politicians in Sacramento are trying to take planning authority away from local jurisdiction — away from our cities and counties.
Last year State Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 827, which would have automatically upzoned parcels up to a half a mile away from transit. SB 827 was defeated, but this year Wiener is back with another bill, SB 50, which would do essentially the same thing. While the Senator argues that SB 50 includes protections for renters, in reality this piece of legislation will encourage reckless development and ramp up displacement.
SB 50 undermines planning by overriding local zoning for developers who build housing projects within a 1/2 mile radius of a major transit stop or a 1/4 mile radius of a stop on a high-quality bus corridor. But the bill would only encourage the current over-production of high-priced units, since to qualify most projects only need to include 17% or less affordable housing.
Projects that qualify under SB 50 would receive:
A waiver from maximum controls on density.
Streamlined, ministerial approval, meaning they would be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). No environmental assessment. No public hearings.
You can read the bill for yourself by clicking on the link below.
SB-50 Planning and Zoning: Housing Development: Incentives.
And you can read UN4LA’s response here.
SB 50 Will Not Solve Our Housing Problems
You can help defeat SB 50 by taking a few minutes to contact State legislators. The first step is to contact the State Senate Housing Committee.
YOU CAN NOT SEND E-MAILS DIRECTLY TO THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS.
You must submit your comments using the form found on the Committee’s web site.
State Senate Housing Committee
You’ll have to register as a user first, which takes about a minute. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to submit your comments. Be sure to click “No” where the form asks if you’re a registered lobbyist. (Unless, of course, you are a registered lobbyist.)
Also, please contact your own State representatives to let them know where you stand on SB 50. If you don’t know who they are, you can find out by clicking on the link below.
Find Your California Representative
If you really want to go the extra mile, contact your local city council representatives and encourage them to oppose SB 50. One of the reasons SB 827 was stopped last year was the outcry from cities that opposed Wiener’s planning takeover.
If you know others who would be concerned about SB 50, please share this e-mail. And thanks for taking action. Last year we stopped SB 827 dead. We can do it again this year, but we need your help.
Casey Maddren, President
United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles