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DAN WALTERS: Will California get tough on housing quotas? | Opinion

Parliamentarians abandoned the Capitol last week for their annual summer vacation, as work on the state budget was more or less completed.

They will be back in mid-August. Perhaps tanned, rested, and ready to work hard on other pending issues in the final month of the 2021 session.

At the top of the agenda is the only and most important issue facing California. This is an ever-increasing housing shortage, especially for low- and middle-income families, which is a major contributor to and a major barrier to the highest poverty rates in the United States. For expanding employment.

The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development has declared that California needs to build 180,000 new homes each year to meet demand, but actual production is only half that level.

The sector has dramatically increased local housing quotas for the rest of the decade, more than doubling over the past eight years, mainly due to underconstruction. For example, in the Los Angeles 6-county region, allocations have more than tripled from 412,137 units to 1.3 million units.

Regional allocations are divided into much higher local government specific goals, especially in suburban communities that tend to resist new housing development.

For example, the Costa Mesa and Westminster Orange County communities had to plan two new housing units, respectively, in the previous period, but now have goals of 11,700 and 9,759, respectively.

Local governments usually do not build their own homes, but the state requires that sufficient land be available through zoning revisions to achieve the quota.

The new numbers created pushback. Suburban cities sought to persuade the Southern California Government Association, a regional planning agency, to sue the state instead of accepting 1.3 million quotas. When the SCAG refused, the Orange County Government Council filed its own proceedings, claiming that the 1.3 million figure was double the original number.

The role of the Legislature in conflict is represented by Senate Bill 9, one of the most controversial bills in the session. This will allow you to build a duplex on a parcel that is currently zoned into a single house, making it easier to zone a single house. There are many families in two parcels.

The bill, carried by San Diego Democratic Senator Protempore Atkins, is a new version of the Atkins bill that died somewhat strangely at the end of the 2020 session.

The previous bill passed the Senate, but was held in Congress until just before midnight, the final night of the session, after which it was sent back to the Senate too late for the final vote. It appeared to be the victim of a personal feud between Atkins and Parliamentary Speaker Anthony Rendon.

SB 9 passes the Senate and will be put on hold again in Congress when it is reconvened. It has attracted strong opposition from dozens of cities affected by the state’s higher housing quotas, especially those in Southern California.

This month, 120 mayors and city council members from 48 cities in Southern California sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging SB9 to refuse when it arrived at his desk.

“The invalidation of the local zoning state is an attack on democracy,” local officials told Newsom. “California already requires citizen participation for the adoption of general plans, including housing elements, and for zoning ordinances or specific plans. Disabling these policies is a state-mandated process. It will be spoiled. “

Conclusion: SB 9 results show how much muscle the state is prepared to use to meet its housing goals in the region.

DAN WALTERS: Will California get tough on housing quotas? | Opinion Source link DAN WALTERS: Will California get tough on housing quotas? | Opinion

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