A homeowner’s equity comes from the care and maintenance of their home. If improvements aren’t invested in over the years, a loss of equity will become apparent when the property is sold. This is called deferred maintenance.
Communities have equity too. If investments aren’t made over the years, use of public and privately held land suffers the same loss of equity as the individual homeowner. Roads become bad, sewer systems fail and public service providers move out of the city. Think San Francisco.
Homeowners have an individual choice to make, while communities have a collective choice. Traditionally, the community’s collective voice is expressed in local Community Planning Groups and elected officials.
The State Senate of California is now angling to take local control of the community’s equity and voice with bills such as sb50 and sb330. It is a push for more infill, density and height that the State and the City want built in our communities. Our San Diego City Council voted to remove parking space requirements for new developments in TPAs (Transit Priority Areas). Sb50 will remove height limit and density protections in those same TPAs.
But the senate bill that will finally strip community’s of their equity is sb330. If enacted, the bill will remove the power of the electorate defined as local planning jurisdictions, community planning groups, the City Council, and worst of all, the voters.
Here are some of the things sb330 would do:
- prohibits local county and city legislature, including the electorate, through its local initiative or referendum power, whether that power is derived from the California Constitution, statute, or the charter or ordinances, from enacting amendments to their Comprehensive Regional or General Plans that would result in less intensive density than those in place since Jan.2018. Less intensive use is defined as reductions to: height limits, density, or floor area ratios.
- Imposing a moratorium on housing development, including mixed-use development, within all or a portion of the jurisdiction of the affected county or city, other than to specifically protect against an imminent threat to the health and safety of persons residing in, or within the vicinity of, the area subject to the moratorium or for projects specifically identified as existing restricted affordable housing.
- Prohibits the limitation of population of a county or city.
- Any requirement that local voter approval be obtained to increase the allowable density or intensity of housing, to establish housing as an allowable use, or to provide services and infrastructure necessary to develop housing, is hereby declared against public policy and void.
The California State Senate is clearly after the equity of our communities. But like our own homes, would we want them to pick the improvements, style, color, and features of our communities if they aren’t willing to pay for them?
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