January 13, 2020

What SB 50 Would Have Done

SB 902 replaces SB 50! 

Through the efforts of opposition, SB 50 was defeated in the California Senate on 1/30/20.  It is extremely important for residents of San Diego County to become familiar with the provisions of the bill in order to prepare for the next round of state legislation aimed at taking away local control of housing decisions.  

Since the intial publication of this article, SB 902 was introduced on the Senate Floor on Jan 30, 2020.

I have outline those key provisions below:

1) “Neighborhood Multi-Family Areas” SB 50 bans single-family zoning. Developers and global investors could buy out blocks in almost all single-family neighborhoods in California, to erect lucrative 4-unit market-rate buildings. And if a single-family area is dubbed “transit rich” or “jobs-rich,” investors can build much larger multi-story buildings.

2) “Transit-Rich Areas” Developers and global investors could override city zoning near rail stops and frequent bus stops to erect 4-story to 8-story towers with few affordable units. To boost developer/investor profits, SB 50 requires no parking in apartment complexes near rail.

3) “Jobs-Rich Areas” Developers and investors can override zoning in jobs-rich/good schools areas that have no transit, allowing 4-story to 8-story towers with few affordable units.

4) “Carve-out Counties” Legislators negotiated an SB 50 escape clause for a few mostly upscale NoCal counties including Marin County, which will be required to approve MUCH more modest new density.

5) “10-Unit Exemption” Under SB 50 incentives granted by the State, investors and developers who build all-luxury projects with less than 11 units would be richly rewarded. UCLA Professor Michal Storper calls it a profound gentrification gift for land flippers and investors, dubbed “Zoning Shock Therapy.”

6) “Density Bonus Powers” The San Francisco Planning Dept. identified the key profit-boosting override powers granted to developers and investors under SB 50. YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD would be subject to automatic override, letting developers ignore up to 6 local land-use rules. Overrides would include but not be limited to:

  • Floor area ratio – Developers can OVERRIDE CITY SIZE restrictions, adding 47% to 297% to building sizes.
  • Parking – Developers can erect big apartment complexes with NO PARKING.
  • Standards: Developers can toss out ANY CITY STANDARD (design, sustainability, earthquake, safety, materials) that is not a state law.
  • Onsite open-space – Developers can IGNORE required courtyards and balconies.
  • Historic buildings – Developers can DEMOLISH homes not on the CA Registry of Historic Resources.
  • Setbacks – Developers can SLASH THE BREATHING ROOM cities require for trees, green belts, side yards.

Senate Bill 50 is Propelled by Meaningless Data and Sacramento Panic

See and share this SB 50 Map that shows the real impact on all of us. Type in your own address to see what happens on your own street. Print it out, email it, and spread the word. The media has not done its jobs on this radical, societal-level attack on communities.


San Diego City TPA Map Tool

San Diego City TPA Map Tool

SB 902 Introduced on Senate Floor on Jan 30th, 2020, is now dead-but SB 1120 (Atkins, Wiener) replaces it.

From Livable California:

Four of the original Nine Bad Bills we fought are now DEAD. (SB 902 is dead. That was Scott Wiener’s third-in-a-row attempt to force 10-unit luxury building onto nearly every residential street in California. Also dead are the badly reasoned, wrong-headed AB 1279, AB 3107 and AB 3040).

UPDATED BILL STATUS HERE

Senator Scott Wiener introduced another attempt to overtake local housing planning and decisions with his new Bill, SB 902.  Below is the current amended text of the Bill.  If enacted, the new law would permit duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in most residential neighborhoods around the state. The bill also allows local governments to override voter-imposed restrictions on growth under some circumstances.  Just like SB 330 which attempted to allow City Councils and local governments to override voter approved height limits, such as our 30-foot Coastal Height Limit, and would prevent voters coming back with ballot initiatives to replace height limits, SB 902 is another development-backed attempt to get rid of the Coastal Height Limit so that bulders could make Miami Beach high-rise luxury apartments along our coastline.

Another disastrous provision in SB 902 would allow “Jobs Rich” and “Transit Rich” single-family neighborhoods to be transformed into multi-family unit havens.  Please read and review my “Jobs-Rich” map, put out by HCD to understand which neighborhoods will be hit first.

Below is the original text of the law.  CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST AMENDED VERSION

Text of SB 902:

SECTION 1.
Section 65913.3 is added to the Government Code, to read:
65913.3.
(a) A neighborhood multifamily project shall be a use by right in zones where residential uses are permitted, if the proposed housing development satisfies all of the following requirements:
(1) The project is not located in a very high fire hazard severity zone.
(2) The project does not demolish sound rental housing or housing that has been placed on a national or state historic register.
(3) The project follows all local objective criteria related to local impact fees, local height and setback limits, and local demolition standards.
(4) The project meets, and does not exceed, one of the following densities:
(A) Two residential units per parcel in unincorporated areas or in cities with a population of 10,000 or fewer people.
(B) Three residential units per parcel in cities with a population between 10,000 and 50,000 people.
(C) Four residential units per parcel in cities with a population of 50,000 or more people.
(b) (1) A local government may pass an ordinance, notwithstanding any local restrictions on adopting zoning ordinances enacted by the jurisdiction, including restrictions enacted by a local voter initiative, that limit the legislative body’s ability to adopt zoning ordinances, to zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density per parcel, at a height specified by the local government in the ordinance, if the parcel is located in one of the following:
(A) A transit-rich area.
(B) A jobs-rich area.
(C) An urban infill site.
(2) An ordinance adopted in accordance with this subdivision shall not constitute a “project” for purposes of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) “High-quality bus corridor” means a corridor with fixed route bus service that meets all of the following criteria:
(A) It has average service intervals of no more than 15 minutes during the three peak hours between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., inclusive, and the three peak hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., inclusive, on Monday through Friday.
(B) It has average service intervals of no more than 20 minutes during the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., inclusive, on Monday through Friday.
(C) It has average intervals of no more than 30 minutes during the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., inclusive, on Saturday and Sunday.
(2) (A) “Jobs-rich area” means an area identified by the Department of Housing and Community Development in consultation with the Office of Planning and Research that is high opportunity and
either is jobs rich or would enable shorter commute distances based on whether, in a regional analysis, the tract meets both of the following:
(i) The tract is high opportunity, meaning its characteristics are associated with positive educational and economic outcomes for households of all income levels residing in the tract.
(ii) The tract meets either of the following criteria:
(iii) New housing sited in the tract would enable residents to live near more jobs than is typical for tracts in the region.
(iv) New housing sited in the tract would enable shorter commute distances for residents, relative to existing commute patterns and jobs-housing fit.
(B) The Department of Housing and Community Development shall, commencing on January 1, 2022, publish and update, every five years thereafter, a map of the state showing the areas identified by the department as “jobs-rich areas.”
(3) (A) “Sound rental housing” means any of the following:
(i) Housing that is subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law that restricts rents to levels affordable to persons and families of moderate, low, or very low income.
(ii) Housing that is subject to any form of rent or price control through a public entity’s valid exercise of its police power.
(iii) (I) Housing occupied by tenants within the seven years preceding the date of the application, including housing that has been demolished or that tenants have vacated before the application for a development permit.
(II) For purposes of this clause, “tenant” means a person who does not own the property where they reside, including residential situations that are any of the following:
(ia) Residential real property rented by the person under a long-term lease.
(ib) A single-room occupancy unit.
(ic) An accessory dwelling unit that is not subject to, or does not have a valid permit in accordance with, an ordinance adopted by a local agency pursuant to Section 65852.2.
(id) A residential motel.
(ie) A mobilehome park, as governed under the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), the Recreational Vehicle Park Occupancy Law (Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 799.20) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), the Mobilehome Parks Act (Part 2.1 (commencing with Section 18200) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code), or the Special Occupancy Parks Act (Part 2.3 (commencing with Section 18860) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code).
(if) Any other type of residential property that is not owned by the person or a member of the person’s household, for which the person or a member of the person’s household provides payments on a regular schedule in exchange for the right to occupy the residential property.
(iv) A parcel or parcels on which an owner of residential real property has exercised their rights under Chapter 12.75 (commencing with Section 7060) of Division 7 of Title 1 to withdraw accommodations
from rent or lease within 15 years before the date that the development proponent submits an application pursuant to a streamlined, ministerial approval process.
(B) “Sound rental housing” shall not mean housing that the local agency has deemed uninhabitable due to fire, flood, earthquake, or other natural disaster.
(4) “Transit-rich area” means a parcel within one-half mile of a major transit stop, as defined in Section 21064.3 of the Public Resources Code, or a parcel on a high-quality bus corridor.
(5) “Urban infill site” means a site that satisfies all of the following:
(A) A site that is a legal parcel or parcels located in a city if, and only if, the city boundaries include some portion of either an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau, or, for unincorporated areas, a legal parcel or parcels wholly within the boundaries of an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau.
(B) A site in which at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the site adjoins parcels that are developed with urban uses. For the purposes of this section, parcels that are only separated by a street or highway shall be considered to be adjoined.
(C) A site that is zoned for residential use or residential mixed-use development, or has a general plan designation that allows residential use or a mix of residential and nonresidential uses, with at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development designated for residential use.
(6) (A) “Use by right” means that the local government’s review of the housing development may not require a conditional use permit, planned unit development permit, or other discretionary local government review or approval that would constitute a “project” for purposes of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code. Any subdivision of the sites shall be subject to all laws, including, but not limited to, the local government ordinance implementing the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410)).
(B) A local ordinance may provide that “use by right” does not exempt the housing development from design review. However, that design review shall not constitute a “project” for purposes of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code.
(7) “Very high fire hazard severity zone” means a very high fire hazard severity zone as determined by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Section 51178, or within a high or very high fire hazard severity zone as indicated on maps adopted by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Section 4202 of the Public Resources Code.
(d) The Legislature finds and declares that ensuring the adequate production of affordable housing is a matter of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, this section applies to all cities, including charter cities.
SEC. 2.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.

 

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