News

Newsom signs housing bills that reform single-family zoning

Governor backs SB 9 and SB 10, key components of Democratic lawmakers' housing plan

A person walks through the Arbor Real neighborhood in Palo Alto on Nov. 13, 2020. The city has strongly opposed SB 9 and SB 10, two housing bills that were signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 16, 2021. Embarcadero Media file photo by Olivia Treynor.

Two days after he repelled a recall attempt, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Thursday two contentious housing bills that have been at the top of the agenda for Democratic lawmakers, which will allow more dwellings on properties designated for single-family zoning.

Senate Bill 9 enables homeowners to subdivide their properties to construct up to four housing units, including two accessory dwelling units or junior accessory dwelling units. Senate Bill 10 allows cities to rezone transit-rich areas of town (blocks within a half-mile of a major transit stop) and parcels along "high-quality" bus routes for 10 housing units per parcel.

Authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, respectively, the two bills were boosted by California YIMBY and other pro-housing groups. They were also opposed by cities like Palo Alto, where city leaders have consistently characterized them as an attack on local control.

Newsom had given little indication before Tuesday's state recall election whether he will sign the bills. In endorsing them on Thursday, he said in a statement that the "housing affordability crisis is undermining the California Dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity."

"Making a meaningful impact on this crisis will take bold investments, strong collaboration across sectors and political courage from our leaders and communities to do the right thing and build housing for all," Newsom said in a statement.

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While many housing advocates have long called for the loosening of rules surrounding single-family zones — a step that has already been taken in cities like Berkeley and Minneapolis — prior efforts to achieve major zoning reforms in the Legislature had struggled to advance in recent years. In January 2020, the Legislature killed Wiener's bid to increase zoning in transit-friendly and jobs-rich areas when it voted down SB 50.

Both SB 9 and SB 10 advanced after lawmakers agreed to make several amendments to address criticisms. Among the changes, SB 9 added a requirement that the property owner live in one of the homes for three years after the lot subdivision is approved.

For SB 10, the bill was amended to address the issue of local authority. The city of Palo Alto was among those that lambasted a provision of the bill that allowed cities to use SB 10 to override existing zoning restrictions that were put in place through voter initiatives. Palo Alto's letter of opposition argues that such legislation "echoes more of Russia than of California."

Under the revision, cities that want to use the bill to override zoning restrictions imposed by local initiatives would need to secure a two-thirds majority from their legislative body.

Unlike SB 9, SB 10 is not a mandatory requirement of cities but an optional law on which they can rely. Those cities that do choose to use it cannot apply it to parkland or open space. Wiener said in a statement that SB 10 provides "one important approach: making it dramatically easier and faster for cities to zone for more housing."

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"It shouldn't take five or 10 years for cities to re-zone, and SB 10 gives cities a powerful new tool to get the job done quickly," Wiener said. "I want to thank the Governor for signing this essential bill and for continuing to lead on housing."

In his signing message for SB 10, Newsom touted its "potential to increase housing development at a time when the state is experiencing a significant shortage of the units needed to meet the needs of Californians." He also warned, however, that while the benefits are promising, "certain provisions may have unintended impacts on affordable housing projects that use density bonuses, as well as possible Fair Housing implications based on how jurisdictions may choose to implement its provisions."

He wrote that he is directing the Department of Housing and Community Development's newly established Housing Accountability Unit to "vigilantly monitor the implementation of this bill at the local level, and if needed, work with the Legislature to proactively ·address any unintended consequences, should they arise."

A report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California, Berkeley described SB 9 in July as "the most significant housing bill coming out of California's current legislative session," noting its potential to "expand the supply of smaller-scaled housing, particularly in higher-resourced, single-family neighborhoods."

In analyzing a similar proposal, SB 1120, which faltered on the final day of the prior legislative session, the Terner Center estimated that about 6 million properties would be eligible for the bill's provisions. If 5% of those parcels created new two-unit structures, that would have resulted in 597,706 new homes, according to the report.

Atkins said in a statement on Thursday that SB 9 will "open up opportunities for homeowners to help ease our state's housing shortage, while still protecting tenants from displacement," referring to a clause that disallows redevelopment of a parcel if a tenant has lived there within the prior three years.

"And it will help our communities welcome new families to the neighborhood and enable more folks to set foot on the path to buying their first home," Atkins said.

Already a group called Californians for Community Planning has launched the process to put a ballot initiative on the November 2022 ballot to reverse SB 9 and SB 10. The group is aiming to get voter approval to amend the state constitution to ensure local control of zoning, land-use and development.

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Newsom signs housing bills that reform single-family zoning

Governor backs SB 9 and SB 10, key components of Democratic lawmakers' housing plan

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 9:49 am

Two days after he repelled a recall attempt, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Thursday two contentious housing bills that have been at the top of the agenda for Democratic lawmakers, which will allow more dwellings on properties designated for single-family zoning.

Senate Bill 9 enables homeowners to subdivide their properties to construct up to four housing units, including two accessory dwelling units or junior accessory dwelling units. Senate Bill 10 allows cities to rezone transit-rich areas of town (blocks within a half-mile of a major transit stop) and parcels along "high-quality" bus routes for 10 housing units per parcel.

Authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, respectively, the two bills were boosted by California YIMBY and other pro-housing groups. They were also opposed by cities like Palo Alto, where city leaders have consistently characterized them as an attack on local control.

Newsom had given little indication before Tuesday's state recall election whether he will sign the bills. In endorsing them on Thursday, he said in a statement that the "housing affordability crisis is undermining the California Dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity."

"Making a meaningful impact on this crisis will take bold investments, strong collaboration across sectors and political courage from our leaders and communities to do the right thing and build housing for all," Newsom said in a statement.

While many housing advocates have long called for the loosening of rules surrounding single-family zones — a step that has already been taken in cities like Berkeley and Minneapolis — prior efforts to achieve major zoning reforms in the Legislature had struggled to advance in recent years. In January 2020, the Legislature killed Wiener's bid to increase zoning in transit-friendly and jobs-rich areas when it voted down SB 50.

Both SB 9 and SB 10 advanced after lawmakers agreed to make several amendments to address criticisms. Among the changes, SB 9 added a requirement that the property owner live in one of the homes for three years after the lot subdivision is approved.

For SB 10, the bill was amended to address the issue of local authority. The city of Palo Alto was among those that lambasted a provision of the bill that allowed cities to use SB 10 to override existing zoning restrictions that were put in place through voter initiatives. Palo Alto's letter of opposition argues that such legislation "echoes more of Russia than of California."

Under the revision, cities that want to use the bill to override zoning restrictions imposed by local initiatives would need to secure a two-thirds majority from their legislative body.

Unlike SB 9, SB 10 is not a mandatory requirement of cities but an optional law on which they can rely. Those cities that do choose to use it cannot apply it to parkland or open space. Wiener said in a statement that SB 10 provides "one important approach: making it dramatically easier and faster for cities to zone for more housing."

"It shouldn't take five or 10 years for cities to re-zone, and SB 10 gives cities a powerful new tool to get the job done quickly," Wiener said. "I want to thank the Governor for signing this essential bill and for continuing to lead on housing."

In his signing message for SB 10, Newsom touted its "potential to increase housing development at a time when the state is experiencing a significant shortage of the units needed to meet the needs of Californians." He also warned, however, that while the benefits are promising, "certain provisions may have unintended impacts on affordable housing projects that use density bonuses, as well as possible Fair Housing implications based on how jurisdictions may choose to implement its provisions."

He wrote that he is directing the Department of Housing and Community Development's newly established Housing Accountability Unit to "vigilantly monitor the implementation of this bill at the local level, and if needed, work with the Legislature to proactively ·address any unintended consequences, should they arise."

A report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California, Berkeley described SB 9 in July as "the most significant housing bill coming out of California's current legislative session," noting its potential to "expand the supply of smaller-scaled housing, particularly in higher-resourced, single-family neighborhoods."

In analyzing a similar proposal, SB 1120, which faltered on the final day of the prior legislative session, the Terner Center estimated that about 6 million properties would be eligible for the bill's provisions. If 5% of those parcels created new two-unit structures, that would have resulted in 597,706 new homes, according to the report.

Atkins said in a statement on Thursday that SB 9 will "open up opportunities for homeowners to help ease our state's housing shortage, while still protecting tenants from displacement," referring to a clause that disallows redevelopment of a parcel if a tenant has lived there within the prior three years.

"And it will help our communities welcome new families to the neighborhood and enable more folks to set foot on the path to buying their first home," Atkins said.

Already a group called Californians for Community Planning has launched the process to put a ballot initiative on the November 2022 ballot to reverse SB 9 and SB 10. The group is aiming to get voter approval to amend the state constitution to ensure local control of zoning, land-use and development.

Comments

Forever Name
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2021 at 11:04 am
Forever Name, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 11:04 am

Hope all the Democrats who voted NO on the recall, but who have also been fighting against these kinds of "housing density" bills in Palo Alto, enjoy your new neighborhoods crowded with multiple condos, townhouses, or high rise apartment buildings next to your homes. You just got what you voted for!!! Those who voted YES on the recall have a clear conscience knowing we did what we could to fight this.

Senate Bills 9, 10, and 50 (already voted down) destroy local communities and implement central state planning. Palo Alto does NOT want this (per the article SB 9 + 10 "were opposed by cities like Palo Alto"). But Palo Altons also voted to keep Newsom! Have fun with that.

SB 9 and 10 will actually further DISPLACE low income workers, won't reduce housing costs in Palo Alto by 1 cent, and the developers willl once again be the winners. Traffic is already the number one problem, and will get worse. Subdividing lots and building structures with 10 units (next to single family dwellings) does not increase parking, schools, parks, city or services already over subscribed. Just more congestion.

SB50 failed, but SB 9 and 10 introduce the same issues:
"Palo Alto asserts housing growth mandate is a recipe for 'failure: City Council members consider housing target of over 10,000 units as an 'impossible' ask" Nov 18, 2020 PA Online
Web Link




Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Sep 17, 2021 at 11:36 am
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 11:36 am

Absolutely agree w @ Forever Name.

Hopefully Newsom has now blown his chance to be President w all his governing failures and socialist actions.


Alex
Registered user
Barron Park
on Sep 17, 2021 at 11:59 am
Alex, Barron Park
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 11:59 am

Wow, the commenters above took their masks COMPLETELY off. They'd rather have someone like Larry Elder in charge than a couple more neighbors. But that's par for the course in Palo Alto, no? Under that holier-than-thou liberal veneer, they're just reactionary conservatives at heart.


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 17, 2021 at 12:19 pm
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Personally. I'd like more (non-internet co./software engineer) neighbors. How much same-thinking people do we need? Did you ever go to a Palo Alto party with strangers, say in Old P.A. and ask 'which internet company or software engineer firm do you work for?' and never be corrected? I have.
Conservative is actually a very accurate word choice, Alex. What is more conservative than extreme conformity? and that holier than thou thing, yes, that too, you're preaching to the choir, don't get me started.
I was just talking about fake news on another post. This is how it works in the internet media information age that needs clicks to get $. I still don't know a single person who died from Covid, and I have red state relatives. I only know one, overweight, smoker, with diabetes who got it, and like another famous 70-something who was president, she defeated it. So why do we all think it's the most dangerous calamity in the world for everyone? Fake news. Yes, I'm saying that it's true, even though I'm Team Blue. 24/7 for how long being told how terrible it was and you are terrible person if you don't think so. and the result is ...the holier people shut everything down. I have a teen kid who coughed= 2 almost 3 days off from school, until he had his 3rd negative Covid test since the summer when he was fully vaxxed. I asked the PAHS nurse could he bring cough drops to class next time, and received no reply (probably on advise of ...holy attorney). PA HS football and JV just had a game PP rescheduled then cancelled and now on again for 'Covid.' Why? The player got his negative test. I would suspect he coughed. under his mandatory mask and some holy person panicked.
Don't get me wrong. I am 100% vax and after FDA approval, pro vax mandates, for everyone. Yeah, suspend individual liberties and send the army in to stab the dumb anti-vax people in the arms. B/c I don't want to wear a mask while running in a SF marathon outside! (b/c it is stupid).



cmarg
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Sep 17, 2021 at 12:33 pm
cmarg, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 12:33 pm

John, I want to share from personal experience, there are people getting covid. Those who were vaccinated are getting mild symptoms, Thank God. We are fortunate that the majority of people in Palo Alto are vaccinated so those dying or on ventilators is not present. We are not Idaho! Those few who are not vaccinated are unfortunately infecting others. All we can do is pray that everyone who can gets vaccinated.
Regarding the zoning for single house dwelling, we all seem to have Not In My Neighborhood. I wish there was a way to determine wether those commenting about wanting more dense housing on their street are renting or owns. My understanding is that more than 50% of those living in Palo Alto are renters. So, it is kind of hard to make blanket statements.


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Sep 17, 2021 at 12:34 pm
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Typical to smear people personally when you can't provide a cogent or responsive argument.

Single family home zoning isn't the reason housing isn't very affordable to many in CA.

People in the US aspire to own their own single family home. It's called the American Dream. And you've just smeared everyone who ever wanted to own their own home. Nice. Get off your high horses.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Sep 17, 2021 at 1:55 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Citizen, you are trying to conform everybody to your way of thinking. America is diversity.
Yours is not the only acceptable standard.


Anonymous
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Sep 17, 2021 at 2:58 pm
Anonymous, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 2:58 pm

For @John B. Sails above who "still don't know a single person who died from Covid":

Check out: Web Link

Those are just the loud ones.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:17 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Gavin Newsom might have survived the recall (and maybe rightfully so), but he is still the worst governor in the history of this state. He's the walking, talking reminder that money, style and "friends in high places" are worth more than actual accomplishment or substance.

Larry Elder may not have been a good choice for California. However, the same is true of Gavin Newsom. Why can't voters in our state choose responsible state leadership? Apparently, the donors in high places don't want it.


Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:34 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 3:34 pm

Perhaps some of the communities and groups opposed to these atrocities will get up the gumption to create a state referendum movement and we will see if they stand or not under voter scrutiny.

Not going to hold my breath-besides some deep pockets developer might pay me some big dollars for my property so they can fill it with an apartment building. Sorry for my neighbors, but always have to look out for number one.

Only good thing for sure is that none of the individuals wanting more housing, so they can afford to live here, will be able to pay the price for these units. Thanks Gov Newsom for making me rich!


Morgan
Registered user
Meadow Park
on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:05 pm
Morgan , Meadow Park
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:05 pm
Scotty
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:58 pm
Scotty, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 4:58 pm

We deserve better.


karlakk
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 17, 2021 at 7:19 pm
karlakk, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 7:19 pm

One word: Parking


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 17, 2021 at 7:24 pm
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 7:24 pm
Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:05 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:05 pm

Interesting that Newsom signed this week and not last! Not.

I am not happy with the idea that my neighbors might build x 4 housing on their lots. Not what I expected when I paid a handsome sum for my property. Even way back when, I paid a premium price for what I considered privacy and a friendly neighborhood where I could get to know those who lived nearby and live in harmony. Not so easy if we spend our time with concerns about street parking and what to do about all the trash cans that go out on trash day and there is nowhere left to park.

I have been waiting for his return to doing what he does now that the threat of recall is out of the way. He is celebrating but does not understand at all what the recall was about. He was sweating of course, but he was able to get some big names on his side to plead his case.

For all those who think this is a wonderful idea, building x 4 on single family lots, I suggest you get the Atherton, Los Altos Hills, Woodside and Los Altos folks to start putting condos on their property.


Paly02
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:35 pm
Paly02, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:35 pm

choosing to relate SB 10 to Russia is certainly.... a choice. Interesting rhetoric coming from City Council.


JB
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:50 pm
JB, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:50 pm

I was afraid that Governor Newsom would sign these bills after the recall attempt failed. I did not support the recall since I felt that Larry Elder would be a terrible governor. From what I read, Mr. Elder said that it's okay for employers to ask female employees if they plan to have children. He also apparently said that the mimimum wage should be $0 and that descendants of slaveowners, not slaves, are more deserving of reparations. If he really believes those things, he would try to enact terrible changes in California.

Senate Bills 9 and 10 would terminate environmental CEQA protection and require only 4 foot setbacks. With the crazily expensive price of land in Palo Alto, I don't believe that these newly developed units would become affordable housing. I attended a recent webinar that involved getting a proposition on the ballot to overturn SB9 and SB10. Apparently, this will require hiring a professional who will handle things like getting enough signatures to be on the ballot. I don't know how this effort is going. According to a recent article in the Palo Alto Weekly, city council has several possible multi-unit buildings to consider for possible additions to our affordable housing inventory. To make it cost effective for the developer, they will probably also include offices or retail. These possible developments would not be in residential areas. They would be on main streets like El Camino.


S. Underwood
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Sep 18, 2021 at 9:35 am
S. Underwood, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2021 at 9:35 am

Parking, infrastructure, water, environment... there are a lot of reasons this move is far too blunt of a way to help the housing situation.

The backdrop, of course, is massive influx of people into California. Housing is one of the major economic drivers (or deterrents). Preventing cities/counties from having their own economic self-determination is not only an affront to local level democracy (the only place that it even kinda works these days), but risks turning all of California into the gross areas that have grown up with no zoning. Not nice places to be, work, or live.

Finally, I actually support higher density living across California. We need WAY fewer cars, high density, protected nature... the dream of the green city. What we need to demand, FIRST in this push, is for high quality, integrated regional public transportation. Not just for poor people. Affordable, not just to use but also to build and maintain. Instead, our govts are spending billions on billions for terrible transit systems. [Just like education, we absolutely need it but we are spending and spending on stuff that doesn't work, or has risible ROIs.] Govt systems and prices are bloated beyond belief. Example -- How much did we spend on SINGLE bike bridge that's nowhere near a core artery of regional movement or economy. Meanwhile, imagine how impossible it is to live in San Jose and commute to Palo Alto. Or how committed you'd have to be to live in San Carlos and bike commute to work daily.

Newsom won't touch the transit bureaucracies (we have literally dozens in the Bay Area) because bureaucracies are the new power-centers that are untouchable for Dems in meaningful ways. Quadrupling the number of potential units in residential neighborhoods? Really, that's the best we can do? The republicans are crazy, but is this really the best we can do?


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2021 at 1:07 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2021 at 1:07 pm

Russia like the Americas is a continent, not an ideology. It’s geography, stupid. Comparison is null and plain wrong. Capitalist greed is not a democratic value either. I’d like to see a complete moratorium on real estate bidding wars or the very least a overage cap. Buying and selling with inflationary greed is wholly undemocratic, full on capitalistic and oppressive to equal access to house ownership. “The American dream” died when prop 13 passed. Tax the rich, feed the poor.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Sep 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm

A true abomination for we the deserving who chose to invest and live in exclusive single home neighborhoods. The ignorant "so-called progressive" alt-left nit-wit dreamers would turn our quiet, private lots into nasty public housing ghettos ruined with pathetic, overcrowded "ticky-tacky" 3rd class hovels. WE the deserving deserve better than that. It's OUR property, you progressive thieves.

It is neither illegal nor unconstitutional for we privileged to seek and acquire privacy in housing. It should be illegal and unconstitutional (in CA anyway) to strip us of the privacy that we legally acquired for our deserving families, and that WE have paid to acquire. Got that, "progressive fools" Our money is ours, not yours. Got that? Will the new residents compensate us for the $100s of thousands that they are stealing us? Will the State of CA?


tmp
Registered user
Downtown North
on Sep 18, 2021 at 5:26 pm
tmp, Downtown North
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2021 at 5:26 pm

There will be a referendum coming soon hopefully and it will need all hands on deck to collect signatures and get it on the ballot! Please help when you see that petitions are available.

Overpopulation is killing the planet and the state and we need local control because that is where normal thoughtful people can control this mess.

State and even country government has proven that it can be bought off by developers and deep pockets to the detriment of everyone except the profit takers.

Agree that Newson is an amoral pretty boy with no real convictions who will do anything to get ahead. Unfortunately this describes most of our elected officials. Why can't we get any moderates on the ballot?


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2021 at 8:26 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2021 at 8:26 pm

@William Hitchens. Gated communities are policed, patrolled, sheltered with privately paid contract employees. Since your house currently sits along side a city street, a public school, a library, a fire house and police station it is not a privately sanctioned area. The land your dwelling sits on and what you do inside your walls is private, yes. But not the city or neighborhood you reside. Move to a heavily guarded, armed gated community for that privilege, sir.


Ryan
Registered user
Barron Park
on Sep 19, 2021 at 8:44 pm
Ryan, Barron Park
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2021 at 8:44 pm

We actually need LESS housing in Palo Alto, not more. Existing older housing that is being demolished should be replaced with parks and green spaces.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Sep 19, 2021 at 9:31 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2021 at 9:31 pm

Ryan,

We should be adding green space and housing. Parking lots and old commercial buildings can be replaced with both. Very little housing should be demolished.


D S
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 19, 2021 at 11:41 pm
D S, Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2021 at 11:41 pm

Sorry real estate is expensive in Palo Alto. Your neighbors are going to sell and a lot size for two 'homes' can be as small as 1200 square feet, but lot sizes are larger and if subdivided it can only be 40 percent. And no parking space per unit is required if there's a bus stop within a half a mile. So at best finding street parking will be impossible.

But what's worse is SB10. A lot of investors will buy by lot in a residential area and grease the wheels and get approval from local officials. There is a lot of money involved. I don't think 'they're going to build them on El Camino way' is going to happen. They can build them anywhere including next to your home. Why wouldn't they build them where investors can get the most profit. It's the law.

And it won't be ten units it will be 10 units and four granny flats, times 2. So maybe 28 units right next door, no parking needed. After all they just need to use that bus stop within a half mile away, they won't park on the street.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 20, 2021 at 11:01 am
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 20, 2021 at 11:01 am

"We actually need LESS housing in Palo Alto, not more. Existing older housing that is being demolished should be replaced with parks and green spaces."

You volunteering your place to go first?


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 20, 2021 at 1:25 pm
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 20, 2021 at 1:25 pm

Successful societies are well managed, plan for the future and place very great value on their heritage. They don't mistake the dystopia California is becoming as 'progressive'. People who are well led have chosen capable leaders - not ideologues who have been promoted by a one-party political machine based on a lot of blue sky rhetoric and free stuff for the masses paid for with borrowed funds. Everyone knows that California is suffering from too much bad policy - the senseless act of millions going once again to the polls to elect the same old machine won't change that and most probably will make things worse. I don't think this is a proud moment. The state taking people's homes and communities - which is what this is - by cancelling local control, won't fix the problem long term. There are other and better options. It is a shame that our governments and schools are held captive by ideologues, skilled in nothing, and not good managers and policy makers because this is what we get.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2021 at 1:32 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2021 at 1:32 pm

So much sanctimonious ranting and posturing on both sides here. Not helpful.

This new legislation has some good stuff and some bad stuff, too. It's going to need amending to make sure that comprehensive planning that also serves new residents who need schools, libraries, parks, working street systems is not pushed aside for developer convenience and profit. So, let's get to work, fellow citizens. Let's roll up our sleeves, and do the work that citizens do in a democracy. Lift up what works (incentives for affordable housing) and change what doesn't (carte blanche and rushed schedules for developers).

I wish Sen. Becker and Assembly Member Berman had made use of process to ensure that needed amendments were brought forward--but that is now water over the dam.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 21, 2021 at 2:12 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2021 at 2:12 pm

"I wish Sen. Becker and Assembly Member Berman had made use of process to ensure that needed amendments were brought forward--but that is now water over the dam."

I wish Sen. Becker and Assembly Member Berman had shown the slightest bit of interest in the details and the slightest bit of honesty about the legislation before them. Voters will remember.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Sep 21, 2021 at 3:06 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2021 at 3:06 pm

DS,

You are inconsistent. You support your City Council which is obstructing the building of housing. Yet you complain the have the option of SB10.

Nobody can force the obstructionist city council to avail themselves of SB10.

If the current obstructionist City Council gets replaced by a pro-housing City Council by the will of the voters, so be it. That is democracy.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Sep 21, 2021 at 4:02 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2021 at 4:02 pm

If we lose either of our homes we'll just kick it at People's Park or Plump Jack Winery. We're empty nesters...


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2021 at 6:09 pm
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 22, 2021 at 6:09 pm

Ours is a representative democracy - we elect people to represent our interests. Representatives. We don't elect people who instead of their constituents wishes push their own personal political views or promote the profits of special interests. In this case, constituents do not want to cancel their neighborhoods if favor of developer interests or state-controlled zoning. It isn't sanctimonious to point out that our politicians are increasingly self serving, their policies across the board are not proving effective and that regardless of party, government is not working as it should. You suggest that the laws, as passed, now need amendments to protect our interests - '...so let's get to work, fellow citizens'. Let's get to work and fire these representatives and finally stop rubber stamping their abuse of our rights.


Dj
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 24, 2021 at 10:03 am
Dj, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Sep 24, 2021 at 10:03 am

Triple the housing density, with zero infrastructure to support it. How utterly typical of California.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2021 at 2:05 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 24, 2021 at 2:05 pm

I agree that Senator Becker and Assembly Member Berman failed to work for the kinds of amendments that would have helped us achieve housing goals and retain the kind of comprehensive planning that keeps communities healthy--strong schools, community services, sufficient utilities and transportation systems.

These are poorly written bills. I think the repercussions will be huge for communities, but the big land owners (uber rich folks) will be laughing all the way to the bank. I know a guy (a big tech founder) who has many large Bay Area land holdings which are Prop 13 protected so it doesn't cost him much to sit on them. He has done nothing to improve or develop his properties (though he could have built housing before now), but he has been waiting for this kind of legislation so he can maximize his profits when he sells. You can bet that any housing developer who buys these properties at the inflated price will pass that higher land and cost on to the home buyers.

The rich will get richer, and our representatives just helped them. Scott Weiner is their representative, but I expected more from ours. If Weiner really cared about improving affordable housing availability, he'd reform Prop 13, but (oh, yeah) he represents big business and they are the primary beneficiaries of Prop 13--the third rail, touch it and you die.

The Dems had an opportunity to form legislation that incentivized affordable housing development. They blew it.


Long Time Builder
Registered user
another community
on Oct 14, 2021 at 10:48 am
Long Time Builder, another community
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2021 at 10:48 am

Here's the TRUTH from an old man who's been building longer than most of y'all have been alive.

1. Housing used to be OVERTLY racist.
Provisions in deeds openly stated that properties could not be sold to, or occupied by, persons of color.

2. When overtly racist provisions were made illegal, cities/counties adopted less overt policies.
Multiple changes were made so "those people", while legally entitled, could not afford to buy, effectively keeping them out of "our" neighborhoods.

---Lot sizes were increased, often doubled (making the cost of a house a lot more expensive.)
--- Parking requirements were increased (poor people didn't have two cars to put in a garage) significantly increasing the cost of construction.
---Since it was perceived that the poor and minorities typically had LARGE FAMILIES, building setbacks were increased, while building heights, floor area ratios and lot coverages were all decreased to minimize the size of a house that could be built on a lot, keeping out large families.
---Vast areas of cities were HUGELY downzoned towards single family, to keep out "those people" who largely could only afford an apartment as opposed to a house.

A lot of the provisions in SB 9 and 10 simply seek to undo what was once done by decreasing lot sizes back to where they used to be (25' x 100' was common 80 years ago) and allowing apartments to be built where now only condos pencil out.

Maybe you didn't know.
But if you did, don't you feel even a little ashamed of yourselves?


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 14, 2021 at 11:13 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2021 at 11:13 am

"Ours is a representative democracy - we elect people to represent our interests. Representatives."

Who elected ABAG reps?? Not us. Remember when their CFO actually spent a year in jail for embezzlement so he could buy himself a multi-million dollar house on the Oregon coast rather than spend the money on playgrounds and community benefits as specifically required? That's how blatant they are -- and that's only when they get caught.

These are the type of self-dealers who consistently reject local challenges to their rules and housing allocations.


Long Time Builder
Registered user
another community
on Oct 14, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Long Time Builder, another community
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Who said "NO Infrastructure $$"?

Totally WRONG!

1) Building permits require payment of SCHOOL FEES to schools themselves (~$6k PER HOUSE.)
Apts also pay (Cost based on square footage of construction).

2) Building permits require payment of "exactions" (for more city hall, police, fire, libraries, etc.)
This is typically a 5 digit cost.

3) Building permits require payment for improvements (eg, sidewalks, fire hydrants, etc)
A fire hydrant could be $50k or more.
One house I built required paving a city street the city only half put in.

4) Water meters require payment of "CAPACITY" charges for new dams, facilities, etc.
This $ is typically ~$15,000 per house to both MWD AND your local water provider (total).
Getting the meter physically installed (another ~$5k) is ON TOP OF the capacity charges.

Now, what were you saying about NO $$ for infrastructure??

On the contrary, this 6 digit cost, along with a super-slow & costly permit process requiring much more detailed and expensive plans (~$10,000 more) and construction costs (think Title 24, Green Code, and "Zero Net Energy" - bigger walls, joists and rafters to accommodate twice the insulation plus fire suppression sprinklers and solar panels) than in years past even for a small, simple house is why it is difficult to build any sort of "affordable" housing in much of CA.







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