Proposal to add density near transit stations in California fails at first hurdle
A state bill that would have brought denser housing to areas around transit stations, in an effort to alleviate California’s housing crisis, is dead after failing to receive enough votes before the state senate’s transportation and housing committee. Several lawmakers said they supported the bill’s goal of creating additional housing, in areas where the state sorely needs it. However, many felt it isn’t a good fit for small, rural towns, and that density for density’s sake doesn’t necessarily lead to affordability, another goal of the bill.
Affording to the California Association of Realtors, only one in four residents can afford the “median-priced” home in Los Angeles County, which has ballooned to a record $580,000. These soaring prices reflect a severe supply shortage in many experts’ opinions.
The proposed bill, SB 827, would have made it easier for developers to build apartments and condos near subways, light rails, and bus stops. It called for overriding local rules on height, density, and parking for residential projects within a half-mile of a train or subway station. In practice, local zoning rules would be replaced by new state standards that would allow new buildings in those areas to reach heights up to four and five stories.
The lawmaker who brought SB 827 to the Senate said he would keep tweaking it, and try to bring it back again next year.