Scott Wiener Narrows California Housing Bill Prior to First Debate
The sponsor of California State Senate Bill 827, Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) amended the proposed bill ahead of its first legislative committee debate. SB 827 has potentially significant land use implications and was previously summarized on this blog. To recap, the bill is an aggressive attempt to address the housing shortfall in California by overriding certain local planning and zoning restrictions for housing projects located near transit access.
The amendments allow local restrictions to building heights of four or five stories, down from eight stories, for projects within half a mile of rail and ferry stops. The amendments also remove mandated height increases around bus stops, instead providing for increased density and reduced parking requirements.
Numerous other interest groups have taken an interest in the bill. For example, the California Building Industry Association recently identified SB 827 as a “2018 Housing Creator.” Some environmental groups have objected to the bill, which is surprising since it would seem that encouraging transit-oriented, infill development would also serve environmental objectives. Less surprisingly, many cities are resistant to giving up local planning and zoning power.