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California Lawmakers Advance Zoning Payments To Promote Homebuilding Amid Scarcity – CBS San Francisco

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) – Spurred on by a lack of affordable housing, rising house prices and persistent homelessness, California lawmakers on Thursday pushed ahead with the second of two measures aimed at breaking local zoning ordinances.

Sponsored by Senate Leader Toni Atkins and backed by Parliament Speaker Anthony Rendon, both Democrats, Senate Law 9 would make it easier to build smaller second homes on what is now single-family homes. This can be up to four units, such as maisonettes or houses with attached residential units, if the property is divided into two equal parcels under the bill.

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The goal is to “open the door to more families to realize their version of the California dream,” said Atkins, “whether that means building a home for an older parent, creating a new source of income, the first home too or to be welcomed in a new neighborhood. “

The move largely bypasses local consent, although Atkins previously added opportunities for local governments to block construction that could endanger public safety or health, or be carried out by housing speculators. Those who apply for the loss splitting must swear that they want to live in one of the residential units as their main residence for at least three years.

It cleared the 80-member assembly with a non-partisan 45-19 vote.

The bill “will expedite duplexes and property divisions in areas designated for single-family homes,” objected Republican MP Janet Nguyen, who said she voted no but will be quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The convention on Monday passed Senate Bill 10, a related bill by Senator Scott Wiener that would make it easier for local governments to rededicate neighborhoods near public transportation for up to 10 residential units.

That bill came out 41 to 9 with no votes left, despite proponents saying it was recently amended to make it optional for local governments.

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“Legalizing small residential buildings near thoroughfares and in urban catchment areas will reduce environmental impact and reduce climate pollution,” said Brian Hanlon, executive director of advocacy group California YIMBY, in a statement.

Advocacy group California Community Builders argued that the measures will narrow an “ever-widening racial wealth gap in California,” where more than 60% of whites own their homes, compared with 35% of blacks and about 40% of Latinos.

But several Sacramento neighborhood groups said the bills “encourage large financial organizations to own home with an increasing percentage of lower and middle-class residents becoming long-term renters.”

The measures undermine both local control and environmental protection, they claim.

Both bills are going back to the Senate for final vote before the legislature is adjourned on September 10 for the year.

The Sacramento City Council is in the process of making the capital one of the first in the country to abolish traditional single-family zoning. The cities of Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis have issued similar ordinances in recent years. The state of Oregon has passed a law that removes traditional single-family zoning nationwide.

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