The Marin Post

The Voice of the Community

Blog Post

California State Capitol

Help Defeat Controversial High Density Housing Bill - Senate Bill 50

Senate Bill 50 (Wiener), a controversial bill to push denser and taller housing, cleared its first legislative hurdle on April 2nd when it passed the California Senate Housing Committee by a vote of 9 to 1. Senators Wiener, Caballero, Durazo, Moorlach, Morrell, Roth, Skinner, Umberg, and Wieckowski voted “Aye”; Senator Patricia Bates voted “Nay”; and Senator Mike McGuire did not vote.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author, encouraged Senators to support the bill by saying; “We have to move past the paralysis on housing and change how we do things.”

Senator Bates, who opposed the bill, spoke at length about her career as a social worker in South LA and other low-income areas and said that SB-50 would seriously augment gentrification and displacement of existing residents.

Senate Bill 50 will continue to be refined and head to the California Senate Governance and Finance Committee, which will vote on the bill on April 24th. Marin’s representative, Senator Mike McGuire, is Chair of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

About Senate Bill 50

Senate Bill 50 would allow developers to build much denser, taller housing near major transit stops and “high-quality” bus corridors as well as within high-income areas that are close to jobs and schools. This would be accomplished by exempting "transit-rich housing projects" and “job-rich housing projects” from local regulations concerning zoning, density, floor area ratio, setbacks, design guidelines, and parking requirements. The bill would also mandate that, for housing near major transit stops, minimum height limits range from 45 to 55 feet (5 to 7 stories) OR from 75 to 85 feet (9 to 10 stories) if the State Density Bonus is applied. Immense developments could be approved in single family neighborhoods with hardly any public input.

Reasons To Oppose Senate Bill 50

Alternative Solution

A better alternative to SB-50 is to support locally-grown sustainable strategies that enable our communities to meet all housing needs.


If you agree that Senate Bill 50 should be defeated, then please do the following:

1. Send letters/emails regarding “OPPOSE SB-50” to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee via Anton Favorini, who is a consultant for the committee. He will enter your comments into the official public record, provided he receives them by the April 17th deadline. Email:

If you don’t have time to write your own letter, then you can send in a quick email endorsing Sustainable TamAlmonte’s letter (dated April 10th), which is attached below.

2. Call and email the Senate Governance & Finance Committee Members and urge them to vote “NO” on Senate Bill 50 and, instead, support locally-grown sustainable strategies that enable our communities to meet all housing needs. If you live outside a Senator’s jurisdiction, then the Senator’s website may reject your email. If so, it is best to contact the Senator's staff. Contact information for the Senators and their aides are below.

3. Write to your local representatives (Marin County Board of Supervisors and City Council Members) and ask them to write letters of opposition to Senate Bill 50. The Marin County Board of Supervisors' email is:

Thank you in advance for taking action. Together we can make a difference!