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High-Density Housing - Courtesy of Sustainab

Call State Legislators to Defeat Detrimental High-Density Housing Bills & Save Marin


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Please call Assembly Members & Senators ASAP and urge them to oppose detrimental high-density housing bills in order to save single-family neighborhoods and preserve Marin's and California’s quality of life! In addition, please share this message via email and social media.

Together, nine housing bills (SB-1085, SB-995, SB-1120, SB-902, AB-1279, AB-725, AB-2345, AB-3040, & AB-3107) continue the misguided trend of:

Moreover, the bills do little if anything to increase the supply of affordable housing.

Below is the schedule for the 9 detrimental high-density housing bills.

Schedule:

Sample Script:

“Hello. My name is ______. I’m calling to urge the Senator/Assembly Member to vote “NO” on Senate Bill “number of bill” or Assembly Bill “number of bill”. This bill adversely impacts all Californians, is poor housing policy, and doesn’t address the need for truly affordable housing.”

Below are descriptions of each of the bills and the names and telephone numbers of the Assembly Members & Senators who will vote on them. The bills are in order of the calendar date when they will be voted on.

Please call Marin's representatives and urge them to oppose the bills too:

**SB-1120 is especially egregious. If you only have time to oppose one bill, oppose SB-1120.


OPPOSE SENATE BILL 1085 (Skinner) "Density Bonus Law: qualifications for incentives or concessions: student housing for lower income students: moderate-income persons and families: local government constraints"

About SB-1085: ** This bill was amended on July 29th. Below is information prior to the amendments.

According to the State Density Bonus Law, local governments must grant a density bonus when an applicant for a housing development of five or more units seeks and agrees to construct a project that will contain a percentage of affordable housing.

SB-1085 would make several changes to existing Density Bonus Law, as specified. The bill would increase density bonuses and incentives to housing development projects, while lowering the threshold of the percent of affordable housing that the housing project must provide in order to receive such bonuses and incentives.

The California “density bonus” law is badly backfiring, creating far too much luxury and market-rate housing and far too little low-income housing. SB-1085 would accelerate this trend. The bill would reward developers who erect huge luxury buildings with fewer affordable units than ever. Overburdened local communities would be left to pay for the resultant adverse impacts and the necessary augmentation of infrastructure and public services, while developers’ profits rise. Current density bonus law is better than SB-1085’s proposed new version of the law. Rather than increasing housing density, other types of solutions should be sought to provide more affordable housing.

Specific Reasons to Oppose Senate Bill 1085: (**For more detailed information see Sustainable TamAlmonte's attached letter re: Oppose SB-1085 or click HERE.)

TAKE ACTION: Call the Members of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations before Monday, August 3rd and urge them to vote “NO” on SB-1085:


OPPOSE SENATE BILL 995 (Atkins, Wiener, Caballero, and Rubio) “Environmental quality: Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011: housing projects”

About SB-995:

Senate Bill 995 would expand the application of streamlining the CEQA process to smaller housing projects that include at least 15 percent affordable housing. It also would broaden application and utilization of the Master Environmental Impact Report (MEIR) process, thereby reducing environmental protections.

Background: Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011. Existing law provides a framework for expediting CEQA review of major projects. The Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011 (hereafter AB 900 or Act), established specified administrative and judicial review procedures for the review of the environmental review documents and public agency approvals granted for designated residential, retail, commercial, sports, cultural, entertainment, or recreational use projects, known as “Environmental Leadership Development Projects” (ELDP). To qualify as an ELDP, the project must meet specified objective environmental standards. The Legislature has also applied similar expedited frameworks for specific sports stadiums that meet certain objective environmental Standards.

Excerpts from Senate Floor Analysis of SB-995:

DIGEST: This bill extends for four years the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011 until 2025; and makes housing projects that meet certain requirements, including specified affordable housing requirements and labor requirements, eligible for certification under the Act.”…

“This bill:

1) Requires a lead agency to prepare a master EIR for a general plan, plan amendment, plan element, or specific plan for housing projects where the state has provided funding for the preparation of the master EIR;

2) Extends the Governor’s authority to certify a leadership project to January 1, 2024, and repeals AB 900 on January 1, 2025; and

3) Makes smaller infill housing projects that meet certain requirements, including a minimum investment in California, affordable housing requirements, and labor requirements, eligible for certification.”…

4) Environmental Leadership Development Projects (ELDPs) and affordable housing: SB-995 adds a new category of projects eligible for AB 900 certification - affordable housing projects. To qualify, the project must be located on an infill site, be consistent with a Sustainable Communities Strategy or Alternative Planning Strategy, have at least 15% of the project be dedicated to affordable housing, and must result in a minimum investment of $15 million in California. In comparison, current ELDP residential projects are subject to LEED Gold, do not have a minimum affordable housing requirement, and are required to result in $100 million investment in California. By lowering the investment requirement, removing the LEED component, and imposing a minimum affordable housing requirement, SB 995 provides an incentive for the development of affordable housing projects. [Emphasis added]

This bill does not specify what ratio of housing a project must provide to be considered a “housing project” eligible for AB 900 certification. As such, the bill could potentially allow a project that offers a minimal amount of housing to be certified as long as 15% of the housing is affordable housing.”

Reasons to Oppose Senate Bill 995: (For more detailed information, see Sustainable TamAlmonte’s attached letter re: oppose SB-995 or CLICK HERE.)

Senate Bill 995 would expand the application of streamlining the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which became law in 1970, is our state’s landmark environmental law. Its purpose is to foster transparency and integrity in public decision-making while ensuring land use decisions take the full impacts of development on our natural and human environments into account. It is one of the most powerful environmental protection laws in the nation.

CEQA gives the community a voice in land use decisions. It requires decision-makers to adopt alternatives or mitigation measures to reduce significant adverse environmental impacts. As such, it plays a critical role in preserving and enhancing California’s public health, safety, and the environment.

The Act was designed to ensure that a project applicant—not the public—bears the costs of providing the necessary infrastructure to support a project. It also provides the public and decision-makers with “the big picture” and helps ensure that many small projects are not considered separately, only to overwhelm a community when taken as a whole.

CEQA protections should be strengthened rather than further weakened.

TAKE ACTION: Call the Members of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources before Thurs., August 6th and urge them to vote “NO” on SB-995:


OPPOSE ASSEMBLY BILL 1279 (Bloom) “Planning and zoning: housing development: high-opportunity areas”

About AB-1279

Assembly Bill 1279 targets localities determined by the Dept. of Housing and Community Development to have not met their share of the regional housing needs for the reporting period.

According to the Assembly Floor Analysis:

AB-1279 requires certain development sites in “high-opportunity areas”, which are designated by the Dept. of Housing & Community Development, to allow for more density and height and makes these sites subject to "use by-right" approval.

In “high-opportunity areas” zoned for single-family residential development, a housing project would be allowed to consist of up to four residential units with a height of up to 20 feet, provided the units are affordable to households making 100% the area median income. The units can be affordable to higher income households if the developer pays a modest “in lieu fee”.

In “high-opportunity areas” zoned for residential use that are at least one-quarter acre in size and located on a major street and/or the central business district, the development project would be allowed to consist of up to 40 residential units with a height of up to 30 feet, provided the units meet certain affordability targets.

If the parcel exceeded one-half acre in these prime locations, a project that had at least 50% low-income and very-low income households would be allowed to have up to 100 residential units with a height of up to 55 feet.

Specific Reasons to Oppose AB-1279 (**For more detailed information, see Sustainable TamAlmonte’s attached letter re: Oppose AB-1279 or CLICK HERE.)

TAKE ACTION: Call the Members of the Senate Housing Committee before Thurs., August 6th and urge them to vote “NO” on AB-1279:


OPPOSE ASSEMBLY BILL 2345 (Gonzalez and Chiu): “Density Bonus Law”

About AB-2345:

According to the State Density Bonus Law, local governments must grant a density bonus when an applicant for a housing development of five or more units seeks and agrees to construct a project that will contain a percentage of affordable housing.

AB-2345 revises Density Bonus Law to increase the maximum allowable density and the number of concessions and incentives a developer can seek. E.g. Developers would be able to request a density bonus of 50% if they provide 15% very low-income units, 24% low-income units, or 44% moderate-income units. E.g. The bill requires a developer to receive five incentives and concessions for projects that include the following percentage of total units: 15% for very low-income households, 33% for lower-income households, and 33% for moderate-income households in a common interest development. In addition, the bill significantly lowers parking requirements.

Reasons to Oppose Assembly Bill 2345 (For more detailed information, see Sustainable TamAlmonte’s letter re: Oppose AB-2345 or CLICK HERE.):

TAKE ACTION: Call the Members of the Senate Housing Committee before Thurs., August 6th and urge them to vote “NO” on AB-2345:


OPPOSE ASSEMBLY BILL 725 (Wicks) “General plans: housing element: moderate-income and above moderate-income housing: suburban and metropolitan jurisdictions”

About AB-725:

As part of the Housing Element process, jurisdictions must show they have sufficient sites to accommodate their 8-year Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), including units affordable at very low, low, moderate, and above moderate-incomes. This bill would require that jurisdictions accommodate at least 25% of their RHNA for both moderate and above moderate-income households on sites zoned for at least two units but not more than 35 units per acre. Housing density of 35 units per acre is equivalent to RH-2 zoning, or two units on a typical 2,500 square foot San Francisco lot. Sites with an existing single-family home could be included in the sites used to satisfy this requirement.

Reasons to Oppose AB-725:

AB 725 would ensure that significantly more single-family home lots are included in RHNA sites, which would target them for development. AB-725 allows for the takeover of single-family, duplex, and small apartment neighborhoods by market-rate multi-family housing developers.

TAKE ACTION: Call the Members of the Senate Housing Committee before Thurs., August 6th and urge them to vote “NO” on AB-725:


OPPOSE ASSEMBLY BILL 3040 (Chiu) “Local planning: regional housing need assessment”

About AB-3040:

As part of the Housing Element process, jurisdictions must show they have sufficient sites to accommodate their 8-year Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), including units affordable at very low, low, moderate, and above moderate-incomes.

AB-3040 would allow jurisdictions to rezone parcels currently occupied by single-family homes for ministerial approval of up to four housing units and to count these sites toward up to 25% of the housing units the jurisdiction must accommodate for its share of Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). Under the provisions of this bill, single family home parcels designated by the jurisdiction to allow four units by-right could be counted toward the moderate and above moderate income categories of RHNA at a rate of one unit per 10 single family parcels rezoned for four units. Because projects on these parcels would be designated for ministerial approval, CEQA review would not be required. The projects would still be subject to design review, however, local development standards applicable to the site can not impede the development of four dwelling units. Covenants or other private provisions that prohibit or restrict the number of units on would also be void. Single family home sites counted toward the RHNA site inventory as potential four-unit sites must have been certified for occupancy at least 15 years ago.

Reasons to Oppose AB-3040:

TAKE ACTION: Call the Members of the Senate Housing Committee before Thurs., August 6th and urge them to vote “NO” on AB-3040:


OPPOSE ASSEMBLY BILL 3107 (Bloom and Ting) “Planning & zoning: general plan: housing development”:

About AB-3107:

AB-3107 would apply to jurisdictions that have not included sufficient sites zoned to accommodate their RHNA in their Housing Element and have instead included sites that require rezoning to accommodate sufficient housing. Until these jurisdictions complete the rezoning of sufficient sites, this bill would authorize housing development on commercially zoned sites as long as certain conditions are met.

AB 3107 arbitrarily up-zones the qualifying sites to the tallest height now allowed in commercial or residential areas within a ½ mile of the sites and, in addition, to the greatest allowed density for mixed use or residential use within ½ mile of the sites. Moreover, the housing developments could apply for density bonuses, resulting in even bigger buildings. Immense multi-family complexes could be built next to single-family homes.

Reasons to Oppose AB-3107:

TAKE ACTION: Call the Members of the Senate Housing Committee before Thurs., August 6th and urge them to vote “NO” on AB-3107:


OPPOSE SENATE BILL 1120 (Atkins, Caballero, Rubio, and Wiener) “Subdivisions: tentative maps”

About SB-1120:

This bill requires cities and counties to permit ministerially either or both of the following in single-family zones, as long as they meet specified conditions:

A housing development of up to two units (a duplex).

The subdivision of a parcel into two equal parcels (urban lot split).

To use this bill, the subject parcel would need to be zoned for residential uses and in a single-family zoning district. Certain hazardous, protected parcels or currently occupied parcels could not take advantage of this bill. Projects could not result in the demolition of 25% or more of existing exterior walls; a parcel smaller than 1,200 square feet; nor provide short-term rentals. CEQA would not be required. Objective requirements may be applied, provided the requirements do not prohibit the project.

SB-1120 allows a local government to adopt ordinances to implement its duplex and urban lot split provisions and provides that the adoption of such ordinances are not subject to CEQA.

SB-1120 significantly lowers parking requirements and eliminates parking requirements in certain areas.

SB-1120 disclaims the state's responsibility for providing reimbursement by citing local governments’ authority to charge for the costs of implementing the bill's provisions

Reasons to Oppose SB-1120 (** For more detailed information, see Sustainable TamAlmonte’s attached letter re: oppose SB-1120 or CLICK HERE.)

TAKE ACTION: Call Members of the Assembly Committee on Local Government before Tuesday, August 11th and urge them to vote “NO” on SB-1120:


OPPOSE SENATE BILL 902 (Wiener) “Planning & zoning: housing development: density”

About SB-902:

SB-902 permits a local government to pass an ordinance, which is not subject to CEQA, to zone any parcel (including those in single-family zones) up to 10 units of residential density per parcel, at a height specified by the local government in the ordinance, if the parcel is located in a transit-rich area, a jobs-rich area, or an urban infill site, as specified. Since the ordinances would not be subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), they would likely result in unmitigated significant adverse environmental impacts.

Reasons to Oppose SB-902 (For more detailed information, see Sustainable TamAlmonte’s attached letter re: oppose SB-902 or CLICK HERE.)

TAKE ACTION: Call Members of the Assembly Committee on Local Government before Tuesday, August 11th and urge them to vote “NO” on SB-902:


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