California State Capitol - Wikipedia
Like many, you are probably on the edge of your seat wanting to know the status of the flawed high-density housing bills that numerous concerned organizations and individuals have been working diligently to defeat. Here's the latest...
Nine detrimental high-density housing bills, which could ruin single-family neighborhoods and worsen our quality of life, were fast tracking through the State legislature. The bills’ authors touted that the legislation would solve our housing needs. Yet, the bills predominantly promoted market-rate housing and did little to provide more affordable housing. For example, Assembly Bill 2345 revises the Density Bonus Law and reduces the percentage of lower-income affordable units required by housing projects in order for developers to receive concessions and incentives.
Together, the housing bills continued the misguided trend to (“SB” = Senate Bill; “AB” = Assembly Bill):
- Take away local governments’ control of land use and give it to market-rate housing developers (SB-1120, SB-995, SB-1085, AB-725, AB-2345, AB-1279, AB-3107);
- Eliminate single-family zoning, whereas single-family neighborhoods are treasured and should be protected (SB-1120, SB-902, AB-3040, AB-725, AB-1279);
- Increase housing density and override local development standards (parking, height, set-backs, etc.), which would result in significant adverse impacts (SB-1120, SB-1085, SB-902, SB-995, AB-2345, AB-3107);
- Streamline the permit review process, thereby posing a significant threat to democracy, public engagement, and high-quality development (SB-1120, SB-902, SB-995, AB-1279);
- Exempt housing projects from thorough review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), thereby reducing environmental protections (SB-1120, SB-902, SB-995, AB-1279); and
- Create unfunded mandates that burden local governments and communities (SB-1120, SB-1085, SB-995, AB-725, AB-2345, AB-1279, AB-3107).
**Please scroll down and click on the attachment for descriptions of the nine bills.
The final week of the legislative session was a flurry of activity. August 31st, the last day bills could be voted on, was a marathon that stretched from morning to midnight. Many bills received approval in the Assembly (some just minutes before midnight) but did not return to the Senate in time for the final vote that would have been necessary to advance them to Governor Newsom’s desk.
The State Legislature has now voted on all the above referenced flawed housing bills. Below are the results.
The Good News:
Out of the 9 detrimental high-density housing bills, four failed, three did not reach concurrence, and only two bills moved on to the Governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 902 (re: Up-zoning single-family zones without CEQA review), Assembly Bill 1279 (re: High Opportunity Areas), Assembly Bill 3040 (re: Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) & Encouraging the elimination of single-family zoning), and Assembly Bill 3107 (re: RHNA & Arbitrary increases in density) failed in prior policy committees.
Senate Bill 1120 (re: Ending single-family zoning), Senate Bill 995 (re: Streamlining CEQA), and Senate Bill 1085 (re: Density Bonus Law) were passed by both houses but were not sent to the Governor's desk due to concurrence votes not taking place before midnight. This means these bills passed off both the Senate and Assembly floors but due to constitutional deadlines at midnight of August 31, they did not complete the process in time. After passing the Senate Floor, passing Assembly policy committees, and then passing the Assembly Floor, they had to go back to the Senate Floor for another vote but there wasn't enough time before midnight of August 31st for this last concurrence vote by the Senate to occur.
According to Livable California, the Assembly Floor vote on SB-1120 was postponed because the bill didn't have enough votes. Therefore, advocacy by opponents of the bill helped to delay the vote and ultimately defeat it. It is unclear why the votes on SB-995 and SB-1085 were also delayed to the last minute.
The Bad News:
Assembly Bill 725 (re: Housing Element Law) and Assembly Bill 2345 (re: Increasing density bonuses) passed both the Assembly and Senate floors with flying colors and then passed again with the concurrent vote in the Assembly. These bills have now moved on to Governor Newsom's desk.
There is a possibility that Governor Newsom may call a "special session" of the Legislature this year, extending their time to work on numerous bills that ran-out-the-clock and lacked concurrent votes, including SB-1120, SB-995, & SB-1085. Asked during a press conference Wednesday about the potential for an extraordinary session, Newsom said; “If necessary, I’m open to that” but didn’t clarify whether it was actually necessary and stopped short of saying he wanted such a session. A special legislative session would be unfortunate.
Most certainly, similar housing bills will be back next year. Senator Scott Wiener, who is heavily backed by Big Tech and Big Real Estate and who penned a number of the bills, stated; “We can’t give up this fight. We’ll be back with a strong 2021 housing agenda.”
More Good News:
You will be happy to hear that Marin’s local representative Assembly Member Marc Levine voted "No" on four of the bills (SB-1120, SB-995, SB-1085, & AB-725). Alas, Assembly Member Levine voted "Aye" on AB-2345. Please thank Assembly Member Levine.
Assembly Member Marc Levine’s contact information: (415) 479-4920 - email@example.com
More Bad News:
Marin’s local representative Senator Mike McGuire voted "Aye" on ALL five bills (SB-1120, SB-995; SB-1085; AB-725, & AB-2345). Please let Senator McGuire know your thoughts about his vote.
Senator Mike McGuire’s contact information: (415) 479-6612 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Assembly Floor Vote on SB-1120: 44 Ayes; 18 Noes; 17 No-Vote-Recorded
- Assembly Floor Vote on SB-995: 62 Ayes; 4 Noes; 13 No-Vote-Recorded
- Assembly Floor Vote on SB-1085: 67 Ayes; 3 Noes; 9 No-Vote-Recorded
- Assembly Floor Vote on AB-725: 46 Ayes; 22 Noes; 11 No-Vote-Recorded
- Senate Floor Vote on AB-725: 23 Ayes; 14 Noes; 3 No-Vote-Recorded
- Assembly Floor Vote on AB-2345: 70 Ayes; 2 Noes; 7 No-Vote-Recorded
- Senate Vote Floor Vote on AB-2345: 26 Ayes; 5 Noes; 9 No-Vote-Recorded
Many thanks to those who have given their time and effort to defeat the flawed housing bills. You are making a difference!
**Please contact Governor Newsom and urge him to veto AB-725 and AB-2345.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s contact information: (916) 445-2841 - https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/