California State Capitol - Wikipedia
Having passed the California State Senate floor, Senate Bill 423 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) has moved to the Assembly. In order to defeat this terrible bill, which extends and expands Senate Bill 35, it is time to contact State Assemblymembers.
About Senate Bill 35
In jurisdictions that have not met their Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) numbers (AKA housing quota), Senate Bill 35 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) provides a streamlined, ministerial process for approving housing developments, with a minimum number of affordable units. This streamlined approval process does not include review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). SB-35 projects are supposed to be in compliance with the applicable objective local planning standards—including the general plan, zoning ordinances, and objective design review standards. However, when SB-35 is combined with the Density Bonus Law, these local regulations are thrown out, resulting in a streamlined HUGE project that skirts height, density, setbacks, parking and other normal zoning provisions.
All but 29 cities and counties in California are subject to some streamlining under SB-35 because they have not met their RHNA, despite the fact that most have adopted compliant Housing Elements, zoned appropriately, and implemented measures and programs to promote housing at all income levels. However, cities and counties do not build housing, only developers do. Owners cannot be forced to develop their sites, if they don't want to. Hence, SB-35 punishes cities and counties for something that is entirely out of their control. Moreover, the State has assigned housing quotas that are completely unrealistic and exaggerated, sometimes 20 times larger than the last housing cycle quota, making the housing targets unattainable.
SB-423 extends SB-35 until January 1, 2036 and adds three aggressive provisions that benefit outside investor/speculators, but harm local communities and the state. These provisions are:
- The Coastal Commission will be overruled and massive luxury development will be given streamlined approval (without public hearings and without review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act - CEQA) in the coast.
- Development is authorized on a wetland or protected habitat.
- Local governments are subject to SB-35 streamlining if they fail to adopt a compliant housing element as determined by HCD, as specified. (Before, SB-35 only kicked in if RHNA housing quotas weren't built on schedule.)
On May 31st, the majority of the Senate voted "Aye" on SB-423. If you would like to know how your State Senator voted, then please click HERE to see the tally.
Of note is that Senator Mike McGuire (Marin's State Senator) voted for SB-423. This is rather surprising, considering McGuire expressed concern about the hazardous 5-story, 74-unit housing complex, with only 23 parking spaces, approved at 825 Drake Ave. in Marin City. The location is prone to flooding, designated a very high fire zone, and has only one unsafe access and evacuation route. The monstrosity was given streamlined approval, without public hearings or environmental review, due to SB-35 and, as previously mentioned, SB-423 extends and expands SB-35.
Rendering by AMG & Associates, LLC of the 74-unit housing development at 825 Drake Ave. in Marin City that critics say is too large, stresses the current infrastructure and endangers residents.
Below is an excerpt from the Pacific Sun article regarding the 74-unit development at 825 Drake Ave. titled; "Shit show hearing ends with county letting down Marin City residents again", which reports Senator McGuire's and Assemblymember Connolly's concerns about the project.
"State Assemblymember Damon Connolly and Senator Mike McGuire are making a last-ditch effort to bring the developer and the community together. This week, the two state representatives will be meeting with the developer to 'insist they work with the community in a sincere and meaningful way,' McGuire said in a statement."
Fortunately, Assemblymember Damon Connolly (Marin’s representative) stated publicly at his Town Hall that he opposes SB-423.
Never-the-less, it is still recommended to contact Assemblymember Connolly in addition to all the other State Assemblymembers and express opposition to the streamlining housing bill.
Please do the following:
1. Send a position letter through the California State Legislature Portal: https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/
2. Call Assemblymember Damon Connolly and all the other California State Assemblymembers and urge them to oppose SB-423. If you get an answering service, then please leave a message.
"Hello, my name is: ___. I’m a member of: ___.
I’m calling to urge the Assemblymember to oppose SB-423.
SB 423 is unacceptable. It extends and expands SB-35, which punishes cities and counties inappropriately. In addition, the bill reduces overrules the Coastal Commission and allows large luxury developments in the coast without CEQA review.
- Assemblymember Damon Connolly: (415) 479-4920; email@example.com
- Other California State Assemblymembers: https://www.assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers
3. Forward this article to your contacts and encourage them to take action.
Thank you in advance for your advocacy. Together we can make a difference!