Bill would remove restrictions on transit-adjacent development

State Sen. Scott Wiener says measure is necessary to address housing shortage

Senator Scott Weiner (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Senator Scott Weiner (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A state lawmaker has proposed a bill to eliminate restrictions on development within a half-mile of major transit lines to address the state’s housing shortage.

San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener told the Los Angeles Times that his measure, SB 827, would also help maximize investments into transit and help the state achieve its climate-change goals.

As proposed, the bill would override local zoning regulations that limit building near transit, “including maximum controls on residential density or floor area ratio, minimum automobile parking requirements…. and maximum height limitations.” (Read the bill here)

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A 2016 study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that up to 3 million new homes could be built within a half mile of transit stops over the next 20 years if local governments changed zoning laws and incentivized development with public funding and fast-tracked approvals.

The bill would not restrict the number of homes that could be built near transit stops and would have minimum height requirements between 45 and 85 feet depending on the proximity of the project to the station, according to the Times. Opponents of the measure say the influx of residents would create traffic issues and negatively change the character of the single-family neighborhoods along transit routes.

In September, the City of Los Angeles implemented its own set of rules to encourage density and the development of affordable housing near transit options. The Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) program allows developers building within a half mile of a major transit line to construct up to 80 percent more units than zoning allows, depending on the number of affordable units included and the level of affordability of those units.  [LAT] — Dennis Lynch