Developers can expect more friendly zoning with new housing law

The bill signed by the governor requires officials to zone for housing to meet local need

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Oct.October 02, 2018 01:15 PM
State Senator Scott Wiener and construction

A pair of bills California’s governor has approved could lead to more dense zoning across California, which would be a boon for developers.

On Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 828, which requires that local governments zone to accommodate 100 percent of the projected local housing need if they haven’t already. The bill’s author, State Senator Scott Wiener, originally wanted that to be 200 percent of local housing need, but it was reduced in debates in Sacramento.

The governor also signed into law Assembly Bill 1771, which requires more data be used when determining local need. The law tries to ensure that local governments are not able to massage numbers to reduce the amount of required residential zoning.

Possibly the most impactful measure in SB 828 for developers requires that local governments zone for existing need, not just future need. The previous law only called for local governments to zone for future need. For example, if a city was short 2,000 units and projected an increase of 1,000 residents in the coming years, it would only have to zone for those 1,000 additional residents. Now it will be required to also zone for the existing 2,000 units needed.

An official familiar with SB 828 projected that the new law in some cases could result in a 150 percent boost in the number of units local governments will need to accommodate.

The bill is meant to help alleviate the housing crisis in California by allowing the state to build itself out of its shortage. The lack of needed housing has caused rents and home prices to skyrocket, which has prompted other campaigns like Proposition 10, which would allow governments across the state to enact new rent regulation laws.

Developers around the state could see more dense residential zoning in cities that previously had few development opportunities. Local governments will have less power to oppose densification.

The real estate industry has come out in support of SB 828. The California Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association — a trade organization for multifamily owners — have thrown their names behind the bill. HKS Architects, a respected design firm in L.A., also supports the bill. Even Facebook has expressed support for the bill.

But a number of local cities — including L.A., Long Beach and Redondo Beach — strongly opposed the bill, mostly because it would transfer planning powers away from local governments and into the hands of the state. Some neighborhood groups, including United Neighborhoods of L.A. and Coalition to Preserve L.A., also said they were against it.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Governor Gavin Newsom (Credit: Anda Chu/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

State bans evictions of pandemic-hit renters through January

State bans evictions of pandemic-hit renters through January
Renters and housing advocates attend a protest to cancel rent and avoid evictions in front of the court house in Los Angeles (Credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Statewide eviction moratorium extension would require partial tenant payments

Statewide eviction moratorium extension would require partial tenant payments
California State Senator Scott Wiener and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins

Statewide bill would allow duplex development on single-family parcels

Statewide bill would allow duplex development on single-family parcels
Kathryn Barger, member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

LA County launches $100M rental assistance program

LA County launches $100M rental assistance program
Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye

Statewide eviction ban, set to end, may get brief extension

Statewide eviction ban, set to end, may get brief extension
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

LA County begins carrying out pre-coronavirus evictions

LA County begins carrying out pre-coronavirus evictions
Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

State lawmakers call for eviction moratorium extension

State lawmakers call for eviction moratorium extension
Los Angeles apartments (Credit: iStock)

Expanded unemployment has kept California renters afloat. But that’s set to expire

Expanded unemployment has kept California renters afloat. But that’s set to expire
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...