Housing bill could reshape tech hubs like Silicon Beach, Silicon Valley

Provisions would allow for multi-family projects in suburbs that prohibit them
April 22, 2019 02:00PM

The provisions in SB 50 could drastically change the makeup of coastal cities like Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach

As California grapples with a housing crisis, a bill in the Legislature could drastically alter tech centers throughout the state like Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley, which are dominated by single-family neighborhoods.

Senate Bill 50, which aims to boost home development near mass transit, contains a provision that would force communities near employment centers to allow apartments where only single-family homes can now rise, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It’s no longer acceptable to attract tons of jobs while refusing to build housing,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, who proposed the bill, speaking to the Times.

The provisions to increase suburban density could lead to quadruple housing production in tech center communities, with more than 75 percent of that new growth in wealthier neighborhoods.

SB 50 also requires developers to set aside a portion of projects for low-income residents. If approved, coastal cities in Southern California like Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach would be affected, as well as some West L.A. neighborhoods, like Burbank, Lakewood and Beverly Hills.

But the proposal has already met strong opposition in those areas, as local lawmakers fear it would take away their decision-making power.

Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch said SB 50 is a threat to every community in the state and an attempt to demonize single-family neighborhoods to benefit real estate industry profits. The L.A. City Council opposes it as well and authorized lobbyists to fight SB 50. [LAT]Gregory Cornfield