The people have spoken: Majority of Californians support housing upzoning, survey shows

SB-50, which would address the housing crisis through more development, appears to have support of 60% of Californians

State Senator Scott Wiener and a Metro Red Line train (Credit: Wikipedia)
State Senator Scott Wiener and a Metro Red Line train (Credit: Wikipedia)

Last month, state lawmakers sidelined a bill that would have increased housing in urban and suburban areas, but a new poll shows that more Californians support the same kind of upzoning measures.

A survey by the Public Policy Institute of California found 62 percent of adult respondents support the state forcing local governments to allow multifamily development in single-family areas near transit and jobs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That measure is the core of state Sen. Scott Wiener’s unrealized SB 50 bill. Last month, Wiener’s colleague representing the Tri-Cities area, Anthony Portantino, put any vote on the bill on hold for the rest of this year’s legislative session.

Wiener plans to pick up the bill again next year. It was designed to address the housing crisis through development and do so near transit to reduce Californians’ dependency on cars.

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SB 50 would allow four- to five- story multifamily projects within walking distance of transit and allow up to fourplexes in many single-family neighborhoods. It would upzone around 40 percent of developable land in the city of L.A. and around 6 percent of single-family parcels.

At least 60 percent of respondents in every region of the state supported upzoning in single-family neighborhoods. Almost 75 percent of Democrats support such a measure, while only 36 percent of Republicans do.

Opponents say it would fuel real estate speculation and gentrify neighborhoods because it does not have enough protections for vulnerable, lower-income populations living in areas that would be upzoned communities. [LAT]Dennis Lynch