The City Council will conduct the second reading of an ordinance that amends its municipal code, by incorporating and cementing the existing protections and exemptions of its historic Landmark Districts from SB 9.
The reading comes just days after state Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a puzzling statement praising the city for passing the ordinance even though it protects landmark districts which Bonta earlier claimed were not exempt from the ordinance.
Last week Mayor Victor Gordo said Bonta was incorrect when he called out the city in March.
“The Attorney General simply got it wrong and unfairly targeted Pasadena. Pasadena was a pioneer in creating affordable housing, and we will continue to prioritize the creation and retention of desperately needed affordable housing—while at the same time continuing our strong protection of the City’s landmark districts and neighborhoods.”
SB 9, also known as the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (HOME) Act, was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021 and took effect in January. Among other things, the bill requires that a local jurisdiction, such as the City of Pasadena, “must ministerially approve” certain subdivisions of one single-family residential lot into two, without discretionary review.
The city’s December urgency ordinance prohibited the application of SB 9 to any parts of the city designated as a “landmark district.”
The amendments passed on Monday replace the interim urgency ordinance with a new ordinance.
Pasadena currently has 23 designated landmark districts as well as 20 historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The emergency ordinance was set to expire in December.
The Planning Commission unanimously agreed to recommend the zoning code amendments last month.
At Monday’s meeting, members of the City Council lauded Gordo for defending the city’s stance on the issue.