During Monday’s City Council meeting the mayor of Redondo Beach called in during public comment to implore the city to consider joining a lawsuit over encroaching state housing laws.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed several bills that impact zoning codes to allow for more housing in an effort to combat an affordable housing shortage.
Meanwhile, officials in many cities, including Pasadena, oppose the one-size-fits all approach. Those officials say that the cities that are already doing their part to fight the crisis should not lose control of local zoning.
“We are very concerned about state bills coming down and imposing zoning on us,” said Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand. “We’re considering legal action as a charter city. I would like you guys to consider joining us. The clock is ticking.”
City Attorney Michele Bagneris said she would update the council on the lawsuit and discussions between the cities. So far Pasadena has not agreed to join the lawsuit.
On Monday, the council conducted the second reading of its interim emergency SB9 ordinance.
According to critics, SB9 eliminates single family zoning and allowing up to four units on all single-family parcels.
In correspondence to the City Council local residents have expressed opposition and supported the emergency ordinance.
“The intent is to make sure there are no more than four units on any one lot,” said Planning Director David Reyes.
Critics claim that SB 9 will heavily impact Black and Brown communities.
According to Spectrum News, Housing Is A Human Right, which opposes the bill, conducted a statewide poll that found 63% of Californians oppose SB9 and 67% oppose SB10.
“We know that the bills will cause developers to target our low- income Black and brown communities. There is no requirement for affordable housing or homeless housing, and given that we have 161,000 people who are homeless in the state of California, over 60,000 in the county and over 40,000 in the city, it is absolutely unconscionable to have a housing production bill that would not provide for our homeless community or for people who desperately need affordable housing,” Susie Shannon, policy director for Housing Is A Human Right, said in a call to the LA City Council earlier this year.
SB 10 allows local governments to approve multi-family buildings, up to 10 market-rate units, on lots that are currently zoned for single family housing only. There are no limits on the number of parcels.
Cities across the state oppose the legislation.
In response to the housing legislation, leaders from several cities are supporting a proposed initiative seeking to reclaim local zoning control.
“Our Neighborhood Voices” is pushing for a constitutional amendment to allow city and county land-use and zoning laws, including housing laws, to override state laws. The group is currently gathering signatures to put the initiative on the November 2022 ballot.
According to the group’s website, “the measure will protect a community’s ability to shape local growth, preserve the character of neighborhoods, and require developers to produce more affordable housing and contribute to the costs associated with new housing.