Imagine a future where housing speculators swoop in on the San Gabriel Valley’s long-established neighborhoods to purchase existing single-family homes with plans to tear down the home and build four full-sized residential units on the same property.
Multifamily developments like these could become a reality if Governor Newsom signs a bill sent to him by the Legislature on September 3. Senate Bill 9 ends single-family residential zoning in California by forcing cities and counties, with few exceptions, to approve splitting single-family parcels in half so a two-family duplex can be built on each half lot. Rear yards would be no more than four feet deep. Required off-street parking would be inadequate for four units and waived altogether if the lot is within one-half mile of transit lines.
Quadrupling the allowable number of units on a parcel will deprive children of backyards where they can play, devastate our urban tree canopy and reduce privacy, light and air for residents. Forcing cities to grant unconditional approvals to proposed multifamily homes in neighborhoods not planned for higher density could overburden our public safety services, schools, parks, roads, drinking water supplies, sewers and the energy grid.
California certainly has a severe shortage of affordable housing. San Gabriel Valley cities support legislation to provide incentives to rezone vacant and nonviable commercial properties across our state so affordable housing can be built. Last year we established the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust which is financing rent-subsidized housing developments for low-income residents in multiple communities. SB 9 will not provide subsidies needed to develop affordable housing, and instead will incentivize market-rate housing, further inflating already high land costs.
For these reasons, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments must oppose Senate Bill 9. Residents who share our concerns are urged to contact Governor Newsom via phone at (916) 445-2841, fax (916) 558-3160 or webpage form at https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/ to ask him to veto Senate Bill 9.
President, San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
Councilmember, City of Monrovia