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We Get Letters: SB 9 Must be Vetoed

Published on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 | 2:10 pm

Dear Editor,

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 to ask him to veto Senate Bill 9.


Becky Shevlin
President, San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
Councilmember, City of Monrovia

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2 thoughts on “We Get Letters: SB 9 Must be Vetoed

  • Why do people opposed to SB9 always start with lies? Probably, because the truth does not support their opposition and fear. Just like the allowance of ADUs years ago, SB9 will not make a dramatic impact on neighborhoods. How many of you reading this have the money to tear down your house, subdivide the lot, continue to own and live on one parcel, and then build four more brand new homes? That’s the reality of SB9. Now is not the time to continue the racially motivated, restrictive zoning that brought us to where we are today. Studies have shown only about 1.5% of homeowners are likely to take advantage of SB9. Think about it, 1.5%. The preponderance of homelessness and tents on our city streets demands action. Local elected officials may decry overreach, but they have done little to prevent it.

  • Todd did you think about all the development that has taken place already in Pasadena? I don’t think any family is going to tear down their house and build 4 more units on the lot just like you have stated. It is going to be the deep pocket developers who are willing to risk their money to make it happen. That’s their business so why would such laws be necessary for the mom and pop to change their housing needs. These new laws will only make neighborhoods less desirable and create more hostility in the neighborhood for those not having a choice for what is happening to their quiet enjoyment that brought them to the neighborhood in the first place. What’s really happening with the numbers of ADUs solving the problems of housing in our city? What districts are we finding
    them being built?