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We Get (More) Letters: On SB 9

Published on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 5:50 am

Page 2 of the City’s draft 2021-2029 Housing Element includes the following:

“ALL Pasadena residents have an equal right to live in decent, safe, and affordable housing in a suitable living environment for the long-term well-being and stability of themselves, their families, their neighborhoods, and their community. The housing vision for Pasadena is to maintain a socially and economically diverse community of homeowners and renters who are afforded this right. . . . The City is committed to opening doors for people of all income levels, at all stages in their lives. . . .”

I listened to the November 10th Planning Commission meeting.  The discussion of SB 9 is very alarming.  I heard a lot of discussion about “protecting our single-family neighborhoods and protecting beautiful trees.  I heard ONE COMMENT from a commissioner noting that there is a housing shortage and there was scant discussion of the lack of affordable housing.

The Commission and city staff need to diligently represent the interests of ALL persons in this city, including struggling families who could benefit from development under SB 9.  The discussion at the November 10th meeting focused on protecting the interests of the “haves,” homeowners in single-family zoned areas, but not the “have nots,” many of whom do not have the time to listen to Commission meetings and to voice their concerns.

There was a comment that more neighborhoods are wanting to become historic districts and that some folks think that is contrary to SB 9.  OF COURSE it is contrary to the intent of SB 9 to drum up ways to circumvent it!

Finally, I am greatly alarmed that staff confirmed that there will be no further discussion on SB 9 before a proposed ordinance comes before the Commission.   There needs to be a robust effort to include the voices of all segments of our city before planning staff develops its anticipated objective standards, including, but not limited to, any proposed lowering of the bar in determining whether an area is a landmark district.

Sonja K. Berndt

Got something to say, email Managing Editor André Coleman, at

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