Friday, September 24, 2021

Updating our Housing Element and the End of Single Family Zoning in CA

Earlier this month the Governor signed into law two impactful housing bills - SB 9 and SB 10.  These bills are complicated and have a number of varying provisions.  The most impactful thing that these bills do is that they eliminate single family zoning throughout the entire state of California.  We discussed SB 9 at our previous meeting in March of this year and at the time I raised the concern of ending single family zoning.

Suffice to say the passage of these laws is disappointing.  In looking at the votes, it appears that while our State Senator Glazer voted against SB 9, our representative in the Assembly, Tim Grayson voted in favor of ending single family zoning:

It would be easy to take issue with a single representative, but ultimately the vote totals for these bills were not close.  SB 9 passed 28-7 in the senate, and 45-19 in the Assembly.  SB 10 had larger margins.

Ultimately the goals of so much of the housing legislation in the state is to increase housing supply, and decrease housing costs, including decreasing the value of the homes that many Clayton residents own.  This is well beyond a city issue as much of the decision making that cities used to be able to engage in has been removed at the state level.  If we as a people want different outcomes at the state level, we're going to need to elect different people because what we're doing now is only moving the state in one direction.

This is the backdrop for next weeks joint meeting with the Council and the Planning Commission.  Next Tuesday, 9.28.21 at 6:30pm, there will be a meeting where both the Planning Commission and the City Council will gather (virtually) to hear from consultants we've hired about the process to update our Housing Element.  See here for more information about the process:

This meeting will be mostly an informational session.  There will be additional community workshops that have yet to be scheduled.  More information on how to sign up is at the above link.