Sitting among the hundreds of unsigned bills on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk is a bill called Senate Bill 9, which includes areas where apartments have long been banned. Duplication is possible in parcels throughout California.
The bill was at the heart of this year’s legislative efforts to tackle the state’s housing and homeless crisis by increasing density and helping fill in the underlying shortages of the state’s affordable housing problems. Economists from both parties have long advocated just such a move.
Newsom campaigned for the Marshall Plan for Housing in 2018, but didn’t make a public statement about SB 9 as he passed Congress, and his office asked if he would sign it. I didn’t comment.
I can only guess why Mr. Newsom is silent on this issue, but he seems to be avoiding controversial topics before Tuesday’s recall.
And in the state, few are more controversial than the subject of single-family zoning. This is an argument that casts a need for more housing densities in politically active suburban neighborhoods with spacious gardens and low profile for over a century. Like a dream in California.
Mr. Newsom is not alone. The governor has cast a recall election as a trumpist referendum, but when people talk about affordable crises, which are always ranked as the voter’s greatest area of interest, or when they don’t talk prominently, a unique kind of Housing policy has emerged. Candidates have avoided discussions about defending or ending single-family zoning, even those who ruled in a dense manner.
Take Kevin Faulconer, a former San Diego mayor who is about to leave Mr. Newsom, highlighting his bipartisan record as a Republican mayor in a Democratic city council-dominated city.
The record contains legislation that makes it easy to build ancillary housing units (commonly known as unit-in-law or grandma’s apartments) in the neighborhood of a single-family home. Thanks to this law, a San Diego single-family home can be transformed into an essentially small apartment complex with four or more units in the backyard. Zoning hasn’t changed on paper, but it has.
However, when asked about single-family zoning in the recall debate, Mr. Fallconner reverted to his own policy. “Looking at some of these laws that want to eliminate single-family zoning in California, it’s wrong. I reject it.”
In the same debate, Republican Kevin Kylie, who voted for SB 9 on the committee, and former GOP lawmaker Doug Ose, who dropped out of the race after having a heart attack, agreed with local management and zoning of detached houses. talked. Before the state says it needs to speed up permits and reduce development costs. They omitted the part about how the state passed the law to do it, and that permission is primarily a function of local administration.
Housing is an impossible subject, as the only way to solve the California housing crisis is to mitigate supply shortages. However, lawmakers have been plagued by this problem since the 1970s, as it is so politically difficult to build a home where people already live, especially in the neighborhood of a vast single-family home in the state.