Northern News


A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

Aggressive push against local housing development restrictions

Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2019

Liam Dillon • “Citing the increasing cost of housing across California, state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has introduced new legislation that would block high-cost regions from imposing new prohibitions on housing construction or decreasing the number of homes allowed on certain pieces of land.”

[According to the Legislative Counsel,, the bill would prohibit a county or city, and its electorate through initiative or referendum, from enacting or amending a general plan or zoning ordinance that would reclassify property to a less intensive use below what was allowed under the general plan as of January 1, 2018.]

“It would also prohibit local governments in those areas from enforcing requirements that developers install parking spots alongside buildings, among a number of other proposals.

“Her plan is among the most aggressive proposed by state lawmakers in dismantling city and county restrictions on development, which legislators have identified as a major contributor to housing cost increases.

“The legislation also would set deadlines for cities and counties to decide on housing developments that they have the discretion to approve.

“For low-income housing, Skinner’s bill goes further by eliminating local fees on development. Skinner’s plan also prohibits the demolition of rent-controlled apartments and those that offer Section 8 assistance in an effort to prevent displacement from new construction.” Read more here.