Gov. Newsom abolishes most single-family zoning in California

By Marisa Kendall, East Bay Times, September 17, 2021

“By signing Senate Bill 9 into law, Newsom opened the door for the development of up to four residential units on single-family lots across California. The move follows a growing push by local governments to allow multifamily dwellings in more residential neighborhoods. Berkeley voted to eliminate single-family zoning by Dec. 2022, and San Jose is set to consider the issue next month.

“The crisis has long been a major concern among Bay Area voters — 89 percent said homelessness was an extremely serious or very serious problem when polled in January 2020.

“A study by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation found that the new law likely would add, at most, fewer than 700,000 housing units across California.

“Newsom on Thursday also signed SB 10, creating a process that lets local governments streamline new multifamily housing projects of up to 10 units built near transit or in urban areas. That new legislation also simplifies zoning requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act, which developers complain can bog down projects for years.

“Newsom also signed SB 8, which extends the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 [through 2030]. The act, which speeds up the approval process for housing projects, curtails local governments’ ability to reduce the number of units allowed on a site, and limits housing application fee hikes. […]”

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