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New strip mall and office conversion law represent ‘seismic shift’ in California housing policy

By Benjamin Schneider, San Francisco Examiner, September 11, 2022

“Wicks’ bill will allow major arterial roads across the state, like El Camino Real on the Peninsula and San Pablo Avenue in the East Bay, to evolve into ‘ribbons of density,’ said Peter Calthorpe, a world-famous urban planner who advised on the bill.

“Calthorpe’s company, Urban Footprint, produced a report that found the bill could enable the construction of between 1.6 and 2.4 million homes.

“Wicks’ bill barely squeaked across the finish line due to opposition from organized labor groups, who foiled similar bills in recent years. 

“When it became clear last month that AB 2011 would pass, the trades dropped their opposition and instead focused their attention on supporting a similar bill, SB 6, authored by state Sen. Anna Caballero.

“SB 6 requires a ‘skilled and trained’ workforce but does not require any affordable housing. In practice, developers hoping to redevelop strip malls will get to choose whether to go with a union workforce by using SB 6, or dedicate some of their project as affordable housing by using AB 2011.”

Read the full article here. (~4 min.)

In CP&DR, Bill Fulton provides a detailed summary of changes in AB2011 and SB6. Read that article here (paywalled).

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