California’s New Housing Laws: Here’s What to Know
New York Times ‘California Today’ writer Soumya Karlamangla explains the two new housing bills signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
S.B. 9 allows duplexes to be built in most neighborhoods across the state, including places where apartments have long been banned. S.B. 10 reduces environmental rules on multifamily housing and makes it easier for cities to add high-density development.
The former has been the more controversial proposal, spurring angry opposition from homeowners and local government groups who have called it “the beginning of the end of homeownership in California.”
The classic California suburb — rows of houses, each with their own yard and fence — is largely a product of something called single-family zoning, a regulation that dictates that there can be only one house per parcel of land. These laws prohibit, say, building a high-rise in a residential cul-de-sac.
S.B. 9 essentially ends single-family zoning, but with a modest shift: Under the bill, property owners can build up to three additional units on their land, allowing single-family homes to be transformed into as many as four units.
A recent analysis by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California, Berkeley, found that S.B. 9 would most likely lead to 714,000 new homes across the state over the next several years.
Read more here.