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Senate Bills 9 and 10 are bad news and will cause irreparable damage to neighborhoods.

Mayor Katherine Lee briefs residents on Senate Bill 9 (Photo – Melissa Michelson)

Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo and Alhambra Mayor Katherine Lee, to name a few, are against this unique planning, but these disastrous bills that are quickly making their way through the California legislature are supported at the upper levels by Senator Anthony Portantino and Deputy Ed Chau of the San Gabriel Valley.

By Mélissa Michelson

In short, these two bills give flames developers to appropriate single-family homes, demolish them, build market-priced rental housing and maximize their profits – reaching out to existing neighboring homes.

SB 9 Allotment: approvals “… allows 6 dwellings where there is currently 1 single-family house. It ends statewide single-family zoning, taking precedence over city powers. (Quote).

Single-family areas will be 4-fold to 6-fold and SB9 allows for 4-foot setbacks so that homeowners can demolish landscaping and trees to maximize construction just four feet from the adjacent property line or the back yard.

SB 10 Planning and zoning: housing development: density “… allows any city council to rezone almost any plot to allow luxury apartments of 10 units, plus 2 ADU and 2 JADU (grandma apartments), exceeding all zoning, including single family and commercial. It invites the demolition and gentrification of older, diverse, multi-family and single-family areas. (Quote).

The worst part is that none of these bills require affordable housing, so the housing would be at market price, developers will not have to invest money to support existing infrastructure like streets, electricity, sewers, and they don’t comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

If these two bills pass, the city will not have a say, and neither will the citizens.

On August 23, SB 10 was approved by the Assembly, obtaining 44 votes from the 80 Assembly members. 35 Assembly members voted NO or did not vote. MP Ed Chau (AD49) voted yes.

SB 10 now returns to the Senate to consider Assembly amendments, and then to the governor’s desk.

Here you can see how your California lawmakers voted for SB9 and SB10.

Beware of myths

Some lawmakers seem to believe that these bills would benefit homeowners by allowing them to build homes for their children or elderly family members to live on their property.

False: The owners are already able to build two units in their yard for their family. Who needs to build 6-10 units on a single or split lot? These invoices serve the developers. Wealthier homeowners can afford to help family members move and settle into other accommodation.

A developer, meanwhile, can buy the property for cash, demolish the building for the subdivision, and build four units plus the two accessory housing units currently licensed in California. SB 10 allows them to maximize up to 10 units.

False: It will add housing to the area and the prices will drop so that normal people can afford it.

There are no affordability mandates on these bills. These will be rents at the market rate. It would not provide housing for those who need it most, the homeless or those in precarious situations.

False: Foreign investors will buy homes in cute neighborhoods and expand.

Maybe, but American hedge fund companies have taken over single-family homes across the country. The Blackstone hedge fund owns over 55% of all residential rental properties in the United States. This zoning change from single family to multi-family units is their dream come true in California. It’s part of a Wall Street land grab. You can find and report business owners here.

False: “This cannot happen in MY region because …”

SB9 has no restrictions on this. All areas of HQ, including fire prone areas, could see increased density. An amendment was made last week at the state assembly that said the city could have a say if a developer wanted to build a 6-plex on a slip zone or toxic site, for example, but c is a rare scenario. What about all the other neighborhoods in California? These bills give developers flames.

False: Another SB9 amendment where the new buyer should intend to live on the property for 3 years will fix the developer’s problem.

Who will follow this? This state bill makes cities responsible for this, but perjury is not enforceable at the city level. Cities don’t have the infrastructure to do it. What does “intention” mean? And after three years? And who exactly will be sued in the company should lie and put it on the market for tenants anyway?

What can be done?

If you are thinking of buying in the American dream of owning a home or if you want to preserve your neighborhood from the overdevelopment and expansion of duplexes under the guise of ‘housing’, you must:

Once they are successful, they go to the Governor of California by October 10 for approval or veto. The Californian people will not vote for them.

SB 9 is due to return to the Assembly on Thursday August 26.

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