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In an effort to address California’s tremendous housing crisis and the effects of historic low housing production and continuing high housing demand, California's political response of the last several years has been the passage of numerous bills increasing opportunities for ADUs as well as SB 35, SB 330, AB 2162, SB8, SB9, SB10, and ADUs, among many others. The bills are elegantly summarized in a community accessible infographic illustration by Alfred Twu.
These legislative packages have required that local agencies alter traditional discretionary project review processes, single family zoning, environmental review, potentially decreasing development fees, and other land use requirements. While these bills represent a path towards addressing supply and fast-tracking housing projects (especially those with affordable components), they do not sufficiently address concerns about housing affordability and security, gentrification and displacement, and equitable community benefits. In addition, the impacts of entrenched bureaucratic/political perspectives, and market speculation, continue to challenge affordable housing development.
California’s planners are at the center of ensuring that implementation of these bills delivers real results, even in the face of local political opposition to process changes dictated by the state-level mandates. This is an opportune and challenging time for planners in California to help rethink local government systems and processes in light of the tremendous affordable housing needs of the state.
This series of listening sessions is designed to question and learn from planners throughout the State of California about hopes and concerns as we embark on the implementation of these bills. Some questions to ask ourselves:
Note: The California Planning Roundtable is cosponsoring this effort with APA California and each of our local sections to collect, synthesize, and distribute the comments received during the listening sessions to broadly identify the opportunities and challenges of the last several years’ housing and land use bills implementation. The Roundtable will then work with California Chapter leadership moving forward to look at ways to use the information in both the legislative and implementation contexts.