The “Transit Housing” Bill is Back
About one year ago, Money and Dirt covered the evolution — and demise — of the “transit-rich” housing bill proposed by State Senator Scott Wiener.
For the prior posts, see:
- New California Bill Promotes “Transit-Rich” Housing Development, published March 22, 2018
- “Transit-Rich” Housing Bill Dies in Committee, published April 24, 2018
After that defeat a year ago, a new effort is underway. Senator Wiener’s revised Senate Bill 50 is winding its way through hearings, with further amendments apparently underway.
This time around, the bill is no less divisive than before.
At its core, the bill aims to alleviate the State’s well-known struggles to address an under-supply of housing that has not kept up with demand driven by strong job growth. Everyone seems to agree that housing under-supply is a serious problem, but the best prescription for that problem remains subject to intense debate.
The bill would remove some discretion from local agencies when it comes to approving proposed housing developments within a certain radius of major transportation stops. Local zoning could not be used as effectively to halt such developments. Proponents point to “smart growth” and the need for high-density housing near transportation (and in some cases taller buildings than would be allowed by local zoning rules). Opponents fear loss of local zoning control to state regulators.
Below are a few links to bring you up to speed:
- Scott Wiener’s SB50 transit-housing bill clears key hurdle after some changes (San Francisco Chronicle)
- The Political Battle Over California’s Suburban Dream (CityLab)
- Bill to increase housing density near transit clears another committee (Sacramento Business Journal)
- Controversial California housing bill to move forward after compromise (The Mercury News)
Expect further developments on SB50 soon.