Report: Governor essentially abolishes single-family zoning in California
–The San Jose Mercury News reports–
Senate Bill 9 signed into law
–In one of his first actions after surviving an election seeking to oust him from office, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday essentially abolished single-family zoning in California — and green-lighted a series of bills intended to bolster the state’s housing production.
By signing Senate Bill 9 into law, Newsom opened the door for the development of up to four residential units on single-family lots across California. The move follows a growing push by local governments to allow multi-family dwellings in more residential neighborhoods. Berkeley voted to eliminate single-family zoning by Dec. 2022, and San Jose is set to consider the issue next month.
While opponents fear such a sweeping change will destroy the character of residential neighborhoods, supporters hail it as a necessary way to combat the state’s persistent housing crisis and correct city zoning laws that have contributed to racial segregation.
A property must meet certain criteria under SB 9 before it can be developed into multi-family housing. It must be large enough, for example, and the owner must live there for at least three years before splitting the property. A study by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation found that the new law likely would add, at most, fewer than 700,000 housing units across California.
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