Bill Would Force Locals to Follow BART's Plans for Station-Adjacent Development

Another bill under consideration by the California State Legislature would take land use control away from local agencies near transit stations. In this case, the new authority would be regional.

2 minute read

March 6, 2018, 10:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

BART Station

Eric Fischer / Flickr

"Cities reluctant to OK housing on BART’s expansive parking lots and other land owned by the rail system would be forced to allow it under a new bill unveiled this week," reports Katy Murphy.

On Monday, Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, introduced Assembly Bill 2923, along with Assemblyman Tim Grayson, D-Concord. The bill would "require BART to approve new standards for housing development that reflect the ambitious goals the system recently set. Local governments would have two years to update their zoning restrictions accordingly."

As for the goals set by BART, in 2016 the regional commuter rail system's Board of Directors set a target for 20,000 residential units to be built on BART property by 2040 [pdf]. That total is expected to contribute 12 percent of the transit oriented development goals established by Plan Bay Area.

While the bill would allow BART more control over development on BART property, allowing the priorities of the regional agency to override local obstruction of development at transit stations, the bill would have far less impact than SB 827, proposed by state senators Scott Wiener and Nancy Skinner. That bill would mandate new zoning rules (in effect: an upzoning) around transit stations regardless of property ownership and on every variety of transit line in the region.

The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California sponsor the bill.

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