Under a law signed today by Governor Jerry Brown, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) gains the power to rezone its properties. It's a decisive victory for state preemption over local control in the face of California's housing crisis.
"BART can draft plans to fill empty station parking lots with dense housing and shops," reports Rachel Swan. Governor Jerry Brown finally signed the bill, AB 2923, approved by the State Legislature in August.
"The bill empowers the transit agency to zone its properties — an estimated 250 acres of blank asphalt — and limits cities’ ability to delay or obstruct development," add Swan.
The bill provoked opposition from both cities in the East Bay and the California chapter of the American Planning Association.
BART already has plans to build 20,000 units of housing and $4.5 million square feet of commercial space, and AB 2923 is designed to facilitate those ambitions.
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