More SB9 Drama: L.A. County Cities Sue California

Four Southern California cities are calling SB9 unconstitutional in the fight to retain local control over zoning codes and housing density.

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April 4, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Pacific Ocean

Kirk Wester / Shutterstock

The battle over California's Senate Bill 9 and housing density continues. Four Los Angeles County cities—Redondo Beach, Torrance, Carson, and Whittier—have filed a challenge to the new state law, which "permits single-family lots to be divided for development of two to four new homes."

According to an article from City News Service published in the Times of San Diego, the cities claim SB9 violates the state constitution. Their petition states, "The constitutional right of municipalities to zone single-family residential districts and the sanctioning principle upon which that right is founded has been well settled law for almost 100 years."

The petition further claims that SB9 "eviscerated a city’s local control over land use decisions and a community-tailored zoning process" and eliminates local decision-making and community opinion.

SB 9 backers argue it ensures access to affordable housing as a matter of statewide concern that justifies its applicability to charter cities, but the bill does not require the newly created homes or the lots to have any affordability covenants or to be restricted to moderate- or lower-income households, according to the petition.

The cities claim they "already have been active in finding ways to provide more housing and affordable housing for residents, according to the petition," giving as an example the city of Carson, which is assisting with the development of thousands of affordable housing units.

Friday, April 1, 2022 in Times of San Diego

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