San Jose Declines To Join Lawsuit Against State Zoning Law

A San Jose City Council committee rejected a motion to join other cities in opposing Senate Bill 9, which permits lot subdivision in an effort to boost housing affordability.

Read Time: 2 minutes

May 10, 2022, 10:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Silicon Valley

Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock

San Jose will not be joining the group of California cities suing the state in an effort to stop Senate Bill 9, “which allows homeowners of single-family lots to divide their properties for development of two to four homes in an effort to increase the state’s housing stock,” and which many local leaders have called an unconstitutional attempt to preempt local control in zoning matters. As Jana Kadah reports in San Jose Spotlight, the city’s Rules and Open Government Committee failed to promote the motion by Councilmember Dev Davis, which called on the city to join a lawsuit brought by several other cities.

According to Davis, the “broad-brush, statewide zoning measure” would in fact prevent the city “from reaching its housing and development goals outlined in the 2040 Envision San Jose plan.” Other councilmembers disagreed, saying the bill may not have a meaningful effect on the city. “Since SB 9 went into effect on Jan. 1, San Jose has only seen one SB 9 application, and that application has been either withdrawn or is not completed,” according to City Councilmember David Cohen. Accordingly, “We don’t have enough information to know whether this will have any effect on the city and I do not think it’s time to be having a discussion about the effect.” Other councilmembers said they were not interested in participating in a lawsuit at this time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in San José Spotlight

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A tent covered in blue and black tarps sits on a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk with the white ziggurat-topped L.A. City Hall looming in the background

L.A. County Towns Clash Over Homelessness Policies

Local governments often come to different conclusions about how to address homelessness within their respective borders, but varying approaches only exacerbate the problem.

February 3 - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of mixed-use development with parks and stormwater retention on former Houston landfill site

A Mixed-Use Vision for Houston Landfill Site

A local nonprofit is urging the city to consider adding mixed-use development to the site, which city officials plan to turn into a stormwater detention facility.

February 3 - Urban Edge

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest in the country.

February 3 - Urban Milwaukee