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.

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SB 9 went into effect on Jan. 1, San Jose has only seen one SB 9 application, and that application has been either withdrawn or is not completed,” according to City Councilmember David Cohen.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.

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