California Makes Planning History, Resets the Housing Status Quo

The California Legislature this week approved a historic package of bills, including a bill that allows affordable housing on commercially zoned properties and another that removes parking requirements near transit.

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September 1, 2022, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


California State Capital

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“In a major win for California housing development advocates, state lawmakers signed off Monday on a series of reforms that supporters say could clear the way to build hundreds of thousands of of [sic] new homes statewide by significantly easing permitting requirements,” reports Lauren Hepler in a paywalled article for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Among the bills approved by the California legislature are two of particular interest to planners around the country: AB 2011 (along with SB6), which will allow by-right approval of affordable housing developments on all properties zoned for commercial development. According to an explainer post on AB 2011 by California YIMBY, AB 2011 will also allow by-right approval for mixed-income housing along commercial corridors, as long as the projects meet specified affordability, labor, and environmental criteria.

The second bill, AB 2097, would remove parking requirements for developments near transit. AB 2097 succeeded where a decade’s worth of attempts came up short, starting with AB 710 in 2011, and most recently just last year, with AB 1401.

Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking, wrote in favor of AB 2097 in an article published by Planetizen in July 2022. The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board also wrote in support of AB 2097 earlier this year.

More on the political debate surrounding these historic legislative acts are included in the source article below.

Monday, August 29, 2022 in San Francisco Chronicle

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