"Transit Village" housing in Montclair, CA.

Know Your Housing

The state legislature of California has passed a lot of housing bills you should know about. Here’s a short summary of the most important ones.

These laws parallel Measure G. They essentially take away local control over cities, neighborhoods, and housing. They will affect housing values, water usage, sanitation systems, traffic, parking, security and established city cultures. These laws could create crowded, unlivable residential neighborhoods and large city density, creating conditions for the spread of illnesses.

AB 1482 – Rent control

SB 330 – Limits all cities’ ability to impose new building standards that drive up construction costs. It will be effective from 2020-2025. Limits downzoning, or reducing the number of housing units that can be built in a particular space. This has been proactively adopted by Redlands City Council after the defeat of Measure G.

AB68 – Authorizes a local agency to provide, by ordinance, for the creation of accessory dwelling units in single family and multifamily residential zones. Deletes ordinances on lot coverage or requirements on minimum lot size and parking. This is the so called “Granny Flat Law.” Allows for 2 additional units on a lot.

AB 113 – Authorizes $331 million from the state’s General Fund to the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund. It is a planning and zoning law that requires a city to adopt a land use plan that has a housing element. The law requires that the Department of Housing and community Development determine if the housing element is in compliance with that law. If not, a judgment can be brought against that city. If in compliance, then that city is eligible for financial assistance and incentives. The Redlands General Plan has a Housing Element.

AB 2923 – Authorizes the BART board of supervisors to rezone and BART-owned land within a half-mile of a BART station to set the lowest permissible limit for height, density and floor area ratio and highest permissible parking minimums. Local jurisdictions must then adopt conforming zoning laws.

AB 1763 – Creates enhanced density bonus options, including a potential 80% increase in base density and unlimited density bonuses for qualifying projects within a half-mile of a major transit stop. This bill has relevance to Redlands and the planned “transit villages.”

Density Bonus: provides an increase in allowed dwelling units per acre, floor area ratio or height

AB671 – Requires local governments to include in their housing plans to incentivize and promote the creation of affordable ADUs (additional dwelling units).

*SB 50 – Gives cities and counties two years to develop plans to boost development in their communities before state mandates for greater housing density takes effect. It would allow mid-rise apartment complexes near transit and fourplexes in single-family neighborhoods. This law would force cities to relax housing laws to allow for apartments where only single family homes are currently permitted. Note: * SB 50 did not pass. However, State Senator Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco) is working on similar bills, such as SB 902, that would allow triplex or fourplex projects on existing residential land.