Finally, California Gets A Meaningful Housing Bill

California State Senator Scott Wiener just introduced the bill I’ve probably been waiting for since I started following land use and transit in California over a decade-and-a-half ago. SB 827 would dramatically scale back local government restrictions on housing near major transit stops (see the fact sheet PDF). These restrictions by local governments have prevented new housing from being built in precisely the job- and transit-rich locations where we need housing the most. They’ve also prevented transit from performing well, in terms of greater ridership and reduced public subsidies, as light rail lines like Expo in Los Angeles serve neighborhoods that don’t allow anything but a single-family, detached home to be built. Overall, the effect on housing supply from these exclusionary zoning policies has caused severe environmental degradation in the state by encouraging more sprawl and traffic. And it’s caused an economic crisis of unaffordable homes and…

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