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California SB 9, SB 10, and SB 8 – Did Governor Gavin Newsom Just Abolish Most Single-Family Zoning in California?!

California SB 9, SB 10, and SB 8 – Did Governor Gavin Newsom Just Abolish Most Single-Family Zoning in California?!

In one of his first actions, after surviving an election to oust him from office, Governor Gavin Newsom, on Thursday, essentially abolished single-family zoning in California and green-lighted a series of bills aimed to bolster the production of housing here in the state. By signing Senate bill number nine into law, Newsom opened the door for the development of up to four housing units on a single-family lot. The move follows a push by local governments to allow multi-family dwellings in more single-family neighborhoods.

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California Senate Bill 9 (SB 9)
The first part, the SB 9: Basics. Here they are. A property must meet certain criteria under SB 9 before it can be developed into multifamily housing. It must be large enough, for example, and the owner must live there for the last three years before splitting the property. A study by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation found that this new bill is likely to add 700,000 new housing units in California.

California Senate Bill 10 (SB 10)
In the second part, let’s look at SB 10. Newsome on Thursday also signed SB number 10, creating a process that lets local governments streamline multifamily development projects up to 10 units near transit centers or urban centers. The new legislation also simplifies zoning requirements under the California Environmental Zoning Act, which developers have been complaining it’s been bogging down the process for years. SB 10 provides one more important approach, and that is it makes it easier and faster for cities and local governments to zone for more housing. It shouldn’t take five to 10 years for cities to do the rezoning. And SB 10 now provides a powerful tool to get the job done.

California Senate Bill 8 (SB 8)
Third point, SB 8. Newsome also signed SB 8, which extends the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. The Act which speeds up the approval for housing projects curtails local governments to restrict or reduce the number of housing units allowed on a site and limits housing application fee hikes, which are due to expire in 2025, now extending them to 2030.

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