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Opposition Builds to Housing Bills SB9 and 10

August 12, 2021

Dear Editor,

Kevin Faulconer just announced that if elected governor in the September 14 recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, he will veto Senate Bills 9 and 10.

During a recent debate Faulconer took aim at the priority of state YIMBY groups; “When we see some of these pieces of legislation that want to eliminate single-family zoning in California, that’s wrong,” Faulconer said.

And then there's the new poll of Californians conducted by former Obama campaign pollster David Binder that found 71 percent are opposed to SB 9, and 75 percent oppose SB 10. (The poll was commissioned by Housing Is a Human Right).

Suddenly Senate Bills 9 and 10 are in the news, which is a good thing given how little genuine media coverage has been given to these dangerous instruments of real estate speculators and their cheerleader Sen. Scott Wiener.

The two bills have already passed in the Senate. In mid-August members of the Assembly will return from summer recess and it will be their turn to vote.

Both bills are opposed by hundreds of California city council members –- including Santa Monica City Council ("New Council Breaks With Past Housing Policies," February 10, 2021).

Critics of SB9 and 10 range from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to the Planning and Conservation League.

A Statewide Town Hall held last week drew more than 1,100 people from across the state who have been working for the past year through social media and neighborhood networks to urge legislators to vote NO on SB9 and SB10.

SB 9 will end single-family zoning almost everywhere in California, from small towns to dense cities, letting developers build market-rate projects of 6 units where one home stands. There is no evidence to support claims that the new, denser housing will be affordable.

SB 10 lets nearly every city council in California override the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and voter initiatives.

Developers will be permitted to build 14-unit projects almost everywhere, from single-family streets in tiny Avalon to crowded West Hollywood.

Together SB 9 and 10 threaten to give developers carte blanche to destroy millions of back yards, gardens and shade trees; build unbridled density in burn areas; bulldoze historic buildings.

All these developer opportunities will be possible without any funding to mitigate the impacts on water, evacuation routes, power, sewage lines, transit and schools.

Now is the time to act. If SB9 and 10 become the law across California, our neighborhoods will never be the same.

Tricia Crane
Santa Monica

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