State Senate Approves Bills Allowing Four Units on a Single-Family Lot

By: 
Bill Pearl

The State Senate on May 26 voted 28-6 to approve SB 9 that would (except for historic districts as it defines them) require cities to allow four housing units on single family lots.

SB 9 would require a city or county to grant “ministerial” (City Clerk) check list type approval to either or both of the following:

A housing development of no more than two units (duplex) in a single-family zone.

The subdivision of a parcel zoned for residential use, into two approximately equal parcels (lot split).

SB 9 also prohibits cities from applying parking requirements if the split/subdivided parcel is within a half mile walking distance of either a “high-quality transit corridor or a major transit stop,” or if there is a car share vehicle located within a block of the parcel.

The bill’s definition of “historic district” is one “included on the State Historic Resources Inventory, as defined in Section 5020.1 of the Public Resources Code, or within a site that is designated or listed as a city or county landmark or historic property or district pursuant to a city or county ordinance.”

State Senator Lena Gonzalez (D, LB-S E LB) is a named co-author of SB 9 so as expected she voted “yes.” State Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB-west OC) also voted “yes” on the bill.

The state Senate action comes one day after the Long Beach City Council’s “State Legislation Committee” (Uranga, Austin, Richardson) received a presentation from city management’s government affairs staffer Tyler Curley, who didn’t mention the bill. The committee’s three members commended Curley for his presentation and likewise didn’t mention SB 9.

Corliss Lee of the Eastside Voice testified in the committee opposition to SB 9 and said she’d urged councilmembers for months to agendize the bill for council voted opposition. No committee member acknowledged her testimony.

Khalil Gharios of the Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association submitted written testimony in opposition to SB 9. No committee member acknowledged his written testimony.

The council’s State Legislation Committee doesn’t plan to meet again until late July by which time SB 9 will have advanced to within barely a month from passage. SB 9 has to pass the Assembly (with State Senate approval of any Assembly amendments) by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Lee indicates the Eastside Voice plans to step up its opposition to SB 9 and her group will hold councilmembers who seek re-election or higher office accountable for their failure to oppose the bill.

Any council incumbent could have and still can agendize SB 9 for council voted action to support or oppose SB 9. None have done so although the bill has been pending since Dec. 7. 2020.

Bill Pearl publishes lbreport.com, an online, local news source since August 2000.

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