Livable California Endorses the “Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative”

Faced with difficulty gathering signatures during Covid, the statewide coalition pursuing the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative has informed us they are refocusing to place the initiative on the California ballot in 2024.

Sacramento has gone too far, driving up land values and housing prices at the worst time in modern history. We support our allies who created the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative. If approved by California voters in 2024, it ensures that local zoning and local land-use is decided locally. Not in Sacramento.

Learn more about the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative here.

The final straw for the diverse statewide group that authored this Initiative was SB 9, Sacramento’s decision to end single-family zoning, affecting 22 million Californians as of January, 2022. Yards are already being transformed into dense luxury housing that most of us can’t afford.

The Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative, if approved by voters in Nov. 2024, gives each city council the power to override state land-use and zoning laws by adopting approaches that actually serve local needs. (In the unincorporated areas, county boards of supervisors will be empowered to set local zoning and land-use law.)

The Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative is highly sensitive to environmental, equity and policy laws that protect us all. The Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative does not let cities or counties undo the broader laws such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Coastal Act, or Housing Element Law.

The Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative was created by a group of diverse, bipartisan city officials and community leaders who describe SB 9 and its cousin SB 10 as “Two damaging laws that essentially tell us to ‘sit down and shut up’ about what is happening right next door to our homes while developers demolish single-family homes and build multi-story, multi-unit projects.”

Below is the Official Title and Summary of the “Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative” as approved by the California Attorney General:

“Provides That Local Land-use And Zoning Laws Override Conflicting State Laws. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Provides that city and county land-use and zoning laws (including local housing laws) override all conflicting state laws, except in certain circumstances related to three areas of statewide concern: (1) the California Coastal Act of 1976; (2) siting of power plants; or (3) development of water, communication, or transportation infrastructure projects. Prevents state legislature and local legislative bodies from passing laws invalidating voter-approved local land-use or zoning initiatives. Prohibits state from changing, granting, or denying funding to local governments based on their implementation of this measure. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Fiscal effects of the measure depend on future decisions by the cities and counties and therefore are unknown. (21-0016A1.)

Download the complete and final text of the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative HERE.

Learn more at the initiative’s website HERE.