Join us Nov. 27, two days after Thanksgiving, to discuss the challenge facing 500 California towns — rural, suburban and urban — who have only until Jan. 1 to set down SB 9 rules to soften the effect on 22 million Californians in single-family homes.

SB 9 gives builders by-right power to “upzone” more than 7 million R-1 properties to build four houses where one now sits. Few Californians know that their neighborhoods are now in the crosshairs. On desirable streets, demolition and construction could begin early in the New Year.

Urgency: If a builder gets an “over-the-counter” approval of an SB 9 density project after Jan. 1, but before a city manages to adopt an SB 9 Ordinance, that builder can ignore local standards and safeguards.

A good example of why local standards are crucial? A wealthy density advocate is urging people to open car-shares in their driveways, because under SB 9 builders don’t have to create parking for their 4-unit projects if the project is “within one block” of a car-share. Seriously, folks.

As of January 1, 2022, builders are allowed to:

… wipe out yards, garages and defensible space in all but the most remote single-family areas. Paradise, South Lake Tahoe, Idyllwild and Avalon are all swept into SB 9.

… ignore local density constraints on fire evacuation routes. SB 9 is blind to climate change that has turned California into North America’s most deadly firestorm region.

… turn any block of homes into a series of four-unit projects, as long as the builder skips over every other house on the block. A second builder can develop the homes in-between.

… destroy neighborhood tree canopies crucial to slowing climate change.

… claim an “intent” to live for 3 years in their project, a rule many cities can’t police.

We are little guys, operating on your donations, and up against very wealthy “trickle down” proponents. We would so appreciate your donation and we thank you so much!

Final thoughts:

Due to misreporting by the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and others, we fear that cities and unincorporated areas in fire severity zones believe the false advice by Terner Center, that cities can opt out of SB 9. They can’t. Terner has refused to correct its grave public disservice. Go here to determine if your address is in or near a fire severity zone.

On another front, we have endorsed the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative, an independent, voter-driven initiative aiming for the November 2022 state ballot. If you would like to get involved in the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative, start here.

If you have previously attended our teleconferences use your previously assigned zoom link. We resend those on Friday night for your convenience. Please don’t share your unique link. 

First-time attending? You must RSVP at this link. Questions about attending? Email us at: [email protected].

Livable California is a non-profit statewide group of community leaders, activists and local elected officials. We believe in local answers to the housing affordability crisis. Our robust fight requires trips to Sacramento & a lobbyist going toe-to-toe with power. Please donate generously to here.
Advocate for the empowerment of local governments to foster equitable, self-determined communities offering a path for all to a more livable California.
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