SB 50 is a Demolition Derby of Your Street, from San Diego to Long Beach, L.A. to San Francisco
State Sen. Scott Wiener’s radical Senate Bill 50 bans single-family zoning in most of California to let developers buy out and bulldoze working-class, middle-class and historic homes, replacing them with 10-unit luxury apartments, luxury four-plexes, or apartment towers up to 8-stories high.
Wiener’s reckless experiment on an entire state was put on hold last spring amidst massive opposition from Californians, but SB 50 will come roaring back in Wiener’s new campaign push in October or November of 2019. He wants approval by the California legislature and Gov. Newsom in early 2020.
- Tell legislators NOW to kill SB 50 [See Contact Legislators button below]. Wiener is obsessed & will never pull back.
- Wiener brags that SB 50 will be in 2020 despite opposition by tens of thousands of Californians.
- In August, Wiener recruited four statewide officials to cheerlead for SB 50: Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, State Controller Betty Yee, State Treasurer Fiona Ma and State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.
- Wiener and his allies have a good motivator: he’s mired in nearly $1 million from real estate interests.
- Los Angeles City planners says Wiener’s bill would affect 43% of that vast city, with profound consequences.
- In San Francisco, 96% of the city will lose its zoning protections to SB 50, and face annihilation.
- Wiener creates a new sham in SB 50, letting developers buy & demolish homes, preserving just one main wall — so they can claim it’s not a “demolition.”
- SB 50 turns developers into their own personal urban planners — they would pick and choose which community standards and environmental rules to follow or ignore, and cities can’t stop them.
- Trees and breathing room will be stamped out as buildings are built up to the sidewalks, fulfilling Wiener’s radical view that yards and single-family homes are “immoral.”
- Transit-Rich or Job-Rich: Neighborhoods near rail stops or exceptionally busy bus stops, as well as neighborhoods that lack transit but are near shopping, business districts, universities and other jobs. Developers can ignore city zoning, buy out the homeowner next door to you and erect a 4- to 8-story housing tower.
- Sensitive Communities: Diverse neighborhoods get a 6-year “reprieve” from SB 50. But then they’re forced by Wiener to rewrite their Community Plans, doing away with their own single-family zoning to allow apartments right next to homes. If a Sensitive Community fails to obey Wiener’s 6-year deadline, SB 50 is imposed upon them.
- All Other Parcels: If you’re not in a doomed jobs-rich or transit-rich area, your single family neighborhood will still be up-zoned for luxury four-plexes on virtually every residential street in California.
- Rent-controlled or rent-stabilized buildings are very weakly “protected.” Renters are protected if the building has official rental history records — but very few cities keep, or even have the ability to keep, detailed rental histories.
- Coastal towns with less than 50,000 people, located in counties of less than 600,000 people, are exempt from SB 50 (also called the Marin County exemption).
- Very high fire hazard severity zones, except communities with fire mitigation plans in place, are exempt.
- State and nationally protected historic parcels, and historic buildings in historic districts officially established before 2010, are exempt.
- Land that doesn’t allow any form of housing is exempt from SB 50.
Bob Hertzberg, the respected California Senate Majority Leader, opposes SB 50 and calls the plan full of “unintended consequences.” The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco — Scott Wiener’s own hometown — have taken opposition votes against it, as have scores of other cities, numerous social justice groups and the L.A. County Democratic Party.