In a meltdown Sacramento hasn’t seen in years, state Senate boss Toni Atkins’ gentrification and displacement bill, SB 1120, died early today — amidst shouting, legislators’ mics cut off by enemies and other self-inflicted wounds.
In the chaos, Atkins’ entire “housing package” died, as bills ran into a legal deadline of 12:01 am, Sept. 1.
SB 1120, an unprecedented gift to market-rate developers amidst the COVID-19 recession, died to cheers from critics watching a live video feed.
SB 1120 was peddled by its authors as a way for homeowners to build modest duplexes for grandma (see modest duplex above).
In fact, SB 1120 allowed four full-sized pricey homes where one stands now, by wiping out yards — and garages.
Backers said SB 1120 would let families split the yards from their homes, to build a small duplex and sell it.
Even the Los Angeles Times persists in claiming the bill just allows duplexes.
But last night, gutsy Assembly Democrats who opposed SB 1120 finally laid out the truth:
Assembly member Laura Friedman of Glendale, normally pro-developer, warned that the bill could allow Tejon Ranch — a controversial proposed town north of L.A. — to QUADRUPLE in size from 10,000 to 40,000 houses. This, without a hearing or environmental review, if the legislature approved SB 1120, which allows FOUR homes where one is now, no hearing, no review.
Assembly member Adrin Nazarian of Sherman Oaks said 10,000 houses in his San Fernando Valley area had been taken over by huge rental investors, and SB 1120 would encourage a massive new takeover wave — to build big luxury rentals.
Assembly member Sydney Kamlager said South LA would be ripped apart, and NO families would go into the subdivision business as claimed by the bill’s authors.
When the dust settled at 12:05 am this morning, SB 1120 wasn’t the only dead bill.
So was Atkins’ entire “housing package,” including bills like SB 995 and SB 1085, which failed to address the legislature’s defunding of affordable housing in 2012.
As Embarcadero Institute has shown, the legislature dragged back billions of dollars starting in 2012 that had long gone to the cities to build affordable housing.
Sacramento needs to fix what it did eight years ago when they crippled the state’s affordable housing supply.
Only a handful of meaningful housing bills were proposed in 2020.
Best was SB 1299 by Anthony Portantino, which would have repurposed idled big box stores as housing — and rewarded cities for doing so.
But SB 1299, too, went down in flames in this infamous week in Sacramento.