Stop SB 592, a Community-Killing Experiment Upon an Entire State
Senate Bill 592 by Scott Wiener inflicts severe damage on low-income and moderate‐income renters and homeowners, making affordable housing impossible.
Just like Wiener’s SB 827 and SB 50, Senate Bill 592 hands vast powers to luxury developers to overrun communities with faceless inequitable luxury buildings.
Sb 592 is a” gut-and-amend” — a former bill about barbershops that Wiener changed to push his radical dream of installing faceless luxury towers statewide. Wiener is awash in developer money, and this bill is his third try.
SB 592 was “amended” to remove some of its controversial elements, but TK Chairman Chiu — a close Wiener ally — vowed to work privately with Wiener this summer to revive SB 592. We expect it to roar back NEXT WEEK.
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Here are SB 592’s Six Devastating Effects on our housing affordability crisis:
- If a city rejects a luxury housing project as too big or too tall, developers can push it through by arguing that such rulings aren’t “economically viable” for them. The state courts will be jammed with city vs. developer lawsuits.
- It exports Silicon Valley problems statewide: big dormitory-style luxury mini-unit projects will be allowed in residential areas. This is spot zoning on steroids and opens the door to broad destruction of affordable neighborhoods.
- The SF Planning Commission revealed that under SB 592, a developer could demolish a 1,200-sq-ft home to build a 5,000 sq. ft mansion as long as it contains a 400-sq. ft. mini-unit. No affordable units are required but mansions can grow.
- Luxury developers could ignore a city’s General Plan or zoning code, if the proposed building could be squeezed onto a parcel using a “variance” to override green setbacks, open space, height limits or other good planning.
- Standards for architectural, design, historic or other aesthetics would be banned, including those created to protect affordable housing or room in which to breathe.
The Housing Accountability Act, which lets developers sue for $10K per day if a city rejects a development, would be weaponized to let builders also sue cities who reject projects on single-family, granny flat or other low-density parcels.