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High Density Housing - California SB 827 Causing Quite a Fuss

February 28, 2018

I once heard someone describe a legislator's job is to create, protect or take away opportunities for the populace by passing laws. California state Senator Scott Weiner has proposed a bill that, depending on what side of the debate you're on, does all three. CA SB 827 which is currently on the senate floor for debate, would require all areas within 1/2 mile of high frequency transit stop or 1/4 mile of bus or transit corridor to allow heights of 45 or 85 feet (4-8 stories). It would also waive minimum parking requirements. This state bill would supersede municipal zoning regulations that are currently in place (can you hear the uproar from cities as you're reading this?).

 

So what? This would dramatically upend the planning and building process, allowing an easier path to build the number of units we need to keep up with our strong demand for housing.  However, this type of plan could also significantly change the make up of our towns and cities. Below are maps of the areas that would be eligible for this type of building:

 

 Additionally, there are concerns that the development of land near the transit areas could displace current renters and more vulnerable members of the population. 

 

Here's an interesting read from Vox with one of the architects of the bill.

 

What are your thoughts on this bill or other efforts to make higher density housing a reality in California?

 

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