[Originally posted on March 19, 2018, updated on April 11, 2018]

Building on the state’s major housing legislation from 2017, Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 827 proposes major increases in height and density for qualifying housing developments. A project would generally qualify if it is within either a 1/2 mile radius of a major transit stop or a 1/4 mile radius of a stop on a high-quality bus corridor, as defined in the bill. The legislation was introduced in January and was amended on March 1 and April 9, principally to address tenant relocation and inclusionary housing concerns and to extend the operative date of the bill to January 1, 2021 (with a potential one-time one-year extension) to address timing concerns raised by San Francisco and other local jurisdictions. For qualifying sites, permitted heights would be at least 45 to 55 feet (originally, 45 to 85 feet), regardless of local height limits, unless the height increase would result in a specific, adverse impact, as defined in the bill. Major areas of the state, including large portions of several of its largest cities, would be affected.

Continue Reading Land Use Showdown: Battle Lines Are Drawn in SB 827 Housing Density and Height Debate

california-state-flagWe reported in December that State Senator Scott Wiener marked his first day in state office by introducing legislation (SB 35) to address barriers to housing production. Senator Wiener has introduced amendments to SB 35 that would create a streamlined, ministerial (i.e., not triggering CEQA) approval process for certain infill projects in localities that (1) fall short on regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) production goals, or (2) fail to provide annual housing production reports to the State for two consecutive years before the infill project’s application. SB 35 has been passed by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, and is now before the Governance and Finance Committee for further consideration.

Continue Reading Wiener’s Streamlined Infill Housing Approvals Legislation Continues to Move Forward