Watch out, planning process – big State Government is coming for you. Jerry Brown has proposed legislation that would make developments with certain percentages of below market rate housing approved “by right” – as in, no months of public meetings, no hours long planning commission hearing, no years long process. Projects would still have to respect zoning and density restrictions, but certain permits and reviews could no longer be required.
People who dislike the local bureaucracy might jump at that prospect, but it does indicate that as long as certain requirements are fulfilled, the thing (no matter how ugly or disruptive or one-size-fits-all or poorly engineered you may think it is) can and will be built – yes, in your backyard.
The measure is aimed addressing the outrageous cost of housing in California by ramping up production statewide. But then there’s that persistent question that needs to be contended with: Is production alone the answer to our housing problems? Experimental Geography blogger Eric Fischer took an in depth look at why housing is so damn expensive and concludes, more or less, that going back to the “good old days” is highly unlikely but building some 5,700 units a year would stabilize prices.
He also notes that income inequality makes the problem much more serious and is not something that will simply be magicked away by supply and demand: “It is a serious problem that the 5th percentile income is 10% of the median income while the 5th percentile rent is still 45% of the median rent, and it is a problem that housing construction alone can’t solve.” If you want to wade knee-deep into data, read the full piece… (more)
STOP AB 2501 The State “Density Bonus” Power Grab
Let the State Assembly members now how you feel about AB2501 by signing the following: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51380/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18782 It takes only a minute to send your voice directly to our state electeds.