top of page

Take Back Local Control of our Neighborhoods in California

We need 1.5 million signatures to get the State Initiative 21-0016 for the November 2022 Ballot

Take Back Local Control of our Neighborhoods in California

I think we all know that there has been a lot of new housing legislation coming down from Sacramento is the last few years. Almost without exception, these bills have been intended to tie the hands of local governments. They require that building projects be approved even though they may violate local zoning standards.

Two of the most egregious bills are SB 9 and 10which went into effect this month. Many people have said these bills will end single-family zoning in California. And that seems to be the intent as the authors have gone on record as saying that single-family homes are immoral and that houses with yards are immoral.

SB 9 allows almost any lot to be split in half and 4 – 8 dwelling units be built in place of the single-family home that was there. This bill reduces required setbacks to only 4 feet. It eliminates any environmental review. So, mature trees can be removed and the ground can be paved over without any restrictions. No parking is required. So, we will find our streets lined with parked cars.

SB 10 allows a City Council to approve buildings of up to 10 units of arbitrary height on any lot in the city. Again, with 4-foot setbacks, no parking, and no environmental review. This is regardless of local zoning restrictions or, even, citizen-approved open space initiatives.

Why would a city council approve a 10-unit condo building in the middle of a single-family neighborhood? Because they will feel they have no choice.

All our cities have their RHNA numbers now. These are housing mandates passed down from Sacramento. Cities are required to zone for a certain number of housing units at various income levels from “very low” to “above moderate” to be built by 2030.

The problem is that these mandates are 2 and 3 times the requirements in the last cycle. For example, Monte Sereno was required to build 61 units in the last 8-year cycle. This time the requirement is 193 units.

But there is hope. There is a group called Our Neighborhood Voices that is working all over the State to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would clarify that, in most cases, local zoning overrides mandates from Sacramento. We need 1.5 million signatures to get this initiative on the ballot. Today, I am collecting signatures to help with this effort. I hope you will all sign this petition.

If you are a Santa Clara County resident, come to any of these signing events:

February 4, 2022, Friday,        10:00am - 1:00pm

February 4, 2022,  Saturday,    1:00pm - 3:00pm

February 6, 2022,  Sunday,        1:00pm - 3:00pm

Where:  1034 Parma Way, Los Altos, California


bottom of page