May 27, 2022 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Opinion: SB 9, 10: The Rebellion Begins

By Tom Elias, Columnist

It was inevitable from the moment Gov. Gavin Newsom in mid-September signed this year’s two most important housing bills into law: There will be a rebellion.

Not only did poll numbers make this obvious – about two-thirds of Californians opposed the extreme densifying measures SB 9 and SB 10 before Newsom signed them – but so did the fact that backers deliberately obscured key parts of these bills.

Now their opponents aim to nullify these two measures that would take almost all zoning decisions away from city councils and county boards and essentially place them in the hands of Wall Street investors and developers with big bankrolls.

They plan to do this via a ballot initiative now in the final stages of getting its ballot summary and official name, a job done by the office of state Attorney General Rob Bonta. Bonta, a Newsom appointee and a supporter of SB 9 and 10 while a legislator, has said nothing about the proposed initiative, whose advocates so far call it “Stop the Sacramento Land Grab.”

Should Bonta give the initiative a misleading name or summary, he would be subject to lawsuits, which have previously forced changes in titles and summaries. So there’s pressure on the attorney general to get it right. Once these formal tasks are done, backers led by a group called Californians for Community Planning will have 180 days to gather the 1.3 million-odd valid voter signatures needed to place it on the ballot.

The initiative represents a change in tactics for opponents of legislative proposals that have passed and been signed into law despite public outrage. Usually, those wanting to get rid of a new law they see as destructive use referenda that simply cancel the new law when they succeed.

But this measure aims to do much more. It seeks to prevent legislators from ever again passing anything like SB 9 and SB 10.

SB 9 would allow almost all single family properties to be cut in half, with both new parcels eligible for two new housing units, plus an “additional housing unit,” or “granny flat.” So where there is now one home, there could soon be six. There is no limit on how many such conversions could occur in any neighborhood.

This was sold in the Legislature as a way for homeowners to get rich quick, since the potential total revenue from their properties could be much higher now than from selling a single house. But then there’s the obscured part of SB 9: To do a subdivision, a property owner must first pay off any loans on the parcel. Anyone unable to pay off his or her mortgage can’t do this. But they can sell to massive real estate buyers like Zillow and Wall Street banks, which have lately gobbled up thousands of California properties while anticipating something like SB 9.

All over California, this could disfigure neighborhoods by making them unrecognizably dense, especially since there’s no requirement for new parking in any of these new structures. It’s much the same with SB 10, which cancels all pre-existing local land-use initiatives and laws and demands that all properties within half a mile of a rapid transit stop or major bus route be opened for buildings with up to 10 units.

Despite the claims of proponents that such measures could not be applied in wildfire areas, they are not excluded. Meanwhile, neither SB 9 nor SB 10 mandates any affordable housing.

So there is fear of gentrification in some places and a dread of overbuilding in many other neighborhoods.

Say the sponsors of Stop the Sacramento Land Grab, “Sacramento politicians (many elected with donations from developers) and special interests are incentivizing over-development of market-rate housing, without…emphasis on creating more affordable housing or mixed-income communities.”

So it’s no wonder there’s a rebellion. Few Californians ever expected this state eventually to copy New York’s density, which the current new laws aim to do.

That’s why this proposed initiative looks like it can’t miss. For the vast majority of Californians aspire to single-family housing even if they can’t afford it now. Which means the current laws would destroy much of the California Dream. That’s why they ought to be nullified, as the new initiative would do.

Email Thomas Elias at tdelias@aol.com. His book, “The Burzynski Breakthrough, The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It” is now available in a soft cover fourth edition. For more Elias columns, visit www.californiafocus.net.

Related Posts

​​Doubt Removed: Oil Refiners Gouging Us

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist There was some room for doubt back in February, when gasoline prices rose precipitously: Until the...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

Large Mixed Use Project Approved Near La Cienega Jefferson Station Metro Stop

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Development would include 227,000 square feet of office space along with retail By Dolores Quintana The Los Angeles City Planning...

Is the Big Housing Crunch Mostly Fiction?

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist In some parts of California, there is definitely a housing crunch: small supplies of homes for...

Next Mayor of Los Angeles: Why Steve Soboroff Endorses Karen Bass

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By  Steve Soboroff I have lived in Los Angeles for more than fifty years, and other than for Dick Riordan,...

New Seven Story Mixed-Use Complex In Palms Has Moved Into The Next Phase Of Construction

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Building will have 68 units of residential housing.  By Dolores Quintana At 3659 S. Motor Avenue in Palms, wood framing...

New Four-Story Residential Structure Has Begun Construction In Mar Vista

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Structure will be located at National and Federal. By Dolores Quintana Harpco Construction announced that construction has begun in Mar...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...

Column: CD-11 Candidates Darling & Good Equal an Even More Dangerous Path on Homelessness Than Mike Bonin!

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Just when you thought things could get better, two Mike Bonin “clones” in CD-11 council hopefuls Erin...

Mar Vista Getting Small Home Development

May 8, 2022

May 8, 2022

Barrington 10 will boat 10 homes between 1,700 and 2,200 square feet By Dolores Quintana Mar Vista will also be...

Bonin Pushes for Affordable Housing to Disability Community Resource Center’s Mar Vista Offices

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

Plan would demolish current building on Venice Boulevard and rebuild with housing By Dolores Quintana The Disability Community Resource Center...

LA Considering Emblem Program to License Cannabis Stores

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

Program would help Angelenos distinguish between licensed and unlicensed cannabis vendors and safe cannabis products By Dolores Quintana Members of...

Column: Cities Fight to Maintain Distinctive Characters

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist Anyone who knows California well will realize that Palo Alto does not look much like nearby...

Column: Rick Caruso On Taxes, Just Like Trump?

May 3, 2022

May 3, 2022

By Nick Antonicello In a press conference held Monday in Marina Del Rey, L.A. City Attorney & Mayoral Candidate Mike...

61 Units of Affordable Housing Planned for Sawtelle

April 30, 2022

April 30, 2022

Six-story Iris Apartments expected to be complete by 2024 By Dolores Quintana Sawtelle will be the site of a new...