Gavin Newsom’s housing lawsuit put 47 California cities on notice. Is yours on the list?

 By Bryan Anderson and Madeline Ashmun : sacbee – excerpt (includes map)

Newsom-Fights.jpg

Sue you, and you, and you! by SF Blue Comics

In his State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged the state’s housing problem. While he doesn’t intend to sue all of the cities for their failures to meet their housing obligations, he vowed to hold them all accountable.

Encinitas is just the kind of place Gavin Newsom might want to sue.

A local voter-approved initiative from 2013 makes planning for affordable homes nearly impossible, preventing the wealthy city of 60,000 from complying with a state law that requires local governments to build more housing.

The city has already spent $3.5 million in the last few years fighting a pair of housing-related lawsuits. The bill could climb if Newsom follows through on a threat to hold local governments accountable to the state housing law.

“I don’t feel proud to be the mayor of a city that is in the midst of costing millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Catherine Blakespear, the city’s mayor. “I want to free up some of our planning ability to talk about other issues. This housing (issue) dominates everything that we talk about.”

Encinitas of San Diego County is one of 47 California cities under scrutiny by the Newsom administration for not complying with a state law that requires them to plan for the construction of affordable housing. Newsom’s administration recently sued Huntington Beach for not keeping up with its housing promises, alarming other local governments… (more)

City Attorney Outlines Impacts on Santa Barbara of State Housing Legislation

By Giana Magnoli : noozhawk – excerpt

With laws ‘basically designed to strip local control,’ city planners are working to create objective design standards for development projects.

Santa Barbara city planners will spend the next year creating objective design standards for development projects in response to the package of state housing legislation that then-Gov. Jerry Brown approved for California in 2017.

Assistant City Attorney Tava Ostrenger presented a breakdown of the legislation’s local impact to the Planning Commission on Thursday and said it was “basically designed to strip local control.”

The intent of the legislation is to boost housing development and affordability, streamline development, and increase accountability and enforcement of cities’ and counties’ housing goals… (more)

A Judge Considers Stepping in After Encinitas Failed – Again – to Pass a Housing Plan

By Jesse Marx : voiceofsandiego – exerpt

Much of coastal California is opposed to dense development. But opposition in Encinitas has reached unprecedented heights, testing the limits of local control while a statewide housing crisis unfolds.

A San Diego County Superior judge sounded open Tuesday to suspending an Encinitas law giving locals final say over major land-use changes. That law is one reason the city has for years been unable to write a housing plan that satisfies state regulators.

Last week, Encinitas residents rejected Measure U, a ballot measure — the second in two years — that would have allowed officials to update their housing plan for the first time since 1992. California mandates that cities accommodate their fair share of regional housing needs, and that includes making way for more low-income options… (more)

 

 

Mayor Brand to CA Legislature: Instead of Simplistic Supply Side SB827, Give Cities Resources

By Mayor Bill Brand : planningreport – excerpt

“We want to pass a statewide citizen-led initiative that amends the state constitution to protect local zoning and land-use regulations.” – Mayor Bill Brand

In reaction to legislation threatening to usurp local control of housing and land-use policy by the state, mayors and local officials are mobilizing to enshrine their decision-making jurisdiction in the California Constitution. Redondo Beach—one of the top 25 densest cities in Southern California—is one of those cities.  With a housing density greater that SF, it has supported investment in transportation infrastructure and new job creation, but has been critical of new development mandates. Mayor Bill Brand, in this TPR interview, opines on the current housing policy dialogue in California in the wake of SB 827 demise. Brand, who previously was elected to the Redondo Beach City Council on a slow-growth platform, is clear in his sentiment that state legislation relying on upzoning R1 neighborhoods is a patently “absurd” approach to generating more affordable housing supply in our lifetimes…

 

Bill Brand: The state’s current effort is a giant overreach that goes far beyond where they should be going…

Over 90 percent of people in Redondo Beach leave the city to go to work. We have the housing; what we really need are more job centers…

Some of the bills coming out of Sacramento would exacerbate the problems we have here. And that’s a common theme I’m hearing from other local elected officials: that many recent state bills are out of touch with the complex land-use decisions we have to make. We feel like Sacramento dial turning is exacerbating complex local problems that require local solutions, and we are strongly opposed to it…

That’s another issue we have with the bills coming down from Sacramento. If residential density paid, we’d be a very rich community. As it turns out, we’re not, because it’s really commercial that pays, and that’s what we lack.

One of the consequences of Prop 13 is that cities look to attract successful commercial and hotel. Still, I remember when it was passed—and why. I think a lot of people have forgotten that older people were being forced out of their homes. The state was coming in with big reassessments, and people’s property tax bills were going up. It was creating a tremendous amount of uncertainty and hardship around the state.

Prop 13 was created to serve a purpose. While it created other challenges, I do think Prop 13 fixed a bigger problem, and that if we tried to repeal it, we would probably end up right back where we were… (more)

It is good to hear from other communities in the state that do not have the problems we have in the Bay Area to get a different on our own situation. This is most enlightening.

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