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California law that ended single-family zoning is struck down by court

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California law that ended single-family zoning is struck down by court

The decision could lead to the state law being invalidated.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 10, 2024
Image by xiSerge from Pixabay
Image by xiSerge from Pixabay

A law ending single-family-home-only zoning in California was ruled unconstitutional by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.

The decision could lead to the law being invalidated in the state’s largest cities. The case stemmed from a lawsuit by five Southern California cities—Redondo Beach, Carson, Torrance, Whittier, and Del Mar —that contested SB 9. If the judge’s ruling is appealed and upheld, it would impact 121 “charter cities” including Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

The judge’s decision cited the law’s failure to mandate that any units constructed under SB 9 had to be set aside for low-income residents despite its stated intent for increasing access to “affordable housing,” a term that refers explicitly to housing restricted for low-income residents.

California lawmakers may rewrite the law to include a low-income housing mandate. To date, SB 9 has not led to significantly more housing construction, especially compared to a series of laws that have led to a notable increase in new ADUs.

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