California recently passed three new laws that are expected to promote construction of more affordable housing and make the state’s built environment more sustainable.
Senate Bill 9 allows property owners to build duplexes or split their properties in areas with zoning ordinances designed to allow only a single-family dwelling per lot. These zoned areas comprise about two thirds of zoned land in the state.
Senate Bill 10 eliminates some obstacles for cities to change their zoning codes in urban areas with plenty of public transit. Such efforts will no longer have to go through the California Environmental Quality Act’s arduous review process.
Senate Bill 8 bolsters an existing law that prevents cities from using longstanding regulations to shut out new residents by blocking localities from imposing downzoning policies that allow fewer people in, and raising building permit fees. These laws are expected to foster denser growth that is believed to reduce an area’s carbon footprint.