Preserve Local Control: Part 2

/Preserve Local Control: Part 2

Preserve Local Control: Part 2

Save Local Control in CA

Regardless of your party affiliation, local control is best for your community. Vote for candidates for CA State Assemblymen and Senate that will support local control.  I am such a candidate.

Some of the bills listed below may be a good idea in a particular local jurisdiction, e.g. cities and counties, but a horrible idea in another.  The large number of CA State Legislative bills currently floating about removes local decision making authority in an unprecedented manner, especially in city planning and zoning. The CA State Legislature takes power from the local jurisdictions and gives it to themselves in Sacramento.

After my first post on loss of local control focusing on SB 827, a number of Democratic and Republican city council members in Assembly District 24 spoke to me about their concern of the CA legislature ruining their cities by taking control from their local governments. One Democratic council person in a large city in Assembly District 24 said that the Democratic party gave crazy answers to simple questions. This council person was concerned that the State Legislature would drive out the middle class and turn the Silicon Valley into a Detroit like environment. (Remember East Palo Alto during the crack cocaine wars.)  Some of those city council members, drafted an open letter which I support and appears in another post. Open Letter

If a city does not meet the States goals for housing under the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, it becomes subject to SB.  “Cities that “don’t make their RHNA numbers” are subject to SB-35 which is State Senator Scott Wiener’s law to “streamline” approval of building companies’ housing construction plans.” (See “Ridiculous Reena”)  We need to let builders build by removing state regulations, not by knee capping cities ability to zone their cities and neighborhood. We should repeal SB-35.  As a Design Review Commissioner in Los Altos, I understand how much people want to preserve and keep their neighborhoods safe. To remove control from their elected officials is wrong.  Local communities can find much better solutions that are unique to their area than “Sledgehammer Sacramento” can.  For additional information on the egregious affront to local control that is SB-35, you can read the details at

Simply, the CA Legislature has introduced a large number of bills in an attempt to supersede local control of governance, much of it in zoning and building, with its approvals of a top down, one size fits all legislation (sledge hammer approach) that has profound negative impacts on cities, counties, and other local jurisdictions. The following is a partial list of legislation, most of which the authors have vowed to bring back after the election.  The URL is given so that you can read the full description for yourself.  The summary is meant to entice you to understand the bill.

AB 2372         Planning and zoning: density bonus: floor area ratio bonus.

SUMMARY:  Allows builders to bypass significant aspects of local zoning if they include some low income housing or make a donation of land.

STATUS:        Ordered to third reading

AB 2753         Density bonuses: density bonus application.          Ordered to third reading

SUMMARY:  Allows builders to bypass significant aspects of local zoning if they include some low income housing or make a donation of land.

STATUS:        Ordered to third reading

AB 3194         Housing Accountability Act: project approval.    

SUMMARY:  Prohibits a local agency from disapproving, or conditioning approval in a manner that renders infeasible, a low income housing development project unless safety issues is involved.  Only state can make that choice.

STATUS:        In Assembly

SB 828            Land Use: housing element.

SUMMARY:  Requires regional plans that could makes an already crowded city responsible for approving additional housing even when they did not increase the number of jobs in their city but other cities in the region did so and benefitted accordingly.

STATUS:        To Assembly Appropriations Committee

SB 961            Enhanced infrastructure financing districts.        

SUMMARY:   SB 961 provides the option for districts to issues bonds against future sales and property tax increments without voter approval.  Intended to get money to high density coastal cities (LA and SF) for more transit.

STATUS:        To Assembly Appropriations Committee

SB 827           Planning and zoning: transit-rich housing bonus. 

SUMMARY:  SB 827 requires that a city or county must accept 90 foot tall building with ½ mile of transit hub or ¼ of busy transit corridor.  Some cities could be ¾ mid-rise apartment buildings, similar to Manhattan.  Removes significant local control over zoning and planning.

STATUS: Rejected: but will return.

SB 649            Wireless Telecommunications Facilities    

SUMMARY:  SM 649  Allows cities to tax cell towers with two types of annual fees and a one time charge.

STATUS:       Brown vetoed: but will return.

Regardless of your party affiliation, vote for Dr. Alex Glew for Assembly District 24 so that I can work to preserve local control for your community.  Take back California one city and county at a time.

Legislator with sledgehammer banging local jurisdiction into the ground

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