David Mendez

Redondo Council to oppose Senate housing dev. bills

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by David Mendez

The Redondo Beach City Council unanimously decided to stand against two proposed legislative bills that would preempt local controls on housing development restrictions along major transit corridors, as well double existing housing development targets.

“What’s going on in Sacramento is a further erosion of local control over land-use in our own town,” Mayor Bill Brand said.

Senate Bill 827, proposed by State Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco, would encourage housing development along major transit corridors, such as Pacific Coast Highway.

To do so, it would authorize residential unit bonuses to “transit-rich housing projects” – projects within a half-mile of major transit stops. Stretches of Pacific Coast Highway throughout Redondo Beach would qualify, thanks to bus frequency during peak hours. It would also exempt projects from locally-zoned height limitations.

Senate Bill 828, also proposed by Wiener, would revise the state’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation process, which establishes housing development targets for cities. However, it contains a provision that would double existing housing allocations. In 2014, Redondo was allocated expected development of 1,397 new housing units and is expected to reach that number by 2021.

Council opposition to the bills was unanimous. “Local land use should be under local control,” Brand said. “For the state to be taking this broad brush and taking everything over is, in my view, a big, big overstep.”

“I think Senator Weiner is celebrating too much over his successes in last year’s legislative session,” Horvath said, referring to the 2017 passage of SB 35, which expedites affordable housing construction in cities not meeting RHNA targets. “This is a total overreach and not good for any city.”

Resident Eugene Solomon noted increases in housing supply have not led to dropping prices, citing Downtown Los Angeles as an example.

“People use NIMBY as a club, as though that’s the entire argument. What I’m against is SIMBY: ‘Stupid In My Back Yard,’” Solomon said. “Building a skyscraper on PCH, well, call me a SIMBY, because that’s stupid.”

The City Council unanimously passed a resolution to send a letter expressing opposition to the bills to Weiner. SBs 827 and 828 are currently awaiting Senate committee hearings.


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