On Tuesday, California State Senator Scott Wiener is reintroducing legislation to encourage high density housing development around transit and job centers. This is Wiener’s third attempt to pass a version of the bill.
It was originally proposed as SB 827 in January 2018 to allow upzoned building heights within a half mile of fixed rail stops and (and a quarter mile of high frequency bus stops) to ostensibly alleviate the state’s housing affordability crisis. The bill faced opposition from both city leaders and anti-gentrification activists, and was amended with somewhat shorter building heights as well as protections for tenants and existing nearby buildings; but it was still knocked down six to four in the state Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee in April 2018.
In January 2019, Wiener brought it back as SB 50, with the addition of upzoning around job centers and the allowance for four-plex zoning in houses. After the bill received bipartisan support in two Senate committee hearings, Senator Anthony Portentino (Democrat of La Cañada Flintridge and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee) used a pocket veto to turn SB 50 into a two year bill, postponing it for the next legislative session in January 2020. It now has until January 31st to pass in the Senate before going on to the Assembly.
Today on AirTalk, we look at what the tripping points were of past incarnations of the bill, and what Sen. Wiener has adjusted to try to get it through this time.
This segment is being updated
Scott Wiener, California State Senator representing Senate District 11, which includes all of the city and county of San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City and part of South San Francisco; he introduced and co-authored SB 50; he tweets @scott_wiener
John Mirisch, Mayor of Beverly Hills