Californians Fighting Back Against SB 9

    The new law has many homeowners concerned for their neighborhoods and cities.

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    Californians across the state are pushing back against SB 9, a bill that will allow developers to build duplexes and even fourplexes on properties that are zoned as single family. 

    The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Newsom in October and went into effect Jan. 1, has many residents worried that their nice neighborhoods will soon be taken over by backyard housing, leading to an increase in overcrowding, parking, and more. 

    Cities are technically not allowed to deny the “by right” that the law gives, though many are still fighting with lawsuits and adding their own technicalities in an attempt to stop development in their respective jurisdictions.

    So far, more than 240 California cities have opposed the law, sending a strong letter to Newsom to veto the bill in September, which he did not, though many of those same cities are still fighting against the law. 

    One of those cities is Orange, whose city council passed an emergency ordinance in December that attempts to lessen the impacts of SB 9 on its single family neighborhoods as well as “preserve neighborhood character and privacy to adjacent properties.”

    Some of the actions the ordinance includes is requiring one garage parking spot per unit, establishing a minimum use of open space, and the property owner must live in one of the units for at least three years. Additionally, the city will require impact fees to be paid, fire codes to be met, and utilities to be metered separately. 

    Temple City, which is located in Los Angeles County, also passed an ordinance in December that will require more than 30 development and design standards to be met before developers can add duplexes under the new law. 

    “What we’re trying to do here is to mitigate the impact of what we believe is a ridiculous state law,” said councilmember Tom Chavez during a Dec. 21 city council meeting according to CalMatters, saying the state may push back. 

    One of the items Temple City’s ordinance requires is getting rid of their garage and driveway prior to receiving a building permit. Residents who live in the newly built unit will also be banned from parking on the street. All new buildings will be required to meet the highest level of LEED certification, often used in high end buildings. 

    SoCal Daily Pulse

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