The push for high-density housing from Sacramento legislation and The Housing Element mandates are raising huge concerns today. Our neighbors are angry and beginning to engage! There are huge changes coming to our cities and it benefits us all to engage now and ensure that we do the right thing.
I have always been a proponent of managed growth - Yes, we need housing, but I have pushed for an approach that is pragmatic and based on the foundation of a proper urban plan. By contrast, Sacramento’s plan will hand a blank check to the real-estate developers.
A tax increase(s) is the unfortunate reality we are facing. The push for housing without an infrastructure plan will impose inordinate pressure upon every city to increase taxes to fund the infrastructure gap. Therefore, city governments will be tremendously pressured to raise taxes once the build-out (and up) of your city occurs over the next few years.
As you know, the Housing Element’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is a state-wide housing mandate from California's Department of Housing and Community Development. The 2022 RHNA housing numbers are exponentially higher than what has been allocated in the past - thanks to SB-828. As a result, high-density housing sites are being proposed in every city. Many cities and communities are reeling under this housing pressure and are fearful of its impacts that will be felt for decades to come. The land developers will make a fortune and our cities will cease to be what they are today. The RHNA housing units allocated to your city include categories such as very low income, low income, moderate income, and above moderate income housing. It is also an environmental disaster. Sacramento’s housing policy is relying on supply and demand to create more housing in the hope of driving prices down - but that has never worked anywhere. The legislative bills from Sacramento like SB-9 and SB-10 are also pushing high-density housing all over California - and there are more coming. Based on the push that is coming from Sacramento, there is only assurance - there is none! All bets are off, and every commercial or residential property can be in scope for development! Sacramento's approach has failed to adequately address the creation of more affordable housing or fix the systemic challenges that have led to today’s exodus from California.
The Housing Element’s inflated* housing goals, i.e RHNA numbers, has been rigged for cities to fail and for developers to make money. Yes, setup for failure thanks to politicians who have sold out to the real-estate industry as the op-ed points out. Once a city fails to attain their RHNA numbers, SB-35 is triggered; essentially triggered by developers failing to pull building permits. If building permits are not pulled, cities are blamed. But a city government is not in the business of building housing as we all know. The city hands out permits and mostly cities do not like to reject permit requests. If developers don’t pull permits, then developers circumvent the city council (as per the definition of SB-35) and go through a ministerial approval a.k.a rubber-stamping approval without public hearing. The developers get a free rein over the city.
Do you see what is happening here? RHNA calculations are not meant to be scientific and accurate; it is geared to ensure that its corporate members make money. The inflated housing goals in SB 828 has set cities up for failure and for developers to rake it in!
Please stay vigilant and involved. Communicate with your neighbors. Now is the time!
I will do all I can to ensure that we make the best choice for you and your neighborhood with the above agenda. As part of the pushback, I am supporting the push for a state-wide 2022 ballot measure to ensure that local ordinances are NEVER preempted. Additionally, I am inviting elected leaders from 21 counties via the Managed Growth group to get involved. I am also leading efforts to get signatures for this petition locally that will be submitted to the California Secretary of State to place the ballot measure on the Nov. 2022 ballot. Polling indicates about 70% of Californians are against the preempting of local control that Sacramento’s laws are pushing for. The petition will need 1.5 million signatures by April 2022 to qualify. If this ballot measure is passed, local housing laws will prevail, and prior bills like SB-35, SB-9, SB-10 will become null and void, marking the end of the blank check to land developers by our politicians.
Here are a few interesting articles that are a must read if you are puzzled by this housing push.