Berkeley considers ending single-family zoning
The Mercury News – February 12
Berkeley was the first city in the nation to introduce “exclusionary zoning” in the early 1900s, and now it could be one of the first cities in the state to consider undoing it. The new legislation, introduced by Vice Mayor Lori Droste, would forbid single-family zoned areas and allow more of what she called the “missing middle” housing: apartments, duplexes, or triplexes. San Jose is also considering a similar plan to eliminate single-family zoning and will decide in June if it will proceed.
Los Angeles looks into buying enough buildings to preserve 10,000 units of affordable housing
Los Angeles Daily News – February 16
The Los Angeles City Council voted this Tuesday to expand the city’s program of purchasing affordable housing buildings. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) acquired more than 1,000 units through its acquisition program in 2020 with an average cost per unit of $231,690, which is half the price of building new units through programs like Proposition HHH, officials said. Tuesday’s vote requested that HACLA and the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department create a strategy to expand the program to at least 1,500 units by 2022, 5,000 units by 2025, and 10,000 units by 2030.
California could sue cities plagued by homelessness in new proposal
Courthouse News Service – February 17
California lawmakers are proposing a new tactic in the state’s endless fight to reduce homelessness: litigation. Under a bill introduced this Wednesday, a “homeless inspector general” would have the authority to sue cities unable or unwilling to get people off the street. Backed by a group of Assembly members from the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles — two regions at the forefront of the crisis — the proposal is the state’s latest attempt to find solutions for an estimated 150,000 homeless residents. Under AB 816, the Department of Housing and Community Development would be required to set a statewide goal in reducing homelessness by 2029. Local governments would then have until 2023 to develop individual plans and submit progress reports to the department annually.
High-speed rail to run on a single track in Central Valley as overall cost rises
Los Angeles Times – February 10
The first phase of the California bullet train — a 171-mile link in the Central Valley — will be reduced to a single track as its estimated cost has risen by $2 billion, according to a revised business plan for the project released last Tuesday. The California High Speed Rail Authority said it would not install two tracks on the Bakersfield-to-Merced route, as previously planned. The new plan also estimates that the full cost of building the full Los Angeles-to-San Francisco system could reach $100 billion, up from an estimated $98 billion a year ago.
San Diego launches campaign to make city more resilient to climate change
The San Diego Union-Tribune – February 14
San Diego city officials are launching a campaign to make the city more resilient and better prepared. The campaign, called Climate Resilient SD, will create a variety of adaptation strategies, determine which strategies to prioritize in which parts of the city and contemplate how to pay for them with grants and other resources. City officials say the adaptation strategies will address each of the five largest threats that climate change poses for San Diego: severe wildfires, droughts, flooding, sea level rise, and extreme heat waves.