California Dolphin: statewide California news

With SB50 shelved, what should California do about the housing shortage?

Senate Bill 50 from Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, has been shelved for the year. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee put the contentious proposal on hold, with Wiener vowing to continue building support for it.
The complex proposal, which has drawn unusual coalitions in support and opposition, seeks to enable greater housing development by overriding local zoning decisions under specified conditions in order to permit the development of more apartments near transit hubs and job centers.
Supporters argue the proposal is necessary to help boost housing production, which has lagged in recent decades even as the state’s population has grown substantially.
The results of this status quo include increasingly unaffordable housing prices and long commutes. Overriding local zoning, supporters argue, is needed to overcome tendency of local governments to hinder, rather than facilitate, significant increases in housing supply in their particular jurisdictions.
Opponents counter that SB50 would wrongly impose the preferences of Sacramento throughout the state, while also imposing dramatic changes to many local communities, with densification altering the character of neighborhoods.
SB50 is off the table for now, but the shelving of the bill doesn’t mean an end to the debate over housing policy.
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Which brings us to our question of the week, With Senate Bill 50 off the table for now, what do you think should be done, if anything, to spur more housing development in California?
Do you feel the effects of the housing shortage? Or is it too abstract a problem to resonate with you?
Has California’s housing shortage become enough of a problem to warrant the state overriding some aspects of local control  in order to allow more housing? Or should housing and zoning policy always remain under the jurisdiction of local governments?
Should your local government do more to enable more housing developments? Would you support more density in your community?
Email your thoughts to opinion@scng.com. Please include your full name and city or community of residence. Provide a daytime phone number (it will not be published).

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