by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
Rarely do I tout a bill proposed by a San Francisco Democrat as a great step in the right direction, but I’ll make an exception for California SB 827 proposed by State Senator Scott Wiener. City Journal has a great piece this week about that proposed legislation. From that article:
SB 827 sweeps away many local limits on height, density, and design within a half-mile of a train station—such as for BART or CalTrain—and within a quarter-mile of stops on high-frequency bus routes. So-called transit-rich zones would see local height limits lifted to anywhere from 45 feet to 85 feet—roughly from four to eight stories—depending on factors such as street width and station proximity. Cities could build taller, but they could not require that buildings be shorter. New projects built near transit hubs would also be exempted from minimum parking requirements. And as long as a particular project is up to code, no municipality could introduce design standards preventing developers from including the maximum number of units possible in a building.
The bill wouldn’t require anyone to build anything. It wouldn’t require that only high-rises be built in certain areas. But it would reduce regulations and restrictions that prevent those sorts of high-density dwellings.
It’s a good start in increasing housing supply and making housing more affordable.