Pasadena Stood up for Local Zoning and Planning in Opposition to SB-50

PASADENA, Calif.—Senate Bill 50 (SB-50) recently failed to pass in the State Senate. SB-50 was originally intended to increase housing construction by limiting local restrictions on density near transit corridors and by allowing fourplexes in single-family areas. As originally written, SB-50 would have the potential to affect single-family zoned neighborhoods in every California city and would have significantly eroded local control on this important zoning issue.

The City's planning and community development staff, along with outside legislative experts and lobbyists, worked closely with partners and state legislators to support local control on these types of zoning and planning issues. They voiced the City’s opposition as SB-50 proceeded through the legislative process. In addition to submitting letters of opposition at various points, staff communicated directly with the bill’s author and his staff numerous times about concerns regarding local control, protection of historic resources, and preserving character of single-family neighborhoods. While these conversations resulted in changes to the bill that would have provided for some local flexibility, the bill’s failure in the Senate allows more time for dialogue on housing production.

“The City of Pasadena recognizes the current housing and affordability crisis that exists statewide. We will continue to address these issues through local planning efforts. While state intervention may be needed to ensure all jurisdictions are doing their fair share, a 'one-size fits all' solution is the wrong approach,” says David Reyes, the City’s director of planning and community development.

Members of the City Council Legislative Policy Committee have directed staff to continue working with like-minded cities and organizations to ensure that Pasadena’s significant efforts toward housing production are recognized and result in protections for local planning and zoning to preserve the character of our city.

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