Immediately following the vote, League of California Cities President and Town of Yountville Mayor John F. Dunbar issued the following statement:
“The League has always agreed with Senator Wiener on the need to increase housing supply across the state; however we did not agree that SB 50 was the best approach to do so.
“During this legislative session, we look forward to continuing to work with Senator Wiener, all of the members of the Senate and Assembly, the Governor, and other stakeholders to find smart, effective solutions to the housing crisis currently gripping our state. Any solution will require a long-term state funding commitment that matches the scale of a crisis that has been decades in the making.”
Since SB 50 was introduced in 2019, the League has maintained an oppose unless amended position on the bill. Earlier this month, after meeting with stakeholders, including local government leaders, Senator Wiener amended the bill to create an alternative planning process for jurisdictions to develop a “local flexibility plan” that, if approved by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), would exempt cities from many aspects of SB 50 with the exception of requiring fourplexes in single-family zones.
After careful consideration of the amendments, the League of California Cities continued to oppose SB 50 unless amended, as the “local flexibility plan” lacked the clarity needed to evaluate whether it was a viable plan.
League leadership met with Senator Wiener and his staff several times in January to discuss the League’s concerns with the bill. Following a productive meeting between League officers and the senator last week, the senator reiterated, in both verbal and written communication, his commitment to work through the League’s issues with the bill and determine how best to increase housing supply across the state. The League will continue to engage with the senator and the Legislature on finding an appropriate solution to this critical issue.
The League will continue to actively track housing legislation as the session progresses and provide updates, so stay tuned.