State to Probe 29 Cities for Thwarting SB 9

The state will investigate twenty-nine cities for suspected attempts to thwart California’s new upzoning law SB 9, the Housing and Community Development Department has told CalMatters. Those cities deemed to be violating the law will receive letters with a request to resolve the issue within 30 days. If a jurisdiction fails to resolve the matter after a second warning, the state attorney general’s office would step in.

The list includes Pasadena and Woodside, which received stark warnings from the attorney general over their efforts to thwart SB 9. Other jurisdictions under investigation include Temple City in Los Angeles County and the City of Sonoma.

SB 9 was signed into law by the Governor in September and took effect this year. It allows up to four dwellings (as many as two duplexes or two houses with attached units) to be built on almost any lot currently zoned for a single-family residence. The bill only allows cities to veto such development when there is a threat to health and safety, with exclusions for historic districts and fire hazard zones.

A number of localities have pushed back already. Several cities in Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General’s office last month, calling his actions an evisceration of land use control. Attorney General Rob Bonta has expressed confidence that his office will prevail.


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