SB 50 Watch: New Events, Coverage, Background Info

Detail of map showing local areas (pink and yellow) directly affected by SB 50, according to opposition group StopSB50. (See below.)

With many eyes and ears these days closely attuned to SB 50 – the California State Senate bill introduced in December by San Francisco Bay-Area State Senator Scott Wiener, which would do away with single-family zoning and allow denser, taller buildings in many currently lower density areas, we’ll do our best to keep readers up to date on the latest news, events and discussions of the bill.  Here are some key links from this week.

Events

Where Goes the Road to Solving California’s Housing Crisis?
Thursday, May 9, Reception at 5:30 p.m., event at 6:30 p.m., The Broad Stage at SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, Free Admission
Scott Wiener himself will be one of the speakers at this event, which is billed as “a compelling discussion of policies that can lead to effective solutions and examines how legislators can navigate balancing all the competing interests in tackling California’s housing crisis. Featuring California state legislators Senator Ben Allen (SD26 – Santa Monica) and Senator Scott Weiner (SD11 – San Francisco), author of SB 50, which proposes bold approaches to California’s housing issues, and Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis, a former Co-Chair of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights and leading advocate for Santa Monica’s innovative policy solutions and funding for affordable housing.”

Town Hall Meeting Opposing SB 50
Wednesday, May 22, Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 West Adams Blvd., 7pm., Free Admission

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Romerol Malveaux, Member, Cherrywood Leimert Block Club and Community Advocate
  • John Gonzales, Builder and Vice President, Baldwin Hills Estates HOA, Inc.
  • Hydee Feldstein, Co-Chair, Land Use Committee and Board Member, P.I.C.O. Neighborhood Council
  • Brad Kane, Esq., President, P.I.C.O. Neighborhood Council

Additional invited speakers (not yet confirmed) include:

  • Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Council President, Council District 10
  • Larry Gross, Executive Director, Coalition for Economic Survival
  • Matthew Glesne, City Planner, City of Los Angeles

This meeting is sponsored by the South LA Alliance for Locally-Planned Growth.

Click to see full-size flier.

News Coverage

“Can High Density Housing and Historic Neighborhoods Co-Exist in Los Angeles?”
LA Times story about SB 50 sentiments and densification issues in Carthay-area neighborhoods, by columnist Steve Lopez

“What the Housing Density Bill Might Do to Historic Neighborhoods”
Short print story and link to a 17-minute podcast discussion on KCRW radio.  The podcast contains basic info about the bill, and a broad range of interviews with both SB 50 advocates (including Scott Wiener) and opponents, including Hancock Park Homeowners’ Association president Cindy Chvatal-Keane, and more Carthay neighborhood residents.  Includes discussions of potential effects on local neighborhoods, preservation efforts, etc.  Also contains links to other helpful sources of SB 50 information.

KNBC-TV Interview with Former LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky on SB 50
Yarslovsky is now the Director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA, and has been speaking out recently in opposition to SB 50.

Background Info

“Population Growth in LA County Drops by Two Thirds in 2018”
Los Angeles Daily News story, reporting new population data.  One big argument in favor of SB50 is that we need to build hundreds of thousands of new housing units to accomodate past, present and future population growth in the LA metro area.  But the most recent population statistics, released last week, show that the local population growth rate is at an all-time low (that means the population is still growing, just more slowly than at any time in the past).  Reasons given for the slowing growth rate include:

  • More people moving out of the state than into it (a.k.a. “net outmigration”)
  • Fewer foreign immigrants coming to LA vs. other parts of the state
  • Increasing death rates, especially for the large Baby Boom generation
  • Falling birth rates for residents

Stop SB50 Advocacy Group’s Map of Areas Affected by SB 50
Statewide map, zoomable to local neighborhoods, showing the StopSB50 opposition group’s interpretation of which areas would be directly affected by SB 50.  A detailed view of our part of the city is shown in the header above.  Here’s a wider view of the general metro LA area (click on the map to zoom in or out, or find views in other counties and cities around the state):

SB 50 Zoning Graphic

Another infographic from graphic artist Alfred Twu, explaining the kinds of zones that would be created by SB 50 (as currently amended as of May 1) and what would be allowed in each.

Click to see full size graphic.

This story was updated after initial publication to include more details about the May 22 meeting at Holman Church…and to add the new infographic by Alfred Twu.

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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