Local review

What is your opinion of the Budget Trailer Bill 707’s (or similar bills) by-right exemption from environmental review?

This bill does not and will not address affordable housing crisis; it only gives developers special exemptions at the expense of the local residents and working families while reducing environment and tenant protections.

This bill proposed by Gov. Brown is a way to quash residents’ ability to fight mega developers. In his own words, at the Urban Land Institute conference, when describing his time as Oakland’s Mayor, he said “every Oakland project I proposed was opposed at City Council by one group of neighbors or activists.” Gov. Brown continues his practice of putting communities and our environment at risk

Gov. Brown calls his bill The Streamlining Affordable Housing Approvals Bill, it sets aside $400 million from the 2016-17 California State Budget for affordable housing programs. That’s $400 million for the entire state. Let’s do some math:

$400M and let’s say that each unit costs about $500,000 to build, that would make 800 units. For the entire State of California!

And, these affordable housing funds come with “catastrophic strings” because Brown’s proposal requires “by right” land use entitlements for developers. Had this Bill passed, it would have –

  • Taken away local public oversight.
  • Allowed developers to bypass much of established local governmental approval processes for new high density residential construction. It eliminates local government review.
  • Eliminated previous legislated State and Local environment review.
  • This Bill is “top down” governance legislating a “one size fits all” solution without regard for any cumulative impacts occurring at the local level, i.e. destroying K-12 education quality, causing school overcrowding, increasing already problematic traffic congestion, straining city services and infrastructure.

We all have to be vigilant to keep this kind of “top down” governance from becoming legislation.

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