California gears up for a battle over single-family zoning near transit
SACRAMENTO — Taking aim at climate change, highway gridlock and soaring housing costs, a California lawmaker has ignited a red-hot debate with a proposal that would force cities to allow more apartments and condominiums to be built a short walk from train stations and bus stops.
Arguably the most radical in a series of legislative fixes for California’s crippling housing crisis, Senate Bill 827 has the potential to reshape neighborhoods up and down the state, from Berkeley to Los Angeles, by overriding single-family zoning and superceding limits on new housing near public transportation.
“This bill goes right to the heart of what has prevented more building near transit in California,” said Ethan Elkind, who directs the climate program at Berkeley Law School’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment. “It would be really transformative. Over the coming decade or so we could have millions of new homes with access to transit.”