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SB 10 (Wiener) Local Control for Increased Housing Density - SUPPORT

Dear Senator Wiener,

I write on behalf of Mountain View YIMBY to support SB 10, which allows local governments a streamlined path to zone neighborhoods for gentle, middle income density — up to ten units per parcel — if they choose.

Mountain View YIMBY is a chapter of South Bay YIMBY. We are a group of people who live or work in the city of Mountain View and believe in increasing equitable access to the opportunities offered by this amazing city, and combating global warming through urbanization. We do so by advocating for construction of homes at all income levels from supportive housing to market rate. We protect Mountain View’s more vulnerable residents by defending Mountain View’s rent control law, and advocating for better displacement protection policies. Last but not least, we push for more transit, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

While our organization’s main focus is the city of Mountain View, we believe that the housing crisis and climate change require action at a broader scale. That’s why we support SB 10 which we believe will help advance these causes throughout the state.

California has descended into a suffocating housing crisis, contributing to mass migration out of the state, skyrocketing eviction rates, record levels of chronic homelessness, and a growing class of lower- income commuters unable to afford or access housing within several hours of their jobs. Meanwhile, many California neighborhoods remain racially segregated, and the density that cities plan for is often concentrated in low-income communities of color, especially those with poor air quality. This leads to deep health and educational inequities, as well as increased displacement pressures in vulnerable areas. Various state and local laws make it extremely difficult to do common-sense rezoning’s quickly – even very mild efforts are often mired in expensive, decades-long legal appeals and litigation.

SB 10 is a simple bill that authorizes local governments to rezone neighborhoods for increased housing density, up to ten homes per parcel. This authorization will require that a legislative body pass a resolution to adopt the plan and exempts that zoning action from being considered a project under the California Environmental Quality Act. To be eligible for this local action, an area must be urban infill, consistent with the definition used in Senate Bill 35 (2017) or be near high quality public transportation or a job-rich area. When the local government passes this resolution, it can choose whether the individual projects will be ministerial/by right or subject to discretionary approval.

SB 10 creates a path to adding modest density to address California’s housing shortage, preserves significant local control for local jurisdictions, and makes it faster, less expensive, and less risky for a city to undertake a community process to increase density in our communities. SB 10 is an effective step forward in fixing what has been a historic problem throughout the entire state.

For these reasons, Mountain View YIMBY is pleased to support SB 10.

Best wishes,
David Watson
Mountain View YIMBY