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Support – SB 9 – Subdivisions - tentative maps.

Senator Atkins,

I write on behalf of Mountain View YIMBY to support SB 9, which will allow duplexes on lots currently zoned for single family use only in California.

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 9 which we believe will help advance these causes throughout the state.

As you know, California has a statewide housing shortage of nearly 3.5 million homes. Low- and middle-income households face historic rent burden in California, and the problem worsens by the day as middle-income households move into naturally affordable housing previously occupied by low-income renters – forcing these households to move further away from their jobs, and in some cases, onto the streets. Undersupply of “Missing Middle” housing, or medium density housing near jobs and transit, is one of the key factors contributing to the displacement and rent burden of Californians across the state. This sort of housing is banned in over 70 percent of the state. SB 9 adopts best practices from housing experts at the University of California Los Angles for resolving California’s housing shortage. It will also help California respond to historic job loss and a 45-percent decrease in home construction due to COVID-19.

SB 9 allows two important major changes to state law. First, it allows someone to build a second home on a parcel that a local government has determined is for single family use only, allowing more housing growth in places that need it. Second, it allows a lot to be split into two lots under specific circumstances, allowing those who meet the criteria to build even more housing on otherwise unused land. SB 9 contains important protections against displacement of existing tenants.

We appreciate the work your office has already done to make sure that SB 9 is as effective at accomplishing its goals as it can be. Because this bill will help end California’s housing crisis, Mountain View YIMBY is very pleased to support it. Thank you for bringing this important bill forward.

Best wishes,
David Watson
Mountain View YIMBY