Californian politics keep taking turns and surprises every day, which displaces the normal status quo for a moment before everything retains its natural calmness. The most interesting tun of events lately is the introduction, discussion and collapse of California Senate Bill 827. Addressing this issue, the current California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday 30th April said that “I think that was not a bad idea” (Murrphy, 1). This was after its collapse in the senate and a consequent address to business leaders from the Bay Area Council (L.A. Times, 2018). This was a disgruntled group, seeking to know the reasons behind its collapse among many other business issues in the state of California (L.A. Times, 2).
California SB 827 was a housing development bill which was introduced in the California State Legislature on 3nd January 2018 by Senator Scott Wiener (Murrphy, 2). It was written in response to the current housing affordability crisis due to the ever-soaring cost of securing or hiring an apartment to live in around California. (L.A. Times, 1). To address the issue efficiently, the bill sought to permit the construction of residential houses and condominiums of up to 55 feet in areas within half a mile away from frequent transit corridors such as major highways, railways and railway stations and bus routes. There are many minimal requirements which constructors and other private developers should meet before residential quarters such as minimum parking requirements, and outdoor space per plot would be lifted under this bill to allow construction of more affordable modern housing units.
There were various changes that the bill would introduce to the residents of California and the various cities in it. If successful, the bill would have affected the lives of 50 percent of all single-family homes in Los Angeles as well as approximately 96% of the total land in San Francisco (L.A. Times, 1). This would have decentralized people from the current highly competitive residential quarters and spread them equally among various areas of the state. The cost of housing would have fallen significantly, allowing more people to live better.
On the other hand, the bill would have been accompanied by various negative effects which most legislators in the state would not have been comfortable with (Murrphy, 2). First, it allowed the residence of people in areas prone to noise, disturbance and multitudes up people. This would have made life uncomfortable for the residents. Secondly, as there would be a lot of people traffic, insecurity in these residential areas would rise. The housing sector would also have become les profitable to the stakeholders. Due to these and many more factors, the bill ended up being dropped. However, Californian politics keep getting more and more interesting, as most of the legislators in the state never take failure lightly. Immediately after the collapse of the bill, plans were set for the development of anew similar Senate Bill, which would have all the benefits and less of the issues those opposed to the bill pointed out (Murrphy, 2).
- L.A. Times. SB 827 is dead. But California still can and should build more housing near transit. Los Angeles Times (2018). Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-ed-sb-827-housing-density-20180420-story.html
- Murrphy, Kathy. High-rise apartments stripped from controversial California housing bill. The Mercury News. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/04/10/high-rise-apartments-stripped-from-controversial-california-housing-bill/