SB 9 & SB 10 Override Local Regulations
The California state legislature has been passing laws that override local authority’s (city and county) jurisdiction regarding zoning and growth restrictions. In 2021, the legislature passed and the governor signed SB9 and SB10 that more directly bring changes into residential neighborhoods.
SB9 changes all single-family zoned parcels in the state to allow two units per parcel. SB9 also permits developers to split these parcels into two, thereby allowing developers to purchase an existing house and replace it with four units. Combined with other state laws requiring cities to also approve Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), the developer can replace an existing home with up to six residential units. Under these laws, cities and counties have no ability to stop or control such developments.
SB10 permits cities to override citizen-passed initiatives and rezone any existing residential parcel for up to ten units. While utilizing this law is “voluntary” by cities, others laws requiring cities to zone sufficient parcels to meet the state Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) directives, will coerce cities to perform such rezoning in order to meet the RHNA requirements. A March 17, 2022 California State Auditor report found that the RHNA process to determine allocation numbers was error-prone and unable to demonstrate the results were based on valid information.