PPIC Finds Significant Under-Production of Housing
California's plans for increasing the housing supply does not make up for decades of undersupply with population growth, according to data from the 2020 Census and analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California. The Census Bureau's data shows that new housing has not matched population growth; the amount of people increased 3.2 times more than housing units over the past decade. Now, California is short of the near 3.5 million homes that Gov. Gavin Newsom believes will be essential by 2025. The Census also proved that coastal housing is the most expensive, but inland regions have experienced the largest percent change in housing values because residents are pushed or attracted to their lower costs.
State Says Angel Stadium Redevelopment May Violate Surplus Land Act
The Department of Housing and Community Development has issued a Notice of Violation of the Surplus Land Act to the City of Anaheim over its Angel Stadium land sale. While the city has been trying to convince the HCD that its project satisfies California affordable housing law requirements, the state found three violations related to a lack of prioritization of affordable housing developers. Anaheim argued that, in addition to the 466 affordable units promised at the moment, the final project has a goal of 777, and the city will work with Angels owner Arte Moreno's company to provide 518 affordable homes outside of the development. They claim that the state declined their proposal to pair affordable housing with the Angel Stadium project. (See related CP&DR coverage.)
Poll: Voters Support Residential Upzoning
Most Los Angeles County voters support SB 9 and SB 10, according to a poll from the Los Angeles Business Council Institute conducted alongside the Los Angeles Times that analyzes public response to the new state laws, which go into effect January 1. While multiple homeowner groups and other opponents argued that the bills would destroy single-family neighborhoods, the new poll suggests that many voters support changes to traditional single-family zoning. Countywide, 55% of voters are in favor of SB 9, and 68% of voters support SB 10. However, renters were much more likely to support the bills than homeowners, especially SB 9. Advocates of the laws hope that they will contribute to more affordable prices by encouraging construction in areas that have previously faced higher-density development restrictions.
State Compels Santa Cruz to Accept SB 35 Project
The Department of Housing and Community Development found that the City of Santa Cruz's rejection of a project that was proposed under SB 35 was illegal after the council noted that the layout reflects a form of segregation. The developer, Novin Development, of the 140-unit 831 Water Street project suggested to separate its two buildings into affordable and market-rate housing, claiming that creating this separation would make it easier to secure grants that would subsidize the development and maintain affordability. Under SB 35, which seeks to simplify the housing construction process, the project would have to be approved because it meets Santa Cruz's objective standards, even though the council voted 6-1 to turn down the project.
San Francisco Allows Parklets but Implements Extensive Regulations
Though San Francisco Supervisors approved policy to make outdoor parklets popularized due to the pandemic permanent, strict rules and regulations are driving many restaurants to completely cease their outdoor dining operations, according to an analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle. One estimate suggests that as many as 90% of parklets must be removed or severely changed to comply with the over 60-page city guidelines covered in the Shared Spaces policy program, or they may face severe charges. As restaurants receive violation notices, the city is not acting on fine punishments, according to spokesperson for Mayor London Breed's office Jeff Cretan. Meanwhile, worried restaurant owners are working through confusing violation notices and parklet requirements to support their businesses.
Boston Properties, the developer of San Jose's Platform 16 proposal, is "actively" considering restarting construction of a giant tech campus in 2022. The campus is located near the eventual Google transit village and the Diridon train station and will feature 16 terraces overlooking the banks of the Guadalupe River. If completed, the 1.1 million square-foot project would include 3 office buildings and a garage.
The Housing Workshop, a housing policy firm, released a new report titled “CEQA: California’s Living Environmental Law: CEQA’s Role in Housing, Environmental Justice & Climate Change,” demonstrating that the 50-year-old law is a critical tool for advancing environmental justice and combating climate change. The report shows that the CEQA is not a significant barrier to the state’s housing production, contrary to critics' contentions.
Extensive inequalities exist throughout the southwestern United States according to a study that explores the extent of thermal inequality. Researchers found that the difference reached as high as 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit in Palm Springs and the Inland Empire, and California urban regions proved to feature higher thermal inequality than other southwestern states, possibly due to extreme water use in wealthy neighborhoods.
Oakland City Council will begin negotiations with the Black Cultural Zone Collaborative and its partners, Community Arts Stabilization Trust and Curtis Development, over a long-term lease of the city-owned Liberation Park in order to increase affordable housing availability and increase commercial and creative space. The 1.2-acre property is currently used as a community hub for shopping, free-meal distribution, outdoor movies, COVID-19 services, and more.