By PR Chair and Thomas Ware, Esq., CAI-CLAC Legislative Co-Chair

The California State Legislature introduced two bills this year aimed at fixing California’s housing crisis by rezoning single-family lots to allow for duplexes and more. While affordable housing remains a top priority in California, it’s important to understand the unintended consequences these bills will have on homeowners. 

Here’s why SB 9 and SB 10 hurts California’s Common Interest Developments (CIDs) and increases costs to homeowners when they can least afford it.  

Senate Bill 9 (Atkins) – Lot Splitting – Duplexes

On May 26, 2021, Senate Bill 9 (Atkins) passed with bipartisan support and now moves to the California Assembly for vote. While the author specifically stated the bill does not impact CIDs and does not override governing documents, the bill does remain a concern to California homeowners. 

SB 9 would require a municipality to treat a proposed housing development containing “no more than 2 residential units” as “single-family residential housing.”  The municipality would have to ministerially approve a duplex in a single family-housing zone. 

SB 9 is silent as to the impact of pre-existing CC&R restrictions prohibiting such a subdivision. There are concerns that SB 9 could be construed as constituting public policy in favor permitting construction of duplexes in CIDs.  The author of the bill, Senator Atkins, represented during a policy committee hearing that the bill is not intended to invalidate CC&R restrictions.  CLAC is seeking amendments confirming the stated intent.

Senate Bill 10 (Wiener) – Ten Units Or Less 

SB 10 seeks to permit a municipality to ministerially authorize developments of up to ten-units or less in areas zoned for single-family housing. The bill also will invalidate CC&R restrictions that prohibit or unreasonably restrict such an authorized development. 

You could have an empty lot in your single-family residential community and a local government could rezone it for a ten-unit apartment building. 

The bill does not reconcile the impact of constructing a ten-unit structure in single-family home planned use development on infrastructure use and maintenance, assessment allocation, and the requisite governing document amendments that will be needed to accommodate such subdivisions.

SB 10 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate this Friday, June 4, 2021.

Unintended Consequences

SB 9 and SB 10 would create serious issues in single-family residential communities. Local governments support the building of planned use developments (PUD) because the association is responsible for the upkeep of essential infrastructure, like roads, lights, water and sewage. 

Currently, more than 13 million Californians live in 55,000 associations throughout the state. This bill will negatively impact every one of them! 

Your Voice Matters – Ask Legislators to Vote NO

Make YOUR voice heard at the State Capitol. Take action on this legislative session and ask your legislator to Vote NO on SB 10 here