SB50 dies in this year’s session of the Legislature

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. AP file photo.

State Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill to build denser housing in single-family neighborhoods and closer to transit stations and jobs died this morning (May 16) in the state Legislature.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to make Wiener’s SB50 a two-year bill, meaning any action will be delayed until next year.

SB50 was one of the more contentious proposals aimed at easing California’s housing storage. Backers including tech companies and trade unions have argued allowing more homes around transit stations and loosening other rules could curb the housing crunch.

But critics, including the mayors of Palo Alto and Menlo Park, said SB50 threatened to change the character of some neighborhoods, worsen traffic and override local decision makers.

Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, says he’s disappointed by the move. A similar bill by Wiener last year, SB827, also died in committee.

— From staff and wire reports


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  1. Hopefully, the cities and Nimbys who are objecting to SB50 will get busy and allow more housing before this bill comes back next year. It’d be nice if next year Wiener said the bill is no longer necessary because of all the housing cities like Palo Alto have approved.

  2. Hooray! Very welcome news, but don’t get complacent. The bill will be back in 2020 so we’ll need to continue mobilizing. I guarantee that the YIMBY-bots will be busy.

  3. We desperately need housing all across the Bay (and especially in and around Palo Alto and the Peninsula) to alleviate the dire housing crisis. We should push the Senate to get SB 50 to the floor this year.

  4. Sure, let’s just ask our neighbors paying over 50% their take-home pay on rent or commuting for four hours each day to wait another year for relief. Let’s ask the atmosphere if it will spot us another year of car-centric development.

    We wouldn’t want to do anything rash in a housing and climate crisis like build affordable, green homes near jobs and transit.

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