California Senate Bill Will Not Void Coastal Height Limits

by on May 16, 2019 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

By Sara Libby /Voice of San Diego

Many San Diegans collectively freaked out when it appeared that a bill moving through the state Legislature, SB 330, would wipe out the coastal height limit to make way for denser, taller buildings.

Though the purpose of the bill is to beat back many of the local restrictions that block new housing projects, its author made clear this week that the measure won’t kill San Diego’s coastal height limit.

Sen. Nancy Skinner added this revision:

(2) This section shall not be construed to void a height limit, urban growth boundary, or urban limit established by the electorate of an affected county or an affected city on or before January 1, 2018.

“I have amended SB 330 to clear up a misconception that the bill would impact coastal height limits,” Skinner wrote in a statement to VOSD. “The legislation was never intended to eliminate height limits in San Diego or anywhere else in California. The new amendment makes that crystal clear.”

The bill would block certain cities and regions from imposing new parking requirements on developments and other rules that might hamper development. It also creates new rules intended to speed up the permitting process for new developments.

Before Skinner’s clarification was added to the bill, the La Jolla Community Planning Association met to voice disapproval of SB 330 and another measure intended to spur more development, SB 50.

The La Jolla Light reports that a representative for Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who’s running for mayor, told residents at the meeting that Bry is “against SB 330 and SB 50.”

Encinitas, which for years has stood in violation of state housing laws, unsurprisingly opposes both bills as well. Mayor Catherine Blakespear said that the measures “go too far in their attempt to spur affordable housing development at the expense of community character and local control,” reports the Coast News.

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Avatar kh May 20, 2019 at 11:01 am

I have not read the full text yet but it appears to be a freeze on any zoning laws that would reduce density after Jan 2018. The height limits in effect at that time would still apply.

A jurisdiction wanting to convert a multifamily zone into single family, or reduce height limits would be out of luck.

Maybe we should just fire all our planners since Sacramento knows what’s best for us.

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