Anti-Neighborhood SB 330 Takes a Hit!

In News by Ileana Wachtel

An avalanche of opposition to SB 330 yesterday forced state Sen. Nancy Skinner, an ally of Scott Wiener, to drop some of the bill’s radical concepts, like a 7-year protection plan for slumlords and a ban on voter referendums to undo the worst parts of SB 330.
Coalition to Preserve LA, Livable California, San Diego Tenants Union and dozens of others including San Diego’s Save Our Heritage Organization, Boyle Heights Community Partners, Coalition for Valley Neighborhoods, and Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center, flew to Sacramento or sent in their opposition to Skinner’s bill that gives developers bold new powers to overrun 273 cities with controversial luxury housing.
We thank Jamal Jones, of Alliance for Locally Planned Growth, Rafael Bautista of San Diego Tenants Union, the Citizens Planning Association, and hundreds of others who put heat on Skinner before the vote by the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.
Skinner, clearly irritated at the opposition, said her bill helped the poor. Her allies, San Diego’s Todd Gloria, San Fernando Valley’s Jesse Gabriel, and San Francisco’s David Chiu, warmly praised SB 330. But under rising statewide pressure, Skinner agreed to strip key elements that clearly hurt renters and the poor, and undermined democracy.
We are thankful that Sen. Skinner agreed to remove elements that would have: 

  • Ended the right of citizens, until 2025, to vote to undo the worst of SB 330. 
  • Let slumlords ignore code violations for 7 years if they didn’t hurt health or safety.

Only San Diego state Sen. Brian Maienschein abstained from the 7-0 committee vote approving her amended bill, saying, “I have to check with my community groups first.” We applaud Maienschein for noting that his constituents were important to him. 
Housing Committee chair Chiu echoed Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), claiming that voters and activists were wrongly “mischaracterizing” SB 330. 
But in fact, SB 330, which will next be heard July 3 in the Assembly Local Government Committee, is the latest Sacramento push to grease the skids on behalf of for-profit luxury developers. “It doesn’t build one unit of affordable housing and it kills most recorded public hearings,” said Jill Stewart, Executive Director of Coalition to Preserve LA.   

Skinner insists this “helps local governments with efficiencies and certainty.” No it doesn’t. SB 330 forces cities to approve controversial luxury housing projects within 60 days — or be sued by developers and face lawsuit awards of $10,000 per unit. 
Please join us NOW in fighting SB 330, at [email protected].