By Right Housing Proposal of Governor Brown

Village Laguna’s June 4 letter to City Council:

The Board of Village Laguna would like to support our city’s opposition to the “By Right Housing Proposal” by Governor Brown. The measure pre-empts local discretionary land use approvals of certain housing developments. By making these approvals ministerial rather than discretionary it would make it possible for these projects to circumvent CEQA. This is a terrible precedent that could lead to other measures that would make other kinds of projects alsoministerial, thus gutting the effectiveness of our environmental quality laws.

We suggest that this proposal itself should require and EIR under CEQA since its provisions will result in a significant effect on the environment. It could also make higher density projects in adjacent communities more likely to be approved without the appropriate reviews and analysis, causing uncontrolled traffic and other impacts on our community. Already we have experienced the impacts on our community of state exemptions from typical local review for sober-living facilities and second residential units.

Disempowering local government in the interest of achieving a social improvement is not a sound method of governing or planning. Providing lower cost housing can be achieved by more positive and straight-forward methods, including financial incentives, density transfers, government investment into needed housing, and housing subsidies.

Thank you for strongly objecting to this proposal. Please include our letter in your package of documents submitted to the state. Let us know how we may assist the city in objecting to this misguided proposal.

Respectfully, Ginger Osborne, Acting President

Village Laguna sent a similar letter to the Coastal Commission; Governor Brown; 74th District Assemblyman, Matthew Harper; District 37 State Senator, John Moorlach; Senate President pro Tempore, Kevin de Leon; and Speaker of the Assembly, Anthony Rendon.

[This initiative failed, but another initiative, Assembly Bill no. 2501, Chapter 758, an act to amend Section 65915 of the Government Code relating to housing, was approved by the Governor on Sept. 28, 2016.]