Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several laws Wednesday aimed at increasing housing density by limiting cities’ ability to block new construction and making it easier to build so-called granny flats, part of a larger push to boost supply as California grapples with a severe housing shortage.
The farthest reaching new law will limit “downzoning,” or reducing the number of units that can be built in a particular space, such as only allowing a single-family home on a lot previously zoned for an apartment building.
The law, Senate Bill 330, would also limit cities’ ability to impose new building standards that drive up construction costs. It will be in effect from 2020 until 2025.
“California’s failure to build enough housing has resulted in the highest rents and home ownership costs in the nation and has deepened homelessness,” said the law’s author, Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.