Forced upzoning is bad policy, but here's how we can mitigate its impacts

"A number of bills in the legislature would attempt to “solve” the state’s [California's] housing challenges by overriding local municipal zoning ordinances and statutorily allowing developers to build up to Sacramento-mandated levels of density. The most notable of these bills is SB50, which has no provisions to make any of the housing built affordable, but espouses a “trickle-down” theory which suggests that market-rate (i.e. luxury) housing will “filter” down to create more affordable housing.

"This “theory” not only has its foundations in Reaganomics, but is both opportunistic and false. Building more Porsches won’t bring down the price of Priuses. And however you try to frame it, upzoning is a wealth transfer from the public to the private sector. Mind you, on principle I oppose preemptive statutory upzoning that comes from either Sacramento or Washington. I believe that each community has its own unique DNA and, especially in major metropolitan areas, it is important for us to be able to make lifestyle choices which give us the ability create a sense of place, a sense of home and a sense of belonging, all of which are best created within individual communities.  In an increasingly cold, impersonal and faceless world, Community is more important than ever."

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Photo credit: Thomas Toolan via via Wikimedia under CC 3.0 License.

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