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State Law, Local Interpretation: How Cities Are Implementing Senate Bill 9

Last year, the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (“HOME”) Act, also known as Senate Bill 9, was signed into law, enabling homeowners to split their single-family residential lot into two separate lots with each able to hold up to two homes. The legislation is a sweeping change in a state that has historically held vast amounts of land for single-family only uses. However, the law allows jurisdictions significant latitude to create ordinances that add design standards and other restrictions to how the bill is implemented. These ordinances can have a major impact on the amount and type of new homebuilding enabled by SB 9.

A new analysis authored by Policy Associate Muhammad Alameldin and Policy Director David Garcia looks at the differences in how cities are implementing SB 9 and explores how these regulations might facilitate home construction or hinder it.

From setbacks to landscaping to affordability requirements, the SB 9 implementing ordinances from the ten California cities included in the analysis offer an opportunity to better understand SB 9 uptake and to analyze how future state land use rules might be locally adopted. The analysis also offers recommendations and resources for cities and the state to catalyze the homebuilding the law intends. Read the full analysis here.

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