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File #: REPORT 19-0244    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Action Item Status: Municipal Matter
File created: 4/11/2019 In control: City Council
On agenda: 4/23/2019 Final action:
Title: CONSIDERATION OF LETTER OPPOSING SENATE BILL 50 (WIENER): "MORE HOMES ACT OF 2019" (Community Development Director Ken Robertson)
Attachments: 1. 1. Draft Letter of Opposition to SB 50, 2. 2. Link to SB 50, 3. 3. Letters of Opposition to SB 50 - 5 agencies, 4. 4. SB 50 update from California Planning and Development Report dated 04-09-19

Honorable Mayor and Members of the Hermosa Beach City Council                                                                         Regular Meeting of April 23, 2019





(Community Development Director Ken Robertson)



Recommended Action:


Staff recommends that the City Council approve and authorize the Mayor to sign a letter of opposition on behalf of the City regarding Senate Bill 50 (Wiener) the “More Homes Act of 2019.”



Executive Summary:

Senate Bill 50 (SB 50), the “More Homes Act of 2019,” is an effort to help solve the statewide housing crisis. SB 50 focuses on promoting infill housing near transit hubs and in jobs rich areas as a sustainable solution to this crisis, and proposes to preempt local land use authority to achieve these goals. SB 50 would require the local government permitting of dense housing projects around transit hubs and job centers inconsistent with the local agency’s General Plan policies and Zoning requirements, and approval processes.


Staff recommends the City Council authorize the Mayor to sign a letter of opposition to SB 50 as written. SB 50, if passed, would require cities to approve housing projects proposed near high quality transit hubs or in jobs-rich area at much higher densities; with less parking; and greater heights than otherwise would be allowed in their General Plan and Zoning Ordinances. In addition, it would require approvals through an administrative or non-discretionary process. While Hermosa Beach does not currently have any qualifying major transit stops, and/or “jobs-rich” areas that would appear to be subject to the provisions of the bill, it would potentially have immediate and direct impacts on nearby cities and thus the quality of life in Hermosa Beach. The bill, if passed, would preempt local land use authority.



Senator Wiener proposes SB 50 as a follow up to a similar controversial housing bill, SB 827, also by Senator Wiener, which did not make it through committee last year. SB 50 recently cleared the Senate Housing Committee and now advances to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.


The League of California Cities, the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, the California Chapter of the American Planning Association as well as neighboring Cities of Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach have already formally opposed the bill. Their letters and supporting reasons for opposing the bill are attached.



Hermosa Beach will not likely be directly affected by this legislation; therefore, staff looked to the League of Cities, South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG), and adjacent cities for guidance on its potential indirect effects and regional implications. Based on the concerns expressed by these entities, it is clear that the overall quality of life in Hermosa Beach could be potentially affected and the goals in PLAN Hermosa compromised. In addition, the bill would impose mandates that preempt local authority and seeks over-simplified “one size fits all” solutions to complex State problems. Should this trend continue unchecked it will compromise planning efforts on both the local and regional levels to deal with these very same issues in their local context. As stated by the SBCCOG, “local governments are in the best position to determine politically acceptable siting and density of new housing in order to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (criteria pollutants and congestion) while meeting housing development goals.


General Plan Consistency:

SB 50, if passed, would potentially be in direct conflict with many of the broad goals identified in PLAN Hermosa because of its intent to preempt local authority to implement the Plan. Therefore, it is appropriate to oppose the Bill. Specifically, cooperation with our partners in the region to oppose this bill is consistent with the following goal:


Governance Element


Goal 4 - A leader and partner in the region.  As a small community in a large metropolitan region, the City of Hermosa Beach understands and capitalized on our role and responsibility to collaborate with other agencies and nearby jurisdictions on issues of mutual concern. 


Fiscal Impact:

There is no fiscal impact associated with this action.



1. Draft Letter of Opposition to SB 50

2. Link to SB 50

3. Letters of Opposition:

League of California Cities dated 03-27-19

SBCCOG dated 02-20-19

California Chapter of American Planning Association dated 03-25-19

Manhattan Beach dated 03-19-19

Redondo Beach dated 02-13-19

4. SB 50 update from California Planning and Development Report dated 04-09-19



Respectfully Submitted by: Ken Robertson, Community Development Director

Concur: Nico De Anda-Scaia, Assistant to the City Manager

Noted for Fiscal Impact: Viki Copeland, Finance Director

Legal Review: Mike Jenkins, City Attorney

Approved: Suja Lowenthal, City Manager