Zoning and Housing: A Radical Proposal

The Story:

A legislator in California has proposed a radical bill regarding housing in the vicinity of public transit, a bill that could have a deep impact on the way Californians, and Americans in general, think about zoning.

The Bill:

In the face of a severe shortage of affordable housing in many of the state’s major cities, Sen. Scott Wiener (San Francisco) is sponsoring SB-827, which would free housing construction within a half mile of a train station or within a quarter mile of a bus route from many of the local regulations and zoning ordinances that currently restrict permissible residences.

The Thing to Know: 

Advocates say the bill would increase access not only to housing but to jobs. (People without automobiles cannot commute unless they can live near transit.) But opponents say the bill is a power grab at the state level that would destroy the ability of localities to make their own land use decisions.

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