SB9 is on the November ballot. The new law would change zoning, allow for building duplexes on lots that are now zoned for single-family homes. The bill would allow more building where it’s now illegal, with the intent of reducing California’s fast-rising home prices and increasing access to homeownership through a greater variety of options, according to state Senate leader Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego who introduced the bill and similar versions in the past.

Senate Bill 9 would technically allow as many as two duplexes, two houses with attached units, or a combination — capped at four units — on single-family lots across California, without local approval.

The bill was approved by the full Assembly on Aug. 26

To lessen concerns from more than 100 cities and neighborhood groups that oppose the bill, Atkins on Monday added a few amendments that give local jurisdictions some veto power over units that threaten public health and safety and curtail potential speculation. The bill — approved by the Senate in May and two Assembly policy committees in June — made it out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Aug. 23 and was approved by the full Assembly on Aug. 26 on a 44-16 vote.

“You would not see the wholesale bulldozing of single-family homes….There’s just no financial basis for that fear.” –David Garcia, Policy Director for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley

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