In late June, the City sent a letter to Assembly Member Buffy Wicks, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development. The letter was regarding SB 423 (Wiener) By-right Housing Approvals, SB 35 Expansion. The bill would modify and expand SB 35 provisions that allow certain multifamily housing developments to take advantage of a streamlined, ministerial approval process. Specifically, this bill would:
- Extend the January 1, 2026 sunset to January 1, 2036 (earlier draft did not contain a sunset provision).
- Apply SB 35 provisions to the Coastal Zone.
- Allow the State to approve housing developments on property they own or lease.
- Prohibit a city from enforcing its inclusionary housing ordinance if the income limits are higher than those in SB 35
The City wrote a letter of opposition to the bill, and is joined by the Marin County Council of Mayors and Councilmembers' Legislative Committee, the League of California Cities, and 111 other California Cities. See City of Mill Valley and The League of California Cities letters of opposition.
SB 423 streamlines approval for certain affordable housing projects, but it also forces cities to approve certain housing projects without regard to the needs of the community, opportunities for environmental review, or public input. Cities and counties have a responsibility to ensure that new housing is built in a way that is compatible with their communities and that meets the needs of their community and furthers the goals in our General Plan. SB 423 would take away that authority and give that to the developer.
The City of Mill Valley is committed supporting continued diversity of housing, income levels and lifestyles. It has identified the Key Issue of residential and commercial development with emphasis on affordable housing for workforce, elderly, and low-income residents at a scale and density consistent with Mill Valley's sense of community. For more information about the City's housing initiatives, please click here.