Buildings as high as 85 ft. would be erected
Buildings as high as 75 ft. would be erected (near rail stops)
Buildings as high as 75 ft. would be erected (in "job rich" zones)
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Written by legislator Scott Wiener, SB 50 rewards developers to buy and demolish single-family housing and apartments near rail, train, ferry or busy bus stops AND near jobs and good schools. SB 50 kills local planning rules, letting buildings tower over homes. The towers can include NO parking, NO space for trees, NO setbacks, and NO design standards. All that developers must do is include a few "affordable" rental units.

What ELSE does SB 50 dramatically change in our communities?

Developers can override up to 6 planning standards, according to an in-depth analysis by the San Francisco Department of Planning. Developers become their own zoners and planners. Cities would be barred from fighting bad development unless an SB 50 project is so bad that it's a direct public safety threat (not an indirect threat like smog).

Here's just a sample of rules developers can abandon under SB 50. Cities, counties and communities would have no say.

  1. No parking required in apartment towers
  2. Override density maximums (number of apartment units per parcel)
  3. Slash or eliminate yards, and building setbacks for trees
  4. Allow demolition of historic buildings not protected by the state
  5. Eliminate on-site open space (balconies, courtyards)
  6. Remove demolition controls
  7. Ignore design standards
  8. Evade Impact Fees

How does SB 50 displace 1000s of renters?

SB 50 promises protections that can't be enforced. Its “ban” on the demolition of occupied apartments instead prompts developers to buy out renters and claim it was vacant — a top social justice problem in California.

How does SB 50 gentrify hundreds of diverse and sensitive communities?

SB 50 forces diverse neighborhoods to agree to gentrification and luxury towers by 2025, annihilating their thriving communities.

Why does SB 50 say "minimum heights" would be 45 or 55 feet? It doesn't mention 75 or 85 feet.

Under state "Density Bonus" law, a developer can already add up to 3 floors (30 feet) to the height of a building. This is a financial reward given if a developer adds a few affordable units. But under SB 50, a developer can add up to 3 floors atop a new "minimum height" of 45 or 55 feet. Vast areas would be forced to accept 7-story and 8-story towers. Sen. Wiener has gone to great pains to avoid explaining this in SB 50.

What is a jobs-rich/good schools area? And why will SB 50 let developers overrun these areas with tall apartments, even if the area doesn't have transit?

The definition of "jobs-rich" areas was published in March of 2019 by the Haas Institute. The huge gold-colored "jobs rich" areas shown on this map sweep across California. They target 1000s of single-family neighborhoods, apartment areas and streets that allow mixed-use (businesses with housing on top). Sen. Scott Wiener has been quoted by some as saying single-family homes are "immoral," yards take up too much room, and these areas must be stamped out to build apartments.

What is a High-Frequency Bus Stop? If my city adds more buses, would that allow developers to overrun my area with tall apartments?

Yes. "High-frequency" means buses that stop every 15 minutes in morning/evening, and every 30 minutes on weekends. Transit agencies can add buses to reach that "frequency", and this, in turn, would hand developers blanket new powers under SB 50 to overrun your area with tall apartments. SB 50 will create wars against bus service statewide. San Diego has upgraded some bus lines to 15-minute service but its residents don't realize SB 50 developers will now overrun these streets. All people wanted was bus service.