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Housing bill would strip cities like Mission Viejo of local control

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The League of California Cities and City of Mission Viejo are encouraging residents to contact their legislative representatives to oppose a new housing bill that would strip local control and take decisions away from Mission Viejo residents. 

“Perhaps the most significant bill for cities is AB 2011 (Wicks),” representatives from the League of California Cities said in a statement. “The bill would require most cities to ministerially approve certain affordable housing and mixed-use housing developments in areas zoned for offices, retail, or parking. Cal Cities opposes the bill since it would undermine local zoning and state-mandated planning processes. It would also restrict cities’ ability to negotiate with developers for supportive infrastructure and eliminate opportunities for public engagement, which often leads to better projects.” 

AB 2011 usurps local control by making affordable housing by-right in areas currently zoned for office, retail, or parking. Local governments are responsible for facilitating housing production through planning and zoning processes that were established to ensure appropriate public input and engagement, environmental reviews, and compliance with state housing requirements. 

The League of California Cities is opposed to AB 2011 because it would disregard the State-mandated Housing Element process in which Mission Viejo and other cities are engaged and instead allow housing developments in nearly all areas of the City. If developers can build housing in office, retail, and parking areas, why should cities like Mission Viejo go through the multiyear planning process to identify sites suitable for new housing units, only to have those plans ignored and housing built on sites never considered for new housing? 

While the City recognizes the significant need for the development of new affordable housing units, it feels that providing incentives for doing so is a more effective approach than removing local input and authority. Locally elected officials and members of the community must have the opportunity to weigh in on such decisions, so that the full extent of the local impacts of proposed projects can be considered.   

Other bills to watch are listed here.  

Read the City of Mission Viejo opposition letter from April 22. You can oppose the bill by signing and sending this form letter to the legislative offices listed at this link. Add the date and your name in the fillable fields on the PDF. 

Comments

Submitted by Barbara Hosmer on Thu, 07/28/2022 - 6:17 pm

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does anybody know anything about the group Our Neighborhood Voices? i've been getting emails from them for about a week now. it sounds like a movement to get some of these destructive laws overturned. i'll post again if i learn anything. need time to research.

Submitted by Robin Whitney on Thu, 07/28/2022 - 9:02 pm

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Seems if the elected officials of Mission Viejo and other like cities actually cared about affordable housing and homelessness they would have done something already. You still have time. And if you don’t do the right thing, then I have no problem with you being forced into it.
Get to work

Submitted by Kevin Messenger on Fri, 07/29/2022 - 5:53 am

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Please do not listen to the way the city is framing this. I agree with ab2011. All too often cities oppose low income housing and its cities that stop the state plan of better housing everywhere. Sacramento has a plan and we need to obey them and stick to it and it will yield much lower rent for Generation Y who is stuck in sub poverty wages and college debt. Please go with the state plan and you’ll see the high quality housing for the middle and low income areas come to life and look nice in the process.

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