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New State Housing Laws equate to loss of local control, higher-density neighborhoods


Mission Viejo is feeling the impact of two high-profile State housing bills Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law this past September that create higher-density neighborhoods and erode local control from cities. 

The bills, Senate Bills 9 and 10, which went into effect on January 1, 2022, faced intense opposition in recent months from hundreds of cities including the City of Mission Viejo, which urged residents to contact State legislators to relay their opposition to both bills. (See both City articles.)  

S.B. 9 allows duplexes to be built in most neighborhoods across the state, including places where apartments have long been banned. S.B. 10 reduces environmental rules on multifamily housing and makes it easier for cities to add high-density development.  

S.B. 9 essentially ends single-family zoning, a regulation that dictates that there can be only one house per parcel of land. Under the bill, property owners can build up to three additional units on their land, allowing single-family homes to be converted into as many as four units. Additionally, S.B. 9 requires local governments to approve an urban lot split, thus creating two independent lots that could be sold separately. 

The impact from Sacramento’s attempts to add more housing across the State is already being felt in Mission Viejo. For example, if someone builds an accessory dwelling unit (ADU, a second small dwelling on the same site or attached to a regular single-family house), since the State has advocated for ADUs and pursuant to State law, the City of Mission Viejo must permit ADUs administratively and is not allowed to require property owners to complete typical “Neighborhood Awareness” forms to alert neighbors of such projects. ADUs must be allowed on any residential site, regardless of lot size, with minimum setbacks, allowed size of ADU, and required parking standards – all dictated by the State.   

Find out more about California’s new housing laws – S.B. 9 and S.B. 10.

Residents can also help advocate against such legislature that strips local control of cities like Mission Viejo by using this form letter to contact the noted elected officials.


Submitted by Randy Tiffany on Fri, 01/14/2022 - 7:04 am


Form letter is nice but..... Including mailing addresses for each of the Legislators would get more letters actually being mailed to them.
I also ask if the new regulations override HOA CCRs?

Submitted by Randy Tiffany on Fri, 01/14/2022 - 7:09 am


I also ask if state regulations overrule CCRs. I am also disturbed that environmental concerns (smog, traffic) are going to be ignored by high-density building in Saddleback Valley. The form letter is handy but providing the mailing addresses of our Legislators would help get more petitions out. But, it seems that the horse is out of the barn though....

Submitted by Charlie Kendall on Fri, 01/14/2022 - 8:32 am


Sorry to hear this about Mission Viejo. Once a beautiful planned community once dubbed the California Promise. I have witnessed this in cities in Los Angeles County and the deterioration of quality of life.

Submitted by Rod C. on Fri, 01/14/2022 - 10:03 am


I have never seen a community with high density housing that hasn't lost its beauty. If I wanted high density housing I would have moved to Anaheim , Garden Grove, Stanton, etc. For those that like this idea try moving to Long Beach.

Submitted by City Staff on Wed, 06/28/2023 - 11:01 am


Thank you for your comment on the News page. The City created an FAQ page about Accessory Dwelling Units, which is available through the following link:


An article with more details is available through the following link:


For more information, contact the City’s Community Development Department at 949-470-3053 or cd@cityofmissionviejo.org.

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