A bill that would encourage construction of housing near transit stations died in the last session of the California legislature. It's now back. The Mercury News reports:
A controversial bill with the potential to add millions of apartments and condominiums near transit — which died in its first committee hearing earlier this year — was resurrected Monday, but with a number of significant changes. Already, some of the changes are raising eyebrows.
When San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener introduced SB 827, his proposal sparked a red-hot debate over how and where we build housing in the Golden State. The measure would have required cities to allow housing developments of four to eight stories within a half-mile radius of every BART station, Caltrain stop or other railroad station, and a quarter-mile from bus stops where buses run every 15 minutes during commute times.
Pro-development groups who believe the state should relinquish its attachment to single-family homes cheered. City officials weary of state-led influence over local developments gulped. One Beverly Hills city councilman described the measure as “Soviet-style master planning with raging crony capitalism.” Social justice and affordable housing advocacy groups balked, decrying the measure as a give-away to developers at the expense of low-income and working class residents who would be displaced if the bill had passed.