Stop the Loss of Local Control! 4


It’s not over… SB-50 may be shelved temporarily, but we are still under attack by Sacramento! There are a slew of other state/assembly bills that are moving forward which, if passed, will eliminate local governance over land use and zoning. Most of these proposed bills aim to eliminate single family neighborhoods.

These bills will be voted at the Capitol by the Senators and Assembly Members, not by you and I. We have No SAY, even though it will directly impact us in many ways; mentally, physically and financially. For detailed analyses of the impact of these bills see the letters by Lydia Kou and Hydee Feldstein.

On March 30, 2019, 48 Hills in San Francisco presented a very informative talk by “geographical economist” Dr. Michael Storper entitled “Why Scott Wiener’s SB-50 Won’t Get Us Affordable Housing.” The following two videos are Dr. Storper’s talk and the Q&A session that followed.

Why Scott’ Wiener’s SB-50 Won’t Get Us Affordable Housing
Question & Answer Session

On March 17, 2019 Livable California, Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning and Palo Alto Neighborhoods co-sponsored a Town Hall Meeting on SB-50 and the CASA Compact. Speakers included Susan Kirsch, Dennis Richards, Doria Summa, Bill Brand and Lydia Kou.

Stop the erosion and loss of local decision-making and control to state legislators in Sacramento. SB50 and other proposed regional proposals threaten R-1 neighborhoods, cities and towns throughout the state.

The goal of Silicon Valley Housing Forum on April 6, 2019, sponsored by Better Cupertino and other local organizations, was to raise awareness about the significant changes that will occur where we live if these bills become laws. The expert panelists shared views and entertained questions from the audience.
Panelists for the forum included Susan Kirsch (Livable California), Steven Scharf (Cupertino), Michael Goldman (Sunnyvale), Julie Testa (Pleasanton) and Lydia Kou (Palo Alto).

On January 31, 2019 the San Francisco Planning Commission held a meeting to discuss Housing Strategies for the city, SB-50 and the CASA Compact.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has just passed a resolution opposing SB-50, stating that it “undermines the ability of local governments to protect existing housing and small businesses, and otherwise advance the public good.”


Palo Alto Mayor Eric Filseth discusses with the Weekly his concerns with Senate Bill 50, which aims to boost California’s housing stock, and his own ideas for addressing the state’s housing shortage.

On March 29, 2019 Palo Alto Vice Mayor Adrian Fine and Greer Stone, vice chair of the Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission, join Weekly journalists for a discussion of state Senate Bill 50

Listen to the January 21, 2019 KQED Forum on CASA with host Rachael Myrow and guests Susan Kirsch, Founder, Livable California; Michael Covarrubias, CASA Co-Chair, CEO, TMG Partners and Guy Marzorati, reporter, KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk.

Read Guy Mazorati’s article on The California Report

For more details, read Diane Diamond’s article


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4 thoughts on “Stop the Loss of Local Control!

  • Ken

    Used to be a Charter City could reject State mandates on land use but apparently by adding “emergency” to legislation, Sacramento law makers can do as they please. Is Any one challenging this. Maybe Trump heard about this new State attitude and is using it to justify the wall.

  • david schrom

    Ask for what we want: an end to growth of population and artifact in Palo Alto, the Bay Area, California, the US, and the world. The only reason people shrink from asking this is because we feel it’s “impossible.” But politically impossible is a temporary human construct. Ecologically impossible is a permanent and trans-human construct. The consequence of unending growth in all biological systems is collapse. The consequence of growth beyond some limit is degraded quality of life. Nature trumps politics.

    • Maurice Green

      Spot on, David! A speaker for ZPG (Zero Population Growth) once said to me “Population growth is like filling up a bathtub. At some point you either have to build the walls of the tub higher or shut off the water.” I replied “Man and Mother Nature have a third solution. Every now and then they pull the plug.”

  • John B

    Bay area is too expensive for young generation, middle class, low income class etc who work here. They are commuting from far away places San Ramon, Tracy, Lathrop etc clogging all the major high ways and burdening on the environment and losing their valuable family time. Unless you bought a house a generation back or more, its just unaffordable. Either you ask companies to close down in bay area and move to other places, I do not see a reason, how you can make housing affordable unless converting SFR into duplex, triplex or less than 10/15 apts, I do not see a meaningful way to reduce the rent or affordability. When you have given permission for companies to open here, your city council and Mayor forgot to create housing related to job growth. Its time for correcting this and I believe this is what SB50 is planning for. You can’t push the housing problem to other cities. There is no point holding to zoning formulated 50 years back, to work for 21st century needs. Please suggest viable plans, rather than just opposing. There is good broader support from Governor and responsible organizations.