Key Local Advocates for Environmental Protection Endorse the Our Neighborhood Voices Campaign

Our Neighborhood Voices Sb 9 Sb 10

Officials say new laws turning planning decisions over to developers will create sprawl and environmental damage and these laws must be overturned.

Three key California environmental leaders have joined the campaign to restore a neighborhood voice in planning – with all three citing the serious environmental damage that will come from letting developers make key planning decisions.

Environmental advocate and Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz, San Francisco Supervisor and former California Coastal Commissioner Aaron Peskin and former California state Assembly Member and Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Fred Keeley have all joined the growing grassroots movement to restore a neighborhood voice in local planning decisions.

Koretz said: “”Zoning and development decisions need to be made at the local level, not by State legislators in Sacramento.  I am in full support of the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative to stop the ill-conceived new laws like SB9 that will displace affordable housing, destroy single-family neighborhoods all over the state and do nothing to address homelessness.”

Peskin said: “San Francisco takes a tough but fair stand with developers requiring they help pay for the cost of growth. New state laws reduce our ability to negotiate for more affordable housing and other public benefits, like parks and open space. We need more affordable housing near transit and jobs, not a virtual blank check to developers.”

Keeley said: “We know from our state’s history that unplanned growth can severely damage California’s environment and that low-income communities can carry the heaviest burden from unplanned growth. We can have new housing without new sprawl and new displacement of low-income communities and new pollution from traffic gridlock.”

In the past several years, Sacramento politicians have passed numerous state laws that take away the ability of local communities to make thoughtful planning decisions.  These laws are denying Californians the right to speak out in a meaningful way when developers are damaging and gentrifying their neighborhoods.

These new state laws, including SB9 and SB10, allow developers to build multi-unit and multi-story buildings next door to single-family homes without local approval, without community input, and without any new contributions to fund transit, schools, parks, roads, public safety or any other services. The new state laws allow developers to build more expensive housing without any units being reserved for affordable housing and with zero new required contributions to affordable housing programs.

The “Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative” will restore local input and the ability of residents to speak out about what is happening next door to their homes and apartments. The initiative is gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot.

A recent state-wide poll showed voters supported restoring a neighborhood voice in planning by a margin of 64.8% yes to 22.7% no with 12.6% undecided. The poll of likely November 2022 voters was conducted by Probolsky Research from November 13 to November 18 in English and Spanish. The poll has a Margin of Error of 3.2 percent.

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