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August 16, 2022

Letter: SB 10 unlikely to accomplish its purpose

I’ve just written this letter to Governor Newsom and think the public should know too. 

SB 10 needs your veto. It was produced under pressure to “do something” about our critical lack of affordable housing, but is highly unlikely to accomplish its stated purpose. In fact it is dangerous in several ways. 

1. It allows local elected officials to overrule voter-approved initiatives, a right provided by the California constitution. It strikes at the heart of democracy, our sacred right to vote. This will create even more distrust of politicians like yourself! 

2. It undermines critical environmental protections, allowing certain projects to avoid CEQA evaluations. 

3. There is nothing in the bill which requires housing to be built or provides incentives or subsidies to do that. If the state is serious about providing more housing, it needs to subsidize it or provide more money to cities to do that. 

4. There will be many unintended consequences and legal challenges because redlining and zoning restrictions (which SB 10 is aimed at) are often not the reason for lack of housing. Each community is unique and these problems are best solved at the local level with financial help from the state. 

I have been following housing issues at the local level for more than 30 years. There is always pressure to build more, but prices never come down. The laws of supply and demand do not work in this situation. 

Connie Rogers

Chair, Gilroy Growing Smarter

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