It will soon be easier for builders to receive permission to build near transit-rich areas. In another effort to combat the state’s severe housing shortage, California’s legislature recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 10 to smooth the way for these new developments.

Each city and county in California is required to develop a general plan that outlines the community’s vision of future development through a series of policy statements and goals.

Under SB 10, local governments may meet these plans by adjusting zoning for new developments of up to 10 units per parcel when they are located in a(n):

  • transit-rich area; or
  • urban infill site.

A transit-rich area is defined as:

  • a parcel within one-half mile of a major transit stop; or
  • a parcel on a high-quality bus corridor, or a fixed-route bus service that meets specified service interval times.

An urban infill site is defined as:

  • a site that is a legal parcel; or
  • parcels located in a city that includes an urbanized area or urban cluster.

California’s legislative members see the housing shortage as a statewide concern and will continue to work quickly to provide adequate housing, especially for low-to moderate-income earners. As useable land for building residential units dwindles in California’s most desirable cities, it’s important to consider these alternative sites for much-needed new housing. As a bonus, access to transit makes these sites more efficient for builders, as this eases the need for parking requirements while allowing for denser units.

Read more about California’s legislative efforts to combat the housing shortage at our  Legislative Steps toward Affordable Housing page.