The Housing Supply vs. Commute Dilemma.


By Kay Wilson-Bolton

March 21, 2006

            REALTORS® are known for generally supporting housing developments because we help people buy and sell homes.

Beyond that, we are also charged with the responsibility of protecting neighborhoods and quality of life issues in our communities. We are also champions of due process to determine whether or not a development meets the needs of the community.

            The California Association of REALTORS®  is sponsoring an interesting piece of legislation

SB 1177 — Density Bonus. (Hollingsworth, R-El Cajon).  It will be considered for a vote in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee this week.

The California Association of REALTORS® is sponsoring this bill because, statewide, housing is desperately needed. Conservative estimates show that 250,000 new housing units are needed in California each year.

However, local governments only approve plans to build half that number. California’s housing supply crisis threatens the state’s economic health and its citizens’ quality of life. AB 1177 will further encourage the creation of new housing.

SB 1177 makes necessary and minor changes to the density bonus law.  Expands the incentives for builders of moderate-income family housing. Many thousands of households are now being squeezed out of housing options. By giving builders more options, more housing will be built for those who need it.

Some local governments are abusing the current law to micro-manage builders. Requiring developers to open their books to local government in order to prove that a waiver or modification of a local government development standard is necessary, gives local governments the opportunity to dictate, for example, the profit margins of homebuilders, the type of appliances, marketing strategies and design styles to be included in the development.

Under current law, if a homebuilder’s plan meets certain conditions it is eligible for a density bonus or “upzone”, which means that a few more homes can be built on a property for low or moderate households.

This year, C.A.R. is sponsoring SB 1177 to prohibit local governments from examining the financial records of housing developers seeking a density bonus when they apply for a waiver or reduction in development standards.

Requiring developers to open their records to local government in order to prove that a waiver or modification of development standards is necessary gives local governments the opportunity to dictate, for example, the developers profit, the type of appliances, marketing strategies and design styles that should be included in the development.

Additionally, since local governments are not financially contributing to the subdivision, they should not have the right to inspect the financial records. Some might disagree, for now, that’s where we stand.


Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner and Broker of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista  and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025.

About Kay Wilson-Boltonhttp://www.kaywilsonbolton.netWith a full-time career in real estate, I can add to your bank of knowledge, not only in real estate but in many areas of life that deal with people and relationships and choices. My real estate career has taught me many lessons about planning ahead and looking forward. I believe in helping along the way so that they can be the best they can be in any situation. I serve as a Fire Department Chaplain and Coordinator for the Many Meals Project which serves homeless and hungry families in my community. The event is far more than many meals. As a result of my work with the homeless population in my community, I received the Good Neighbor Award 2017 from the National Association of Realtors and named as a Champion of Homes in 2015 by the California Association of Realtors. I make pastoral visits to the inmates in the County Jail System and offer them what God says about "all things being new" and His remarkable plan for our lives. I have served my community as Mayor and in many volunteer capacities. I serve others by serving God first. My husband is involved in prison ministry and is a graphic artist. We live a simple life in Santa Paula with an office cat named Scout, three rescued poodles and a cat named Tony Diane at home.

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