New California Law Allows the Ministerial Approval of Two Residential Units and Lot Splits in Single Family Residential Zones Statewide
By Tanner Shelton, AICP
Senate Bill 9 was introduced in the California State Senate in late 2020 by Senator Toni Atkins (D- San Diego). After a nearly ten-month journey through both houses of the State legislature, on September 16, 2021 Senate Bill 9 (SB-9) was signed into law by Governor Newsom, taking effect on January 1, 2022. The controversial bill generated a large amount of debate and discussion in communities statewide, representing another chapter in the ongoing “local vs. state control” battles that have been simmering in California land use policy due to the State’s ongoing and persistent housing crisis. In fact, when passed, many publications deemed SB-9 as the “End of Single- Family Zoning” in California. But what exactly does this mean? And how does it impact local jurisdictions and property owners statewide, particularly in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties? This paper will briefly summarize the critical components of SB- 9, discuss the implementation of this legislation, and unravel how the legislation can be utilized by interested property owners.