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Some cities in California are exploring ways to make housing more difficult to build

Earlier this year, California joined Oregon to become the second state to pass policy that would allow additional housing density in single-family neighborhoods. Set to take effect on January 1, 2022, Senate Bill 9 requires that communities across California allow duplexes — and in some cases four units if they sever their lot — in most low-rise neighborhoods.

This is similar to what Toronto is looking at doing, though the details seem to be different. But as I mentioned before, sometimes you can have the broader permissions in place and yet very little building actually takes place because of other land use restrictions or market factors.

People in California seem to get this dynamic, because the Los Angeles Times just reported that some/many cities in California are now looking at local policies that would mitigate the effects of Senate Bill 9. In other words, they’re looking at policies that would make it harder to build the housing that this new law was hoping to unlock.

Land use planning is a funny thing.

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