Home California Asm Buffy Wicks Introduces “Yes in God’s Backyard” Bill to Assist States Housing Crisis

Asm Buffy Wicks Introduces “Yes in God’s Backyard” Bill to Assist States Housing Crisis

by ECT

On Monday, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) introduced a bill that would allow faith communities to assist in the housing crisis.

The law would address underused parking lots and eliminate minimum parking requirements to pave the way for affordable housing.

The move comes after the San Diego City Council made the move in December to allow faith based communities to build affordable housing in their parking lots. The action lifted the city code to maintain a number of parking spaces for the purpose of assembly and cleared the way for housing.

The group who pushed the idea called themselves Yes in God’s Backyard,” or YIGBY — a play on the YIMBY, or “yes in my backyard” movement according to KPBS.

According to AB 1851:

This bill would upon the request of a developer of a housing development project, require a local agency to ministerially approve a request to that local agency to reduce or eliminate any parking requirements that would otherwise be imposed by that local agency on the development if the housing development project qualifies as a faith-based organization affiliated housing development project, as defined. This bill would prohibit a local agency from requiring the replacement of religious-use parking spaces proposed to be eliminated by a faith-based organization affiliated housing development project pursuant to a request made and ministerially approved pursuant to the bill, or from requiring the curing of any preexisting deficit of religious-use parking as a condition of approval of a faith-based organization affiliated housing development project. The bill would include findings that the changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities.

For more on Assemblymember Wicks, visit her at www.a15.asmdc.org

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Joey Munson Jan 7, 2020 - 8:47 am

I can see this one going sideways real quick since some churches don’t have enough parking as it is and will be on city streets or in neighborhoods. Does this mean they pay taxes on the housing? Is this state paid housing? Is this a revenue generator for the churches? I am also curious if the bill clarifies a church must own its land or if they are leasing/renting if they can also build.

I bet Antioch City Council has this policy on their agenda within the next 30 days.

Martin Jan 8, 2020 - 11:21 pm

Great questions! Who would own those structures and who would pay the property taxes? For some odd reason, churches are exempt.

Also, what parent would name their daughter “Buffy?”

Dr. Jellyfinger Jan 9, 2020 - 9:51 pm

Brian Keith?

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