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

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Photo by Buffy Wicks

On Tuesday, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) that would allow faith communities to assist in the housing crises moved forward.

The bill, AB 1851, was introduced in January and this week passed out of committee in an 8-0 vote (Aguiar-Curry, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Lackey, Ramos, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Voepel).

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

The bill was introduced 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

3 COMMENTS

  1. How about churches just pay taxes. And no, not just Christian ones; temples, mosques, all of them.

  2. Clever acronyms don’t mean a thing. The problem with this legislation is that it takes away the local community’s ability to regulate such construction yet leaves it with all the resulting undesirable consequences. Another case of “big brother state government thinks it knows best.”

  3. I don’t trust anything coming out of anybody with a name like “BUFFY” (WTH is THAT???). We’re already overcrowded here and now she wants us to be like sardines in a can?

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