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.
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