Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

There’s a saying, “As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation.” Let’s hope California’s influence has waned and this is no longer true.

The American Dream is under assault across the country, but nowhere is it more evident than in California where social justice activists and Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom are invading single-family home neighborhoods with plans to replace them with multi-unit properties. Expect to see similar action occurring in many other blue states as they rush to fulfill the Biden mandate to build more affordable, multi-family housing.

Recently Governor Gavin Newson signed Senate Bill 9. S.B. 9 effectively ended single-family zoning in a state with a population of 40 million. The bill legalizes duplexes statewide and allows people to subdivide single-family lots. California’s cities have lost the power to prevent the building of backyard units. Within the bill, state legislators mandated the reduction of development fees, requires cities to issue permits within a few weeks, and prohibits the requirement of dedicated parking spots.

In San Diego, its city council allowed bonuses for up to 6 units per lot no matter the lot size if some of the new multi-family units are dedicated to low to moderate income households. As a result of S.B 9 and expanded laws in many counties, slightly over ten percent of the state’s new housing (about 13,000 permits) consisting of multi-family units are being built in backyards throughout the state. In Southern California, four-unit multi-family buildings are surging in backyards. One can drive down a street and see a cute little bungalow with a 4-unit apartment complex in its backyard.

There are, of course, unintended consequences. Single family properties are becoming even more unaffordable for purchase by the average homeowner. By allowing these small apartment complexes in backyards, the value of single-family properties has sky rocketed and what was once marginally affordable is now completely unaffordable. Instead, developers are buying up single family lots and adding apartment complexes on the lots.

Add to the mix the plethora of Anti-Discrimination laws in the state. A developer who purchased a single-family lot and then added a 4-unit multi-family apartment complex is, in essence, an absentee landlord. Their reputation proceeds them as they do not care about the quality of the tenancy as long as the rent is paid (by somebody…the state? The feds?). The propensity to increase crime in the neighborhood is always a looming possibility.

Make no mistake. Biden’s ultimate goal is to urbanize the suburbs resulting in all of the things people originally moved away from. The American Dream of a home with a backyard in which the kids can play and the opportunity to become part of a small community is under threat of disappearing. America, as we have always known it and loved it, is slowly being taken away from us.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       


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