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  1. #1
    Over 9000! Spirit Halloween Voter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Newsom Signs Law Limiting Single Family Homes

    Beating the NIMBYs is almost as satisfying as beating Elder. Upzoning to create more housing supply is essential to solving the housing crisis in popular metroplexes.

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation allowing the construction of duplexes on most properties with one home, a severe curtailing of single-family zoning in a state struggling with some of the nation’s highest housing prices.

    The legislation, a long-sought goal for proponents of more housing construction, also makes it easier to divide existing lots into two, potentially providing the opportunity for four homes to be built where one was previously allowed.

    ...

    An analysis of the legislation released in July by the Terner Center for Housing Affordability at the University of California, Berkeley, found that 6.1 million of the state’s 7.5 million single-family lots would be eligible for the construction of duplexes or division under the new legislation. Of those, 410,000 could potentially see more units constructed, the analysis found. The rest face space limitations or wouldn’t be financially feasible.

    The new law is part of a package of four bills Mr. Newsom signed Thursday intended to enable more housing construction.

    Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis previously placed limits on single-family zoning, and the federal infrastructure bill supported by President Biden contains incentives for local governments to take similar steps.


    It wont solve the crisis on its own. But taking the lid off of SFH zoning is a great first step.

  2. #2
    Calling this law "limiting single-family homes" is a gross misconstruing of what the legislation does. Not quite as gross as the rightwing articles claiming he banned single-family homes, but pretty close.

    This bill in no way eliminates or reduces the number of single-family homes that can be built. What it does is change zones where ONLY single-family homes can be built, to allow duplexes or quadplexes to be built instead if desired.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkTZeratul View Post
    Calling this law "limiting single-family homes" is a gross misconstruing of what the legislation does. Not quite as gross as the rightwing articles claiming he banned single-family homes, but pretty close.

    This bill in no way eliminates or reduces the number of single-family homes that can be built. What it does is change zones where ONLY single-family homes can be built, to allow duplexes or quadplexes to be built instead if desired.
    This has been needed for years and is great news.

  4. #4
    This is a good thing, as it loosens zoning laws. Newsom finally opted for the path of less government.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Machismo View Post
    This is a good thing, as it loosens zoning laws. Newsom finally opted for the path of less government.
    Nah, he’s also spending $12B to house the homeless.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkTZeratul View Post
    Calling this law "limiting single-family homes" is a gross misconstruing of what the legislation does. Not quite as gross as the rightwing articles claiming he banned single-family homes, but pretty close.
    Which is bonkers, because "loosen zoning laws" has been the housing plan of Libertarians and the five conservatives that still actually care about policy. They'd rather make up shit and exaggerate than say "hey, look, we were right all along."
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  7. #7
    The Insane Kathandira's Avatar
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    I don't know how these sorts of homes work elsewhere. But you can own a duplex, and rent one side out, or both if you choose. So where it would have been a single family home where the family owns the house, now it is a two family home, where either one family, or neither family that lives in it owns it.

    So while this does allow more living space for people, it doesn't seem like it will increase home ownership in the way people may think. This could allow someone to buy several of these duplex's, or quadplex's, and rent them out for whatever price they like. Essentially, they are just apartments in that way.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    Nah, he’s also spending $12B to house the homeless.
    The cruel man is denying them the opportunity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Egomaniac View Post
    The cruel man is denying them the opportunity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps!
    Yeah. It’s so ridiculous he’d look to address the massive homeless population when rich people are being forced to wear masks and get vaccinated. Priorities people!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathandira View Post
    I don't know how these sorts of homes work elsewhere. But you can own a duplex, and rent one side out, or both if you choose. So where it would have been a single family home where the family owns the house, now it is a two family home, where either one family, or neither family that lives in it owns it.

    So while this does allow more living space for people, it doesn't seem like it will increase home ownership in the way people may think. This could allow someone to buy several of these duplex's, or quadplex's, and rent them out for whatever price they like. Essentially, they are just apartments in that way.
    It isn't necessarily meant to improve home ownsership rates (though that will also happen)...it's meant to provide additional housing. 6 million lots can potentially become 12 million+ homes

    People that can't afford a single home can afford a duplex if they can rent out the other half. Or they can buy a smaller lot.

    And sure, Landlords will still be a thing...but instead of renting out a single home for like $4k/m (arbitrary number) they can rent out two homes for $2.5k/m each (another arbitrary number). They won't really be able to rent them out for whatever price they like...because the supply of housing has increased.

    It's not going to immediately change the housing situation in California...but it lays some groundwork for the future.

  11. #11
    The Unstoppable Force PC2's Avatar
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    More options, more density, more houses and people. More is better so I think everyone is okay with this.

    California recently experienced a net loss in our population for the first year in history. Anything to help counter that is good.
    Last edited by PC2; 2021-09-20 at 02:17 PM.

  12. #12
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egomaniac View Post
    It isn't necessarily meant to improve home ownsership rates (though that will also happen)...it's meant to provide additional housing. 6 million lots can potentially become 12 million+ homes
    Also, single-family homes in suburbs don't pay for their own servicing, in terms of property tax. It simply costs too much to provide that servicing, given the distances covered and the population density it serves.

    Duplexes and above mitigate this a fair bit; the property taxes aren't that different, but the servicing costs are minimal; we're not talking "the amount of water consumed" when we talk servicing, we're talking the cost of the pipes running to the home and the like, which doesn't get doubled up for a duplex; one pipe will serve both halves of the duplex. Same for sewage, power, and things like mass transit are a lot more feasible as well with a higher population density.

    Duplexes aren't ideal; apartments and condos are even better. But they're a hell of a lot better than single detached homes.


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathandira View Post
    I don't know how these sorts of homes work elsewhere. But you can own a duplex, and rent one side out, or both if you choose. So where it would have been a single family home where the family owns the house, now it is a two family home, where either one family, or neither family that lives in it owns it.

    So while this does allow more living space for people, it doesn't seem like it will increase home ownership in the way people may think. This could allow someone to buy several of these duplex's, or quadplex's, and rent them out for whatever price they like. Essentially, they are just apartments in that way.
    It is basically the equivalent of house to condo conversion in San Francisco. The City has a lottery based condo conversion permitting system since the 90 for 2 - 6 units. It was put on hold during the pandemic. When it does eventually come back, 2 units won't require lottery, 3-4 units will require lottery, and no more 5 units and up.

    Our home is such a conversion. It was a 1906 Edwardian. The developer split it into a 3,600 sq. feet ground floor unit and 2,400 sq. feet upper unit. Shared backyard and garage. There is a trust fund managed by a trustee. The developer deposited 100k into it when he did the conversion and we paid monthly fee into it also. The fund is invested. Because of the market rapid growth in the last 12 years, the fund has over 600k now. It is for upkeep of common areas, roof replacement every 20 years, repainting, etc. Any changes to the common areas and exterior of the building require written agreement from the owners of the other unit. The trustee keep a record of all the agreements through the years. Owners are free to do anything they want inside their respective units. They do need to provide the trustee with any changes that they made. Such as flooring, windows, air purifying system, etc.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Also, single-family homes in suburbs don't pay for their own servicing, in terms of property tax. It simply costs too much to provide that servicing, given the distances covered and the population density it serves.

    Duplexes and above mitigate this a fair bit; the property taxes aren't that different, but the servicing costs are minimal; we're not talking "the amount of water consumed" when we talk servicing, we're talking the cost of the pipes running to the home and the like, which doesn't get doubled up for a duplex; one pipe will serve both halves of the duplex. Same for sewage, power, and things like mass transit are a lot more feasible as well with a higher population density.

    Duplexes aren't ideal; apartments and condos are even better. But they're a hell of a lot better than single detached homes.
    That subject actually deserved an entire thread by itself. Putting a single home on a 0.5 - 1 acre lot which is typical of US and Canadian suburbs is a drain on resources. Especially compared to the so called walkable cities.
    Last edited by Rasulis; 2021-09-20 at 05:40 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasulis View Post

    That subject actually deserved an entire thread by itself. Putting a single home on a 0.5 - 1 acre lot which is typical of US and Canadian suburbs is a drain on resources. Especially compared to the so called walkable cities.
    Is that not covered by property taxes? That's a real question I don't know the answer. I know ideally everyone should live in apartment/condos, but if people want to pay extra to use more of the cities resources, I don't see the problem.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghotihook View Post
    Is that not covered by property taxes?
    Usually not.

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    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghotihook View Post
    Is that not covered by property taxes? That's a real question I don't know the answer. I know ideally everyone should live in apartment/condos, but if people want to pay extra to use more of the cities resources, I don't see the problem.
    It's meant to be covered by property taxes, but those wealthy enough to own a single detached home are also the ones with the most influence in politics, and thus they've lobbied to keep their property taxes unfairly low, and those property taxes do not come anywhere close to covering the actual cost of servicing suburban developments.

    Same selfish reasons the same types argue that their property taxes shouldn't be used to prop up inner-city schools, for that matter. While property taxes vary pretty widely across any given country, this is a factor that's pretty much always true, because of how property valuation is done. Suburban homes aren't worth 2x or more what a duplex is worth, given comparable size/location/features.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghotihook View Post
    Is that not covered by property taxes? That's a real question I don't know the answer. I know ideally everyone should live in apartment/condos, but if people want to pay extra to use more of the cities resources, I don't see the problem.
    Answers will depend wildly by the county, and the amount of grandfathered infrastructure. Also misses that lot sizes have been shrinking substantially. Or that developments in unincorporated areas are being held up, because they cannot secure water.

    They're all points in favor of having more planning and zoning being done at the state level. Instead of individual cities or counties acting like miniature feudal states.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KuerbisgeschmackShake View Post
    Answers will depend wildly by the county, and the amount of grandfathered infrastructure. Also misses that lot sizes have been shrinking substantially. Or that developments in unincorporated areas are being held up, because they cannot secure water.

    They're all points in favor of having more planning and zoning being done at the state level. Instead of individual cities or counties acting like miniature feudal states.
    Oof, Yea so that answer is prob not. I pay $3400/yr in taxes but according to a video someone else posted, that's more than likely not enough. I wonder how much more I would have to pay for it to be stable. I know my brother pays around $6000 for a similarly sized home.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by ghotihook View Post
    Oof, Yea so that answer is prob not. I pay $3400/yr in taxes but according to a video someone else posted, that's more than likely not enough. I wonder how much more I would have to pay for it to be stable. I know my brother pays around $6000 for a similarly sized home.
    $3,400 a year in Taxes? Where do you live and what size lot are you on?

    I am on a 1 acre lot that is right near a Walmart Distribution Center serving 3 states and the taxes on this lot isn't but maybe $550 a year.

    What, do you own a 5,000 square foot place on 12 acres or something?
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fugus View Post
    $3,400 a year in Taxes? Where do you live and what size lot are you on?

    I am on a 1 acre lot that is right near a Walmart Distribution Center serving 3 states and the taxes on this lot isn't but maybe $550 a year.

    What, do you own a 5,000 square foot place on 12 acres or something?
    1/4 acre lot 2500sq ft. Pretty much a normal suburban house in Minnesota. I rechecked and I pay $921 in P&I, $160 in insurance and $284 in taxes per month. so the $3400 for taxes/yr is about right.

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