Open letter to California legislators: 

I am writing to you to as a resident of the State of California to urge you to oppose SB 1120.

Although I may not be a resident of your district, this bill will affect everyone in my district as negatively as it will affect everyone in your district. As such, in this email I am appealing to your desire to make California stronger as a whole.

SB 1120 (or as I like to think of it, BS 1120) offers an ineffective, one size fits all, option that will not solve the housing crisis in California and will result in a less resilient California over time.

The bill has no provisions that would mitigate the stress that such densification of R-1 neighborhoods will have on our aging and already inadequate infrastructure. It does not require developers, who will profit from the sale of these luxury units (does anyone really believe that these developers will build affordable units in the absence of a requirement to do so?), to improve the streets, electrical grid (already suffering from fatal under maintenance and build out), water infrastructure (to say nothing of providing for more water for the communities they will be building in), or to construct new classrooms for the school districts affected by their development.

It provides for no new green space or other needed community amenities in neighborhoods that were not designed or intended to support such dense residential use.

If this bill is successful, the quality of life in these neighborhoods will diminish, as the bill is not a thoughtful and holistic approach to providing quality housing for Californians.

It is, as far as I can tell, narrowly focused on creating a developer profit friendly environment, in the hope that this will spur the construction of needed housing.

It may be well intentioned (I am not so sure, but, for the sake of argument will accept this premise), but it is a blunt tool that offers bad urban planning (to the degree that there is any planning contemplated in this bill) and will result in many negative unintended consequences (much like Prop 13, whose fallout we continue to live with.)

This bill amounts to an unfunded burden on local communities, which might be tolerable if it did guarantee some kind of respite from the housing crisis.

But, without any requirement for the construction of affordable housing, this outcome is not just unlikely, it is virtually guaranteed that no additional affordable housing will materialize as a result of SB 1120.

In addition to the above, SB 1120 is fatally flawed because it:

1) wipes out single family zoning, to replace each home with four luxury units;

2) lets developers demolish good affordable homes on our family streets;

3) replaces homes with far more expensive rentals, hurting homeownership, especially in Latino and Black working class neighborhoods;

4) will destroy thousands of yards and hundreds of thousands of trees;

5) builds four dense units without garages, where one home now stands;

6) requires just one parking space for each household, no garage;

7) gentrifies and displaces Latino and Black working-class homeowners;

8) doesn’t include a single unit of affordable housing;

9) is a gift to luxury developers and a disgrace during this pandemic;

10) lets speculators take over our residential streets;

11) forces families bidding on homes to compete with rental giants like Blackstone; and

12) wrongly called a duplex bill, it allows 4 homes or 2 duplexes where one home is now.

I urge you to oppose SB 1120.

Ofer Grossman, Resident of Santa Monica