Defend Proposition 13 And Single-Family Zoned Neighborhoods

If you spent your life savings and your life’s earnings to buy a home on a quiet street in a single-family neighborhood in California, you’ve been robbed.

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Your camera-enabled doorbell and security system likely failed to record the evidence, because the robbery happened in Sacramento. Worse, it’s not against the law. It is the law.

Single-family zoning has been abolished. The people who profit from that include developers who want to buy the land and put up high-density housing on small parcels, building industry and real estate interests who will see a nice payday from the new construction, and various nonprofit groups run by moist-eyed executives drawing six-figure salaries for “managing” low-income or homeless housing projects.

Against these special interests stand homeowners and local government officials who have battled for years against laws proposed in the state capitol to force cities to accept state-imposed zoning changes.

The special interests won a battle in 2021. The Legislature passed Senate Bills 9 and 10, ending single-family zoning in California, and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed them into law just as soon as he was past the risk of being recalled. The war isn’t over, however, as a bipartisan coalition of local leaders filed an initiative that would prevent those laws from having any effect and would ban any similar state laws in the future.

The local leaders call their initiative “Our Neighborhood Voices,” and the attorney general has given it a circulating title – the title that appears on the official petitions – of “Provides That Local Land-Use and Zoning Laws Override Conflicting State Laws.” It needs nearly 1 million valid signatures of registered voters by mid-April to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. If it passes, cities will once again be empowered to control local zoning and make the decisions about where higher density housing may be built, along with decisions about any requirements for developers to provide off-street parking or traffic mitigation measures.

Does it have a chance?

Some people clearly think so. Another initiative has been introduced that contains a poison pill to kill it.

Initiative 21-0032A1 was filed on November 10 by attorney Stanley R. Apps. The attorney general has given it a circulating title of, “Increases Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption and Renters’ Tax Credit. Increases Taxes on High-Value Properties. Limits Local Restrictions on Housing Development.”

The Apps initiative is another attack on Proposition 13, cracking the 1% tax rate on property that the 1978 initiative wrote into the state constitution. If this new measure qualifies for the ballot and is approved by voters, properties valued above $4 million would see an increase in their tax rate. This would affect commercial, residential, industrial, mixed-use or vacant land. The measure also changes the law to require cities to approve certain low-income housing projects “ministerially without discretionary review or a hearing.”

The poison pill is in Section 9 of the initiative. It declares that the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative is “deemed to be in conflict with this Act,” and states that if the Apps initiative gets a greater number of votes than the ONV measure, “the provisions of this Act [the Apps measure] shall prevail in their entirety” and “all provisions of the other measure or measures [Our Neighborhood Voices] shall be null and void.”

Now, you may be asking yourself, why would more California voters choose an initiative that both attacks Proposition 13 and cements the abolition of single-family zoning so developers can more easily construct high-density housing in more neighborhoods?

Click here to read the full article at OC Register


  1. Richard Cathcart says

    Democrat Party professional politicians know they have no interest or ability to solve the housing crisis in California. Since it is to their advantage voter-wise, and the problem has become so geographically widespread and fabulously expensive to “solve”, they have chosen expediency: spread out the house-less population of illegal and citizens migrants into a veneer of “rust-like” humanity that slowly and surely speeds up the decay of California’s suburbia. Then, concentrate all Californians into big, politically powerful coastal cities where Big Tech and “smart” PR firms keep Democrats in power for ETERNITY.

  2. The leftists in California have a single-minded zeal to eliminate Proposition 13, which they believe embodies the essence of white privilege, allowing those (mostly white) people who can afford to own something in California to escape “fair” taxation. There is huge grumbling among the younger, recent real estate purchasers that they have to pay $20,000 in property tax while the house next door pays only $3000. It’s only a matter of time before Prop 13 is killed by leftists who couldn’t care less how many seniors are forced to sell.

  3. Look in the mirror you voted for them.

    The now radicalized Democrat Socialist Party does not believe in or backs private property (both real or intellectual).

    This tactic of a poison pill has been used in the past and was built by Moon Beam Brown. The grumblers mentioned by Carrie are caught by the Socialist / Communist politicians they have voted for. This would not be a huge issue if they understood Capitalism, and wanted private property to be a concept held inviolate by the State.

    I find it interesting that the numbers of properties for sale along the Calif. Coast is dropping. One reason is the punishing taxes and inability to buy another home with the proceeds. If inventory is not there the price will go up.

    Envy and greed pure and simple. “I don’t like someone has more then I have.”

    Cross your fingers. Will the voters in Kalif. get it? The inflation and punishing skyrocketing cost of living just in the past 2 years is a direct result of Democrats.

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