Assembly Republicans’ plan would have streamlined approval for housing and wildfire prevention projects.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assembly Democrats blocked action on a proposal to address California’s twin housing affordability and insurance crises, rejecting a Republican amendment to include home construction and wildfire prevention project in Gov. Newsom’s permitting reform bill.
Despite some of the most expensive home prices in the country and insurers fleeing the state because of mounting wildfire losses, Democrats embraced the status quo that allows special interests to tie up critical projects in years of costly red tape.
“California doesn’t have a housing crisis, we have an affordable housing crisis,” said Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel), who offered the amendment. “Everyday families can’t afford to live where they work and where they want to raise their children. Worse, the Sacramento supermajority have taken no steps to make our communities safer from the dangerous wildfires that have become a year-round nightmare for our state. We can no longer live with the consequences of their inaction. Republicans in the Legislature will continue to offer common-sense solutions to ensure California becomes the Golden State again.”
The Republican amendment would stop abuses of California’s environmental laws that are highjacked by special interests to slow down or block homebuilding or public safety projects.
Just last week, a proposal to build 10 townhomes in Downtown San Francisco was blocked, ostensibly because of shadows the building would cast.
Earlier this year, UC Berkeley was cleared to proceed with a 121 acre wildfire prevention project that had been delayed by two years of litigation at the trial and appellate levels.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that California ranks 32nd in the nation for housing growth, and the misuse of the state’s environmental regulations were cited as one of the factors driving up construction and housing costs.