Governor Newsom Signs Senator Wiener’s Housing Density Legislation

September 16, 2021

SACRAMENTO - Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 10. SB 10 creates a streamlined process for cities to zone for missing middle multi-unit housing in a streamlined manner, without having to go through often-years-long environmental reviews.

Senator Wiener issued the following statement:

“California’s severe housing shortage is badly damaging our state, and we need many approaches to tackle it. SB 10 provides one important approach: making it dramatically easier and faster for cities to zone for more housing. It shouldn’t take 5 or 10 years for cities to re-zone, and SB 10 gives cities a powerful new tool to get the job done quickly. I want to thank the Governor for signing this essential bill and for continuing to lead on housing.”

SB 10 allows cities to upzone non-sprawl areas (areas that are close to transit or in existing urbanized locations, thus reducing vehicle usage and long commutes) for up to ten unit buildings, without having to go through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Cities will also be able to designate these projects as by right, meaning they can be approved ministerially and without a lengthy approval process. By allowing cities to choose to zone for up to 10 units per parcel, SB 10 makes it possible for cities to build significantly more housing in a way that makes sense within their local context.

SB 10 is sponsored by California YIMBY.