Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

The two new controversial housing bills that could dismantle Santa Barbara’s single-family homes and replace them with multi-unit housing are making their way through the legislature. 

Senate Bills 9 and 10 both aim to create more housing, but opponents feel the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work well for the Santa Barbara community. Senate Bill 9 passed the Senate May 26 and is now in the Assembly. Senate Bill 10 is still in the Senate and will be heard on the Senate floor in the next couple of days, which would mean they would likely pass the full Senate and then move on to the Assembly.

Senate Bill 9 allows homeowners to put a duplex on single-family lots or split them without requiring a hearing or approval from the local government. Where a single-family home stood, eight units of housing can be built. Senate Bill 10 would allow cities to adopt an ordinance to zone any parcel of land, including single-family homes, for up to 10 units of housing if it is located in a “transit-rich or jobs-rich area” or is an urban infill site. Both bills will not require environmental analysis. Like SB 9, SB 10 also only requires ministerial approval. 

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