BuyersSellers September 10, 2021

Senate Bills 9 and 10 Could Shake Up Our Communities

Here are the basics of Senate bills 9 and 10 that could affect us.

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Here in California, two pending housing bills could shake up our local communities: Senate bill 9 and Senate bill 10.

SB-9 is the Duplex Measure. This bill allows up to four units on a single-family zoned parcel. It was written to encourage homeowners to split lots, build multi-residential housing, and gradually add to the number of available units. To stop commercial developers from speculative building, legislators have written into the bill that the homeowner must live in one of the units for at least three years after the lot has been split.

I’m thrilled that this bill allows homeowners to build wealth through housing development. The downside is that building costs and the logistics of lot splitting may make this difficult to implement.


Both bills have passed the state Senate and the Assembly and are now sitting on the Governor’s desk.


SB-10 is about rezoning. This bill allows local governments to zone any parcel of land, including a single-family residential lot, to allow buildings of 10 units or less. There are restrictions where the local government can do this: The parcel needs to be in urban infill (under-utilized parcels), already developed areas, and near public transit. The parcel cannot be within a fire hazard area or a designated historical neighborhood.

This process can bypass the reports, studies, and litigation often brought on by the California Environmental Quality Act, all of which add to the expense and time to build. A key part of this legislation is that local government city councils have the authority to decide whether or not to implement this rezoning.

Neither of these bills will necessarily cure our housing shortage. However, they address obstacles to increasing housing development. Both have passed the state Senate and the Assembly and are now sitting on the Governor’s desk. We’ll keep an eye on what happens with these bills and how our local city councils react to them.

If you have any questions at all about these bills or real estate in general, please feel free to give us a call or send an email. We would love to be your real estate resource.