On September 16, 2021, in a bipartisan effort to increase California’s housing supply, streamline the
process for cities to zone for multi-unit housing, and ease California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
restrictions, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bills 9 and 10 which go into effect January 1, 2022.
SB 9 - CALIFORNIA HOUSING OPPORTUNITY AND
MORE EFFICIENCY (HOME) ACT
• Allows qualifying urban lots to be split into a maximum of two
residential units within a single-family residential zone (SB 9 allows
for the split of 1 residential lot into 2. With existing law, each of those
lots can have 1 Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) for a potential of 4
• Criteria include, but are not limited to:
» Proposed development would not require demolition or alteration
of housing subject to low-income restrictions
» Proposed development would not require demolition of more
than 25% of existing exterior structural walls, except as provided
» Proposed development is not located within historic district or
designated as a landmark
• Applicant for urban lot split must sign an affidavit stating that they
intend to occupy one of the housing units as their principal residence
for a minimum of 3 years from the date the split is approved.
• Expiration date for an approved or conditionally approved tentative
map for an urban lot split is extended by SB 9.
•There are restrictions as to how the proposed development can be
built, such as the size and location of the proposed development.
• Allows a local government (including charter cities) to adopt an
ordinance to zone any parcel located in a “transit-rich area” or
“urban infill site” for up to 10 units per parcel at a height specified
by the local government in the ordinance.
» For a parcel to qualify as being in a “transit-rich area”, the parcel
must be within one-half mile of a major transit stop or on a
high-qualify bus corridor (a fixed route bus service with qualifying
times and intervals, as further defined in the bill).
» For a parcel to qualify as being in an “urban infill site,” it must be:
- A parcel located in a city that includes some portion of
urbanized area or urban cluster as designated by the U.S.
- A parcel in an unincorporated area located wholly within the
boundaries of an urbanized area or urban cluster
- A parcel in a site where 75% of the site’s perimeter adjoins
parcels that are developed with urban uses
- A parcel in a site that is zoned/has a general plan for residential
use or residential mixed-use development with at least 2/3
of the square footage of the development designated for
• Allows a local government to adopt said ordinance before 1-1-
29. On or after 1-1-29 no more ordinances can be adopted. An
ordinance already in existence on 1-1-29 may continue to operate
• A zoning ordinance adopted under these provisions would need
to have clearly demarcated the areas subject to the ordinance
and been consistent with the city or county’s obligation to further
• A zoning ordinance under these provisions is not authorized for
parcels located within sites with a very high fire hazard severity
zone, as determined by the Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection, unless the proposed site has adopted fire hazard
• Once an ordinance is adopted under these provisions to increase
the number of units allowed on a parcel within a qualifying site,
the adopting local government shall not subsequently reduce the
number of units allowed on that parcel by the ordinance.
For a complete explanation of these bills, please visit:
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