In response to state laws, cities are pursuing contradictory local initiatives that put them “between the devil and the deep blue sea.”
At the heart of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to ease the state’s housing crisis is an effort to help developers leapfrog many of the local ordinances that can make building virtually impossible.
But cities across the state are hoping to use the November ballot to institute even more restrictions on new development, setting the stage for a showdown that could help determine the future of housing in California.
Experts say the standoff stems from both state policy decisions and a surging economy that’s trying to meet housing demand. The direct conflict between cities and the state has ramped up in recent years, and is coming to a head.
In San Diego County, Del Mar is putting forth a ballot measure that would require residents to vote on developments that would add more density than allowed by existing city rules, much likeProposition A, a measure nearby Encinitas passed in 2013.
The coastal cities of Del Mar, Costa Mesa and Santa Monica all have similar initiatives on this year’s ballot.