2018 Dec 4, 8:19pm
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A state bill to allow dense housing near transit stops, alleviating long commutes and coaxing people out of cars, never made it out of committee last session. But backers think the mood has shifted enough in the housing debate to try again.“I think the political climate is changing,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. He’s the lead sponsor of the More HOMES Act — HOMES stands for Housing, Opportunity, Mobility, Equity and Stability.“In talking to my colleagues, there’s more support than there was earlier,” Wiener said.The new iteration, SB50, prevents cities from restricting density within a half mile of a major job center or transit hub, such as a BART or Caltrain station. It raises height limits to 45 feet, about four stories, within a half-mile of the station, and 55 feet or five stories within a quarter mile. It also eliminates minimum parking requirements for new developments, a move that the Board of Supervisors is contemplating for San Francisco. ...I think the difference is that we’ve had a year to build a bigger coalition,” said Matt Lewis, spokesman for California YIMBY, an advocacy group that’s co-sponsoring the new bill. He said the intertwined crises of scarce housing, traffic congestion and air pollution have all worsened in the past year, giving Wiener’s legislation a new sense of urgency. Just last week, the California Air Resources Board published a report saying that auto carbon emissions have increased because people are driving longer distances between home and work.