More than 240 California cities of all sizes, regions, and demographics send Governor Newsom letter urging a veto of Senate Bill 9

Sep 10, 2021

Cities warn SB 9 “does not guarantee the construction of affordable housing” and “would undermine community input and the local review process.”


Contact: Kayla Woods
Cell: (530) 844-1744,

Sacramento – Today, more than 240 California cities and the League of California Cities sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to veto Senate Bill 9 (Atkins). SB 9 would establish a “by right” process that allows developers to build up to four housing units on a single parcel in residential neighborhoods traditionally zoned for single-family homes. It effectively prohibits cities and local governments from denying or putting conditions on these projects, except under very limited circumstances.

Cities signing onto the letter represent a mix of large and small, urban, suburban and rural, and ethnically and geographically diverse cities from throughout the state. The letter reads, in part: 

“SB 9 does not guarantee the construction of affordable housing nor will it spur additional housing development in a manner that supports local flexibility, decision-making, and community input.

“Policymakers must avoid pushing new, unproven policies that would undermine local planning, change the rules midstream, or conflict with the myriad of new housing laws recently passed that cities are now implementing. We strongly urge you to VETO SB 9.” 

Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO of the League of California Cities, voiced her strong opposition to SB 9, and highlighted the efforts of cities currently underway to set the table for more housing in their communities:

“We’re disappointed that the Legislature passed Senate Bill 9 and urge Governor Newsom to veto this flawed legislation. SB 9 would undermine the ability of local governments to responsibly plan for the type of housing that communities need, while usurping local democracy and the input of local residents.  

“California cities are taking significant steps to bring down the high cost of housing in our communities. By the end of 2022, all of the state’s major regional governments, including cities, will have identified and planned for more than two million units of additional housing statewide.  Rather than passing flawed legislation like SB 9, state lawmakers should instead work with local governments to provide the tools and resources to streamline local housing approvals and fund affordable housing.”

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Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.