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Recent Real Estate Legislation Impacts South Bay Homeowners

Now that the dust has settled after the March 7th elections, many hotly contested real estate measures throughout southern California have been decided by voters. There were not only measures that affected the South Bay, but measures in nearby cities and even state-wide legislation that real estate owners would be wise to study.

How do these affect South Bay homeowners? Today I will examine Measure C in Redondo Beach, Measure S in the city of Los Angeles, and California Senate Bill No. 1069 approved on September 27th, 2016 by Governor Jerry Brown.

Measure C in Redondo Beach

Probably one of the most debated measures in the city’s history, Measure C proposed changes in the city zoning ordinances, specifically in the coastal zone. The proposed changes would be a blow to the City Council approved CenterCal project that would raze most of the 36 acres of developed land for redevelopment in exchange for badly needed repairs to the aging parking structure and other improvements.

Voters that cast a “yes” vote were essentially limiting what they believed was a grossly overbuilt proposed plan by CenterCal. On the other side, “no” voters were throwing out the new restrictions in favor of the City Council vote that allowed the plan to move forward pending Coastal Commission approval. In the end, there was an over 57% yes vote putting the brakes on the project.

How does it affect Redondo Beach and South Bay home values?

There is zero effect to the downside to Redondo and greater South Bay homeowners. This proposed project was still so far out from Coastal approval, potential city approval again, and then completed construction…the redevelopment would not be felt for many years. Only super early speculators may have been affected, but it is going to be business as usual in the Redondo real estate market.

Measure S in the City of Los Angeles

This ballot measure was important for the larger Los Angeles area since this was a classic battle of slow-growth NIMBY (not in my back yard) voters versus pro-growth/pro-density voters. The importance of this measure was to gauge what a large population of southern California wanted for the future of their community. In a nutshell described by the Los Angeles Times, Measure S is “a slow-growth measure that would have imposed a two-year moratorium on developments that require a General Plan amendment, zone change or increase in allowable height.” Without getting into further detail, Measure S was delivered a resounding defeat with over 67% of the vote in favor of a more dense Los Angeles. That is a more than a 2-to-1 vote.

How does this result affect South Bay home values?

As tweeted by Los Angeles Times Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, “If no on S winds up close to 71%…that’ll be a very strong mandate for a new and more urban L.A.” This may not affect any real estate in South Bay directly, but large cities can often be early indicators of future voting habits as they push the envelope of politics. I do not believe this affects the South Bay today, but it may be a sign that pro-growth initiatives could be on the mind of voters in the coming years.

Senate Bill No. 1069 for the State of California

This new state law gives homeowners an easier path to adding what is known as “accessory dwelling units” to their property. Also known as granny flats or in-law units, this allows most single-family homeowners to bypass onerous fees and permits normally required to construct an ADU. It also limits local agencies from requiring parking rules for some ADUs, including units located near public transit stops.

How does this affect South Bay home values?

I believe that this could be significant. We will have to wait and see what early adopters throughout the South Bay do with their newfound rights. Small and big homes alike could be adding a granny flat which could help bring in more income, house an adult child, bring grandparents home, etc. This could be a win-win for owners and renters alike. Owners could bring in more income or increase the value of their home, while more units could be added to cities thus easing the cost of rising rent and lack of good housing supply. If just 10% of the 12,000+ single-family detached homes in Redondo Beach added a granny flat, that would add over 1,200 new housing units to help ease affordable housing shortage.