California Governor Gavin Newsom is seeking to punish the city of Huntington Beach for refusing to adhere to the state’s housing laws.
Huntington Beach, dubbed ‘Surf City USA,’ is a city on the Southern California coastline in Orange County, a traditionally conservative enclave that boasts multi-million dollar beach front properties.
In 2021, Newsom signed SB 9, dubbed the “duplex bill” which allows multi-unit properties to be built on lots zoned for a single-family residence.
“The people of Huntington Beach don’t want to urbanize our city and have the problems of Gavin Newsom’s San Francisco. If our residents wanted that, they would move to Los Angeles or San Francisco. The Huntington Beach residents want us to fight against these ridiculous and arbitrary mandate housing numbers from Sacramento,” Huntington Beach Mayor Tony Strickland said earlier this year.
Newsom is using the might of the state government to force Huntington Beach to allow 4-unit rental properties to be built on Single Family Residence parcels.
Of course this law is designed to devalue the single-family homes near the coast, but that’s the point.
Earlier this month the Huntington Beach City Council refused to adopt SB 9.
Newsom and other state officials on Monday sought a court order to force the city of Huntington Beach to adhere to California’s ‘Housing Element Law.’
“Huntington Beach continues to fail its residents,” said Governor Newsom. “Every city and county needs to do their part to bring down the high housing and rent costs that are impacting families across this state. California will continue taking every step necessary to ensure everyone is building their fair share of housing and not flouting state housing laws at the expense of the community.”
“California is in the midst of a housing crisis, and time and time again, Huntington Beach has demonstrated they are part of the problem by defiantly refusing every opportunity to provide essential housing for its own residents,” said California Attorney General Bonta. “The City’s refusal last week to adopt a housing element in accordance with state law is just the latest in a string of willfully illegal actions by the city – decisions that worsen our housing crisis and harm taxpayers and Huntington Beach residents. We won’t stand idly by as Huntington Beach continues to flagrantly violate state housing laws designed to bring crucial affordable housing opportunities to our communities. We’ll use every legal tool available to hold the city accountable and enforce state housing laws.”
Huntington Beach Mayor Tony Strickland blasted Governor Newsom and said the City Attorney will ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
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