A land grab of local communities’ territories by the State of California has drawn the opposition of the Orinda City Council.
On February 23, 2018, Amy Worth, a member of the city council and the city’s current mayor, wrote that the City of Orinda opposes State Senate Bill 827 (SB 827), which, if enacted, would seize control of a local community’s land near transit stops.
Specifically, SB 827 would give the State of California control over a given city’s land within one-quarter mile of a frequently-used bus stop and one-half mile of a train station (like a BART station). SB 827 would allow apartments as high as 85 feet to be constructed.
The sponsor of Senate Bill 827 is State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). The co-sponsor is State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley).
In her February letter, Ms. Worth said, “As the Mayor, I was authorized by action of the City Council to forward this letter of opposition. SB 827 would exempt certain housing projects for locally developed and adopted height limitations, densities, parking requirements, and design review standards.”
Ms. Worth continued: “SB 827 would subvert, and potentially derail, these community based planning efforts.”
At a town-hall meeting in Orinda on March 5, 2018, State Senator Steve Glazer called SB 827 a “crazy bill.” Glazer, an Orinda Democrat, represents Orinda in the State Senate. State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-Dublin), who was also present at the meeting, said she agrees with Mr. Glazer.
Mr. Glazer’s senatorial district covers much of Contra Costa County and part of Alameda County. Ms. Baker’s assembly district, which includes Orinda, covers much of central and southern Contra Costa County and part of Alameda County.
The Sierra Club and the League of California Cities oppose SB 827.