Pasadena cements bid to water down Senate Bill 9 with municipal code change – Pasadena Star News

Pasadena and Attorney General Rob Bonta continue to debate the legality of exempting historic and iconic neighborhoods from Senate Bill 9, a controversial housing law that took effect earlier this year.

The saga began in December when the Pasadena City Council passed an emergency ordinance aimed at mitigating the effect of the newly enacted law, which allows development of up to four residential units on single-family lots across California. .

The ordinance, according to Bonta, “undermines SB9 and deprives residents of the opportunity to create badly needed additional housing, under the guise of protecting ‘historic districts'”.

“It’s disappointing and, more importantly, it violates state law,” Bonta said in March when he first spoke out on the matter.

In the months that followed, Mayor Victor Gordo repeatedly challenged Bonta’s publication of a public letter without any prior conversation regarding the content of Pasadena’s regulations and their compliance with the law.

In a rebuke to residents, another to Bonta, and an attached official response from the city — totaling nearly 70 pages — Gordo asked Bonta to “get to know us before he takes to Twitter to unfairly and unfairly tarnish Pasadena’s reputation” .

Despite the tension, Gordo traveled to Sacramento on Tuesday, April 26 “to meet with elected officials and agency staff to discuss Senate Bill 9,” he said at the meeting. from the Pasadena City Council this week.

Gordo remained mum on the details of the deliberations, but he and his Council peers voted Monday, May 9, to amend Pasadena’s municipal code to incorporate existing protections and exemptions found in the December emergency ordinance.

Council held a first reading of the ordinance immediately after the vote rather than waiting for its next meeting.

On Tuesday, Gordo said in a statement that the amendment is consistent with the previously passed emergency ordinance because it doubled down on the city’s belief that iconic neighborhoods should be exempt from Senate Bill 9.

“Clarifications to our municipal code cement existing protections for our Landmark districts and neighborhoods as we find the delicate balance between housing affordability and protecting Landmark neighborhoods,” Gordo said.

“The Attorney General just got it wrong and unfairly targeted Pasadena,” Gordo added. “Pasadena has been a pioneer in creating affordable housing, and we will continue to prioritize the creation and retention of desperately needed affordable housing, while continuing our strong protection of the city’s iconic neighborhoods and neighborhoods. .

Gordo concluded a follow-up interview by again challenging Bonta’s style of governance.

“Pasadena and all Californians expect more from its attorney general. Not only is governance by Twitter ineffective, it is unproductive and under the office of the California Attorney General,” Gordo said. “I hope that in the future our appointed Attorney General will keep this in mind.”

Norman D. Briggs