Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Nithya Raman Releases Positions on SB 9 & 10

Upzoning and densification of single-family neighborhoods could be coming under state-level bills SB 9 and SB 10.   (Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

By Greg Goldin

On Wednesday, City Councilmember Nithya Raman announced her official stance on SB 9 and SB 10, the pair of deeply contested upzoning bills now before the state legislature. The bills would mandate the transformation of single-family residential and “transit- and job-rich” neighborhoods into blocks where as many as ten units could be built per single lot. Since the bills were introduced in December, CD4 neighbors have been discussing the measures (which were proposed  in the name of increasing affordable housing but have no affordability requirements) and waiting to learn Raman’s position.

According to a statement from her office, Raman now officially opposes SB 9, the lot-splitting measure that would allow ministerial approval of splitting current single family lots and thus (when combined with other laws allowing duplexes and ADUs on all lots), the construction of up to eight dwellings on a lot.  And Raman favors SB 10, the bill that would open the way for cities to allow 10-unit apartment buildings to replace single-family homes.

“Our Council Office is committed to a housing agenda that protects and expands the supply of rent-stabilized and covenanted affordable housing, actively promotes racial and economic desegregation, and strengthens tenant protections,” Raman’s office said. So she opposes SB 9 because it has no mandate that “new units be set aside as affordable for renters…[or] a mechanism to exempt neighborhoods experiencing high displacement pressures.”

On SB 10, Raman said, “Our office supports efforts to increase density in transit-rich and jobs-rich parts of our city, but doesn’t support a law zoning all parcels for up to 10 units for Los Angeles.” But since the bill does not force cities to upzone, and would leave LA free to opt out, Raman said she supports SB 10 and believes other cities in California should be able to take advantage of its provisions if they choose to do so.

Both bills have substantial support in the legislature (see here and here), but statewide opposition seems to be gathering force.  And, of course, the bills can be amended at any time before a final vote, so it’s still possible that substantial changes – such as making SB 10’s 10-unit upzoning mandatory for all cities, instead of optional – could be forthcoming.

In the meantime, the city council will take up both measures at some point when it considers Paul Koretz’s motions to oppose SB 9 and SB 10, which are now making their way through the City’s Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.  (The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is on record supporting Koretz’s motions.)




Greg Goldin is the author of Never Built Los AngelesNever Built New York, and the forthcoming Phaidon Atlas of Never Built.  A lifelong resident of the Miracle Mile, he was the Architecture Critic at Los Angeles Magazine and is a contributing editor at The Architect’s Newspaper.


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  1. SB 9 is a racist bill to the core. If you’re poor and live in a high density area you’re going to get upzoned by a factor of 4 even through you’re already packed in like sardines currently. If you have estates on large lots you’re not as heavily impacted in those areas but hey let’s screw over poor people! I wonder how much Atkins rakes in from developers and rich real estate industry shills. Wiener is rolling in their dough! BTW- SB 10 lets politicians ignore voter approved measures. If the voters decide they want to force developers to provide a park or other amenity for your kids to play in SB 10 allows the bought and paid for politicians to simply ignore the law. I’ll never vote again for any politician who votes for or says theyl support either of these bills!!!!

  2. This article is woefully inaccurate and the misinformation/ fear mongering is reprehensible. I would have thought your paper would fact check before publishing, or at least head the article with “this is an opinion.” First, during these past few months of committee hearings SB9 as been even more carefully amended than before, in no way does it allow for “double dipping.” It is very clearly written in no case can there be up to 8 lots on a lot. Second the author says “10-unit apartment buildings to replace single-family homes” Again, SB 10 is a powerful tool for local governments to opt in to create a path to adding modest density to address our housing shortage, removing arbitrary legal delays making it faster and less expensive to build. Local government has the right over “by right” builders to determine if a property fits the definition of transit-rich areas or urban infill sites, absolutely under local discretion. I will stop there, though the author has other misleading opinions. Please try to do better. Lets watch the pictures too, because the condos, and town houses on Irving between Beverly and First are exactly what we are talking about!!

  3. Thank you for this article – which is right on point and accurate. SB9 and SB10 DO NOT INCLUDE ANY AFFORDABLE HOUSING REQUIREMENTS. ” SB9 Allows any city council to overturn voter-approved ballot measures that protect shorelines, farms and other lands — killing a 108-year-old California voter right. Equally horrifying, SB 10 allows any city council to rezone almost any parcel to allow 10-unit luxury apartments, plus 2 ADUs and 2 JADUs (granny flats), overriding all zoning including single-family and commercial. It invites the demolition and gentrification of older, diverse, multi-family and single-family areas. SB 10 requires NO affordable units. Like SB 9 — it’s ugly cousin — SB 10 opens neighborhoods to unchecked speculation.”


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