California’s Hottest Housing Bill Moves Ahead—With A Break For Smaller Counties

A controversial bill that would force California cities to allow denser housing around public transit cleared a major hurdle today, but only after its sponsor agreed to go easier on smaller-sized counties.

Senate Bill 50, from Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, passed out of a key legislative committee after it was amended to take a softer approach to counties of less than 600,000 people.

While the bill still faces fierce political opposition and a long road ahead in the state Legislature, the vote marks a significant victory for Wiener’s move to promote more dense housing around transit—an approach he says is necessary to help alleviate the state’s housing shortage and curb greenhouse gas emissions from commuters.

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