New laws intended to help developers locate housing in old strip malls and parking lots will go on the books later next year as part of an effort to provide builders new tools to deal with the California’s lack of land for new residential construction.
Bills from Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, and Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Merced, will change zoning to allow housing in areas designated for commercial use. Once the measures take effect in July, developers who comply
with certain labor requirements will be able to use land that otherwise would have been more challenging to acquire.
Commercially-zoned sections of California make up a “substantial amount of land,” said David Garcia, policy director at UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation.
“A lot of this land, it’s in really high-demand areas,” he said. “So, near jobs, near transit, along key corridors. So much of this land that right now is