Resources & Organizations Working to assure Local Control of Land Use & Zoning

This page sections include::
a) resources for the ever expanding roster Housing State Laws,
b) recommended Videos pushing back on current Housing Legislaton,
strongly supported grass roots organizations pushing back on the one-size-fits-all legislation,
d) press articles in 2023 & 2024 on this topic, and
e) a listing of the most critical legislation impacting new housing state wide since 2019 - when the flood gates opened. 

THE BEST all-in-one article/primer on RHNA/California Housing -  March 2024

Sacramento's HCD Housing Element - Incentives & Consequences 1 pager HERE, and
NEW SB1037 and AB1886, if passed, include more penalties if you don't have an approved Housing Element
HERE is HCD's (next Cycle 7) 2040 Preliminary Plans, HERE is CatalystsCA Response Document.

HERE is good resource for tracking new 2024 Housing Legislation from Holland & Knight Law
HERE is a roster of new 2024 Housing Legislation as graphic and listing that follows with links to bills from Alfred Twu
HERE is a list of 56 housing bills signed by Newsom in October 2023 that continue to remove local control.
HERE is a summary of the 2023 Californa Housing Legislation, authored by prohousing non-profit Terner Center for Housing Innovation, UC Berkeley
HERE is a list of 18 housing legislation bills signed by Newsom in October of  2019, most remain relevant
Track any or all Sacramento Legislation HERE   And HERE is the Housing Accountability Act (Section 65589.5) 
INDEPENDENT RESOURCES  independent efforts, resources and groups who are against the desification in our communities and pushing back on California State's Local Land Use & Zoning Laws, and the California State HCD & RHNA requirements and penalties. 
IMPORTANT NOTE: Region's throughout California have different deadlines for their approved Housing Element submissions and approals.  Many cities have already contested their RHNA #'s and/or have also missed their deadlines for an approved Housing Element. Other cities are engaged in litigation with the State on this issue. So as you explore press and online content, remember that our Village was finally Certified by the State HCD  

Suggested Video Content 

May 25, 2025 - California Insider interview with Carmel-by-the-Sea Resident James Ardaiz on housing challenges of our Village. HERE is the Youtube video  (A few corrections: There are 3025 housing units as of 2020 Census, not the 1600 mentioned here.  Should potential new housing become a part of the City-Owned parking lots - any project authorized will require maintaining the current quantity of parking spaces in any plans accepted in the years to come.)  

May 2, 2024 CatalystsCA Town Hall - with Pam Lee who is the Land Use Attorney who won the SB9 Unconstitutional Law Suite covering 5 Charter Cities in Southern California. Pam also covers an update on new Housing legislation in the works in Sacramento.  HERE is the Video.

April 27, 2024 California Insider's "California ‘Duplex’ Law SB-9 Allowing 4 Homes on A Lot Struck Down | Jim Righeimer"   This video highlights a new district strike down of SB-9* and the second half continues to speak to the overall Affordable Housing challenges in California with mention of challenges in our Coastal Cities.  HERE is the Video. 

* This new (April2024) legal win against SB9, may or may not last appeals or refinements with amendments.  And it currently applies only to a select group of cities in a district of the Los Angeles area and only for Charter cities (Carmel is not a Charter City) (that may or may not be expanded to more of our State).  Regardless, there are great points make in this video.   To learn more about becoming a Charter City, its process, its obligations, its benefits and comparing to a General Law, HERE are some good materials to consider.

March 22, 2024 - SANDAG (San Diago County's peer organization to our AMBAG (Area of Monterey Bay Area Governments)) held a "feedback meeting with Sacramento's HCD (Housing and Community Development) Deputy Director... describing the significant negative image of RHNA and State Housing Legislation in San Diego County.  SANDAG's Housing Element and RHNA deadlines preceded our region by over 2 years - so that the negative impact is significant and being realized. 

This meeting's relevant Video is HERE (begins with HCD's introduction) and the relevant transcript is HERE.

As of Jan 18, 2024  "Judge halts home upgrades in Beverly Hills over city's lack of affordable housing"  An article and video highlights this recent decision HERE. 

THIS video is also worth your time. Christine Epperly is interviewed by California Insider. She goes through the major laws, RHNA and Housing Elements etc.   This is EXCELLENT listening.

This next video is produced January 2024 by Calfornia Insider titled California Cities Are Forced to Build 'Unaffordable' Housing
This interview is with John Cruikshank, mayor of Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County. He discusses the challenges facing California cities regarding the state housing mandate and the potential problems of government overreach when it comes to improving housing affordability. "Right now the policymakers up in Sacramento don't trust the cities to do their job. And so now they're using the stick or lawsuits to force us into complying with what they have visioned for California," Mr. Cruikshank said. "We're doing this for affordability, but when you start off with already very expensive land, it never pencils out; it would never work.

Once again, this is a California Insider Video addressing the Housing chaos triggered by Sacramento's legilsation, January 2024.  Great viewing HERE, a less than 9 minute summary. 

This next video is from the team at that provides a great summary of the significant housing Bills from Sacramento SB35 and its new successor SB423, as presented by Amy Kalish Aug 7, 2023. For those looking for a quick read - HERE is a PDF of the slide content. 2023_August_CatalystsCA_SB35_SB423.pdf

This was presented by and Marc Verville on "“RHNA: FAILURE FOR CONSTITUENTS; SUCCESS FOR DEVELOPERS & INVESTORS." a deep dive into a numbers-based view on assertions in current mandates tied to State projections   HERE is the Video from Feb 2024.  HERE are the slides from Feb 2024
HERE is the report prepared by UCDavis Law highlighting the inacuracies in the RHNA #'s and rational.  The actual California State Auditor Report on RHNA is available HERE.  This internal State audit calls out lack of sufficient reviews and support and identifies needs for further support of its household formation projections.   
NOTE:  there has been an all new refresh by the State for the State's Population projection #'s which finds the California population will remain flat for this next decade.  Therefore, the RHNA #'s continue to be severely questioned based on the State's research and numbers.  A detailed walk through of these new results, for you number junkies, view this video by Marc Verville Sept 23, 2023. 

Oct 23rd 2024  CRA Hosted the "Carmel-by-the-Sea meets Sacramento - Town Hall" with State Senator Laird & Assembly Member Addis
discussing local challenges in Housing Legislation Visit this page for a full transcript, press coverage, bio's, contact info and related information on our Town Hall.  YouTube video is available HERE.


Recommended Organizations

  1. April 2023 - UC Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation Report HERE is - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING. To learn about all of the California State Housing Legislation - this is a must read and/or a great reference document.  This provides a 12 page narrative summary, then follows with a 10 page table of all of the (over 100 Senate and Assembly Bills) legislation with very understandable descriptions. Note that this group is "pro-housing" and funded by the same.

  2. Our Neighborhood Voices. Proposed Ballot Initiative for, UPDATE now postponed to Fall 2026 (see this press release and this letter to Attny General), led by efforts. As they pursue support for this initiative with signatures, community support and funding, HERE is their draft ballot measure. Their approach is a California Constitutional Amendment for the 2026 ballot.  If this passes, there won't be a need to reset or resist individual bills as they have been or will be made into law (no whack a mole). There is also a resolution template for cities to officially support the ballot measure HERE. They host weekly interactive Zoom sessions and many other tools and subject matter experts to help inform and engage every Wednesday at 6PM. 

  3. Catalysts for Local Control is another grass roots organization with a mission to "Promote solutions for affordable housing that honor safety, homeownership, the environment, reliable infrastructure, and the wishes of the neighbors and communities in which the housing is built".  Their website, contains a plethora of resources, videos and programs including legislation meetings.  They too host weekly interactive Zoom sessions and many other tools and subject matter experts to help inform and engage every Monday at 5PM. 

  4. Livable California Is a nonprofit that advocates for empowerment of local governments to foster equitable, livable communities and truly affordable housing.  They hare tracking a full roster of Housing Legislation and pushing back hard on Bills that remove local control.

  5. California Cities for Local Control is an organization that works with City officials throughout California to stop the passage of bills that remove or limit local control. They request each city pass an official resolution supporting "local control", here is their template and here is the listing of current cities with passed resolutions.

  6. League of California Cities They provide many benefits to city leaders, one including educational material to municipalities on topics of interest.  This document addresses the new challenges of Housing Development tied to RHNA.

  7. United Neighbors is a coalition of local communities (primarily So. Cal) pushing back on SB9 & 10 legislation that enables densification throughout our state. This site doesn't look to include the RHNA factors.

Very Relevent & Recent Press Articles

  • HERE Apr 10 in CalMatters article "California audit says results on homelessness are unclear. The numbers tell a different story."  (<-- of course, homlessness and affordability only partially overlap)
  • HERE Apr 9 in the San Francisco Standard "YIMBY group forced to pay $32,000 in battle over controversial downtown housing project." (the battle over a proposed housing project proposed for the former Nordstroms parking lot).
  • HERE Apr 8 in Los Angeles Times "Why Californians are fleeing this once-Golden State"  (<-- this ties back to the grossly overstated RHNA allocations throughout the state). 

  • HERE Apr 4 in a ABC7News Video " Here's what Portola Valley's housing element decertification could mean for residents"

  • HERE Apr 2 in CalMatters article "California’s most controversial housing law could get a makeover"  (AB 1893 is tied to Builders Remedy)

  • HERE Apr 2 in a KSBW report on a 16 story proposed project in Santa Cruz

  • HERE Mar 26 inThe Almanac "State decertifies Portola Valley's Housing Element" 

  • HERE Mar 20 by the Attny Gen supporting new legislation (SB 1037) that "Announce Legislation Authorizing New Civil Penalties for State Housing Law Violations"   (<-- more fees and penalties coming if municipalities don't have and maintain a certified Housing Element.) 

  • HERE Mar 18 in CalMatters "Fresh batch of YIMBY housing bills clash with coastal protections" (again)

  • HERE Mar 12 in 48Hills "Why the Wiener housing bills will never work—and could destroy the coast. A detailed primer" 
  • HERE Mar 7 in Los Angeles Times "La Cañada Flintridge must process ‘builder’s remedy’ affordable-housing plan, court rules"
  • HERE Mar 7 in CalMatters "What you needto know about California housing and corporate landlords" (Positive new laws - preventing institutional investors from gobbling up too many of the state's single-family homes.)

  • HERE Feb 9 produced by To Live and Buy in Los Angeles video  "Beverly Hills Housing Legal Challenges Explained"
  • HERE Feb 26 in Los Angeles Times "A San Francisco carve out could wreck California’s landmark coastal protections"  (the beginning of gutting CEQA and Coastal Commission authority)

  • HERE Feb 7 in San Francisco Chronicle "Here's what Katie Porter's plan to address the housing crisis - and what experts say about it" (a Federal viewpoint)

  • HERE Feb 7th in CalMatters "Los Angeles' one weird trick to build affordable housing at no public costs"

  • HERE Jan 28 in  "Beverly Hills Home Renovations Blocked by Court Over Lack of Affordable Housing" Note: Beverly Hills does not (as of this date) have an approved Housing Element.  

  • HERE Jan 25 by CatalystsCA and SF Cronicle "California coastal protections versus housing: The battle is on" (Legislation starting to strip away CEQA and Coastal Commission oversite.) 

  • HERE Jan 22 by La Jolla Light on "La Jolla preservationists ‘fear’ San Diego initiative that may loosen historic-protection rules for buildings"  

  • HERE Jan 2024 in the Santa Monica Lookout  "Supercharged Densification With No EIR"  Note: This covers 2024 State Density Bonus Law (AB 1287) went into effect, doubling the size of housing projects that can be built in California.

  • HERE Jan 8 from Governors Office "California Reaches Settlement with City of Fullerton Over Violations of Housing Law"

  • HERE Dec 17 from Cal Matters on how Sacramento is forcing housing requirements  " California plays whack-a-mole with cities resistant to building much-needed housing"

  • HERE Oct 30 is an analysis of the changes from the previouls SB35 to the newly signed SB423 authored by BSWLaw

  • As of Oct 12 2023, Senate Bill 423 was signed into law by our Governor.  This bill expands the reach of the State overriding local control, with penalties and more.  HERE is a link to this Bill as a PDF.  HERE is an article sumarizing this Bill.   

  • HERE  Sept 28 in Newsgeography   "A Lesson on California Housing from the Billionaires Planning a New City"

  • HERE  Sept 11 & 14 in LA Times "California lawmakers vote to increase housing in cities falling short of construction goals"  Carmel-by-the-Sea is mentioned.

  • HERE Aug 26  in San Jose Mercury News "OPINION: Popular California Housing Narrative Upended by Planning Expert"

  • HERE  Aug 15 "How to Stop SB9 & SB10 and Other Unwanted Building Codes? Support the Our Neighborhood Voices Initiative"

  • HERE  Aug 15, an Amicus Brief  "UCLA Professor and World Planning expert explains why recent ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL housing laws won't actually solve the affordable housing crisis" 

  • HERE Aug 10 in CalMatters "How a Ballot Measure and Population Revisions Complicates California Housing War"

  • HERE June 5  in CalMatters on Builders Remedy  "‘Godzilla next door’: How California developers gained new leverage to build more homes" 

  • HERE - in CalMatters is a stong introductory article that summarizes multiple key laws (SB9, SB10, AB215, SB478) 

More can be found on and

State Assembly and Senate Legislation – significant items

  • CA Code 65589.5-Housing Accountability Act (including Builders Remedy)  And new AB1893 underway will increase the developers advantage
  • SB35-Housing Streamlined Ministerial Approval – signed 2017,  HERE is a guidebook prepared by HDC
  • SB9-Accessory Dwelling Units Ministerial – Signed 9/16/2021,  HERE is a fact sheet prepared by HCD
  • SB10-Housing Density – Signed 9/16/2021,
  • AB215 - Planning & Zoning Law (RHNA penalties)– signed 9/28/2021,
  • SB423-Land Use: Streamlines Housing Approvals and increases penalties if RHNA #’s are not fulfilled and extends SB 35 – signed 9/11/2023