OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The BART Board of Directors have endorsed Senate Bill 50, a proposal in the state legislature aimed at addressing the housing crisis by boosting the construction of housing near transit.
The board made its endorsement of the bill from State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) during a vote Thursday morning.
“BART supports SB50 because our region and California needs more housing and greater affordability,” Board President Bevan Dufty said in a statement.
Boardmember Rebecca Saltzman said the bill is needed even as the transit agency looks to build 20,000 housing units on BART property by 2040.
“Even when we meet this goal, that won’t be sufficient to address the Bay Area’s housing crisis or to produce enough housing near transit,” said Saltzman. “SB 50 will help ensure the production of more housing around BART stations, addressing housing needs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
SB50 would encourage housing development near transit stops by eliminating low-density zoning and by reducing or eliminating parking minimums in new developments. The bill also includes provisions to protect renters and low-income communities at risk of displacement.
Several local officials have backed the proposal, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
SB50 is set for a legislative hearing in the coming month, according to Wiener’s office.