For Bay Area real estate developers, NIMBYS, YIMBYS, and interested residents, there is a very interesting and controversial bill (AB 2923) making its way through the California State Assembly and Senate and heading to Governor Brown’s desk for review. The crux of this bill would require BART to specially zone its parking lots, vacant land, and any BART owned land within ½ mile of any BART station to ease the approval and construction process for retail and housing components. In essence, the bill would take the land use entitlement process largely out of the City/County domain.

This bill is particularly interesting because many prominent local East Bay politicians have come out staunchly against the bill, citing BART’s recent safety woes and inability to efficiently operate. The implications of this bill are not inconsequential. BART recently committed to developing these vacant or underutilized parcels by 2040, which would add 20,000 units of housing and 4.5MM square feet of commercial space.

Given the ongoing debate concerning affordable housing development and easing development restrictions to incentivize construction of affordable housing units, this will be a fascinating bill to watch as we wait for Governor Brown to weigh in. You can read more in the link below…

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