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July 11, 2017 > Assembly approves Wieckowski bill to support transit-oriented development

Assembly approves Wieckowski bill to support transit-oriented development

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

Bay Area residents could see more transit-oriented developments near BART stations after the state Assembly approved a bill authored by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) on July 6. Senate Bill 680 now heads to Governor Jerry Brown for his consideration.

SB 680 extends the boundaries where BART can pursue commercial, residential or mixed-use development from a quarter mile to a half-mile of its stations. The move is consistent with policies for other transit village developments in California.

ÒThis simple change can have a large positive effect on the number of available housing units, including affordable housing, near transit in the Bay Area,Ó said Wieckowski, a member of the SenateÕs Transportation and Housing Committee. ÒHaving people live close to a station will encourage them to get out of their cars and avoid the commute drive to and from work. SB 680 will create jobs and is in line with the stateÕs goals on smart planning.Ó

BART estimates that extending the distance from a quarter mile to a half-mile could result in an additional 7,000 affordable units in the Bay Area by 2040.

ÒCalifornia is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis caused in part by the lack of appropriate sites on which new housing can be built,Ó said Debra L. Carlton, the California Apartment AssociationÕs senior vice president of public affairs. ÒThe Bay Area is severely impacted by this crisis. The CAA supports SB 680 because it expands BARTÕs ability to pursue transit-oriented development and will provide much-needed additional housing throughout the region.Ó

The Bay Area Council, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), North Bay Leadership Council, Center for Creative Land Recycling and several other organizations support SB 680.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District, which includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County.

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