UC Davis students show support for more housing. Yes on J campaign photo

By Matt Levin | CALmatters

Voters around the state decided Tuesday whether to fund and build new housing in their backyards. Here are some of the more notable results.

Emeryville: $50 million for affordable housing

Voters in Emeryville, home of Pixar Studios and one of the East Bay’s priciest neighborhoods, voted to approve a $50 million bond to fund housing projects for low-income residents and people experiencing homelessness. That’s a lot of money for a city of only 12,000 people.

Lafayette: 44 controversial homes rejected

The Deer Hill housing project in the East Bay suburb of Lafayette has been mired in controversy for years. An initial proposal to build a multifamily apartment complex with more than 300 units got tangled in local resistance and fair-housing litigation. City officials thought a smaller project on the same land for 44 single-family homes would be more palatable to locals. They were wrong. Proponents of the original apartments plan believe the measure’s defeat might, ironically, open the door for denser development.

San Francisco: Yes on free tenant lawyers, no on tax for new housing

San Franciscans voted for a measure that will provide free legal representation to any city resident facing eviction. But a tax on commercial landlords that would have funded affordable housing failed to garner enough support. Perhaps more importantly, the race for mayor—a race primarily shaped by the candidates’ views on new housing development—was still too close to call as of June 7.

San Mateo: $33 million for teacher housing likely falls short

In the pricey Bay Area, teachers and school staff are struggling to live in the same communities where they work. The cost of housing has led many districts to fight to find teachers, or to set up teacher housing of their own. As of June 7, a $33 million bond for teacher housing in the Jefferson Union School District looks like it will barely miss the 55% threshold needed to pass.

San Jose: Senior housing rejected

A plan to convert industrial land to senior housing lost by a convincing majority in San Jose. Mayor Sam Liccardo, who won re-election Tuesday, had opposed the measure on the grounds that it would lead to more urban sprawl.

Davis: New student housing passes

Davis voters approved a plan to rezone a 47-acre property near railroad tracks for a 700-unit rental housing project that will cater to UC Davis students. The project had been rejected by a narrow margin in 2016.

Cypress: A horse track will eventually have housing

The owner of the Los Alamitos race track expects to close up shop in the next decade or so, and wants his property to be zoned for mixed-use development after its horse-racing days are over. Voters rejected a similar measure in 2016, but this time it looks like voters have approved a modified version of the plan.

Palm Springs: Airbnb survives

Voters in the famous resort town decided to keep Airbnb rentals in their residential neighborhoods. An initiative that would have barred short-term rentals of less than 28 days was overwhelmingly rejected.  Airbnb spent significant money against the measure.

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

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