SB 166 Takes One More Bite Out of Private Property

California Senate Bill 166 - Nancy Skinner (D-East Bay) :  An act to amend Section 65863 of the Government Code, relating to land use.  Approved by Governor Brown on September 29, 2017.

“This bill, among other things, would prohibit a city, county, or city and county from permitting or causing its inventory of sites identified in the housing element to be insufficient to meet its remaining unmet share of the regional housing need for lower and moderate-income households."

Some events are watersheds, demarcation lines for a before and an after.  The adoption of Plan Bay Area during a marathon meeting that ended shortly after midnight on July 19, 2013, is such a watershed.  The event announced to the people of the Bay Area that the concept of private property just changed, because the State of California wanted it so.  As a reminder, the catalyst behind Plan Bay Area 2013 was California Senate Bill 375, Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008.

In the before scenario, the concept of private property was acceptably clear – private meant it was yours.  You felt reasonably well protected by Amendment V of the U.S. Constitution:  “..nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

In the after scenario, the concept of private property became entangled with the notion of public good – your property exists to satisfy needs conceived by government, as Senator Nancy Skinner’s Senate Bill 166 illustrates.

A Nine-County Coalition participant summarized the situation and ramifications well:

“If there is no mine is mine and in fact what is mine is yours, then we are in very bad shape indeed. No one has any control then over any of the property they claim to be theirs… The useful innocents seem to have drank the Kool-Aid, convinced that the only way they will ever get anything is to take it from someone else. One is always able to create their own reality (there is no private) with their words.”

The alternate reality created by words such pubic good, crisis, fair share, insufficient, affordable, all boil down to a desire to communicate the ultimate substitute reality, “there is no private.”  The NCC participant goes on to say,

“Property ownership is essentially happiness. People work to get those things that they want in life. This ‘new world order', while seemingly providing for equity for all; ends up concentrating all property in the hands of a few (banks and multi-national corporations)... Our mission seems to be to make sense of what is said in concert with our desires in this life -- our pursuit of happiness.”

In other words, those of us who are concerned with the New Speak, need to be aware of what is being said and why.  Once we understand the language, we can vote in concert with our Constitutional right to our own property.

Senator Skinner's SB 166

More on SB 166

"If the approval of a development project results in fewer units by income category than identified in the jurisdiction’s housing element for that parcel and the jurisdiction does not find that the remaining sites in the housing element are adequate to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need by income level, the jurisdiction shall within 180 days identify and make available additional adequate sites to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need by income level."

Folks, think bout it.  What are "available additional adequate sites?"  Your basement?  Your backyard?