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Readers React: L.A. has made the wrong decisions on affordable housing. That’s why we need SB 827

A man walks near a residential project going up at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Broadway near Chinatown on March 18.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Times Editorial Board is incorrect. (“Yes, California has a housing crisis. But killing community planning isn’t how democracy should work,” editorial, April 7)

Cities in this region have surrendered to NIMBYs who want to retain the open-space, ranch-style housing model. Most of those homes were built many decades ago. California is projected to have more than 50 million people by 2050. Many of the current 39 million people can’t find affordable housing today unless they drive 50 to 60 miles to their place of employment.

Much of the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas no longer have open space for new development. That leaves only one way to provide new housing: building up, not out.

Members of the state Legislature are recognizing the reality of this situation. Local city council members and county supervisors have failed to do their jobs.

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Don Evans, Canoga Park

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To the editor: SB 827 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), which would override local zoning laws to allow taller residential development near transit, needs hearings and negotiations to make it better, and your editorial makes that point and other good ones.

However, I was struck by your statement that the bill “robs residents and business owners of the right to shape their communities, and it assumes they and their representatives can’t be trusted to make decisions for the greater good.”

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Do you have any evidence that they can be trusted to do so? The reason the bill exists is precisely because they haven’t.

Frank J. Gruber, Santa Monica

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