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SB 50’s faulty premise: California can continue to grow and grow

SB 50’s faulty premise: California can continue to grow and grow
A single-family house is under construction in Palo Alto. SB 50 would allow higher-density housing to go up in many predominantly single-family areas. (Noah Berger / For The Times)

To the editor: SB 50 would do away with single-family zoning, allowing any neighborhood to become dense and overcrowded, with cars lining both sides of the streets. Those who currently live in such areas would like to move; those who do not live in such areas do not want their neighborhoods destroyed.

The premise is that California necessarily must become more dense. I disagree. The state faces shortages of water, electricity and gas for heating, and most of us do not want us to become New York City. The argument is that the jobs are here, so the housing is needed here.

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The solution: jobs elsewhere. If businesses cannot get employees because employees cannot get housing, then businesses will create jobs elsewhere. That’s the way the free market works, but that runs counter to the desire of every government official to grow their empire.

This is important enough to make me a single-issue voter: I see support for SB 50 as a disqualification for any office.

David Fink, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I drive around my city of Pomona and see corridors with few businesses and many shuttered, unused buildings. Why not tear these down and build mixed-use or multistory housing in their place?

If housing is at such a premium right now, then building on these plots of land would surely be a moneymaker. I would think getting rid of blight would be good for any city and raise the value of their homes.

Where is the political will?

Donald Martens, Pomona

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To the editor: I found it amusingly ironic that this article had a photo with it of a house being built using the same old process: one two-by-four at a time, one nail at a time, one sheet of drywall at a time, for months until the owner can finally move in.

Contrast that with my mother’s experience in Virginia, where she and her husband had a modular home built in a factory, with no exposure to the elements and done much more quickly than a standard house. When the modules were delivered, a crane put them in place on the foundation, and they moved into the completed home seven days later.

And it was much less expensive.

Why in the world are we still building houses using the old ways?

Thomas Michael Kelley, Newbury Park

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