Letters to the Editor: If we up-zone cities for more housing, where will we get the water?

A neighborhood of primarily single-family homes in Santa Clarita, a suburb north of Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: So the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley (an advocate for higher density in residential areas) published a study in support of Senate Bill 9, which would allow up to four homes on most single-family lots. Yet the authors of your article on the study neglect to address the issue of water.

The Times in recent months has done an excellent job covering how the drought, exacerbated by climate change, has profoundly affected the residents of California. So in future articles on SB 9, please have your journalists ask those who advocate for higher density if there is sufficient water for all this new development.

Yes, we need low-cost housing. But SB 9 seems to be a cleverly disguised bill to assist developers to sidestep local zoning laws. Californians will be left holding the bag when the wells run dry.


The questions regarding water for housing development should not be brushed over or left unasked.

Tunde Garai, San Gabriel


To the editor: While the proponents of SB 9 have good intentions, this legislation is very misguided.

Dividing up single-family lots and rezoning for multiple dwellings is not going to solve the shortage of housing. These subdivides are priced at top dollar, raising median prices, resulting in just the opposite of what the supporters of this bill hope to do.

Additionally, more dwellings will further strain water and power, which are tapped to the limit, not to mention city services such as sanitation.

The beauty of Los Angeles is the ability to have a dream home on a residential street with good quality of life. Should this legislation go through, it will kill that dream. Our elected representatives must do better.

Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, Sherman Oaks