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New Bill Would Give BART Power to Set Zoning Rules at Stations

March 8, 2018

By : kqed – excerpt

Two Bay Area lawmakers are promoting a bill that aims to spur more housing construction at BART stations — by essentially putting the BART board of directors in charge of zoning on agency-owned land near the transit district’s stations in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Assembly members David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Tim Grayson, D-Concord, introduced AB 2923 last month. It would set new rules for development on BART property — mostly on parking lots that surround many of the agency’s stations.

The measure would require the BART board to review the agency’s current “transit-oriented development” policies, formalize those policies as formal zoning standards and adopt a streamlined approval process for new development.

The bill would require local governments to change their zoning laws to conform to BART’s guidelines and give BART the power to override local laws that are inconsistent with the agency’s development standards. The bill also mandates that 20 percent of units in the BART-centered developments be affordable to moderate, low-income and very-low-income residents for a period of 55 years…

AB 2923 is the latest in a series of high-profile legislative efforts to intensify development near transit corridors as a response to the region’s affordable housing crunch. Among them: SB 35, a measure by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, signed into law last fall that offers a dramatically streamlined permit-approval process for affordable housing; and SB 827, a proposal introduced in January by Wiener that would require local governments to permit much denser housing within a half-mile of transit hubs like BART stations and within a quarter-mile of busy commuter-bus stops…(more)

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