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In a First for California, Sacramento Poised to Allow Apartments in Single-Family Home Neighborhoods



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In an unprecedented move, Sacramento is on the verge of approving a plan that would make the city the first in California, and one of the first in the country, to end zoning that permits only one single-family home on a property.

Under the proposal, up to four homes could be built on lots in neighborhoods long defined by their low-density, traffic-free tranquillity.

Backing the zoning proposal is Sacramento’s Democratic mayor, Darrell Steinberg, and a coalition of activists that includes white-collar renters who fear the kind of spiraling housing costs that many left behind in the Bay Area. The group, House Sacramento, is part of a network of organizations across the state called Yes in My Backyard, or YIMBY, that push for similar measures.

So far, Sacramento has not seen the intense negative reaction from homeowners that led to the demise of other efforts to upend single-family home zoning in California. But some residents say that’s only because most residents remain unaware of what’s going on.

The city has no formal estimate on how many new homes — either through new construction or the subdivision of existing single-family homes — the proposal would create, but officials believe it’ll be fewer than 100 a year.

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