State and Local High Density Housing

January 2022 Update:

The City of San Jose was forced to enact SB9 during the last council meeting in December and is effective 1/1/22.
It allows a single family house to be replaced by four units (without advanced notice, community meeting, public hearing or appeal). It allows for subdividing any residential lot that is over twenty four hundred (2,400) sq ft. It reduces rear setback from 20 feet to 4 feet. If the property is within a half mile of a bus line (approximately 30 houses in each direction) such as Bird, Coe, Curtner, Hamilton, Lincoln, Leigh, Meridian, Minnesota, Newport,Pine, Willow, etc... then parking requirements are waived and thus no garage or driveway required for the new development. All vehicles associated with development would compete for street parking.
The City of SJ will consider expanding the number of units from four to a maximum of ten units sometime in 2022. More information: 

How do SB9 & SB10 impact San Jose?

Now that SB9 and SB10 have been signed into law by the Governor, you may be wondering how they affect the City of San Jose proposal “Opportunity Housing” (AKA eliminating single family house zoning) and what you can do before the upcoming City Council vote. 

What are the key provisions of SB9 and SB10? 

SB9 is less extreme than the San Jose proposal. SB9 allows single-family lots to be split into two parcels (each as small as 1200 square feet) and allows a duplex to be constructed on each subdivided parcel. It effectively means any piece of land with one house can be replaced with 4 dwelling units. SB9 requires the owner to live onsite for three years.

SB10 requires a vote by the San Jose City Council to opt-in. SB10 allows up to 10 units plus 4 ADUs (up to 14 units) on single-family parcels in most neighborhoods. It would affect houses that are within a half mile radius of bus lines, impacting approximately 2/3 of the houses in San Jose. Furthermore, SB10 provides no safeguards for historic resources once adopted by a municipal jurisdiction.

How do SB9 and SB10 affect the San Jose proposal to allow up to seven units replacing one house with no public process?

The City Council is still planning to consider the City of San Jose General Plan Task Force recommendation to advance that is even more extreme than SB9. City Council discussion and vote is expected near Thanksgiving. We believe this timing is intended to deter feedback from homeowners. 

The well-funded groups and lobbyists driving this proposal in San Jose are not satisfied with SB9. They continue to push for a more extreme local version and for the city council to adopt SB10.  

We need to pressure the Mayor and the Council to reject the General Plan Task Force recommendation. It does not require investors to go through the lot-splitting process - a single-family house can be replaced with a 4-Plex plus 3 ADUs without subdividing the property. Furthermore, unlike SB9, which requires the landowner to occupy one of the dwellings for three years, the SJ proposal has no owner occupancy requirement. This shortens the time from demolition to permanently changing your neighborhood block. 

It is important to note that the San Jose proposal eliminates the public review process. There is no community notification requirement, no community meeting, no public hearing, and no appeal process. We are unaware of any other city matter where the public review process is being abolished and worry that the city's current public budget process would be next to terminate.

Finally, it is important to remember that San Jose’s current General Plan already accommodates a 40% increase in population by 2040 without implementing this radical proposal that will permanently destroy single-family neighborhoods. 


 What can residents do now to preserve the quality of life of our neighborhoods? 

  1. Sign the  Petition to Save Single Family Zoning in San Jose
  2. Contact the Mayor and City Council members today. Request the following: Reject the General Plan Task Force recommendation outright and take a public stand now to oppose. Do not vote to “study” since what is “studied” is inevitably implemented. Do not opt in to SB10.
  3. Understand your locally elected state representatives supported eliminating single family house zoning. State Senator Dave Cortese and State Assembly members Ash Kalra and Evan Low voted to pass SB9 and SB10. Councilmember Dev Davis requested the San Jose City Council oppose both SB9 & SB10 ( approximately 150 California cities such as Milpitas and Los Angeles voted to oppose). Unfortunately, on Aug 11 Councilmembers Peralez, Arenas, and Jones blocked the request at committee and refused to allow the entire city council to discuss. 
  4. Contact  Families & Homes - SJ via email ([email protected]) or via the volunteer form on their website ( to sign up for speaking (web meeting or in person) at City Council meetings when this is on the council agenda. Be sure to provide your email and text information so that we can keep you apprised and provide you talking point
  5. Make this the #1 issue for the June 2022 election both for Mayor and City Council as no other policy would negatively impact your quality of life.  


WGNA Letter in Opposition of "Opportunity Housing"

Petition to Save Single Family Zoning in San Jose

WGNA Provided Information on Opportunity Housing