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April 8, 2014 > Senate approves Smart Growth Bill

Senate approves Smart Growth Bill

Submitted By Sergio Reyes

SB 674, authored by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay), passed from the Senate Floor on January 23. This bipartisan bill supports the development of projects that encourage locating businesses and services closer to the daily needs of local residents.

SB 674 will potentially allow a greater number of community-oriented projectsÑwith ground-floor neighborhood-serving uses on the bottom floor with residential housing on the floors aboveÑin communities throughout California. This type of smart growth design encourages the ability of local residents to access day-to-day services by walking or biking, instead of traveling by car or other polluting mode of transportation.

Specifically, this bill increases the maximum amount of neighborhood-serving goods, services and retail uses allowed in a mixed-use project using the California Environmental Quality Act residential infill exemption from 15 percent of total floor area to 25 percent of the total building square footage.

ÒI am pleased that my Senate colleagues today approved SB 674 so that California may continue to improves air quality and reduce the need to build new roads by locating small businesses, banks and other day-to-day community needs closer to where local residents actually live,Ó said Senator Corbett. ÒThis community-oriented bill makes it easier for local authorities to implement smart growth projects in communities throughout California. There are tremendous personal, community and environmental benefits to having residents walk a block to the corner store or ATM instead of needing to drive several miles to the nearest large grocery store or bank branch.Ó

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