By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The City of Sacramento thinks it has the answer to California’s housing crisis by eliminating certain zoning requirements to make more room.

“The task is large and it’s a systemic, California statewide and beyond issue,” said Matt Hertel, Sacramento Acting Long Range Planning Manager. “We need more availability and affordability of housing. We need to address climate change and we need to address equity.”

READ MORE: El Dorado County Braces For Flooding After Caldor Fire

Looking to boost building, the City of Sacramento is planning to do away with single home zoning requirements – making room for options to build multi-unit homes on already existing lots or new developments.

“It will provide more lower-cost housing options,” Hertel said. “Land use has a history of redlining and racial convenience and other things that segregated people based on the color of their skin in various neighborhoods.”

Developing plans could include up to four units with additional buildings in backyards depending on space. Homes would be subject to height and size requirements but not everyone is sold on the idea.

“Let’s focus on the real issues, this is a giveaway to absentee landlords to investors,” said Maggie Coulter, president of the Elmhurst Neighborhood Association.

READ MORE: Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Barred From Caring For Bears Until It Makes Changes To Enclosure

Multiple neighborhood associations are raising concerns, including the Elmhurst Neighborhood Association taking issue over the number of units, the potential removal of minimum parking standards and affordability.

“It will create more market-rate rental units, eliminate housing stalk and it will not help long-term residents of Sacramento,” Coulter said.

Only two other cities nationwide are using the model – Portland and Minneapolis. With 70 percent of Sacramento residential neighborhoods zoned for single-family use, the North State Building Industry Association believes this option lays a strong foundation

“It’s a gamechanger but a lot of work still needs to be done,” said Cornelious Burke, legislative director of the association. “We need to increase supply and one of the challenges are a lot of regulatory burdens. Once we remove regulatory burdens and zoning hurdles we can produce more housing for everyone.”

MORE NEWS: Kings Home Opener Brings Life To Downtown, Stresses Business

The city council has already approved the plan with modifications still in the works. The City plans to officially adopt the idea at the end of the year and rezoning would not start until the summer of 2022.

Velena Jones