Governor Signs Friedman’s Bill Encouraging Affordable Housing Near Metro’s Orange Line
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2019
Contact: Blake Dellinger
SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, Governor Newsom signed into law legislation put forward by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) that will bring growth and opportunity to the area surrounding the San Fernando Valley’s Orange Line. The measure, Assembly Bill 1560, was sponsored by the Valley Industry Commerce Association (VICA).
“Bus rapid transit lines, like the Orange Line, serve as high-quality transit options to the same degree that light rail does. The communities surrounding them should have access to the same benefits.” said Assemblymember Friedman. “If we are going to be serious about solving the housing affordability crisis and remaining committed to our climate goals, then we are going to need to focus on bringing transit-oriented affordable housing online.”
“One of our top priorities in Sacramento is fighting to ensure that the Valley gets its fair share of state funding and resources,'' said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - San Fernando Valley), a principal coauthor of the bill. “This bill will help our community access important economic development programs and state incentives.”
The Orange Line is one of the busiest transit lines operated by LA Metro and serves over 20,000 daily riders traveling in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Los Angeles County. AB 1560 will allow the area surrounding unique transit lines, such as the Orange Line, to be defined as a “transit priority area” and “major transit stop”. The change will help fulfill the unmet housing demands of the region by encouraging the development of affordable, vibrant, and transit-oriented communities.
“Communities being served by bus rapid transit are ideal for the development of affordable, transit-oriented, housing. But they are unfortunately being excluded under current California law.” said Stuart Waldman, President of the Valley Industry Commerce Association. “AB 1560 is a common sense solution that will greatly improve the lives of residents and increase economic opportunities in the San Fernando Valley.”
In 2016, voters in the City of Los Angeles approved Measure JJJ, which provides incentives for the development of affordable housing near high-quality transit. The current definition of a “major transit stop”, as defined by the California Public Resources Code, excludes areas around bus rapid transit, like Metro’s Orange Line, from accessing the voter-supported benefits of Measure JJJ.
The measure received no opposition in the legislature. The law will go into effect on January 1st, 2020.
Laura Friedman represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.