‘Yes in God’s Backyard’ Movement Wins in Pasadena

Houses of worship in Pasadena, California will now be able to build up to 75 units of housing on their property, according to an article in The Real Deal. The city council voted to amend the city’s zoning code to allow residential development on land traditionally zoned as commercial.

“Projects would be limited to 36 units an acre, with a maximum of 75 housing units, with a minimum of 80 percent of the housing set aside as affordable.” The rest of the units would also have income requirements, limiting them to households earning up to 150 percent of area median income (AMI).

The amendment excludes areas such as Pasadena’s Central District, “where the commercial ‘character’ of the district is a priority and where high traffic commercial areas ‘detract from housing compatibility.’”

The move is part of the city’s plan to meet its affordable housing needs, particularly the 9,400 new units required by California’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment, which tasks cities with specific goals every eight years. A similar measure, introduced in the state legislature by State Sen. Scott Wiener, would override local zoning codes to allow religious institutions to build affordable housing by-right.

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