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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 1:28 AM
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Sacramento moves forward with change to single-family zoning

Sacramento moves forward with change to single-family zoning

Albany Times Union
Jan. 20, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sacramento is a step closer to becoming one of the first cities in the country to eliminate traditional single-family zoning.

The City Council on Tuesday voted 8-0 to proceed with a draft zoning plan that would allow houses across the California city to contain up to four dwelling units, the Sacramento Bee reported.

City officials said the proposal would help the city alleviate its housing crisis and achieve equity goals.

“Everybody should have the opportunity to not only play in Land Park but to live in Land Park,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said, referring to a neighborhood and its namesake park considered one of the more desirable places to live in Sacramento.

The vote is the first step in a long process. If the council adopts the 2040 General Plan in about a year, property owners would then be able to start adding units to houses in roughly two years.

The cities of Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis have passed similar ordinances in recent years. The state of Oregon passed a law eliminating traditional single-family zoning statewide. A similar bill was introduced in the California Legislature but died. Sacramento could be the only city in the state formally considering the change.

A similar proposal that would have forced California cities to increase housing density failed last year after being introduced to the Legislature by state Sen. Scott Wiener.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by edale View Post
I hesitate to even engage, but why do you say this? I often see Bay Area, and sometimes LA, people disparaging Sacramento. I've never actually been, but from what I can tell online, it appears to be a pretty nice city. There are some pretty nice historic neighborhoods, multiple rivers, a decent downtown, close to Tahoe and all the natural recreation there...Plus, the people I've met from Sacramento have generally been very nice and laid back. Why the hate?
climatewise it sucks (for California). Way too hot and sticky. Still, it's the nicest place in the Central Valley...
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
climatewise it sucks (for California). Way too hot and sticky. Still, it's the nicest place in the Central Valley...
I was gonna say, that's probably the biggest thing I don't like about Sacramento, is that it gets unbearably hot in the summer. But the rest of the year, the weather is OK---well, the winters can be very cold, in that "California" sense.

I like Sacramento; it's not an "exciting" city, but the older parts are nice. Even native Sacramentans say that it feels like an overgrown small town.

As far back as the late 1990s, it had a great restaurant/food scene. I don't know if that's still the case, during this pandemic.
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Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 6:18 PM
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I was gonna say, that's probably the biggest thing I don't like about Sacramento, is that it gets unbearably hot in the summer. But the rest of the year, the weather is OK---well, the winters can be very cold, in that "California" sense.

I like Sacramento; it's not an "exciting" city, but the older parts are nice. Even native Sacramentans say that it feels like an overgrown small town.

As far back as the late 1990s, it had a great restaurant/food scene. I don't know if that's still the case, during this pandemic.
That would make sense with all of the fresh produce available due to its location in the Central Valley, not to mention close proximity to fresh seafood. Sacramento, location-wise, is actually in a great spot - a couple hours from the ocean, 1.5 hours to San Francisco, 1.5 hours from Napa Valley vineyards and 2 hours from skiing/hiking in the Sierra's and Lake Tahoe. What other city in the country can boast an equally excellent location?
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Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 6:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
climatewise it sucks (for California). Way too hot and sticky. Still, it's the nicest place in the Central Valley...
Hm, so people hate on a city because it has hot summers and cool (definitely not cold) winters? Seems logical

LA has very hot summers and falls. Vegas and Palm Springs are ridiculously hot in the summer. San Francisco has cold, gray summers...none of them get shit on like Sacramento does.

I understand that the Central Valley can be a pretty bleak place. I have tried to find cool neighborhoods, attractions, etc. in cities like Bakersfield and Fresno, and those do indeed appear to be quite lacking. But Sacramento appears to have some nice neighborhoods, pro sports, museums...idk, seems like you could do MUCH worse.
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Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 7:08 PM
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Interesting plan. Interested to see how this goes, and if it ends up making Sacramento less expensive or more expensive.

As far as Sacramento goes, it has huge potential to capture the people leaving the state since it's more affordable than pretty much any other large city, and is close to the Bay Area. Others like Fresno and Bakersfield seem much more busted and way less attractive. Not that SAC seems like some kind of utopia, but I do think it needs to market itself better as geographically and economically it's the most attractive city in the state after the usual suspects.

Idk why but Sacramento almost gives me southern vibes. I guess because it's on a giant delta and if you didn't see the redwoods planted everywhere, you'd have no idea you were in California. You don't see mountains, no ocean, it's not desert like, no chaparral and no natural forests anymore. Definitely a California anomaly.
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Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 7:23 PM
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This is great! Very progressive and will have big impacts towards affordable housing. There are certain neighborhoods in Sacramento that aren't bad.

It's a shame so many other so called progressive cities are unable to take this very simple step.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 8:18 PM
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Originally Posted by craigs View Post
[size=5]The cities of Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis have passed similar ordinances in recent years. The state of Oregon passed a law eliminating traditional single-family zoning statewide. A similar bill was introduced in the California Legislature but died. Sacramento could be the only city in the state formally considering the change.
Anyone know how much of a difference the similar changes have made in Portland and/or Minneapolis?
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Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 9:10 PM
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Yeah, that was an unnecessary shot at Sacramento.

It's a perfectly fine medium sized city. No one claimed it was an urban paradise or has the vibrancy of SF or LA. A lot of it is sprawl but there are some nice walkable areas in Downtown and Midtown. It still has an excellent food scene as someone else mentioned. And obviously the proximity to Tahoe and the Sierras, multiple rivers for world class kayaking, wine country, day trips to SF, etc. It also has one of the better universities (UC Davis) out of the non big name ones, and an excellent medical center to go along with it. If I had to pick any inland city in CA to live, it would be Sacramento. I'm sure our SoCal forumers could make a legitimate argument for Riverside, but I'd personally prefer Sacramento given the above reasons. I prefer mountains and forests over desert generally. In terms of average historical temperature, it's quite similar to Riverside and certainly cooler than Fresno and Bakersfield.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 9:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bossabreezes View Post
Idk why but Sacramento almost gives me southern vibes. I guess because it's on a giant delta and if you didn't see the redwoods planted everywhere, you'd have no idea you were in California. You don't see mountains, no ocean, it's not desert like, no chaparral and no natural forests anymore. Definitely a California anomaly.
It definitely has a different feel than other California cities. With the river and nearby farmland I would say Omaha, Des Moines or Indianapolis are most similar if those cities were in a more subtropical climate (there are palm trees throughout Sacramento).
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2021, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bossabreezes View Post
Interesting plan. Interested to see how this goes, and if it ends up making Sacramento less expensive or more expensive.

As far as Sacramento goes, it has huge potential to capture the people leaving the state since it's more affordable than pretty much any other large city, and is close to the Bay Area. Others like Fresno and Bakersfield seem much more busted and way less attractive. Not that SAC seems like some kind of utopia, but I do think it needs to market itself better as geographically and economically it's the most attractive city in the state after the usual suspects.

Idk why but Sacramento almost gives me southern vibes. I guess because it's on a giant delta and if you didn't see the redwoods planted everywhere, you'd have no idea you were in California. You don't see mountains, no ocean, it's not desert like, no chaparral and no natural forests anymore. Definitely a California anomaly.
Actually, from much of Sacramento you can indeed see mountains--the coast ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada mountains to the east. In fact, Sacramento's easternmost suburbs are within the Sierra foothills--which feature native California Oak forests.

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Yeah, that was an unnecessary shot at Sacramento.

It's a perfectly fine medium sized city. No one claimed it was an urban paradise or has the vibrancy of SF or LA. A lot of it is sprawl but there are some nice walkable areas in Downtown and Midtown. It still has an excellent food scene as someone else mentioned. And obviously the proximity to Tahoe and the Sierras, multiple rivers for world class kayaking, wine country, day trips to SF, etc. It also has one of the better universities (UC Davis) out of the non big name ones, and an excellent medical center to go along with it. If I had to pick any inland city in CA to live, it would be Sacramento. I'm sure our SoCal forumers could make a legitimate argument for Riverside, but I'd personally prefer Sacramento given the above reasons. I prefer mountains and forests over desert generally. In terms of average historical temperature, it's quite similar to Riverside and certainly cooler than Fresno and Bakersfield.
Good points, to which I will add a few of my own.

The Sacramento region is served by Capitol Corridor commuter rail and an extensive light rail system rare for a city of its size. It's also an excellent city for bicycling, with bike lanes throughout the mostly flat city and with a 32-mile, top-notch biking and walking trail along the banks of the American River. And while it is true the city has relatively hot summers (as do all of California's interior cities), the city's notably extensive tree canopy cools much of the city and pulls pollution from the air.

Meanwhile, the restaurants, bars, and entertainment continue to improve as more and more Bay Area refugees arrive and are willing to pay for quality.

As a matter of fact, we are thinking of moving permanently to Sacramento after the COVID thing becomes more manageable. I hope the new residential zoning changes will open up even more affordable housing options because we are house-hunting!
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2021, 12:37 AM
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FYI...

In case the discussion seems somewhat disjointed up to this point, I deleted the unnecessary troll post and a couple that quoted the troll.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2021, 1:31 AM
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It's a smart move by the city and this is one of those times that I wish the city limits also included Carmichael and the other unincorporated County areas to the NE of downtown.

Back in the day when Craigs and I would bike around downtown occasionally quite inebriated, we used to talk about how similar the central city was to Austin. Well, nearly 20 years later we all see what has happened in Austin while Sac has kind of remained a bit forgotten. There are some good bones though, and the restaurant scene downtown and midtown is (was) definitely top notch.

I would love to see this applied to West Sacramento as well, which is where a ton of both good and bad infill growth has occurred over the past 20 years. West Sac could easily be an amazing walkable city of considerable size to complement its neighbor across the river.

In 2002 the Sacramento region general plan was passed that included a bunch of new freeways, along with LRT corridors. 20 years later and most of the LRT corridors are underway or even completed. No new freeways have been built and I doubt the traffic is any worse than it was then (uninformed as I am since I don't live there anymore). What it does say to me anyway is that roads don't have to be the answer.

Great to hear about the city taking on this progressive policy.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2021, 6:56 PM
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Portland, OR did something very similar in the Fall of 2020.

https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/...ily-homes.html
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2021, 7:47 PM
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Originally Posted by homebucket View Post
I'm sure our SoCal forumers could make a legitimate argument for Riverside, but I'd personally prefer Sacramento given the above reasons. I prefer mountains and forests over desert generally. In terms of average historical temperature, it's quite similar to Riverside and certainly cooler than Fresno and Bakersfield.
Interestingly, Riverside ( and the rest of the IE) also has close access to the mountains and forests of the Transverse Ranges that block off SoCal from the vast high desert to Vegas. So it ain’t all desert down here.

As for Sacramento, I will consider living there one day for residency.
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2021, 1:56 PM
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Hm, so people hate on a city because it has hot summers and cool (definitely not cold) winters? Seems logical
As of 5:37am this morning, according to weather.com, the temperature in Sacramento was 29 degrees Fahrenheit. I know I'm from SoCal, but that's downright freezing. *BRRRRRR*
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2021, 5:06 AM
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Outside of coastal Cali and part of the PNW nobody would complain about the weather in Sacramento. The summers are cooler than the southwest, there is virtually no humidity, the spring and fall are amazing (as are a lot of areas), and you get just a touch of winter chill and freeze in Dec/Jan for some seasonal flare (do not have to deal with snow but that is a short drive away) with a spring that typically arrives early. I would take that climate over most places in the US.

The city is and has been urbanizing. Is extremely walkable in the core and has a ton of bike trails throughout. The railyards are finally beginning to develop which will add a lot to the city. One big recent positive change I have seen is that neighborhoods are starting to restake a claim to their own unique identities--something I loved about living in Portland.

The narrative of no amenities is also false. Great theater scene, music venues, galleries, thriving food scene with constant festivals (pre covid), bustling nightlife and plenty of outdoor activities. Granted I think much of this is within the last 10 years.

Wine country exists in every direction whether is is a little over an hour west to Napa (easier to get to Napa from Sac than from SF), 40 min south to Lodi, 40 minutes east to Amador and the foothills and 20 minutes southwest to Clarksburgh.

The true downsides are the homelessness (exists throughout every west coast city), the poorly planned lightrail, and the housing crunch (also true of most west coast cities). The latter of course being the main topic of this thread.
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