Stefan Ecklund


In 2022, Senate Bill 9 went into effect in California. This law allows owners of single-family-zoned parcels to split their lots in two and build at most two units on each parcel, regardless of local land use ordinances, but subject to detailed conditions. This law is one recent attempt to encourage housing development in a state where local opposition to denser housing has been blamed for the state’s current housing affordability problem. This Note will discuss S.B. 9 and the test courts apply to determine when a state law infringes too much on a charter city’s control over “municipal affairs” such as zoning. This Note will offer arguments and counterarguments that S.B. 9 should not preempt charter city zoning decisions. However, in light of recent precedent and the amorphous nature of the home rule doctrine, the law will likely be upheld.