As California droughts intensify, ecosystems and rural communities will bear the brunt of hotter, drier conditions. Yet, some cities are doing everything they can to adapt to the inevitable rise in the number of Californians who migrate to the state’s most central cities.
New census data from 2015 shows the largest growth in people moving up from the South (which includes Orange and San Diego counties) to the East (which includes Los Angles and San Francisco). A report from the California Department of Manpower says the number of people leaving the state will grow to 17 million by 2060.
In anticipation of these inevitable increases, cities across the state have made plans to expand or create more housing and amenities for people who move to California. However, if climate change continues to exacerbate drought-related damage to infrastructure and economic development, many cities could face a significant shortage of available housing and other key resources.
In response to this crisis, San Francisco and Los Angeles both have announced they will be asking residents to make room for more people by expanding housing stock or adding more housing units.
Last week, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously decided to approve an ordinance requiring future housing units in the city to serve households who live there for at least three years.
The ordinance requires new residential subdivisions built within the city to be built to serve households that have lived in their original place of residence for at least three years.
The ordinance also requires new developments to provide at least six new rental units and four new live-work units to households that move into the neighborhood.
In Los Angeles, the Board of Supervisors is considering legislation that would require housing projects built over the next 25 years to serve households who stay in the developments for at least three years. The legislation, passed by the City Council earlier this year, would create a 30% affordability requirement for the new housing units and a 15% minimum housing density requirement for new developments.
These local measures are significant because they are only the most recent examples