Controversial bill that would force East Bay cities to allow high-rise housing near BART postponed

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Cities like Walnut Creek will not be forced to build high rise housing near BART stations, for now.

This is a major victory for some local officials against this idea.

Senator Scott Wiener promises he will keep fighting for this bill.

The bill did not make it out of committee and lawmakers won't even vote on it, which shocked many in Sacramento Thursday.

SB50 is controversial because it overrides local officials and local zoning, and forces cities to allow high rise housing near transit stops.

That's why many East Bay local officials have come out against it. They do not want to lose local control.

Residents tell ABC7 News they understand the need for more housing, but don't think it is the state's business.

"I think the city should have more control over that to an extent. Every city is different," Walnut Creek resident Mary Lowen said.

"Every city has different needs. Walnut Creek is a little unique in that we have a very large elderly population, so that impacts how we function as a city. So, I think it's good to keep it local," she said.

This bill was postponed until 2020, but that's an election year, and some think that will make it even tougher for this bill to survive.

Senator Wiener though says he is committed to moving it forward.
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