This is Democrat socialism-retribution and Agenda 21 all rolled into one tyrannical bill.
Elections have consequences.
Since last November 6’s election that gave control of Virginia’s entire state government to Democrats, the victors have been on a tear to impose gun control. See “Virginians form sanctuaries and militias against governor & state legislature gun grab“.
To the growing list of Virginia Democrats’ tyranny and malice should be added a bill that will change the character of quiet suburbs by overriding local zoning officials to legalize multi-family housing in every neighborhood currently zoned for single-family homes.
On January 8, 2020, Virginia Assemblyman Ibraheem S. Samirah introduced House Bill no. 152 (HB-152), “A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15.2-2292.2, relating to zoning two-family development on single-family lots,” which will change the suburbs by overriding local zoning officials to permit multi-family housing in all neighborhoods now zoned for single-family housing.
Born in Chicago, IL, of Palestinian parents, Ibraheem Samirah is a Democrat who was elected in February 2019 in a special election to the Virginia House of Delegates for the 86th district, which includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in suburban Washington, D.C. Samirah was re-elected to a full-term in November 2019.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. government had banned from the U.S. for a decade Samirah’s father, Jordanian refugee Sabri Samirah, in part because of his membership in the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group. (Daily Caller)
Below is the available text of HB 152:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 15.2-2292.2 as follows:
12§ 15.2-2292.2. Two-family development allowed on lots zoned for single-family use.
All localities adopting a zoning ordinance under the provisions of this article shall allow development or redevelopment of middle housing residential units upon each lot zoned for single-family residential use. For purposes of this section, “middle housing” means a two-family residential unit, including duplexes, townhouses, cottages, and any similar structure by whatever name it may be known. Such structures shall not require a special use permit or be subjected to any other local requirements beyond those imposed upon other authorized residential uses. Localities may regulate the siting, design, and environmental standards of middle housing residential units, including setback requirements, provided that the regulations do not, individually or cumulatively, discourage the development of all middle housing types permitted through unreasonable costs or delay. Nothing in this section shall prohibit local governments from permitting (i) single-family dwellings in areas zoned to allow for single-family dwellings, or (ii) middle housing in areas not required under this section.
What HB 152 doesn’t say is that its definition of “middle housing” as any two-family residential unit, includes public housing. In a tweet on December 22, 2019, Samirah telegraphed his intention to put public housing units in single-family housing zones:
Important Q [question] about new social/public housing programs: where are we going to put the units?
Under current zoning, new low-income housing is relegated to underinvested neighborhoods, concentrating poverty more.
Ending exclusionary zoning has to be part of broader housing reform.
Samirah’s purpose for HB 152 is two-pronged:
(1) Retribution against “most white and wealthy” Virginians who are not aligned with the Democratic Party:
Samirah told the Daily Caller, “Single-family housing zones would become two-zoned. Areas that would be impacted most would be the suburbs that have not done their part in helping out…. Those are the areas that the state is having significant trouble dealing with. They’re living in a bubble.”
(2) Socialism — racial and class equality:
In response to a question about whether people who bought homes in spacious suburbs have valid, non-discriminaton reasons for preferring to live that way — including a love for nature and desire to preserve woods and streams — Samirah wrote on Facebook: “Caring about nature is very important, but the more dense a neighborhood is, the more energy efficient it is. Because middle housing is what’s most affordable for low-income people and people of color, banning that housing in well-off neighborhoods chalks up to modern-day redlining, locking folks out of areas with better access to schools, jobs, transit, and other services and amenities. I will certainly get pushback for this. Some will call it ‘state overreach.’ Some will express anxiety about neighborhood change. Some may even say that the supply issue doesn’t exist. But the research is clear: zoning is a barrier to more housing and integrated communities.”
Tim Hannigan, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, told the Daily Caller HB 152 “could completely change the character of suburban residential life, because of the urbanization that would develop. So much of the American dream is built upon this idea of finding a nice quiet place to raise your family, and that is under assault. This is a power-grab to take away the ability of local communities to establish their own zoning practices … literally trying to change the character of our communities.”
Other cities and states have passed bills similar to Virginia’s HB 152, including Oregon; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Austin, Texas; and Seattle, Washington.
H/t John Molloy