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​​California’s Senate Bill 9, which took effect in January, brings new hope to California’s housing crisis. The law circumvents local zoning rules by allowing owners of single-family homes to split their properties into two lots and build two units on each. The first SB9 project will include four new homes on a one-acre, formerly one-house lot in Palo Alto.

But let’s not pretend that the change lets local policymakers off the hook. For decades, California officials have helped ensure that the state is such an expensive place to live by limiting housing constructionwith their zoning rules and housing approval processes. SB9 will have far more impact if local leaders cooperate with the spirit of the law by relaxing some of the rules that currently make duplexes less attractive to build.