State Senator Moorlach gets to say "I told you so!" over California's attempted end-run around recent changes to federal tax law.

Governor’s heavy-handed litigation tactics on City of Huntington Beach will divert resources from housing needs

Over the 4 years I have served in the State Senate, I have labored diligently to reduce the cost of housing in California so every person and family could afford a roof over their heads. That includes attempts to reform the California Environmental Quality Act, address infill constraints, and create opportunities for denser housing near transit centers. However, the state government continues to erect more burdensome obstacles in the form of higher taxes on real estate transactions and more regulatory hurdles, rather than houses. Additionally, the dark cloud of litigation hangs over the heads of developers who want to make good on the idea of affordable housing.

So that is why I am befuddled that Governor Newsom – a former mayor of a city and county with astronomical housing costs and multitudinous problems – would try and make an example out of my constituents, the City of Huntington Beach, and sue them for not having enough affordable housing.

From my vantage point, Huntington Beach is doing its best to comply with applicable state housing and zoning laws and continues to work on meeting its housing goals and has consistently prevailed in court on this very issue.

I thought that Governor Newsom understood how difficult building more affordable housing was going to be and hoped that he would engage in some goodwill gestures to help cities reach their goals. In one fell – and very awkward – swoop, he made things worse and single-handedly exacerbated the housing crisis by unilaterally announcing a lawsuit on the City of Huntington Beach.

The State of California filing a lawsuit against one of its 482 cities is the first clash between the philosophies of local control versus centralized control out of Sacramento. The issue should be in striking a balance. If the Governor thinks that using heavy-handed litigation tactics that will divert the city’s time, energy and resources to respond to obstructive and otherwise frivolous lawsuits will help them achieve their goals, then he needs to re-evaluate his priorities.

Once this approach is started, then it must be applied to all other cities not in compliance. He should have a policy of no better, no worse. Otherwise, these are strong-arm tactics.

This article was released by the Office of Senator John Moorlach.


  1. Dear Editor,
    I’ve always wanted to live on Balboa Island with a dock out in front. Or maybe in a house on the Newport Beach Peninsula right on the sand. I can’t really afford to live there, but I think it’s my right. Governor Newsom should implement policies to make this possible because it’s simply not fair that I don’t have a house in the nice neighborhood where I deserve to live. I understand that the current owners may have worked hard and saved to live there. However, Governor Newsom should definitely start taxing their property and assets at 2% per year. (Elizabeth Warren). And raise their income taxes to at least 70%. (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). This would result in the current owners selling my dream house at a huge discount, enabling me to buy on the cheap. I know I could just move to Venezuela and live the dream right now. Of course, I’d have to pay a 40% “exit tax” on my assets before I leave the country. (Elizabeth Warren). So, even though I think globally, I act locally. I really need the Governor to fast-track this for me so I can get my Newport Beach entitlement as soon as possible.

  2. Affordable housing is a misnomer, and it describes low income restricted housing. News reports don’t explain that California housing law requires certain percentages of housing, usually high density apartments to be build for very low and low income families. This restricted housing is based on income. It isn’t the federal section 8 program. Cities must build 40%-50% of housing for low income to meeting state law or cities can be sued as Newsom is doing with Huntington Beach. State law requires that cities upzone properties to higher densities in the hope that the developer will build a few low income apartments among the many market rate apartments in the new developments. BUT, developers aren’t required to build low income housing, while cities are prohibited from forcing the developers to build what the state wants in the high percentage of restricted income apartments. The last report (2017 or 2018) from the state HCD on cities building their required number of low income housing was that 95% of all cities in the state haven’t built the state demanded numbers of low income housing. It isn’t just Huntington Beach and not just 50 other cities. It is over 450 cities that haven’t built what the state demands be built. The state has no concern for overbuilding, crowding of schools, not enough infrastructure. This “affordable” housing scam is great for the developers.

  3. Why is State Senator John Moorlach surprised by socialist Governor Gaven Newsom’s actions against Huntington Beach? Look around the state and then look around the country at what socialists (aka Democrats) are doing. Everything liberal Democrats do is to help and protect illegal aliens and hurt American citizens. Why do socialist/Democrats hate America? What happened to the Party of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy? SAD…..

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