New State Laws: What They Mean for Beverly Hills

New laws go into effect every new year, and in 2022 a host of new California State laws will impact everything from housing and crime to the environment and animal rights. Here are some of those new laws. 

Housing: Senate Bill 9 is aimed at increasing affordable housing. It requires cities throughout California to enable zoning for single-family lots to be split into two lots. SB 9 also allows duplexes to be built on single-family lots, effectively turning many of the state’s single-family lots potentially into four-family lots. Beverly Hills City Council passed an urgency ordinance Dec. 7 that brings the city into compliance with SB 9. The city is working to create a permanent ordinance in answer to the state bill’s requirements. Some Beverly Hills City Council members have criticized the bill, calling it an overreach by the state. 

Councilmember Lester Friedman called the bill “misguided” and a “one-size-fits-all” approach during the December council meeting. 

Environment: Senate Bill 1383 is aimed at reducing state methane emissions caused by decaying organic material in landfills. Under SB 1383, cities and other jurisdictions in the state are required to enforce the new organic waste recycling requirements and support food waste reduction through city programs.  

Beverly Hills City Council offered consensus support for reducing organic waste in the city, but Council Members Julian Gold, M.D., and John Mirisch criticized the bill on principle during the Council’s Dec. 7 study session, suggesting that the state should foot part of the cost for enforcement of SB 1383. 

“I think we need to have a serious discussion about literally everything that the state imposes on us,” said Mirisch. “In this case it’s something I agree with, but that they use that same excuse, ‘Well you can raise fees and taxes and therefore it’s not an unfunded mandate,’ I think that’s a larger problem and a larger issue.” 

Street Safety: Assembly Bill 43 makes it easier for cities to create slower speed limits, which could potentially support the City of Beverly Hills’ traffic calming goals as part of its Complete Streets Plan. 

Assembly Bill 773 allows cities to adopt permanent “slow streets” programs, which became popular as cities sought to accommodate pedestrian traffic in residential neighborhoods during the most restrictive months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Beverly Hills City Council showed enthusiasm for the prospect of extending the city’s own slow streets program during a meeting in March.  

Cocktails: Senate Bill 389 is another COVID-era law that allows restaurants to send alcoholic beverages home with to-go orders through 2026. Legal delivery of cocktails to your door ends Dec. 31. 

Jobs: Several worker protection bills will take effect in 2022. Senate Bill 3 will kick minimum wage up another dollar, requiring a wage of $15 an hour for employers with 26 or more workers and a wage of $14 for employers with 25 or fewer workers. 

Assembly Bill 286 disallows companies behind food delivery apps from keeping any portion of a worker’s tip. 

Police and Crime: Assembly Bill 1475 prohibits law enforcement officials and agencies from posting booking photos and other media that identifies those arrested on suspicion of nonviolent crimes prior to prosecution.  

Assembly Bill 1171 modifies California’s penal code to remove the qualification of “spousal rape” from the books, making rape within a marriage fall under the standard legal definition of rape. 

Assembly Bill 48 imposes tighter restrictions on police use of rubber bullets and tear gas for dispersing public assemblies, such as political protests.  

Senate Bill 2 enables the decertification of police officers who have been fired for misconduct. The bill aims to prevent rule-breaking officers from being rehired by another agency. 

Animal Welfare: Proposition 12 is aimed at creating more humane practices among pork and poultry farming operations. The law abolishes metal cages that restrict pigs from turning around. Prop 12 also bans cages too small for hens to open their wings. The new law has raised objections from agriculture lobbyists who say it will result in an untenable increase in pork production costs. 

Mental Health: Senate Bill 221 requires healthcare providers to provide follow-up appointments for mental health and addiction treatment within 10 business days. 

New Representation: With the 2020 census, political boundaries have been redrawn for jurisdictions throughout California and the state is now losing a Congressional seat, down to 52 representatives. 

Beverly Hills will find itself in a new Congressional District in 2022, switching from the current District 33, which stretches west through Malibu to the new District 36, which will stretch south to Ranchos Palos Verdes. 

Beverly Hills will also be switched from Assembly District 50, which extends west to Malibu. Now Beverly Hills will be in District 51, which will include Santa Monica and Hollywood.  

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