For many Americans, a single-family home has always been the dream — a place to call your own, a place to welcome family and friends or a place to enjoy the solitude with your loved ones.
That’s one thing that makes Redlands attractive. Thousands of nice homes, and a few spectacular ones, are part of what makes the city the Jewel of the Inland Empire.
According to a report on the city website, there are more than 27,000 housing units in Redlands. More than half are owner occupied. (Note: These numbers are more than year old, but they reflect the trends.) With two major freeways, Interstate 10 and State Route 210, merging in Redlands, it’s a good place for commuters.
However, commuting is not a great lifestyle, especially with growing concerns about thousands of gas-fired cars contributing to air pollution in the East Valley. According to a report by the Southern California Association of Governments, as of 2018 nearly 30% of Redlands resident spent more than 30 minutes driving to work. Seven percent take more than an hour.
The arrival of efficient rail travel in Redlands next year will help reduce concerns about transit-related pollution. But it also means more commuters, who tend to be less engaged with the community because they’re here less often.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed two laws, Senate Bills 9 and 10, that would make it easier to split lots to increase the housing supply. As many as four homes could be built where one was planned. SB 9 was endorsed by many cities, including Grand Terrace, Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga, but not Redlands or other East Valley communities.
State Sen. Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, a Republican, voted against SB 9 and for SB 10. Assemblyman James Ramos, a Democrat, supported both bills.
Increasing density puts greater demand on city services, such as water, sewers and police and fire protection.
Brian Desatnik, Redlands’ development services director, doesn’t think the bills will have much affect on the city.
Only about 7% of Redlands lots have the potential of being split, he told Redlands Community News reporter Dina Colunga. About a third of the city is in fire alert zones, where lot splitting won’t be allowed.
“We don’t perceive we will do anything in response to SB 10 because we are already working on our transit villages,” Desatnik said.
The transit villages, planned around the University of Redlands, Downtown Redlands and Esri, is where the city can do its part to help solve California’s housing crisis.
Most residents already happily ensconced in single-family homes have nothing to worry about.