SB9 deals a blow to local land use control

CLAYTON, CA (Sept. 16, 2021) — Senate Bill 9 (SB9), a housing bill that I discussed in my March and July 2021 Pioneer articles, has passed and has been signed into law by Governor Newsom.

Despite lobbying efforts, California legislators seem to think they know best when it comes to taking local control of cities. Minor compromises did not go far enough, and Clayton city officials remained opposed. You can read more on SB9 at

City Council members have preliminarily met with the consultant hired to begin the process of looking into Clayton’s upcoming Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). Clayton must define zoning for a state-mandated 570 additional housing units. This is going to be a most difficult task for our nearly built-out city.

Clayton has filed an appeal of these numbers, but appeals are rarely upheld. The City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint housing element workshop on Sept. 28. Future community engagement will be a part of our planning, and I urge you to get involved in the process.

Virtual council meetings

The Governor has extended his emergency declaration to allow for the continuation of virtual council meetings during the pandemic. Our virtual meetings have been much better attended by the public than in-person meetings, and we are working on the technology to accommodate those wishing to attend virtually once we do return to Hoyer Hall.

The Contra Costa Mayors Conference has decided to continue meeting virtually throughout 2021. This means that Clayton will not host the November meeting at Oakhurst as originally scheduled but will host the first in-person meeting as soon as they resume.

Council members are meeting with various business owners in town to explore their needs regarding the American Rescue Plan funds distribution. The council recently prioritized helping Clayton businesses recoup some of their losses due to the pandemic.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to welcome our new Finance Director, Katherine Korshak, as well as our “new” Community Development Director, Dana Ayers. Korshak comes to us from Kensington, with more than 10 years of experience, and Ayers was our interim finance director and has chosen to stay with us on a permanent basis. So happy to have these talented individuals on Team Clayton.

Please direct questions or ­comments to or 925-673-7324.