Written by:

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades — two things I’ll be chucking at the affordable houses!” proclaimed the horse.
Photo by James Woolley

In September 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a host of bills intended to speed up construction of new homes. These bills included Senate Bill 9, which allows homeowners to build up to four single-family homes on an existing single-family home, as well as Senate Bill 10, which allows towns to rezone vacant space defined as transit-rich or as urban infill to permit the construction of multi-unit housing of up to 10 units. These bills are intended to increase density and provide more options for individuals seeking housing, streamlining a process that otherwise may be too slow to address current gaps in housing. While some towns and cities are chomping at the bit to incorporate these bills into their planning, others have not yet left the gate. 

Clydesdale resident and horse Burt Hansen began pushing back against these recent plans to build affordable housing in Clydesdale, his neighborhood of stable residence for the last nine years. The town of Clydesdale will utilize some of the processes outlined in California’s recent legislation in order to expand affordable housing. Along with other protesting residents, Hansen has stated he is “not horsing around” in his efforts to oppose Clydesdale’s plan. 

Hansen expressed his disagreement during Clydesdale’s last town meeting, stating, “The only thing this is going to do is ruin all the open space I rely on to stretch my four long, spindly-yet-powerful legs. Oh, as well as lower the property value on this massive amount of land that my foals are going to inherit if they buckle down on their Stanford applications. At this rate I’ll have to protest on some kind of podcast to slow down construction enough to salvage my estate planning.” 

When Hansen finished arguing his position half an hour later, human Debi Tate took to the podium and said, “I’m sick of living in a town where all our news coverage is about a rich snobby horse. What’s he even arguing? The bills were already passed.” After a pause, she continued, “I chose to rent a house in Clydesdale, but it would be nice to own a house in my lifetime. I guess Burt Hansen is going to make sure that doesn’t happen. He’s like a professional stall-er.” 

Meanwhile, the town of Clydesdale has begun searching for locations to begin construction, but has run into several unexpected problems. Senate Bill 10 doesn’t apply to lots that have been approved by voters for recreation or park use, but it may apply to a plot which serves as a buffer zone between a park and a neighboring town, Derby. In between speeches from Derby residents, Hansen stated that the area was a fire risk, an unsunk sinkhole, and the protected habitat of the endangered “Gangrene,” the name of a resident’s housecat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *