For local governments, the bill would require cities and counties (charter cities included) with a population of 100,000 or more to provide a single point of contact with respect to all applications and permits required by the local agency for the applicant’s commercial or industrial development project, upon the request of any applicant.
While the bill would authorize cities to charge fees to the applicant to cover costs, without knowing how many applicants will request the service, cities and counties have no way to know how much staff expenses will be. Adding work to existing staff may be difficult since many cities are in the process of employee layoffs. The largest cities in the state may have enough requests to hire a staffer and average the cost among all the requests, however other cities may only have a handful of applicants asking for this service and costs will increase.
Cities are using every tool available to encourage businesses in their community. If the state is interested in helping to make California a more business friendly state, it should focus on finding another tool to replace redevelopment and protecting enterprise zones, rather than adding another mandate onto local governments.
California currently has 69 cities with populations of 100,000 or more. If your city would find it difficult to comply with the requirements of AB 1549, please send in a letter of opposition with specific information as to why this bill is unworkable for your city, whether it is because of budget restrictions, staff layoffs, it won’t achieve the intended goal, or because of the state mandate.
A sample opposition letter is available on the League’s website by typing “AB 1549” into the search box.