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Take Action on Bills that Would Limit Local Voices in Land Use and Housing Decisions

June 22, 2018
The 2018 legislative session has been another extremely active year for housing and land use legislation with over 100 bills introduced.
 
What really sets this year apart from prior years is the fact that bills affect nearly every major area of housing and land use law. Although cities have been effective in stopping or helping to get bills amended to address their concerns, a number of priority bills remain that cities should take action before the Legislature adjourns for its summer recess on July 6.  
 
The following bills will be heard in committee the week of June 25. For details, see Bills in Committee.
 
Planning and Zoning Bills
  • AB 2923 (Chiu, Grayson, Mullin) BART: TOD: This measure gives Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) land use authority over their property. AB 2923 would require BART to establish Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning standards; prohibit a local jurisdiction from imposing parking requirements, maximum building heights, and density limits. This measure would apply to 250 acres at 27 current and planned BART stations. League Position: Oppose. Location: Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.
  • SB 765 (Wiener) Planning and Zoning: Streamlined Approval Process: This measure makes a number of changes to the streamlining approval process as mandated by SB 35 (Wiener), Chapter 366, Statutes of 2017. Most notably, SB 765 expands the by-right approval process to include housing projects that contain 50 percent or more units affordable to households making below 120 percent of area median income. The bill would require the nonresidential portion of a mixed-use project to be subject to the streamlined and ministerial approval process. League Position: Oppose. Location: Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee. 
Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)
  • SB 828 (Wiener) Land Use: RHNA: This measure would require a local jurisdiction to plan and accommodate 125 percent of the RHNA. Local jurisdictions would have to identify 25 percent more sites suitable for housing development in their Housing Element. The bill would also add additional criteria to the methodology for the comprehensive assessment for unmet housing need. League Position: Oppose Unless Amended. Location: Assembly Local Government Committee. 
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
  • SB 831 (Wieckowski) Accessory Dwelling Units: This measure would require ministerial approval of ADUs on any lot that allows for the construction of a home. The Local agency would have to act within 60 days of submitted application or application is deemed approved. SB 831 would prohibit minimum lot size requirements unless specific findings are made that identify adverse public safety impacts and would exempt ADUs from locally adopted impacts fees. League Position: Oppose. Location: Assembly Local Government Committee. 
Next Steps

Cities should take action on each of these bills. While they will all be heard in committee the week of June 25 prior to the recess, negotiations on these bills will continue through the end of session. It will be critical that cities are engaged on these measures now as well as during the final four weeks of the session, Aug. 6–31.
 
This document contains a comprehensive list of key housing and land use measures pending in the Legislature.
 
Cities can access sample letters, the League’s opposition letters and bill text by going to www.cacities.org/billsearch and plugging the bill number into the search function.


 
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