Position Letters


2018 POSITION LETTERS SECTION

Assembly

AB 686 (Support if Amended) INCORPORATE THE FEDERAL AFFH REGULATIONS INTO STATE LAW – in Senate Transportation & Housing Committee – Tuesday, June 27

APA California supports AB 686 if the bill is narrowed to mirror the existing federal “affirmatively further fair housing” (AFFH) requirements. APA agrees that the state should incorporate the federal AFFH regulations into state law in anticipation that the federal regulations may be eliminated.

AB 1771 (Support if Amended) CHANGES TO THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED ALLOCATION PROCESS – in Senate Transportation & Housing Committee, Tuesday, June 26th

The American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA California) has taken a support if amended position on AB 1771. AB 1771 would make a number of changes to how the Regional Housing Need Allocation process (RHNA) is determined in housing element law.

AB 1804 (Support) CEQA INFILL EXEMPTION FOR COUNTIES – in Assembly Natural Resources Committee – April 9th – This bill would allow urbanized counties to use the existing categorical infill exemption for projects that meet the existing conditions that qualify for the exemption.

AB 1905 (Oppose) CONSTRUCTION DURING CEQA JUDICIAL REVIEW ON TRANSPORTATION-RELATED PROJECTS INCLUDED IN SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES STRATEGY – in Assembly Natural Resources Committee – April 9th

The bill, in an action or proceeding seeking judicial review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), would prohibit a court from staying or enjoining a transportation project that would reduce total vehicle miles traveled and is included in a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) for which an environmental impact report(EIR) has been certified, unless the project presents an imminent threat to public health and safety.

AB 2161 (Support) HOMELESS INTEGRATED DATA WAREHOUSE – in Assembly Appropriations Committee – April 4th

AB 2161 would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to create a statewide homeless integrated data warehouse in coordination with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.  The data would be used to develop a composite portrayal of the homeless population in the state, as well as services currently provided to people who are homeless.

AB 2162 (Support if Amended) STREAMLINING AFFORDABLE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS – in Assembly Local Government Committee

AB 2162 would streamline affordable supportive housing developments by approving projects with supportive housing as a use by right. AB 2162 would encourage more supportive housing to be well integrated into communities and provide needed housing for people looking to improve their life situation.

AB 2341 (Support if Amended) EXEMPTION FOR CONSIDERATION OF AESTHETICS UNDER CEQA – in Assembly Natural Resources Committee – April 9th

This bill would specify that the aesthetic effects of projects meeting certain requirements are not significant effects on the environment for purposes of CEQA.

AB 2434 (Support) HEALTH IN ALL POLICIES PLANNING – in assembly Health Committee – April 3rd

The bill would permanently establish the Health in All Policies Program so that state departments can continue to integrate health and equity into programs and policies.

AB 2753 (Support as Amended) DETERMINATION OF ELIGIBILITY OF DENSITY BONUS – in Assembly Local Government Committee – Wednesday, April 25th

As amended, AB 2753 will require the city or county, when notifying the applicant for a density bonus whether the application is complete, to also notify the applicant of the amount of density bonus for which the applicant is eligible, and if requested by the applicant, the parking ratio for which the applicant is eligible. If the applicant requests incentives or concessions, or waivers or reductions of development standards, the local agency will now also be required to notify the applicant whether the applicant has provided adequate information for the local government to make a determination as to those incentives, concessions, or waivers or reductions of development standards. It also requires the local government to adjust the amount of density bonus and parking ratios awarded pursuant to this section based on any changes to the project during the course of development.

AB 2890 (Oppose Unless Amended) LAND USE: ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS, as amended on July 3, 2018 – to be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), the Urban Counties of California (UCC), the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), the League of California Cities (LCC), and the American Planning Association California Chapter (APA) are opposed to your Assembly Bill 2890 in its current form. This bill would significantly amend the statewide standards that apply to locally-adopted ordinances concerning accessory dwelling units (ADUs), even though the law was thoroughly revised in the 2016 Legislative Session. These revisions made in 2016 were a product of two carefully negotiated bills that only became effective in January 2017, with further amendments during the 2017 Legislative Session. All local agencies that worked in good faith to implement those laws would have to reopen their ordinances yet again to comply with the provisions of AB 2890.

AB 2913 Removal of Opposition ONE YEAR INITIAL LIFE FOR BUILDING PERMITS – on Senate Floor

On behalf of the American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA CALIFORNIA), Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), California Building Officials (CALBO), League of California Cities (LCC),
California State Association of Counties (CSAC), and Urban Counties of California (UCC), our organizations will be removing our opposition to AB 2913 as agreed to be amended.

AB 2923 (Oppose) OVERRIDING LOCAL ZONING ON BART PROPERTY – in Senate Governance & Finance Committee, Wednesday, June 27th

The American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA California) must respectfully continue to oppose AB 2923 as proposed to be amended. APA understands that the bill will be significantly amended soon. However, even as to be amended, this bill would take away local land use authority over BART station properties from cities and counties and hand it over to the BART Board. The bill gives every incentive for BART to maximize its land value regardless of the impacts on
surrounding properties.

AB 3147 (Oppose) FREEZING TIMING OF LOCAL FEES AND EXACTIONS – in Assembly Housing & Community Development committee 4/11 & Local Government Committee

AB 3147 would freeze all fees, exactions and other charges on the date that an application for a housing project is determined to be complete.

AB 3194 (Removal of Opposition as Proposed to be Amended June 19, 2018) – Senate Transportation & Housing Committee

On behalf of the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), the Urban Counties of California (UCC), the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), the League of California Cities (LCC), and the American Planning Association California Chapter (APACA), we are pleased to inform you that, based on proposed Senate Transportation and Housing Committee amendments, we are removing our opposition
to your Assembly Bill 3194.

AB 3194 makes changes to the Housing Accountability Act to prohibit a local government from requiring rezoning of a housing development project site if the project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria, but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. Under current law, General Plan land use elements are long-term documents that accommodate the needs of a jurisdiction through flexible general designations, which are made more specific through zoning as future growth occurs. Although the proposed amendments continue to require approval of certain projects that are inconsistent with a jurisdiction’s zoning code, this provision will be limited to circumstances where the jurisdiction has not brought its zoning ordinance into conformity with the general plan – which is something that is ultimately under the jurisdiction’s control. The amendments will also allow local agencies to apply objective zoning standards and criteria to such projects. Additionally, the proposed Committee amendments, along with those taken on May 29, 2018, corrected ambiguities that would have resulted in costly litigation for local governments.

SENATE

SB 765 (Oppose) SUBSTANTIAL POLICY CHANGES TO SB 35 STREAMLINING FOR HOUSING AND COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT – in Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee – Wednesday, June 27th

On behalf of the the American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA CALIFORNIA), Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), the League of California Cities (LCC), the Urban Counties of California (UCC), and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), our organizations have respectfully taken an oppose
position on SB 765. SB 765 would make a number of substantial policy changes to SB 35 signed into law last year. It was just amended on June 14th and then again on June 18th..

SB 827 (Oppose As Amended) OVERRIDING LOCAL ZONING NEAR TRANSIT – In Senate Transportation & Housing Committee – Tuesday, April 17th

SB 827 as amended would require a local government, if requested, to grant a “transit-rich” housing bonus to a development proponent of a “transit-rich” housing project located near transit by eliminating specific local land use authority.

SB 828 (Oppose Unless Amended) SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED ALLOCATION PROCESS – in Assembly Local Government Committee – Wednesday, June 27th

The American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA California) appreciates the many amendments made to SB 828 in the Senate. Eliminating the requirement that any housing unbuilt in the previous housing element period be added to the new RHNA addressed APA’s concern that the RHNA already addresses the total need. This requirement would have double counted those cross-over sites. We remain committed to working with the author on additional changes to the RHNA allocation process as the bill moves forward. However, we must respectfully continue to oppose SB 828 unless amended.

SB 831 APA CALIFORNIA SUPPORTS STANDARDS THAT ENCOURAGE ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT (ADU) DEVELOPMENT BUT DOESN’T SUPPORT ANNUAL CHANGES

APA California supports ADUs as an important source of housing to help combat the housing crisis our communities are facing. APA also supports standards that encourage the development of ADUs. APA’s opposition to AB 2890 and SB 831 are not to the permitting of ADUs. Instead, our concerns are that these new ADU requirements are not functional and will create unintended consequences. In addition, APA objects to another round of substantial changes proposed in two bills that, yet again, set specific standards that will not work in all jurisdictions throughout the state.

SB 918 (Support) HOMELESS YOUTH ACT OF 2018 – In Senate Human Services Committee – April 10th

SB 918 would create the Office of Homeless Youth within the Department of Housing and Community Development and would require the Office to set specific goals to prevent and end youth homelessness in California. The bill would also establish $60 million in grants from the cannabis tax and other funds to assist in the development of supportive housing and other preventative services.

SB 1015 (Support) CALIFORNIA CLIMATE RESILIENCY PLANNING – in Senate Environmental Quality Committee – April 18th

SB 1015 would establish the California Climate Resiliency Program (CCRP). The CCRP would increase resiliency to climate change impacts in urban and rural communities and fund the planning and implementation of projects that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and improve the climate change resiliency of natural systems, natural and working lands and developed areas.

SB 1035 (Support if Amended) CLIMATE ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCY STRATEGIES WITHIN THE GENERAL PLAN – In Senate Governance and Finance Committee

This bill would require, the planning agency to review and, if necessary, revise the safety element upon each revision of the housing element to identify new information relating to flood and fire hazards and climate adaptation and resiliency strategies applicable to the city or county that was not available during the previous revision of the safety element.

SB 1145 (Support) ENHANCED INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING DISTRICT INVESTMENT PROTECTION – in Senate Governance and Finance Committee – April 11th

SB 1145 would protect local economic development investments by allowing Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) to finance ongoing or capitalized maintenance costs for public projects financed by the EIFD.

SB 1226 (Support) PERMITTING FOR EXISTING ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS – in Senate Transportation & Housing Committee

SB 1226 would allow local governments to apply the building standards in effect at the time of construction for the purpose of permitting existing unpermitted ADUs.

SB 1469 (Oppose) ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT (ADU) CHANGES – in Senate Transportation and Housing Committee – April 24th and Senate Governance and Finance April 25th

SB 1469 makes a number of changes to the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) law, including significant changes to existing provisions governing fees for service. Some of the amendments proposed in this bill will change provisions that were specifically negotiated in good faith when substantial changes to ADU law passed in 2016 (AB 2299 and SB 1069).

 

2017 POSITION LETTERS SECTION

ASSEMBLY LEGISLATION

AB 72 (Support if Amended) HOUSING LAW ENFORCEMENT – In Senate Transportation and Housing Committee – Tuesday, June 11th – APA appreciates recent amendments in the bill that requires HCD to notify cities
and counties of its concerns/potential violations before taking action to determine whether a housing element remains in substantial compliance. This new provision however gives cities and counties only 30 days to respond to any findings of non-compliance before compliance can be revoked. This is an
extremely short amount of time for a city or county to respond, particularly if the non-compliance involves a number of actions or programs. APA believes that 90 to 180 days, depending on the actions or programs at issue, is a more
reasonable response period. 

AB 151 (Support) Extension of CAP and Trade Beyond 2020 – This bill would authorize the California Air Resources Board to continue the AB 32 market-based compliance mechanism, Cap and Trade, after December 31, 2020, to further the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit of at least 40% below the 1990 level by 2030.

AB 202 (Oppose) AB 202 requires certain permits for projects of no more than 50 residential units or 50 guest rooms, in cities and counties with over 15,000 in population, to be ministerially approved, conditionally approved, or denied by a director of the lead planning agency.

AB 626 (Support if Amended) AB 626 would add microenterprise home kitchen operations within the definition of a food facility, and exempt such
microenterprise home kitchen operations from specific requirements otherwise applicable to food facilities.

AB 678 (Oppose Unless Amended) – Changes to the Housing Accountability Act – APA California has reviewed the recent amendments to AB 678 and SB 167, which we understand will be eventually amended to include the same language. Both bills would make major changes to the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), including a change in the standard of review for violations from substantial evidence to preponderance of the evidence, substantially increased fines and penalties for non-compliance with the HAA, a new required HAA analysis, and increased restrictions on the ability for local agencies to reduce density.

AB 686 (Santiago) – Notice of Support IF AMENDED – APA California supports AB 1404 if the bill is narrowed to more closely reflect the existing federal “affirmatively further fair housing” (AFFH) requirements.

AB 852 (Support) Measure the would require the annual report sent each year by cities and counties to the Office of Planning & Research and HCD, related to implementation of the housing element, to include new information related to housing approvals.

AB 886 (Letter of Concern) This bill would require cities and counties to establish a program to identify non-compliant live/work spaces and to create a pathway to allow those spaces to be brought up to code, while occupants continue to live in the space.

AB 1350 (Oppose) This bill would designate a city or county as a “noncompliant” city or county if that local agency has not “met” at least 1/3 of its share of the regional housing need (RHNA) for low-income and very-low income housing during its current housing element planning period on or before January 1, 2021. A “noncompliant” city or county would be required to pay a substantial penalty. The bill would additionally prohibit a noncompliant city or county from collecting established fees, or imposing new fees, as a condition of approval of a development project, and from requiring the payment of building permit fees.

AB 1397 (Oppose Unless Amended) HOUSING ELEMENT SITE INVENTORY RESTRICTIONS – The American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA California) has reviewed the July 3, 2017 amendments to AB 1397. The amendments include a number of changes suggested by APA, which are appreciated. However, APA continues to have a number of major concerns with AB 1397 as currently drafted. The bill would place restrictions on the ability of cities and counties to designate
non-vacant sites as suitable for housing development, even in built out jurisdictions with few if any vacant housing sites, and includes a long list of new mandates without any funding to accomplish these detailed changes. These detailed requirements would also be imposed on jurisdictions that are following the law and have a housing element deemed in compliance with housing element law by HCD.

AB 1404 (Support) AB 1404 would allow urbanized counties to use the existing categorical infill exemption for projects that meet the existing conditions that qualify for the exemption.

AB 1505 (Support) This bill would restore the long-standing authority of local governments to require the inclusion of affordable rental units as one component of their local inclusionary housing policies.

AB 1515 (Oppose Unless Amended) Housing Accountability Act Consistency Findings – AB 1515 would require a housing development project under the HAA to be deemed “consistent, compliant, and in conformity” with any local zoning or plan if there is substantial evidence that would allow a “reasonable person to conclude” that the housing development project is consistent, compliant, or in conformity. 

AB 1585 (Oppose Unless Amended) The bill would completely change the approval process for housing at the local and state level by requiring each local agency to form a new affordable housing zoning board, requiring the board to issue a new “single application comprehensive permit”, requiring HCD to establish a housing appeals committee, and granting the state housing appeals committee the ability to determine if the local agency’s action with respect to approval or conditions on a housing project were appropriate.

SENATE LEGISLATION

SB 1 (Support) Transportation Funding – This bill would create the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program to address deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system.

SB 2 (Support)  This bill enacts a permanent source of housing funding through the new Building Homes and Jobs Act.

SB 3 (Support) This bill enacts the Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018. SB 3 would place a $3 billion bond before voters in November 2018 to fund affordable housing and related projects

SB 35 (Letter to Governor Brown) Request for Clean Up Amendments After Bill is Signed – Streamlined Approval for Some Housing Projects – The American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA California) supports The American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA California) supports the ministerial review process that is the cornerstone of SB 35, and understands that the bill is in the Housing Package that you have endorsed and plan to sign. Unfortunately, several amendments that were added to the bill at the very end of session appear to override local zoning.

SB 166 (Letter to Governor Brown) Expansion of No-Net-Loss of Housing Sites to Loss of Affordability – Request for Clean Up Amendments After Bill is Signed.

SB 167 (Oppose Unless Amended) Changes to the Housing Accountability Act – In Senate Transportation & Housing Committee – Tuesday, April 4th

APA California has reviewed the amendments to SB 167. APA does not object to broadening the Housing Accountability Act as proposed in the bill. However, the bill as amended would include sweeping changes to the HAA, with new terms and definitions, that we think are unworkable at the local level, are an invitation to lawsuits, and appear to suggest that any reasonable conditions imposed by a local agency are unwarranted.

SB 649 (Letter to Governor Brown) Request for Veto – Wireless Telecommunications Facilities – SB SB 649 eliminates public input by requiring a ministerial permit process for wireless equipment without adequate environmental and design review, mandates the forced leasing of publicly owned infrastructure to private companies, and eliminates the ability of local governments to negotiate fair leases or any public benefit for the installation of “small cell” wireless equipment on taxpayer-funded property. 

SB 697 (Oppose) SB 697 would provide that if a local agency doesn’t comply with annual reporting requirements for the Mitigation Fee Act (Act) for more than 2 consecutive years, that agency would be prohibited from collecting established fees, and from imposing new fees, until compliance with the reporting requirement has been met. The bill would also require the local agency to continue to approve development projects without the collection or imposition of any fees.

2016 Position Letters Section

ASSEMBLY LEGISLATION

Governor’s By Right Budget Trailer Bill (Support if Amended)

AB 1934 (Oppose) AB 1934 would require a city or county to grant to a commercial developer a density bonus when an applicant for commercial development agrees to partner with an affordable housing developer to construct a mixed-used project with the housing located in the commercial development or within a one-mile radius of the commercial development.

AB 2087 (Support) AB 2087 will help implement the recently adopted State Wildlife Action Plan strategies for protecting biodiversity. The bill would also provide for faster and more cost-effective delivery of public works projects, and for effective mitigation on projects in advance of adverse effects to protect the state’s biodiversity.

AB 2208 (Support if Amended) AB 2208 would expand the Housing Element inventory of land suitable for residential development to include buildings owned or under the control of a city or a county, zoned for residential or nonresidential use and capable of having residential developments constructed above the existing building, and underutilized sites.

AB 2299 (Signature Request)  AB 2299 would require a local agency to provide by ordinance for the creation of second units in single-family and multifamily residential zones. It would also prohibit the imposition of additional parking for a second unit that is located within one-half mile of public transit or shopping or is within an architecturally and historically significant district.

AB 2319 (Support) AB 2319 would require a local agency to provide by ordinance for the creation of second units in single-family and multifamily residential zones. It would also prohibit the imposition of additional parking for a second unit that is located within one-half mile of public transit or shopping or is within an architecturally and historically significant district.

AB 2475 (Support) AB 2475 would establish within the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank the Local Government Affordable Housing Forgivable Loan Program, and require the bank to make loans to a local government for the development of affordable housing by the local government on terms and conditions the bank deems in the best interests of the state

AB 2501 (Opposition Removed) The American Planning Association, California Chapter (APA California) is removing its opposition to AB 2501 (Bloom) after reaching agreement with the author and sponsors on amendments. This bill adds another major round of changes to the Density Bonus law.

AB 2522 (Support) This is APA California’s sponsored legislation that would require by right approval by cities and counties of certain market-rate multifamily rental housing projects that include at least 20% low-income housing or 100% moderate-income housing.

AB 2556 (Support) AB 2556 will clarify the definition of “replace”, as it was defined in the Density Bonus statute in AB 2222, which was signed into law in 2014. AB 2556 clarifies that for units subject to rent control that is currently occupied by persons or families above lower income, the local government may require that the replacement units either be made affordable to low-income households or replaced in compliance with the jurisdiction’s rent control ordinance.

AB 2734 (Support) AB 2734 bill would require the Department of Finance to calculate the savings to the state attributable to the elimination of redevelopment agencies and provide 50% of that amount to HCD to provide funding to local agencies for housing.

AB 2788 (Oppose) AB 2788 would preclude local discretionary review of specified “small cell” wireless antennas and related equipment, regardless of whether they will be collocated on existing structures or located on new “poles, structures, or non-pole structures,” including those within the public road right-of-way and on buildings. The bill shuts out the public from the permitting process and preempts adopted local land use plans by mandating that “small cells” be allowed in all zones as a use by-right and requiring that the installation of “small cells” shall only require the issuance of a building permit or other administrative permit.

SENATE LEGISLATION

SB 313 (Support) SB 313 will require school districts to notify a local jurisdiction 30 days before a vote to make a zoning ordinance inapplicable to a proposed school site.

SB 1000 (Support if Amended) SB 1000 would add a new Environmental Justice Element to the already existing seven elements in the General Plan law. The bill would require that the new element identify disadvantaged communities within the jurisdiction and objectives and policies to reduce health risks.

SB 1069 (Veto Request)

SB 1277 (Oppose) SB 1277 would, before approving a project necessary for and directly related to the use of a specific bulk cargo terminal in the City of Oakland for the shipment of coal, require public agencies with discretionary authority over the project to prepare a supplemental EIR to consider and mitigate environmental impacts of coal shipments through the terminal.