Position Letters



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.


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


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.


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.