Today's Law As Amended

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SB-281 Housing development: permits and other entitlements: extension.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today


 Section 65914.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and, on January 31, 2020, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency.
(2) On March 4, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for a broader spread of COVID-19.
(3) According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States economy, as measured by gross domestic product, contracted by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020.
(4) Last month, California’s unemployment rate tripled, the largest increase since 1976.
(5) It is estimated that California lost 2,000,000 jobs by March 27, 2020.
(6) In the past month, 3,100,000 Californians filed for unemployment benefits, and California became the first state in the nation to borrow money from the federal government to continue paying out rising claims for unemployment benefits.
(7) The Governor has labeled California’s economic crisis a “pandemic-induced recession.”
(8) Even before the pandemic-induced recession, California was in the midst of a housing affordability crisis caused fundamentally by a consistent failure to supply enough new housing for Californians of all income levels.
(9) According to the League of California Cities, over 90 percent of cities in this state report they are considering cutting or furloughing city staff or decreasing public services, and 72 percent of cities report they may take both actions. In addition, over 70 percent of cities, and 90 percent of the largest cities, report that they expect a significant impact to “core” planning and housing services.
(10) The pandemic-induced recession, combined with mandatory social distancing, stringent construction protocols, and anticipated reductions in the capacity of local governments to deliver services to the housing industry, will drastically impact all segments of a complex ecosystem that delivers the essential housing California so desperately needs to combat the ongoing housing crisis.
(11) To facilitate and expedite the return of this vital industry, it is necessary to relieve any additional pressure on housing development as a result of the lapse in planning, finance, and construction due to the pandemic-induced recession. An essential component of ensuring the survival of the housing industry is proactively extending the life of the myriad state and local approvals, permits, and other entitlements required to develop and construct housing in California.
(12) A uniform statewide entitlement extension measure is necessary to avoid the significant statewide cost and allocation of local government staff resources associated with addressing individual permit extensions on a case-by-case basis.
(b) Notwithstanding any law, including any inconsistent provision of a local agency’s general plan, ordinances, or regulations, the otherwise applicable time for the expiration, effectuation, or utilization of a housing entitlement that had not expired as of March 4, 2020, is extended by 24 months. The 24-month period specified in this subdivision shall be tolled during any time that the housing entitlement is the subject of a legal challenge. The otherwise applicable time for the utilization of a housing entitlement provided by this section includes any requirement to request the issuance of a building permit within a specified period of time.
(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Housing entitlement” means any of the following:
(A) A legislative, adjudicative, administrative, or any other kind of approval, permit, or other entitlement necessary for, or pertaining to, a housing development project issued by a state or local agency.
(B) The submittal of an application for an approval, permit, or other entitlement described in subparagraph (A). For purposes of this subparagraph, “submittal of an application” includes submittal of a preliminary application in accordance with Section 65941.1.
(C) A vested right associated with an approval, permit, or other entitlement described in subparagraph (A) or the submittal of an application for an approval, permit, or other entitlement as described in subparagraph (B).
(2) “Housing development project” means a residential or mixed-use development in which at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development is designated for residential use. Both of the following apply for the purposes of calculating the square footage usage of a development for purposes of this section:
(A) The square footage of a development shall include any additional density, floor area, and units, and any other concession, incentive, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915.
(B) The square footage of a development shall not include any underground space, including, but not limited to, a basement or underground parking garage.
(3) “Local agency” means a county, city, whether general law or chartered, city and county, school district, special district, authority, agency, any other municipal public corporation or district, or other political subdivision of the state.
(d) The Legislature finds and declares that, for the reasons described in subdivision (a), this section addresses a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, this section applies to all cities, including charter cities.
SEC. 2.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.