Today's Law As Amended


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SB-55 California Environmental Quality Act: housing and land use.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Over the last half-century, the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), commonly known as “CEQA,” has consistently functioned as one of the state’s most important environmental laws by serving multiple beneficial purposes. CEQA requires public agencies to inform themselves and the public of any potentially significant adverse environmental effects of proposed projects. CEQA requires public agencies to formulate feasible means of lessening or avoiding all significant adverse environmental effects of proposed projects. CEQA invites public participation in discretionary governmental decisionmaking affecting the environment and requires decisionmakers to explain why they approve projects with unavoidable significant environmental effects that could not be avoided or lessened. CEQA facilitates interagency coordination for projects requiring multiple permits or other agency approvals. Since 1970, CEQA has shaped the face of California for the better by requiring state, regional, and local agencies to do better land use planning, infrastructure design, and natural resource management. Rigorous judicial enforcement of CEQA has made the law stronger and more effective.
(b) Because its protections extend to all aspects of the environment, CEQA itself does not assign greater value to one broad category of environmental resources over others and creates no hierarchy of importance among categories of environmental resources. Even so, in recent years, California’s various climate protection statutes do reflect a clear legislative priority focused on squarely addressing the harms associated with climate change, particularly as experienced within the state. Good land use planning, infrastructure design, and natural resource management therefore must account for, and squarely address, the effects of climate change and the need to adapt to them.
(c) While California in the last 50 years has led the country in formulating effective, forward-looking environmental statutes and regulations, multiple societal forces have nevertheless contributed to the creation of current social and economic conditions that are regrettable in many ways. California today is a very unequal society, with younger people facing economic challenges and privations greater than those of any other generation coming of age after World War II. Despite the presence of great wealth within the state, the current lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California. The state’s housing has become the most expensive in the nation. Among the consequences are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support economic growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration. The housing supply and affordability crisis is hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(d) California has changed dramatically since 1970, with the overall population roughly doubling while housing supplies lagged behind. CEQA has changed as well, and in its current form reflects evolving interpretations, real-world practices, and other economic, social, and environmental factors that have arisen over the course of the last half-century. The environmental review process, under some circumstances, can take considerable time to complete and add significant costs for project proponents, particularly when lengthy litigation follows project approvals. The economic climate in California will therefore benefit from enhanced regulatory certainty, which could help the state in recruiting and keeping successful businesses.
(e) At the same time, and despite the extent to which CEQA has contributed to environmental protection, environmental problems at global, national, state, regional, and local levels continue to worsen in many respects, with climate change representing the greatest threat of all. Its ongoing and anticipated negative effects within California include wildfires of increasing size and severity, the exacerbation of air quality problems, a reduction in the quality and supply of water to the state from the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a rise in sea levels resulting in the displacement of thousands of coastal businesses and residences, damage to marine ecosystems and the natural environment, and an increase in the incidences of infectious diseases, asthma, and other human health-related problems that have a disproportionate impact on environmental justice in low-income communities and communities of color.
(f) After being in place for so many years, CEQA will benefit from amendments that make the environmental review process and CEQA litigation more efficient and less costly but that, in doing so, do not sacrifice either rigorous environmental protection or the citizens’ open access to both the government decisionmaking process and the court system. CEQA should also be strengthened to better reinforce and complement state climate and housing policies. CEQA should also be amended to take greater account of environmental justice issues.
(g) Specific means of achieving these legislative objectives include reducing the overall amount of CEQA litigation and effectuating more efficient and predictable administration of CEQA in courts throughout the state by doing all of the following:
(1) Achieving major reductions in time to reach hearings on the merits by giving respondent public agencies and real parties in interest the right to take over the preparation of the record of proceedings if those parties assume all the costs of preparation of the record of proceedings.
(2) Achieving significant reductions in time to reach hearings on the merits and encouraging timely settlement discussions by expediting and enhancing case management procedures to require courts to anticipate and proactively manage record disputes and logistical delays and to evaluate settlement potential.
(3) Encouraging and facilitating prelitigation settlement of CEQA disputes by clarifying ambiguities in the current law on the effectiveness of tolling agreements and clarifying who can sign the agreements on behalf of parties.
(4) Increasing postfiling and pretrial settlements by expediting initial settlement and procedural discussions requiring settlement meetings after the first case management conference, and requiring the parties to participate in settlement meetings.
(5) Facilitating prompt hearings on the merits and timely decision in CEQA cases and reducing the number of CEQA appeals, statewide, though facilitating uniform application of the law by (A) increasing the expertise and experience of CEQA judges through enhanced training and extended terms, (B) making qualified CEQA judges available for counties with a population of less than 200,000, and (C) assigning experienced judges to preside over complex CEQA cases.
(6) Establishing procedures to handle fairly late submission of comments and supporting documentation by any and all parties, including public agencies.
(7) Ensuring that major development projects proposed by citizen-sponsored initiatives cannot be adopted by local agency or district board decisionmakers without either a vote of the people or compliance with CEQA.
(8) Recognizing the importance of the need to consider additional future legislation to require the translation of notices and other documents prepared pursuant to CEQA as a means of facilitating greater levels of public participation by people of all backgrounds and income levels.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9118 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9118.
 (a)  If the initiative petition is signed by voters not less in number than 10 percent of the entire vote cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election preceding the publication of the notice of intention to circulate an initiative petition, the board of supervisors shall do one of the following:
(a) (1)  Adopt the ordinance, without alteration, at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented, or within 10 days after it is presented.
(b) (2)  Submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to Section 1405.
(c) (3)  Order a report pursuant to Section 9111 at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented. When the report is presented to the board of supervisors, the board shall either adopt the ordinance within 10 days or order an election pursuant to subdivision (b).
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) or (3) of subdivision (a), the board of supervisors shall submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), if the board of supervisors determines that the approval of the ordinance, if the ordinance had been proposed by the board of supervisors rather than by an initiative petition pursuant to this article, would constitute an approval of a project within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), as that term is defined in Section 21065 of the Public Resources Code. This subdivision does not limit the board of supervisors’ authority to order a report pursuant to Section 9111.

SEC. 3.

 Section 9215 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9215.
 (a)  If the initiative petition is signed by not less than 10 percent of the voters of the city, according to the last report of registration by the county elections official to the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 2187, effective at the time the notice specified in Section 9202 was published, or, in a city with 1,000 or less registered voters, by 25 percent of the voters or 100 voters of the city, whichever is the lesser number, the legislative body shall do one of the following:
(a) (1)  Adopt the ordinance, without alteration, at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented, or within 10 days after it is presented.
(b) (2)  Submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to Section 1405.
(c) (3)  Order a report pursuant to Section 9212 at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented. When the report is presented to the legislative body, the legislative body shall either adopt the ordinance within 10 days or order an election pursuant to subdivision (b). paragraph (2). 
(b) (1) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) or (3) of subdivision (a), the legislative body shall make a determination whether approval of the ordinance, if the ordinance had been proposed by the legislative body rather than by an initiative petition pursuant to this article, would constitute an approval of a project within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), as that term is defined in Section 21065 of the Public Resources Code.
(2) If the legislative body determines that approval of the ordinance would constitute an approval of the project under paragraph (1), the legislative body shall submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
(3) This subdivision does not limit the legislative body’s authority to order a report pursuant to Section 9212.

SEC. 4.

 Section 9310 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9310.
 (a) If the initiative petition is signed by voters not less in number than 10 percent of the voters in the district, if the total number of registered voters is less than 500,000, or not less in number than 5 percent of the voters in the district, if the total number of registered voters is 500,000 or more, the district board shall do either of the following:
(1) Adopt the ordinance, without alteration, either at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented, or within 10 days after it is presented.
(2) Submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to Section 1405.
(b) The number of registered voters referred to in subdivision (a) shall be calculated as of the time of the last report of registration by the county elections official to the Secretary of State made before publication or posting of the notice of intention to circulate the initiative petition.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), the district board shall submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), if the district board determines that the adoption of the ordinance, if the ordinance had been proposed by the district board rather than by an initiative petition pursuant to this article, would constitute an approval of a project within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), as that term is defined in Section 21065 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 5.

 Section 65009 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65009.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that there currently is a housing crisis in California and it is essential to reduce delays and restraints upon expeditiously completing housing projects.
(2) The Legislature further finds and declares that a legal action or proceeding challenging a decision of a city, county, or city and county has a chilling effect on the confidence with which property owners and local governments can proceed with projects. Legal actions or proceedings filed to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul a decision of a city, county, or city and county pursuant to this division, including, but not limited to, the implementation of general plan goals and policies that provide incentives for affordable housing, open-space and recreational opportunities, and other related public benefits, can prevent the completion of needed developments even though the projects have received required governmental approvals.
(3) The purpose of this section is to provide certainty for property owners and local governments regarding decisions made pursuant to this division.
(b) (1) In an action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul a finding, determination, or decision of a public agency made pursuant to this title at a properly noticed public hearing, the issues raised shall be limited to those raised in the public hearing or in written correspondence delivered to the public agency prior to, or at, the public hearing, except where the court finds either of the following:
(A) The issue could not have been raised at the public hearing by persons exercising reasonable diligence.
(B) The body conducting the public hearing prevented the issue from being raised at the public hearing.
(2) If a public agency desires the provisions of this subdivision to apply to a matter, it shall include in any public notice issued pursuant to this title a notice substantially stating all of the following: “If you challenge the (nature of the proposed action) in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the (public entity conducting the hearing) at, or prior to, the public hearing.”
(3) The application of this subdivision to causes of action brought pursuant to subdivision (d) applies only to the final action taken in response to the notice to the city or clerk of the board of supervisors. If no final action is taken, then the issue raised in the cause of action brought pursuant to subdivision (d) shall be limited to those matters presented at a properly noticed public hearing or to those matters specified in the notice given to the city or clerk of the board of supervisors pursuant to subdivision (d), or both.
(c) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (d), no action or proceeding shall be maintained in any of the following cases by any person unless the action or proceeding is commenced and service is made on the legislative body within 90 days after the legislative body’s decision:
(A) To attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the decision of a legislative body to adopt or amend a general or specific plan. This paragraph does not apply where an action is brought based upon the complete absence of a general plan or a mandatory element thereof, but does apply to an action attacking a general plan or mandatory element thereof on the basis that it is inadequate.
(B) To attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the decision of a legislative body to adopt or amend a zoning ordinance.
(C) To determine the reasonableness, legality, or validity of any decision to adopt or amend any regulation attached to a specific plan.
(D) To attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the decision of a legislative body to adopt, amend, or modify a development agreement. An action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the decisions of a legislative body to adopt, amend, or modify a development agreement shall only extend to the specific portion of the development agreement that is the subject of the adoption, amendment, or modification. This paragraph applies to development agreements, amendments, and modifications adopted on or after January 1, 1996.
(E) To attack, review, set aside, void, or annul any decision on the matters listed in Sections 65901 and 65903, or to determine the reasonableness, legality, or validity of any condition attached to a variance, conditional use permit, or any other permit.
(F) Concerning any of the proceedings, acts, or determinations taken, done, or made prior to  before  any of the decisions listed in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), (D), and (E).
(2) In the case of an action or proceeding challenging the adoption or revision of a housing element pursuant to this subdivision, the action or proceeding may, in addition, be maintained if it is commenced and service is made on the legislative body within 60 days following the date that the Department of Housing and Community Development reports its findings pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 65585.
(d) (1) An action or proceeding shall be commenced and the legislative body served after the accrual of the cause of action as provided in this subdivision, if the action or proceeding meets both of the following requirements:
(A) It is brought in support of or to encourage or facilitate the development of housing that would increase the community’s supply of housing affordable to persons and families with low or moderate incomes, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or with very low incomes, as defined in Section 50105 of the Health and Safety Code, or middle-income households, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. This subdivision is not intended to require that the action or proceeding be brought in support of or to encourage or facilitate a specific housing development project.
(B) It is brought with respect to the adoption or revision of a housing element pursuant to Article 10.6 (commencing with Section 65580) of Chapter 3, actions taken pursuant to Section 65863.6, or Chapter 4.2 (commencing with Section 65913), or to challenge the adequacy of an ordinance adopted pursuant to Section 65915.
(2) (A) An action or proceeding challenging the adoption or revision of a housing element that the Department of Housing and Community Development has found to substantially comply with the requirements of Article 10.6 (commencing with Section 65580) of Chapter 3 shall be commenced, and the legislative body shall be served, within six months after the accrual of the cause of action as provided in this subdivision.
(B) An action or proceeding challenging the adoption or revision of a housing element that the Department of Housing and Community Development has found does not substantially comply with the requirements of Article 10.6 (commencing with Section 65580) of Chapter 3, where the legislative body has failed to change the draft element or amendment to substantially comply with the requirements of Article 10.6 or has adopted the draft element or amendment without change and made findings pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 65585, shall be commenced, and the legislative body shall be served, within one year after the accrual of the cause of action as provided in this subdivision.
(C) An action or proceeding challenging an action taken pursuant to Section 65863.6, or Chapter 4.2 (commencing with Section 65913), or to challenge the adequacy of an ordinance adopted pursuant to Section 65915 shall be served within 180 days after the accrual of the cause of action as provided in this subdivision.
(3) (A) A cause of action brought pursuant to this subdivision shall not be maintained until 60 days have expired following notice to the city or clerk of the board of supervisors by the party bringing the cause of action, or his or her  the party’s  representative, specifying the deficiencies of the general plan, specific plan, zoning ordinance, or other action described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1). A cause of action brought pursuant to this subdivision shall accrue 60 days after notice is filed or the legislative body takes a final action in response to the notice, whichever occurs first.
(B) This notice may be filed at any time within 270 days after an action described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2), two years after an action described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2), or 180 days after an action described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2).
(4) A notice or cause of action brought by one party pursuant to this subdivision shall not bar filing of a notice and initiation of a cause of action by any other party.
(5) After the adoption of a housing element covering the current planning period, no action shall be filed pursuant to this subdivision to challenge a housing element covering a prior planning period.
(e) Upon the expiration of the time limits provided for in this section, all persons are barred from any further action or proceeding.
(f) Notwithstanding Sections 65700 and 65803, or any other provision of law, this section shall apply to charter cities.
(g) Except as provided in subdivision (d), this section shall not affect any law prescribing or authorizing a shorter period of limitation than that specified herein.
(h) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c), this section shall be applicable to those decisions of the legislative body of a city, county, or city and county made pursuant to this division on or after January 1, 1984.
(i) A tolling agreement shall be effective to toll the statute of limitations and service of summons deadline contained in this section. A tolling agreement pursuant to this subdivision shall be signed by the party contemplating the filing of a legal action or proceeding, the public agency rendering the finding, determination, or decision that would be challenged in the legal action or proceeding, and any applicant for a project-specific general plan amendment, project-specific rezone, specific plan, development agreement, variance, conditional use permit, or other permit that would be approved or issued pursuant to the finding, determination, or decision. If there is no applicant, a tolling agreement approved by the public agency, its legal representative, or other authorized representative of the public agency shall be effective to toll the statute of limitations and deadline for service of summons contained in this section, except where this would be inconsistent with the public agency’s charter, ordinances, policies, or other law. For purposes of this subdivision, the legal counsel for the public agency shall be presumed to have the authority to enter into tolling agreements on behalf of the public agency. Where legal counsel for the public agency has entered into a tolling agreement in violation of the public agency’s charter, ordinances, policies, or other law, the lack of legal authority for the legal counsel to enter into the tolling agreement shall not be an affirmative defense against the enforceability of the tolling agreement.

SEC. 6.

 Section 66499.37 of the Government Code is amended to read:

66499.37.
 (a)  Any action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the decision of an advisory agency, appeal board, or legislative body concerning a subdivision, or of any of the proceedings, acts, or determinations taken, done, or made prior to  before  the decision, or to determine the reasonableness, legality, or validity of any condition attached thereto, including, but not limited to, the approval of a tentative map or final map, shall not be maintained by any person unless the action or proceeding is commenced and service of summons effected within 90 days after the date of the decision. Thereafter all persons are barred from any action or proceeding or any defense of invalidity or unreasonableness of the decision or of the proceedings, acts, or determinations. The proceeding shall take precedence over all matters of the calendar of the court except criminal, probate, eminent domain, forcible entry, and unlawful detainer proceedings.
(b) A tolling agreement shall be effective to toll the statute of limitations and service of summons deadline contained in this section. A tolling agreement pursuant to this subdivision shall be signed by the party contemplating the filing of an action or proceeding, the public agency that made any decision or took any action that would be challenged in the action or proceeding, and any applicant for the subdivision, tentative map, final map, or other approval that would be challenged in the action or proceeding. If there is no applicant, a tolling agreement approved by the public agency, its legal representative, or other authorized representative of the public agency shall be effective to toll the statute of limitations and deadline for service of summons contained in this section, except where this would be inconsistent with the public agency’s charter, ordinances, policies, or other law. For purposes of this subdivision, the legal counsel for the public agency shall be presumed to have the authority to enter into tolling agreements on behalf of the public agency. Where legal counsel for the public agency has entered into a tolling agreement in violation of the public agency’s charter, ordinances, policies, or other law, the lack of legal authority for the legal counsel to enter into the tolling agreement shall not be an affirmative defense against the enforceability of the tolling agreement.

SEC. 7.

 Section 21000 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21000.
 (a)  The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) (1)  The maintenance of a quality environment for the people of this state  now and in the future is a matter of statewide concern.
(b) (2)  It is necessary to provide a high-quality environment that at all times is healthful and pleasing to the senses and intellect of man. intellect. 
(c) (3)  There is a need to understand the relationship between the maintenance of high-quality ecological systems and the general welfare of the people of the state,  Californians,  including their enjoyment of the natural resources of the state.
(d) (4)  The capacity of the environment is limited, and it is the intent of the Legislature that the government of the state take immediate steps to identify any critical thresholds for the health and safety of the people of the state and take all coordinated actions necessary to prevent such thresholds being reached.
(e) (5)  Every citizen has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.
(f) (6)  The interrelationship of policies and practices in the management of natural resources and waste disposal requires systematic and concerted efforts by public and private interests to enhance environmental quality and to control environmental pollution.
(g) (b)  It is the intent of the Legislature that all agencies of the state government which that  regulate activities of private individuals, corporations, and public agencies which that  are found to affect the quality of the environment, shall regulate such activities so that major consideration is given to preventing environmental damage, while providing a decent home and satisfying living environment for every Californian.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that all public agencies should give consideration to environmental justice by ensuring the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people of all races, incomes, and national origins.

SEC. 8.

 Section 21001 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21001.
 The Legislature further finds and declares that it is the policy of the state to:
(a) Develop and maintain a high-quality environment now and in the future, and take all action necessary to protect, rehabilitate, and enhance the environmental quality of the state.
(b) Take all action necessary to provide the people of this state with clean air and water, enjoyment of aesthetic, natural, scenic, and historic environmental qualities, and freedom from excessive noise.
(c) Prevent the elimination of fish or wildlife species due to man’s human  activities, insure ensure  that fish and wildlife populations do not drop below self-prepetuating self-perpetuating  levels, and preserve for future generations representations of all plant and animal communities and examples of the major periods of California history.
(d) Ensure that the long-term protection of the environment, consistent with the provision of a decent home and suitable living environment for every Californian, shall be the guiding criterion in public decisions.
(e) Create and maintain conditions under which man and nature  people  can exist in productive harmony with nature  to fulfill the social and economic requirements of present and future generations.
(f) Require governmental agencies at all levels to develop standards and procedures necessary to protect environmental quality.
(g) Require governmental agencies at all levels to consider qualitative factors as well as economic and technical factors and long-term benefits and costs, in addition to short-term benefits and costs and to consider alternatives to proposed actions affecting the environment.

SEC. 9.

 Section 21001.1 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21001.1.
 The Legislature further finds and declares that it is the policy of the state that projects to be carried out by public agencies be subject to the same level of review and consideration under this division as that of private projects required to be  approved by public agencies.

SEC. 10.

 Section 21002 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21002.
 The Legislature finds and declares that it is the policy of the state that public agencies should not approve projects as proposed if there are feasible alternatives or feasible mitigation measures available which that  would substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of such those  projects, and that the procedures required by this division are intended to assist public agencies in systematically identifying both the significant effects of proposed projects and the feasible alternatives or feasible mitigation measures which that  will avoid or substantially lessen such those  significant effects. The Legislature further finds and declares that in the event specific economic, social, or other conditions make infeasible such  project alternatives or such  mitigation measures, individual projects may be approved in spite of one or more significant effects thereof. effects. 

SEC. 11.

 Section 21080.04 of the Public Resources Code is repealed.

21080.04.
 (a) Notwithstanding paragraph (10) of subdivision (b) of Section 21080, this division applies to a project for the institution of passenger rail service on a line paralleling State Highway 29 and running from Rocktram to Krug in the Napa Valley. With respect to that project, and for the purposes of this division, the Public Utilities Commission is the lead agency.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to abrogate the decision of the California Supreme Court “that Section 21080, subdivision (b)(11), exempts Wine Train’s institution of passenger service on the Rocktram-Krug line from the requirements of CEQA” in Napa Valley Wine Train, Inc. v. Public Utilities Com., 50 Cal. 3d 370.
(c) Nothing in this section is intended to affect or apply to, or to confer jurisdiction upon the Public Utilities Commission with respect to, any other project involving rail service.

SEC. 12.

 Section 21080.51 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21080.51.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Emergency shelter” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 50801 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) “Supportive housing” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 65582 of the Government Code.
(3) “Tenant” means a person who does not own the property where they reside, including residential situations that are any of the following:
(A) Residential real property rented by the person under a long-term lease.
(B) A single-room occupancy unit.
(C) An accessory dwelling unit that is not subject to, or does not have a valid permit in accordance with, an ordinance adopted by a local agency pursuant to Section 65852.2 of the Government Code.
(D) A residential motel.
(E) A mobilehome park, as governed under the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), the Recreational Vehicle Park Occupancy Law (Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 799.20) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), the Mobilehome Parks Act (Part 2.1 (commencing with Section 18200) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code), or the Special Occupancy Parks Act (Part 2.3 (commencing with Section 18860) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code).
(F) Any other type of residential property that is not owned by the person or a member of the person’s household, for which the person or a member of the person’s household provides payments on a regular schedule in exchange for the right to occupy the residential property.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), this division does not apply to an emergency shelter or supportive housing project in an urbanized area if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The project meets any of the following:
(A) The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable general plan policies, as well as with applicable zoning designation and regulations.
(B) The project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and is consistent with the density specified in the housing element.
(C) The local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing elements sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584 of the Government Code and the project is proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations.
(2) The proposed project occurs within city limits on a site of no more than five acres substantially surrounded by urban uses.
(3) The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare, or threatened species.
(4) Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to noise, air quality, or water quality.
(5) The site can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services.
(6) The site is not subject to any of the conditions set forth in subdivision (e), (g), or (h) of Section 21159.21.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), this section does not apply in either of the following situations:
(1) The project is proposed on a parcel with housing occupied by tenants within seven years preceding the date of the project application.
(2) The project is proposed on a parcel or parcels on which an owner of residential real property has exercised the owner’s rights under Chapter 12.75 (commencing with Section 7060) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code to withdraw accommodations from rent or lease within 15 or more years before the date of the project application.
(d) An agency that determines that an emergency shelter or supportive housing project in an urbanized area is exempt from this division pursuant to this section shall file a notice of exemption in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 21152 with the Office of Planning and Research.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 13.

 Section 21092.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21092.5.
 (a) (1)  At least 10 days prior to  before  certifying an environmental impact report, the lead agency shall provide a  written proposed response  responses  to a public agency on comments made by that agency which conform with the requirements of this division. Proposed that submitted timely comments on the draft environmental impact report. The  responses shall conform with the legal standards established for responses to comments on draft environmental impact reports. Copies of responses or the environmental document in which they are contained, prepared in conformance with other requirements of this division and the guidelines adopted pursuant to Section 21083, may be used to meet the requirements imposed by this section.
(2) (A) The lead agency may post, as applicable, on its internet website, at least 30 days before a public hearing at which it may approve the project, the written responses prepared to each timely submitted comment on a draft environmental impact report and any modifications of the draft environmental impact report, as well as, if it chooses, the proposed findings required by subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 21081, and the proposed mitigation reporting or monitoring program required by Section 21081.6.
(B) If the lead agency posts the documents pursuant to subparagraph (A), the lead agency may set a deadline of 10 days before the final public hearing at which it may approve the project for the receipt of written comments and supporting evidence presenting issues that may serve as the basis for challenging the lead agency decision because of noncompliance with this division. Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 21177, issues presented in written comments that do not meet the deadline set pursuant to this subparagraph shall not serve as a basis for preserving the issues in an action or proceeding alleging noncompliance with this division if all of the following are met:
(i) The lead agency provides, on the same date on which the documents are posted, a public notice of the availability of documents specified in subparagraph (A) as follows:
(I) Posting of the notice on its internet website.
(II) Providing the notice to all persons who commented in writing on the draft environmental impact report, and who provided contact information with their comment. Transmitting the notice to the contact information provided shall satisfy this condition, even if the contact information is out of date.
(III) Providing the notice to all persons who have requested notice pursuant to Section 21092.2.
(ii) The notice specified in clause (i) includes language substantially stating as follows:
“If you challenge the lead agency in court on the grounds that the lead agency has not complied with the California Environmental Quality Act, you may be limited to objections on those issues that you or someone else raises verbally at any time before the close of the public hearing on the project or in written comments delivered to the public agency conducting the hearing 10 days before the final public hearing or in prior written comments to the public agency conducting the hearing.”
(iii) The lead agency shall continue to accept oral comments that satisfy subdivision (a) of Section 21177 at any time before the close of the public hearing on the project.
(C) If the lead agency proceeds pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B), the lead agency shall accept rebuttal, written information, and evidence from the project applicant or any other party, submitted no less than five days before the final public hearing on the project, in response to written comments submitted in compliance with subparagraph (B). The lead agency shall post the written information or evidence on its internet website as soon as feasible, but not later than three days before the public hearing.
(D) This paragraph does not apply to written comments, or evidence submitted, on a document released or changes to the project made less than 30 days before a public hearing at which the public agency may approve the project or to written comments regarding significant new information requiring renotification pursuant to Section 21092.1 that was not available, even with the exercise of reasonable diligence, earlier than 30 days before a public hearing at which the public agency may approve the project.
(E) This paragraph does not, in any manner, affect a member of the public or a public agency from communicating, in writing, with the lead agency on matters beyond the scope of subdivision (a) of Section 21177, including, but not limited to, the merits of the project or the persuasiveness of written comments submitted pursuant to this paragraph or other applicable law.
(F) A lead agency with a decisionmaker that has the legal authority to approve a proposed project without holding a public hearing or public meeting may voluntarily choose to hold a public hearing under this section and to use the notice and comment process set forth in this paragraph.
(b) The lead agency shall notify any member of the public, organization, or  public agency which that  comments on a negative declaration or mitigated negative  declaration, of the public hearing or hearings, if any, on the project for which the negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration  was prepared. If notice to the member of the public, organization, or  commenting public agency is provided pursuant to Section 21092, the notice shall satisfy the requirement requirements  of this subdivision.
(c) Nothing in this section requires the lead agency to respond to comments not received within the comment periods specified in this division, to reopen comment periods, or to delay acting on a negative declaration or environmental impact report.
(d) In an administrative appeal of a project, the lead agency may elect to comply with the provisions of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

SEC. 14.

 Section 21167 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21167.
 An action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the following acts or decisions of a public agency on the grounds of noncompliance with this division shall be commenced as follows:
(a) An action or proceeding alleging that a public agency is carrying out or has approved a project that may have a significant effect on the environment without having determined whether the project may have a significant effect on the environment shall be commenced within 180 days from the date of the public agency’s decision to carry out or approve the project, or, if a project is undertaken without a formal decision by the public agency, within 180 days from the date of commencement of the project.
(b) An action or proceeding alleging that a public agency has improperly determined whether a project may have a significant effect on the environment shall be commenced within 30 days from the date of the filing of the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21108 or subdivision (a) of Section 21152.
(c) An action or proceeding alleging that an environmental impact report does not comply with this division shall be commenced within 30 days from the date of the filing of the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21108 or subdivision (a) of Section 21152 by the lead agency.
(d) An action or proceeding alleging that a public agency has improperly determined that a project is not subject to this division pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 21080 or Section 21172  shall be commenced within 35 days from the date of the filing by the public agency, or person specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 21065, of the notice authorized by subdivision (b) of Section 21108 or subdivision (b) of Section 21152. If the notice has not been filed, the action or proceeding shall be commenced within 180 days from the date of the public agency’s decision to carry out or approve the project, or, if a project is undertaken without a formal decision by the public agency, within 180 days from the date of commencement of the project.
(e) An action or proceeding alleging that another act or omission of a public agency does not comply with this division shall be commenced within 30 days from the date of the filing of the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21108 or subdivision (a) of Section 21152.
(f) If a person has made a written request to the public agency for a copy of the notice specified in Section 21108 or 21152 prior to  before  the date on which the agency approves or determines to carry out the project, then not later than five days from the date of the agency’s action, the public agency shall deposit a written copy of the notice addressed to that person in the United States mail, first class postage prepaid. The date upon which this notice is mailed shall not affect the time periods specified in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (e).
(g) A tolling agreement shall be effective to toll the statute of limitations and service of summons deadline contained in this section. A tolling agreement pursuant to this subdivision shall be signed by the party contemplating the filing of an action or proceeding, the public agency that made any decision or took any action that would be challenged in the action or proceeding, and any person or persons who would be required to be named as real parties in interest in the action or proceeding pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 21167.6.5. For purposes of this subdivision, the legal counsel for the public agency shall be presumed to have the authority to enter into tolling agreements on behalf of the public agency. If there is no real party in interest, a tolling agreement approved by the public agency, its legal representative, or other authorized representative of the public agency shall be effective to toll the statute of limitations and deadline for service of summons contained in this section, except where this would be inconsistent with the public agency’s charter, ordinances, policies, or other law. For purposes of this subdivision, the legal counsel for the public agency shall be presumed to have the authority to enter into tolling agreements on behalf of the public agency. Where legal counsel for the public agency has entered into a tolling agreement in violation of the public agency’s charter, ordinances, policies, or other law, the lack of legal authority for the legal counsel to enter into the tolling agreement shall not be an affirmative defense against the enforceability of the tolling agreement.

SEC. 15.

 Section 21167.1 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21167.1.
 (a) In all actions or proceedings brought pursuant to Sections 21167, 21168, and 21168.5, including the hearing of an action or proceeding on appeal from a decision of a lower court, all courts in which the action or proceeding is pending shall give the action or proceeding preference over all other civil actions, in the matter of setting the action or proceeding for hearing or trial, and in hearing or trying the action or proceeding, so that the action or proceeding shall be quickly heard and determined. The court of appeal  shall regulate the briefing and hearing  schedule so that, to the extent feasible, the court shall commence hearings on an appeal within one year  feasible in light of the size of the record of proceedings and the number of parties involved, the court shall issue a decision on the merits of an appeal no more than 15 months  of the date of the filing of the appeal.
(b) To ensure that actions or proceedings brought pursuant to Sections 21167, 21168, and 21168.5 may be quickly heard and determined in the lower courts, the superior courts in all counties with a population of more than 200,000 shall designate one or more judges to develop expertise in this division and related land use and environmental laws, so that those judges will be available to hear, and quickly resolve, actions or proceedings brought pursuant to Sections 21167, 21168, and 21168.5. To allow judges who have accumulated greater expertise in the administration of this division and to further the state’s goal of increasing consistency and certainty in the administration of justice, it is the intent of the Legislature that those judges should serve extended assignment for hearing actions or proceedings brought pursuant to this division where feasible and should receive ongoing judicial education relating to development in statutory law, regulations, and case law under this division. 
(c) In an action or proceeding filed pursuant to this chapter that is joined with any other cause of action, the court, upon a motion by any party, may grant severance of the actions. In determining whether to grant severance, the court shall consider such matters as judicial economy, administrative economy, and prejudice to any party.

SEC. 16.

 Section 21167.1.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21167.1.5.
 (a) To further the state’s goal of increasing consistency, certainty, and speed in the administration of justice for an action or proceeding filed pursuant to this division, the Judicial Council, on or before July 1, 2021, shall, with the assistance of each presiding judge of each superior court in counties with a population of more than 200,000, do all of the following:
(1) Compile, with the intent of maintaining, and updating, a list of judges in superior courts in counties with a population of more than 200,000 who are designated pursuant to Section 21167.1 to hear and determine actions or proceedings arising under this division.
(2) Assess the capacity of various superior courts in counties with a population of more than 200,000 to absorb actions or proceedings arising under this division that may be transferred to their jurisdiction from superior courts in counties with a population of 200,000 or less.
(3) Formulate strategies for facilitating the transfer of complex actions or proceedings arising under this division from superior courts in counties with a population of 200,000 or less to superior courts in counties with a population of more than 200,000 if the superior courts in counties with a population of 200,000 or less lack judges with expertise in hearing and resolving complex actions or proceedings arising under this division.
(4) Compile a list of judges, including retired judges, with expertise in matters arising under this division who are available to the Judicial Council for assignment to superior courts in counties with a population of 200,000 or less in complex actions or proceedings arising under this division if those superior courts lack judges with expertise in hearing and resolving those actions or proceedings.
(5) Formulate strategies for gaining access, if necessary, to more judges, including retired judges, with expertise in matters arising under this division who are available for assignment to superior courts in counties with a population of 200,000 or less in complex actions or proceedings arising under this division if those courts lack judges with expertise in hearing and resolving those actions or proceedings.
(6) Identify circumstances and limitations in all superior courts that tend to slow down the efficient and consistent resolution of actions and proceedings arising under this division and opportunities for expediting the efficient and consistent resolution of those actions or proceedings.
(b) (1) On or before July 1, 2021, the Judicial Council shall submit a report to the Legislature on the following:
(A) How superior courts could take concrete steps to expeditiously and consistently resolve actions or proceedings arising under this division.
(B) Whether additional financial or human resources would permit the Judicial Council and superior courts in counties with a population of more than 200,000 better serve the state’s goal of increasing consistency, certainty, and speed in the administration of justice under this division, including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) How particular superior courts in a county with a population of more than 200,000 might receive additional judgeships in order to satisfy the statewide demand for judges with expertise in this division.
(ii) How ongoing judicial education programs relating to the development of the law under this division could be improved or augmented to maintain a sufficient number of judges statewide with expertise in this division.
(iii) How the Judicial Council might gain access to more judges, including retired judges, with expertise in this division to serve the needs of counties with a population of 200,000 or less.
(2) The report required pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in conformance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(3) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this subdivision shall be inoperative on July 1, 2025.
(c) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, if an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this division is filed with a superior court of a county with a population of 200,000 or less, the court, on its own motion or upon motion by a party, may, if it determines that the issues presented in the action or proceeding are sufficiently complex that a transfer or assignment by the Judicial Council would further the state’s goal of increasing consistency, certainty, and speed in the administration of justice under this division, do either of the following:
(A) Order the action or proceeding transferred to a superior court in a county with a population of more than 200,000 unless (i) one of the parties objects to the transfer in preference to the appointment of a qualified assignee by the Judicial Council, so that the matter will be resolved in a local county courtroom, or (ii) the court finds the transfer of the action or proceeding would cause undue hardship to any party.
(B) Order the action or proceeding to be heard by a judge with expertise in this division who is assigned by the Judicial Council.
(2) A motion brought by a party pursuant to this subdivision shall be filed within 30 days after the petitioner has effectuated service of the action or proceeding on all parties.

SEC. 17.

 Section 21167.4 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21167.4.
 (a) In any an  action or proceeding alleging noncompliance with this division, the  unless a hearing on the merits has already been set, the  petitioner shall request a hearing on the merits  within 90 days from the date of filing the petition or shall be subject to dismissal on the court’s own motion or on the motion of any party interested in the action or proceeding.
(b) The petitioner shall serve a notice of the request for a hearing on all parties at the time that the petitioner files the request for a hearing. hearing pursuant to subdivision (a). 
(c) Upon the filing of a request by the petitioner for a hearing and upon application by any party, the court shall establish a briefing schedule and a hearing date.  date, unless a hearing on the merits has already been set.  In the absence of good cause, briefing shall be completed within 90 days from the date that the request for a hearing is filed, and the hearing, to the extent feasible, shall be held within 30 days thereafter. Good cause may include, but shall not be limited to, the conduct of discovery, determination of the completeness of the record of proceedings, the complexity of the issues, and the length of the record of proceedings and the timeliness of its production. The parties may stipulate to a briefing schedule or hearing date that differs from the schedule set forth in this subdivision if the stipulation is approved by the court.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

SEC. 18.

 Section 21167.6 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21167.6.
 Notwithstanding any other law, in all actions or proceedings brought pursuant to Section 21167, except as provided in Section 21167.6.2 or those involving the Public Utilities Commission, all of the following shall apply:
(a) At the time that the action or proceeding is filed, the plaintiff or  petitioner shall file a request that  notice either requesting  the respondent public agency to  prepare the record of proceedings relating  or elect  to prepare  the subject of the  record itself, subject to certification of accuracy by the public agency. The petitioner shall personally serve the petition and the record preparation notice upon the public agency within 10 business days of the filing of the  action or proceeding. The request, together with the complaint or petition, shall be served personally upon the public agency not later than 10 business days from the date that the action or proceeding was filed. parties shall pay any reasonable costs or fees imposed for the preparation of the record of proceedings in conformance with any law or rule of court. 
(b) (1) The public agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings not later than 60 days from the date that the request specified in subdivision (a) was served upon the public agency. Upon certification, the public agency shall lodge a copy of the record of proceedings with the court and shall serve on the parties notice that the record of proceedings has been certified and lodged with the court. The parties shall pay any reasonable costs or fees imposed for the preparation of the record of proceedings in conformance with any law or rule of court.
(2) (b)  The (1)   plaintiff or petitioner may elect Within ten business days after being served with the record preparation notice indicating that a petitioner has elected  to prepare the record of proceedings or the parties may agree to an alternative method of preparation of the record of proceedings, subject to certification of its accuracy by the public agency, within the time limit specified in this subdivision. proceedings, the respondent public agency or real party in interest, notwithstanding the petitioner’s election, may elect to transfer the obligation to prepare the record of proceeding to the public agency. If the public agency or real party in interest makes this election, both of the following apply: 
(A) The party making the election shall bear the full costs in preparing and certifying the record of proceedings.
(B) The party making the election shall waive its right, if the party prevails in the action, to recover from the petitioner any and all costs incurred by the preparation and certification of the record of proceedings.
(2) The party making the election shall file with the court and serve to all parties a notice of election.
(c) The time limit established by subdivision (b) may be extended only upon the stipulation of all parties who have been properly served in the action or proceeding or  parties shall jointly endeavor to complete the preparation of the record of proceedings within 60 days of the service of the record preparation notice pursuant to subdivision (b) or the expiration of the time period set forth in subdivision (b). This 60-day period may be extended upon the stipulation of all parties or  upon order of the court. Extensions shall be liberally  granted by the court when the size of the record of proceedings renders infeasible compliance with that time limit. compliance with that time limit is infeasible or upon a finding of good cause.  There is no limit on the number of extensions that may be granted by the court, but no single extension shall exceed 60 days unless the court determines that a longer extension is in the public interest.
(d) If the public agency fails to prepare and certify the record within the time limit established in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), or any continuances of that time limit, the plaintiff or petitioner may move for sanctions, and the court may, upon that motion, grant appropriate sanctions.
(e) (d)  The  Except where the parties agree or the court orders otherwise, the  record of proceedings shall be prepared solely in a searchable electronic format to the extent reasonably feasible and shall  include, but is not limited to, all of the following items:
(1) All project application materials.
(2) All staff reports and related documents prepared by the respondent public agency with respect to its compliance with the substantive and procedural requirements of this division and with respect to the action on the project.
(3) All staff reports and related documents prepared by the respondent public agency and written testimony or documents submitted by any person relevant to any findings or statement of overriding considerations adopted by the respondent public  agency pursuant to this division.
(4) Any transcript or minutes of the proceedings at which the decisionmaking body of the respondent public agency heard testimony on, or considered any environmental document on, the project, and any transcript or minutes of proceedings before any advisory body to the respondent public agency that were presented to the decisionmaking body prior to  before  action on the environmental documents or on the project.
(5) All notices issued by the respondent public agency to comply with this division or with any other law governing the processing and approval of the project.
(6) All written comments received in response to, or in connection with, environmental documents prepared for the project, including responses to the notice of preparation.
(7) All written evidence or correspondence  correspondence, including emails,  submitted to, or transferred from, the respondent public agency with respect to compliance with this division or with respect  related  to the project.
(8) Any proposed decisions or findings submitted to the decisionmaking body of the respondent public agency by its staff, or the project proponent, project opponents, or other persons.
(9) The documentation of the final public agency decision, including the final environmental impact report, mitigated negative declaration, or negative declaration, and all documents, in addition to those referenced in paragraph (3), cited or relied on in the findings or in a statement of overriding considerations adopted pursuant to this division.
(10) Any other written materials relevant to the respondent public agency’s compliance with this division or to its decision on the merits of the project, including the initial study, any drafts of any environmental document, or portions thereof, that have been released for public review, and copies of studies or other documents relied upon in any environmental document prepared for the project and either made available to the public during the public review period or included in the respondent public agency’s files on the project, and all nonprivileged  internal agency communications, including staff notes and memoranda related to the project or to compliance with this division.
(11) Internal public agency staff emails and emails between staff of the public agency and consultants under contract to either the public agency or real party in interest and that are related to the project or to compliance with this division.
(11) (12)  The full written record before any inferior administrative decisionmaking body whose decision was appealed to a superior administrative decisionmaking body prior to  before  the filing of litigation.
(e) If a public agency or real party in interest discovers, at any time during the action or proceeding, that an email is entitled to evidentiary privilege or protection against disclosure, the public agency or real party in interest may, by stipulation of all parties or by motion to and order of the court, strike the email from the record of proceedings or otherwise argue that the court should give it little or no weight.
(f) In preparing the record of proceedings, the  The  party preparing the record shall strive to do so at reasonable cost in light of the scope of the record.
(g) The clerk of the superior court shall prepare and certify the clerk’s transcript on appeal not later than 60 days from the date that the notice designating the papers or records to be included in the clerk’s transcript was filed with the superior court, if the party or parties pay any costs or fees for the preparation of the clerk’s transcript imposed in conformance with any law or rules of court. Nothing in this subdivision precludes an election to proceed by appendix, as provided in Rule 8.124 of the California Rules of Court.
(h) Extensions of the period for the filing of any brief on appeal may be allowed only by stipulation of the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. Extensions for the filing of a brief on appeal shall be limited to one 30-day extension for the preparation of an opening brief and one 30-day extension for the preparation of a responding brief, except that the court may grant a longer extension or additional extensions if it determines that there is a  upon a showing of good cause, including, but not limited to, a  substantial likelihood of settlement that would avoid the necessity of completing the appeal.
(i) At the completion of the filing of briefs on appeal, the appellant shall notify the court of the completion of the filing of briefs, whereupon the clerk of the reviewing court shall set the appeal for hearing on the first available calendar date.
(j) This section does not in any manner affect a petitioner’s ability to obtain documents pursuant to the California Public Records Act.
(k) This section does not preclude any party from seeking a court order adding documents to, or removing documents from, the record of proceedings.

SEC. 19.

 Section 21167.8 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21167.8.
 (a) Not later than 20 15  days from the date of service upon a public agency of a petition or complaint  brought pursuant to Section 21167, the public agency shall file with the court a notice setting forth the time and place at which all parties shall meet and attempt to settle the litigation. The meeting  or their counsel shall meet to discuss procedural issues, timeliness associated with the litigation, possible methods for streamlining preparation of the record of proceedings, including the possibility of not including all emails and excluding irrelevant technical documents, and the potential usefulness of settlement discussions, mediation, or arbitration in the case. The meeting may be conducted by phone and  shall be scheduled and held not later than 45 30  days from the date of service of the petition or complaint  upon the public agency. The notice of the settlement  meeting shall be served by mail or electronically  upon the counsel for each party. If the public agency does not know the identity of counsel for any a  party, the notice shall be served by mail upon the party for whom counsel is not known. itself if an address for service can be identified. 
(b) At the time and place specified in the notice filed with the court, the parties  court pursuant to subdivision (a), the parties or their counsel  shall meet and confer regarding anticipated procedural  issues to be raised in the litigation and shall attempt in good faith to settle the litigation and the dispute which forms the basis of the litigation. The settlement meeting discussions shall be comprehensive in nature and shall focus on the legal issues raised by the parties concerning the project that is the subject of the litigation. litigation, how best to satisfy statutory deadlines, and whether to pursue settlement discussions, mediation, or arbitration to resolve the litigation. At a minimum, the parties or their counsel shall discuss the issues required to be included in case management conference statements required by subdivision (b) of Section 21167.4 to the extent those issues have not been resolved. 
(c) Not later than 20 days after the initial case management conference, as provided in Section 21167.8.5, the public agency shall file and serve a notice of time and place of a settlement meeting at which the parties shall attempt in good faith to settle the litigation. The settlement meeting shall be scheduled and held not later than 45 days from the date of the case management conference. If the public agency does not know the identity of the counsel for a party, the notice shall be served by mail upon the party itself if an address for service can be identified.
(c) (d)  The settlement meeting may be continued from time to time without postponing or otherwise delaying other applicable time limits in the litigation. The settlement meeting is intended to be conducted concurrently with any judicial proceedings.
(d) (e)  If the litigation is not settled, the court, in its discretion, may, or at the request of any a  party, shall, schedule a further settlement conference before a judge of the superior court. If the petition or complaint  is later heard on its merits, the judge hearing the matter shall not be the same judge conducting the settlement conference, except in counties that have only one judge of the superior court.
(e) (f)  The court may impose sanctions upon the  failure of any party, who was notified pursuant to subdivision (a), to participate in the litigation settlement process, without good cause, may result in an imposition of sanctions by the court. process without good cause. 
(f) Not later than 30 days from the date that notice of certification of the record of proceedings was filed and served in accordance with Section 21167.6, the petitioner or plaintiff shall file and serve on all other parties a statement of issues which the petitioner or plaintiff intends to raise in any brief or at any hearing or trial. Not later than 10 days from the date on which the respondent or real party in interest has been served with the statement of issues from the petitioner or plaintiff, each respondent and real party in interest shall file and serve on all other parties a statement of issues which that party intends to raise in any brief or at any hearing or trial.
(g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.

SEC. 20.

 Section 21167.8.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21167.8.5.
 (a) Not later than 20 days from the date of service upon a respondent public agency of a petition brought pursuant to Section 21167, the public agency shall file and provide by mail or electronic mail copies to the petitioner and any real parties in interest a request that the court schedule a case management conference as soon as feasible, unless the conference or its equivalent has already been scheduled.
(b) To the extent feasible, the court shall set the initial case management conference not later than 30 days from the date of the public agency’s request. Not later than 20 days before the conference, the court shall serve notice of the conference upon counsel for each party that has appeared in the action or proceeding. Not later than 10 days before the conference, the parties shall meet and confer. The parties shall file and serve either a separate or joint case management conference statement not later than five days before the conference. In addition to any subjects required to be addressed by other law or rule of court, subjects to be addressed during the meet and confer, in the case management conference statements and in the conference, shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The potential usefulness of settlement discussions, mediation, or arbitration.
(2) The timing for preparation of the record of proceedings, certification, and lodging with the court.
(3) The costs of preparation of the record of proceedings, including parties’ suggestions as to how a sufficient record can be completed within a reasonable timeframe at a reasonable cost.
(4) Whether certain documents or categories of project-related documents, including emails, that may not be materially relevant to the legal issues in the case could, pursuant to the terms of an agreement of the parties, be conditionally excluded.
(5) The filing of responsive pleadings.
(6) The orderly resolution of record-related disputes or motions anticipated before the hearing on the merits.
(7) Filing of briefs on the merits.
(8) Further status conferences anticipated before the hearing on the merits.
(9) The hearing on the merits.
(c) This section does not apply to actions or proceedings filed in accordance with Section 21168.6.7 or 21168.6.8, or Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 21178).

SEC. 21.

 Section 21168.6.5 of the Public Resources Code is repealed.

21168.6.5.
 (a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Applicant” means a private entity or its affiliates that proposes the project and its successors, heirs, and assignees.
(2) “Initial project approval” means any actions, activities, ordinances, resolutions, agreements, approvals, determinations, findings, or decisions taken, adopted, or approved by the lead agency required to allow the applicant to commence the construction of the project, as determined by the lead agency.
(3) “Project” means a project that substantially conforms to the project description for the Convention Center Modernization and Farmers Field Project set forth in the notice of preparation released by the City of Los Angeles on March 17, 2011.
(4) “Stadium” means, except as the context indicates otherwise, the stadium built pursuant to the project for football and other spectator events.
(5) “Subsequent project approval” means any actions, activities, ordinances, resolutions, agreements, approvals, determinations, findings, or decisions by the lead agency required for, or in furtherance of, the project that are taken, adopted, or approved following the initial project approvals until the project obtains certificates of occupancy.
(6) “Trip ratio” means the total annual number of private automobiles arriving at the stadium for spectator events divided by the total annual number of spectators at the events.
(b) (1) This section does not apply to the project and shall become inoperative on the date of the release of the draft environmental impact report and is repealed on January 1 of the following year, if the applicant fails to notify the lead agency prior to the release of the draft environmental impact report for public comment that the applicant is electing to proceed pursuant to this section.
(2) The lead agency shall notify the Secretary of State if the applicant fails to notify the lead agency of its election to proceed pursuant to this section.
(c) (1) (A) Notwithstanding any other law, the procedures set forth in subdivision (d) shall apply to any action or proceeding brought to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification of the environmental impact report for the project or the granting of any initial project approvals.
(B) Notwithstanding any other law, the procedures set forth in subdivision (j) shall apply to any action or proceeding brought to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul any subsequent project approvals.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law, the procedure set forth in subdivision (f) shall apply to the certification of the environmental impact report for the project and to any initial project approvals.
(d) (1) An action or proceeding to attack, set aside, void, or annul a determination, finding, or decision of the lead agency certifying the environmental impact report or granting one or more initial project approvals shall be commenced by filing a petition for a writ of mandate with the Second District Court of Appeal and shall be served on the respondent and the real party in interest within 30 days of the filing by the lead agency of the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21152.
(2) The petitioner shall file and serve the opening brief in support of the petition for writ of mandate within 40 days of the filing of the petition for a writ of mandate.
(3) The respondent and real party in interest shall file and serve any brief in opposition to the petition for writ of mandate within 25 days of the filing of the opening brief.
(4) The petitioner shall file and serve the reply brief within 20 days of the filing of the last opposition brief to the petitioner’s opening brief.
(5) Except as provided in paragraph (6), parties to the action shall comply with all applicable California Rules of Court in the filing of the petition for writ of mandate and the briefs.
(6) (A) Rule 8.220 of the California Rules of Court shall not apply to the time periods set forth in paragraphs (2) to (4), inclusive.
(B) If a petitioner fails to file the opening brief pursuant to paragraph (2), the Court of Appeal shall dismiss the petition.
(C) If the respondents and real party in interest fail to file the brief in opposition pursuant to paragraph (3), the Court of Appeal shall decide the petition for writ of mandate based on the record, the opening brief, and any oral argument by the petitioner.
(7) Except upon a showing of extraordinary good cause, the Court of Appeal shall not grant any extensions of time to the deadlines specified in this subdivision. Any extension shall be limited to the minimum amount the Court of Appeal deems to be necessary.
(8) The Court of Appeal may, on its motion or upon request from a party, appoint a special master to assist the Court of Appeal in conducting the expedited judicial review required pursuant to this subdivision. If the Court of Appeal appoints a special master, the applicant shall pay all reasonable costs for the special master, not to exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000). If the Court of Appeal determines that the cost of the special master may exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), it may request that additional funds be provided by the applicant and, if the applicant agrees to provide the funding, shall use the funds to pay the additional costs of the special master.
(9) The Court of Appeal shall hold a hearing and issue a decision on all petitions for writ of mandate filed pursuant to this subdivision within 60 days of the filing of the last timely reply brief.
(10) (A) A petition for review of the decision rendered by the Court of Appeal shall be filed with the Supreme Court and served on all parties to the petition for writ of mandate within 15 days of the decision.
(B) Any opposition to the petition for review shall be filed and served within 15 days of the filing of the petition for review.
(C) The Supreme Court shall render a decision on the petition for review within 30 days after the filing of the petition for review or within 15 days after the filing of the opposition to the petition for review, whichever is earlier.
(11) All briefs and notices filed pursuant to this subdivision shall be electronically served on parties pursuant to Rule 8.71 of the California Rules of Court. Each party to the petition shall provide an electronic service address at which the party agrees to accept the service.
(12) (A) No provision of law that is inconsistent or conflicts with this subdivision shall apply to a petition for a writ of mandate subject to this subdivision, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(i) Section 21167.4.
(ii) Subdivisions (a) through (d), inclusive, and (g) through (i), inclusive, of Section 21167.6.
(iii) Subdivision (f) of Section 21167.8.
(iv) Section 21167.6.5.
(v) Sections 66031 through 66035, inclusive, of the Government Code.
(B) Except as provided in this section, including subparagraph (A), the requirements of this division are fully applicable to the project.
(e) (1) The draft and final environmental impact report shall include a notice in not less than 12-point type stating the following:

THIS EIR IS SUBJECT TO SECTION 21168.6.5 OF THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE, WHICH PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE LEAD AGENCY NEED NOT CONSIDER CERTAIN COMMENTS FILED AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR THE DRAFT EIR. ANY JUDICIAL ACTION CHALLENGING THE CERTIFICATION OF THE EIR OR THE APPROVAL OF THE PROJECT DESCRIBED IN THE EIR IS SUBJECT TO THE PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN SECTION 21168.6.5 OF THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE AND MUST BE FILED WITH THE SECOND DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL. A COPY OF SECTION 21168.6.5 OF THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE IS INCLUDED IN THE APPENDIX TO THIS EIR.

(2) The draft environmental impact report and final environmental impact report shall contain, as an appendix, the full text of this section.
(f) (1) Within 10 days after the release of the draft environmental impact report, the lead agency shall conduct an informational workshop to inform the public of the key analyses and conclusions of that report.
(2) Within 10 days before the close of the public comment period, the lead agency shall hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the draft environmental impact report. A transcript of the hearing shall be included as an appendix to the final environmental impact report.
(3) (A) Within five days following the close of the public comment period, a commenter on the draft environmental impact report may submit to the lead agency a written request for nonbinding mediation. The lead agency and applicant shall participate in nonbinding mediation with all commenters who submitted timely comments on the draft environmental impact report and who requested the mediation. Mediation conducted pursuant to this paragraph shall end no later than 35 days after the close of the public comment period.
(B) A request for mediation shall identify all areas of dispute raised in the comment submitted by the commenter that are to be mediated.
(C) The lead agency shall select one or more mediators who shall be retired judges or recognized experts with at least five years experience in land use and environmental law or science, or mediation. The applicant shall bear the costs of mediation.
(D) A mediation session shall be conducted on each area of dispute with the parties requesting mediation on that area of dispute.
(E) The lead agency shall adopt, as a condition of approval, any measures agreed upon by the lead agency, the applicant, and any commenter who requested mediation. A commenter who agrees to a measure pursuant to this subparagraph shall not raise the issue addressed by that measure as a basis for a petition for writ of mandate challenging the lead agency’s decision to certify the environmental impact report or to grant one or more initial project approvals.
(4) The lead agency need not consider written comments submitted after the close of the public comment period, unless those comments address any of the following:
(A) New issues raised in the response to comments by the lead agency.
(B) New information released by the public agency subsequent to the release of the draft environmental impact report, such as new information set forth or embodied in a staff report, proposed permit, proposed resolution, ordinance, or similar documents.
(C) Changes made to the project after the close of the public comment period.
(D) Proposed conditions for approval, mitigation measures, or proposed findings required by Section 21081 or a proposed reporting and monitoring program required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 21081.6, where the lead agency releases those documents subsequent to the release of the draft environmental impact report.
(E) New information that was not reasonably known and could not have been reasonably known during the public comment period.
(5) (A) The lead agency shall file the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21152 within five days after the last initial project approval.
(B) If the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21152 is filed after June 1, 2013, this section shall become inoperative as of June 1, 2013, and is repealed as of January 1, 2014.
(C) In the event this section is repealed pursuant to subparagraph (B), the lead agency shall notify the Secretary of State.
(g) (1) For a petition for writ of mandate filed pursuant to this section, the lead agency shall prepare and certify the record of the proceedings in accordance with this subdivision and in accordance with Rule 3.1365 of the California Rules of Court. The applicant shall pay the lead agency for all costs of preparing and certifying the record of proceedings.
(2) No later than the date of the release of the draft environmental impact report, the lead agency shall make available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format the draft environmental impact report and all other documents submitted to or relied on by the lead agency in the preparation of the draft environmental impact report. A document prepared by the lead agency or submitted by the applicant after the date of the release of the draft environmental impact report that is a part of the record of the proceedings shall be made available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format within five business days after the document is prepared or received by the lead agency.
(3) The lead agency shall encourage written comments on the project to be submitted in a readily accessible electronic format, and shall make any such comment available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format within five days of its receipt.
(4) Within seven business days after the receipt of any comment that is not in an electronic format, the lead agency shall convert that comment into a readily accessible electronic format and make it available to the public in that format.
(5) The lead agency shall indicate in the record of the proceedings comments received that were not considered by the lead agency pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) and need not include the content of the comments as a part of the record.
(6) Within five days after the filing of the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21152, the lead agency shall certify the record of the proceedings for the approval or determination and shall provide an electronic copy of the record to a party that has submitted a written request for a copy. The lead agency may charge and collect a reasonable fee for the electronic copy, which shall not exceed the reasonable cost of reproducing that copy.
(7) Within 10 days after being served with a petition for a writ of mandate pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), the lead agency shall lodge a copy of the certified record of proceedings with the Court of Appeal.
(8) Any dispute over the content of the record of the proceedings shall be resolved by the Court of Appeal. Unless the Court of Appeal directs otherwise, a party disputing the content of the record shall file a motion to augment the record at the time it files its initial brief.
(9) The contents of the record of proceedings shall be as set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 21167.6.
(h) It is the intent of the Legislature that the project minimize traffic congestion and air quality impacts that may result from private automobile trips to the stadium through the requirements of this division as supplemented, pursuant to subdivision (i), by the implementation of measures that will do both of the following:
(1) Achieve and maintain carbon neutrality by reducing to zero the net emissions of greenhouse gases, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 38505 of the Health and Safety Code, from private automobile trips to the stadium.
(2) Achieve and maintain a trip ratio that is no more than 90 percent of the trip ratio at any other stadium serving a team in the National Football League.
(i) (1) As a condition of approval of the project subject to this section, the lead agency shall require the applicant to implement measures that will meet the requirements of this division and paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) by the end of the first season during which a National Football League team has played at the stadium. To maximize public health, environmental, and employment benefits, the lead agency shall place the highest priority on feasible measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the stadium site and in the neighboring communities of the stadium. Offset credits shall be employed by the applicant only after feasible local emission reduction measures have been implemented. The applicant shall, to the extent feasible, place the highest priority on the purchase of offset credits that produce emission reductions within the city or the boundaries of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
(2) To ensure that the stadium achieves a trip ratio that is no more than 90 percent of the trip ratio at any other stadium serving a team in the National Football League, the applicant shall implement the necessary measures as follows:
(A) Not later than the date of the certification of the environmental impact report for the project, the lead agency shall develop and adopt a protocol to implement this subdivision pursuant to this division and subdivision (h), including, but not limited to, criteria and guidelines that will be used to determine the trip ratio.
(B) Following the conclusion of the second, third, fourth, and fifth seasons during which a National Football League team has played at the stadium, the applicant shall prepare a report to the lead agency that describes the measures it has undertaken to reduce trips based on the protocol developed and adopted pursuant to subparagraph (A), the trip ratio at the stadium, and the results of those measures. The report shall also include a summary of publicly available data and other data gathered by the applicant regarding average vehicle ridership, nonpassenger automobile modes of arrival, and trip reduction measures undertaken at other stadiums serving a team in the National Football League.
(C) Following the lead agency’s review of the report submitted following the fourth season, the lead agency shall determine whether adequate data is available to determine whether the trip ratio at stadium events is more than 90 percent of the trip ratio at any other stadiums serving a National Football League team. If the lead agency concludes that adequate data does not exist, the lead agency shall take necessary steps to collect, or cause to be collected, the data reasonably necessary to make the determination. The applicant shall pay the reasonable costs of collecting the data pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 21089.
(D) Following the lead agency’s review of the report submitted following the fifth season, the lead agency shall determine the trip ratio at stadium events and the lowest trip ratio at any other stadium serving a National Football League team. If the trip ratio at the stadium is more than 90 percent of the trip ratio at the other stadium with the lowest trip ratio, the lead agency shall, within six months following the receipt of the report, require the applicant to implement additional feasible measures that the lead agency determines pursuant to subparagraph (E) will be sufficient for the stadium to achieve the target specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h).
(E) Any trip reduction measure used at other stadiums serving a National Football League team shall be presumed to be feasible unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that the measure is infeasible. The lead agency’s decision whether to adopt any mitigation measures pursuant to subparagraph (D) other than those used at another stadium serving a National Football League team shall be governed by the substantial evidence test. This subparagraph does not require the applicant to bear the cost of improving the capacity or performance of transit facilities other than the following:
(i) Temporarily expanding the capacity of a public transit line, as needed, to serve stadium events.
(ii) Providing private charter buses or other similar services, as needed, to serve stadium events.
(iii) Paying its fair share of the cost of measures that expand the capacity of a public fixed or light rail station that is used by spectators attending stadium events.
(F) Any action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul a determination, finding, or decision of the lead agency regarding the additional mitigation measures pursuant to subparagraph (D) shall be commenced within 30 days following the lead agency’s filing of the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21152 and shall be governed by this division. The procedures set forth in subdivision (d) shall not apply to that action or proceeding. Notwithstanding any other law, compliance or noncompliance with this paragraph shall not result in the stadium being required to cease or limit operations.
(G) If the lead agency requires the applicant to implement additional measures pursuant to subparagraph (D), the applicant shall submit the report described in subparagraph (B) to the lead agency following the conclusion of each subsequent season until the lead agency determines that the applicant has achieved a trip ratio at the stadium that is not more than 90 percent of the trip ratio at any other stadium serving a National Football League team for two consecutive seasons or until the applicant submits the required report following the conclusion of the 10th season, whichever occurs earlier. Nothing in this subparagraph affects the ongoing obligations of the applicant pursuant to subdivision (h) and this subdivision.
(H) All obligations of the applicant set forth in this subdivision or imposed upon the applicant by the lead agency pursuant to this subdivision shall run with the land.
(3) This subdivision and subdivision (h) shall not serve as a basis for any action or proceeding to attack, set aside, void, or annul a determination, finding, or decision of the lead agency in certifying the environmental impact report for the project or in granting the initial or subsequent project approvals.
(4) The obligations imposed pursuant to this subdivision and subdivision (h) supplement, and do not replace, mitigation measures otherwise imposed on the project pursuant to this division.
(j) (1) An action or proceeding to attack, set aside, void, or annul a determination, finding, or decision of the lead agency granting a subsequent project approval shall be subject to the requirements of Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 21165).
(2) (A) In granting relief in an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall not stay or enjoin the construction or operation of the project unless the court finds either of the following:
(i) The continued construction or operation of the project presents an imminent threat to the public health and safety.
(ii) The project site contains unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values that would be materially, permanently, and adversely affected by the continued construction or operation of the project.
(B) If the court finds that clause (i) or (ii) is satisfied, the court shall only enjoin those specific project activities that present an imminent threat to public health and safety or that materially, permanently, and adversely affect unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values.
(k) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

SEC. 22.

 Section 21168.6.6 of the Public Resources Code is repealed.

21168.6.6.
 (a) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Applicant” means a private entity or its affiliates that proposes the project and its successors, heirs, and assignees.
(2) “City” means the City of Sacramento.
(3) “Downtown arena” means the following components of the entertainment and sports center project from demolition and site preparation through operation:
(A) An arena facility that will become the new home to the City of Sacramento’s National Basketball Association (NBA) team that does both of the following:
(i) Receives Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification for new construction within one year of completion of the first NBA season.
(ii) Minimizes operational traffic congestion and air quality impacts through either or both project design and the implementation of feasible mitigation measures that will do all of the following:
(I) Achieve and maintain carbon neutrality or better by reducing to at least zero the net emissions of greenhouse gases, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 38505 of the Health and Safety Code, from private automobile trips to the downtown arena as compared to the baseline as verified by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.
(II) Achieve a per attendee reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks compared to per attendee greenhouse gas emissions associated with the existing arena during the 2012–13 NBA season that will exceed the carbon reduction targets for 2020 and 2035 achieved in the sustainable communities strategy prepared by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments for the Sacramento region pursuant to Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.
(III) Achieve and maintain vehicle-miles-traveled per attendee for NBA events at the downtown arena that is no more than 85 percent of the baseline.
(B) Associated public spaces.
(C) Facilities and infrastructure for ingress, egress, and use of the arena facility.
(4) “Entertainment and sports center project” or “project” means a project that substantially conforms to the project description for the entertainment and sports center project set forth in the notice of preparation released by the City of Sacramento on April 12, 2013.
(b) (1) The city may prosecute an eminent domain action for 545 and 600 K Street, Sacramento, California, and surrounding publicly accessible areas and rights-of-way within 200 feet of 600 K Street, Sacramento, California, through order of possession pursuant to the Eminent Domain Law (Title 7 (commencing with Section 1230.010) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure) prior to completing the environmental review under this division.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any other eminent domain actions prosecuted by the City of Sacramento or to eminent domain actions based on a finding of blight.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, the procedures established pursuant to subdivision (d) shall apply to an action or proceeding brought to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification of the environmental impact report for the project or the granting of any project approvals.
(d) On or before July 1, 2014, the Judicial Council shall adopt a rule of court to establish procedures applicable to actions or proceedings brought to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification of the environmental impact report for the project or the granting of any project approvals that require the actions or proceedings, including any potential appeals therefrom, be resolved, to the extent feasible, within 270 days of certification of the record of proceedings pursuant to subdivision (f).
(e) (1) The draft and final environmental impact report shall include a notice in not less than 12-point type stating the following:

THIS EIR IS SUBJECT TO SECTION 21168.6.6 OF THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE, WHICH PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE LEAD AGENCY NEED NOT CONSIDER CERTAIN COMMENTS FILED AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR THE DRAFT EIR. ANY JUDICIAL ACTION CHALLENGING THE CERTIFICATION OF THE EIR OR THE APPROVAL OF THE PROJECT DESCRIBED IN THE EIR IS SUBJECT TO THE PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN SECTION 21168.6.6 OF THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE. A COPY OF SECTION 21168.6.6 OF THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE IS INCLUDED IN THE APPENDIX TO THIS EIR.

(2) The draft environmental impact report and final environmental impact report shall contain, as an appendix, the full text of this section.
(3) Within 10 days after the release of the draft environmental impact report, the lead agency shall conduct an informational workshop to inform the public of the key analyses and conclusions of that report.
(4) Within 10 days before the close of the public comment period, the lead agency shall hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the draft environmental impact report. A transcript of the hearing shall be included as an appendix to the final environmental impact report.
(5) (A) Within five days following the close of the public comment period, a commenter on the draft environmental impact report may submit to the lead agency a written request for nonbinding mediation. The lead agency and applicant shall participate in nonbinding mediation with all commenters who submitted timely comments on the draft environmental impact report and who requested the mediation. Mediation conducted pursuant to this paragraph shall end no later than 35 days after the close of the public comment period.
(B) A request for mediation shall identify all areas of dispute raised in the comment submitted by the commenter that are to be mediated.
(C) The lead agency shall select one or more mediators who shall be retired judges or recognized experts with at least five years experience in land use and environmental law or science, or mediation. The applicant shall bear the costs of mediation.
(D) A mediation session shall be conducted on each area of dispute with the parties requesting mediation on that area of dispute.
(E) The lead agency shall adopt, as a condition of approval, any measures agreed upon by the lead agency, the applicant, and any commenter who requested mediation. A commenter who agrees to a measure pursuant to this subparagraph shall not raise the issue addressed by that measure as a basis for an action or proceeding challenging the lead agency’s decision to certify the environmental impact report or to grant one or more initial project approvals.
(6) The lead agency need not consider written comments submitted after the close of the public comment period, unless those comments address any of the following:
(A) New issues raised in the response to comments by the lead agency.
(B) New information released by the public agency subsequent to the release of the draft environmental impact report, such as new information set forth or embodied in a staff report, proposed permit, proposed resolution, ordinance, or similar documents.
(C) Changes made to the project after the close of the public comment period.
(D) Proposed conditions for approval, mitigation measures, or proposed findings required by Section 21081 or a proposed reporting and monitoring program required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 21081.6, where the lead agency releases those documents subsequent to the release of the draft environmental impact report.
(E) New information that was not reasonably known and could not have been reasonably known during the public comment period.
(7) The lead agency shall file the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21152 within five days after the last initial project approval.
(f) (1) The lead agency shall prepare and certify the record of the proceedings in accordance with this subdivision and in accordance with Rule 3.1365 of the California Rules of Court. The applicant shall pay the lead agency for all costs of preparing and certifying the record of proceedings.
(2) No later than three business days following the date of the release of the draft environmental impact report, the lead agency shall make available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format the draft environmental impact report and all other documents submitted to or relied on by the lead agency in the preparation of the draft environmental impact report. A document prepared by the lead agency or submitted by the applicant after the date of the release of the draft environmental impact report that is a part of the record of the proceedings shall be made available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format within five business days after the document is prepared or received by the lead agency.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), documents submitted to or relied on by the lead agency that were not prepared specifically for the project and are copyright protected are not required to be made readily accessible in an electronic format. For those copyright protected documents, the lead agency shall make an index of these documents available in an electronic format no later than the date of the release of the draft environmental impact report, or within five business days if the document is received or relied on by the lead agency after the release of the draft environmental impact report. The index must specify the libraries or lead agency offices in which hardcopies of the copyrighted materials are available for public review.
(4) The lead agency shall encourage written comments on the project to be submitted in a readily accessible electronic format, and shall make any such comment available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format within five days of its receipt.
(5) Within seven business days after the receipt of any comment that is not in an electronic format, the lead agency shall convert that comment into a readily accessible electronic format and make it available to the public in that format.
(6) The lead agency shall indicate in the record of the proceedings comments received that were not considered by the lead agency pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision (e) and need not include the content of the comments as a part of the record.
(7) Within five days after the filing of the notice required by subdivision (a) of Section 21152, the lead agency shall certify the record of the proceedings for the approval or determination and shall provide an electronic copy of the record to a party that has submitted a written request for a copy. The lead agency may charge and collect a reasonable fee from a party requesting a copy of the record for the electronic copy, which shall not exceed the reasonable cost of reproducing that copy.
(8) Within 10 days after being served with a complaint or a petition for a writ of mandate, the lead agency shall lodge a copy of the certified record of proceedings with the superior court.
(9) Any dispute over the content of the record of the proceedings shall be resolved by the superior court. Unless the superior court directs otherwise, a party disputing the content of the record shall file a motion to augment the record at the time it files its initial brief.
(10) The contents of the record of proceedings shall be as set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 21167.6.
(g) (1)   As a condition of approval of the project subject to this section, the lead agency shall require the applicant, with respect to any measures specific to the operation of the downtown arena, to implement those measures that will meet the requirements of this division by the end of the first NBA regular season or June of the first NBA regular season, whichever is later, during which an NBA team has played at the downtown arena.
(2) To maximize public health, environmental, and employment benefits, the lead agency shall place the highest priority on feasible measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the downtown arena site and in the neighboring communities of the downtown arena. Mitigation measures that shall be considered and implemented, if feasible and necessary, to achieve the standards set forth in subclauses (I) to (III), inclusive, of clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), including, but not limited to:
(A) Temporarily expanding the capacity of a public transit line, as needed, to serve downtown arena events.
(B) Providing private charter buses or other similar services, as needed, to serve downtown arena events.
(C) Paying its fair share of the cost of measures that expand the capacity of a public fixed or light rail station that is used by spectators attending downtown arena events.
(3) Offset credits shall be employed by the applicant only after feasible local emission reduction measures have been implemented. The applicant shall, to the extent feasible, place the highest priority on the purchase of offset credits that produce emission reductions within the city or the boundaries of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.
(h) (1) (A) In granting relief in an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section, the court shall not stay or enjoin the construction or operation of the downtown arena unless the court finds either of the following:
(i) The continued construction or operation of the downtown arena presents an imminent threat to the public health and safety.
(ii) The downtown arena site contains unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values that would be materially, permanently, and adversely affected by the continued construction or operation of the downtown arena unless the court stays or enjoins the construction or operation of the downtown arena.
(B) If the court finds that clause (i) or (ii) is satisfied, the court shall only enjoin those specific activities associated with the downtown arena that present an imminent threat to public health and safety or that materially, permanently, and adversely affect unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values.
(2)    An action or proceeding to attack, set aside, void, or annul a determination, finding, or decision of the lead agency granting a subsequent project approval shall be subject to the requirements of Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 21165).
(3) Where an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section challenges aspects of the project other than the downtown arena and those portions or specific project activities are severable from the downtown arena, the court may enter an order as to aspects of the project other than the downtown arena that includes one or more of the remedies set forth in Section 21168.9.
(i) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
(j) (1) This section does not apply to the project and shall become inoperative on the date of the release of the draft environmental impact report and is repealed on January 1 of the following year, if the applicant fails to notify the lead agency prior to the release of the draft environmental impact report for public comment that the applicant is electing to proceed pursuant to this section.
(2) The lead agency shall notify the Secretary of State if the applicant fails to notify the lead agency of its election to proceed pursuant to this section.

SEC. 23.

 Section 21177 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21177.
 (a) (1)  An action or proceeding shall not be brought pursuant to Section 21167 unless the alleged grounds for noncompliance with this division were presented to the public agency orally or in writing by any person during the public comment period provided by this division or before the close of the public hearing on the project before the issuance of the notice of determination.
(2) If the public agency elects to proceed under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 21092.5, an action or proceeding shall not be brought pursuant to Section 21167 unless the alleged grounds for noncompliance with this division were presented to the public agency in writing in accordance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 21092.5 or orally before the close of the public hearing on the project.
(b) A person shall not maintain an action or proceeding unless that person objected to the approval of the project orally or in writing during the public comment period provided by this division or before the close of the public hearing on the project before the filing of notice of determination pursuant to Sections 21108 and 21152.
(c) This section does not preclude any organization formed after the approval of a project from maintaining an action pursuant to Section 21167 if a member of that organization has complied with subdivision (b).
(d) This section does not apply to the Attorney General.
(e) This section does not apply to any alleged grounds for noncompliance with this division for which there was no public hearing or other opportunity for members of the public to raise those objections orally or in writing before the approval of the project, or if the public agency failed to give the notice required by law.
SEC. 24.
 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.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.