Today's Law As Amended

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SB-621 California Environmental Quality Act: expedited judicial review: affordable housing projects: reports.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Section 21168.10 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21168.10.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “affordable housing project” means a housing project that meets all of the following:
(1) The housing project receives Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
(2) If the housing project is mixed use, at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development is designated for residential use.
(3) At least 30 percent of the housing units are affordable to individuals or households with an income level that is at or below 80 percent of the area median income and the developer of the housing project provides sufficient legal commitments to the appropriate local agency to ensure the continued availability and use of the residential units at that rate for a period of at least 30 years.
(4) The housing project consists of no more than 200 residential units.
(5) The housing project site is not more than five acres in area.
(6) The housing project is on an infill site in close proximity to a major transit stop.
(7) If the housing project includes as part of its construction the demolition of existing affordable housing units, then the housing project also includes as part of its design and project description the replacement of those units, meaning that it will provide at least the same number of units containing at least the same total number of bedrooms as the units being replaced, to be made available at affordable housing cost to, and occupied by, persons and families in the same or lower income category as those households in occupancy. If the income category of the household in occupancy is not known, it shall be rebuttably presumed that lower income households occupied the demolished units in the same proportion as lower income households bear to all households within the jurisdiction, as determined by the most recently available data from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy database. All replacement calculations resulting in fractional units shall be rounded up to the next whole number.
(b) The Judicial Council, by July 1, 2020, shall adopt a rule of court applying to any action or proceeding brought to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification of an environmental impact report for an affordable housing project or the granting of an approval of an affordable housing project that requires the action or proceeding, including any potential appeals therefrom, to be resolved, to the extent feasible, within 270 days of the filing of the certified record of proceeding with the court.
(c) The expedited judicial review provided under subdivision (b) shall not apply to affordable housing projects in areas identified as very high fire hazard severity zones, as determined by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Section 51178 of the Government Code, or in areas classified as high or very high fire hazard severity zones pursuant to Section 4202. An affordable housing project is not ineligible for expedited judicial review within the meaning of this subdivision if it is on a site that has adopted fire hazard mitigation measures pursuant to existing building standards or if state fire mitigation measures are applicable to the development.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21176 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21176.
 (a) The Judicial Council, in coordination with the Office of Planning and Research, shall, on or before July 1, 2024, report to the Legislature both of the following:
(1) A comparison of the litigation timelines for actions or proceedings brought pursuant to this division that are subject to expedited judicial review to the litigation timelines for those actions or proceedings brought pursuant to this division that are not subject to expedited judicial review.
(2) The extent, if any, to which those actions or proceedings brought pursuant to this division that are subject to expedited judicial review have delayed the adjudication of other civil litigation.
(b) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 21176.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21176.5.
 (a) The Judicial Council, in coordination with the Office of Planning and Research, shall, on or before January 1, 2021, and annually thereafter, report to the Legislature on the number of actions or proceedings brought pursuant to this division that involve a development project compared to the total number of development projects undertaken in the prior fiscal year.
(b) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.
SEC. 4.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact subsequent legislation that would provide additional funding to the courts to enable the courts to adjudicate, in an expeditious manner, actions or proceedings filed pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).