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SB-731 Environment: California Environmental Quality Act.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  September 09, 2013
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 06, 2013
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 06, 2013
Amended  IN  Senate  May 24, 2013
Amended  IN  Senate  May 07, 2013
Amended  IN  Senate  April 23, 2013

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 731


Introduced by Senators Steinberg and Hill

February 22, 2013


An act to amend, repeal, and add Section 705 of the Fish and Game Code, to amend Sections 65088.1, 65088.4, and 65457 of the Government Code, and to amend Sections 21081, 21081.5, 21081.6, 21155,21167, 21167.6, 21167.7, and 21168.9 of, to add Sections 21083.06, 21167.6.2, 21167.6.3 to, and to add Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 21099) to Division 13 of, the Public Resources Code, relating to the environment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 731, as amended, Steinberg. Environment: California Environmental Quality Act.
(1) The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report, or EIR, on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. CEQA requires the Office of Planning and Research to develop and prepare, and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to certify and adopt, guidelines for the implementation of CEQA by public agencies. CEQA establishes a procedure for the preparation and certification of the record of proceedings upon the filing of an action or proceeding challenging a lead agency’s action on the grounds of noncompliance with CEQA. CEQA establishes time periods within which a person is required to bring a judicial action or proceeding to challenge a public agency’s action taken pursuant to CEQA.
This bill would provide that aesthetic and parking impacts of a residential, mixed-use residential, or employment center project, as defined, on an infill site, as defined, within a transit priority area, as defined, shall not be considered significant impacts on the environment. The bill would require the office to prepare and submit to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, and the secretary to certify and adopt, revisions to the guidelines for the implementation of CEQA establishing thresholds of significance for noise and transportation impacts of projects within transit priority areas. The bill would require the office, on or before July 1, 2015, to prepare, develop, and transmit to the secretary recommended proposed changes or amendments to the guidelines establishing criteria for a lead agency to assess the need for translating specified notices into non-English languages and requirements for the posting of those notices in non-English languages. Because the bill would require the development of guidelines that would require a lead agency to translate notices into non-English languages and to post those translated notices, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the office to produce a report on economic displacement and would require the office to publicly circulate a draft of the report. The bill would require the lead agency, in making specified findings, to make those findings available to the public at least 10 days prior to the approval of the proposed project adoption of the findings and to provide specified notice of the availability of the findings for public review. Because the bill would require the lead agency to make the draft finding available for public review and to provide specified notices to the public, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the lead agency, at the request of a project applicant for specified projects, to, among other things, prepare a record of proceedings concurrently with the preparation of negative declarations, mitigated negative declarations, EIRs, or other environmental documents for specified projects. Because the bill would require a lead agency to prepare the record of proceedings as provided, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would authorize the tolling of the time period in which a person is required to bring a judicial action or proceeding challenging a public agency’s action taken pursuant to CEQA through a tolling agreement that does not exceed 4 years. The bill would authorize the extension of the tolling agreement.
(2) CEQA provides certain streamlinings benefits for transit priority projects and specifies criteria for projects to be considered transit priority projects.
This bill would revise those criteria.

(2)

(3) For mitigation measures required pursuant to an EIR or a mitigated negative declaration, CEQA requires the lead agency to adopt a reporting and monitoring program to ensure compliance with those required mitigation measures during project implementation.
This bill would require the lead agency, upon the request of a member of the public, to prepare or cause to be prepared a report on project compliance with the required mitigation measures, as a part of the mitigation and monitoring plan, that is publicly available online. Because the lead agency would be required to prepare and make available this report, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(3)

(4) Existing law exempts from the requirements of CEQA residential development projects that are undertaken to implement, and are consistent with a specific plan for which an EIR has been certified after January 1, 1980. Existing law provides that this exemption does not apply if, after the certification of the EIR, a specified event occurs, unless a supplemental EIR for the specified plan is prepared and certified.
This bill would specify that the event does not include new information consisting solely of specified information.

(4)

(5) CEQA requires the court, if the court finds that a public agency has violated the requirements of CEQA, to issue an order containing specified mandates.
This bill would require the court to issue an order that includes a peremptory writ of mandate specifying actions that a public agency needs to take to comply with the requirements of CEQA. The bill would require the writ to specify the time by which the public agency is to file an initial return to a writ containing specified information. Because a public agency would be required to file an initial return to a writ, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(5)

(6) CEQA requires every person bringing an action or proceeding alleging a violation of CEQA to furnish to the Attorney General a copy of the pleading within 10 days after filing and a copy of any amended or supplemental pleading.
This bill would require the California Research Bureau, subject to the availability of funding and of information, to annually submit to the Legislature a report containing specified information on CEQA litigation in the state.

(6)

(7) Existing law requires the regional transportation plan for regions of the state with a metropolitan planning organization to each adopt a sustainable communities strategy, as part of their regional transportation plan, as specified, designed to achieve certain goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks in a region. Existing law establishes the Strategic Growth Council to manage and award grants and loans to support the planning and development of sustainable communities strategies.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to appropriate $30,000,000 annually by the council for the purposes of providing competitive grants to local agencies for planning activities for the implementation of the sustainable communities strategy.

(7)

(8) Existing law requires the development, adoption, and updating of a congestion management program for each county that includes an urbanized area, as defined. The plan is required to contain specified elements and to be submitted to regional agencies, as defined, for determination of whether the program is consistent with regional transportation plans. The regional agency is then directed to monitor the implementation of all elements of each congestion management program. The required elements include traffic level of service standards for a system of designated highways and roadways. Existing law defines “infill opportunity zone” for purposes of the above-described provisions and exempts streets and highways in an infill opportunity zone from the level of service standards specified in the above-described provisions and instead requires alternate level of service standards to be applied. Existing law prohibits a city or county from designating an infill opportunity zone after December 31, 2009.
This bill would revise the definition of “infill opportunity zone,” as specified. The bill would authorize the designation of an infill opportunity zone that is a transit priority area within a sustainable communities strategy or alternative planning strategy adopted by an applicable metropolitan planning organization.

(8)

(9) Existing law terminates the designation of an infill opportunity zone if no development project is completed within that zone within 4 years from the date of the designation.
This bill would repeal this provision.

(9)

(10) This bill would, until January 1, 2017, establish in the office of the Governor the position of Advisor on Renewable Energy Facilities.

(10)

(11) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the CEQA Modernization Act of 2013.

SEC. 2.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) With the adoption of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008, popularly known as the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, the Legislature signaled its commitment to encouraging land use and transportation planning decisions and investments that reduce vehicle miles traveled and contribute to the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions required in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code). Similarly, the California Complete Streets Act of 2008 (Chapter 657 of the Statutes of 2008) requires local governments to plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of streets, roads, and highways for safe and convenient travel.
(2) Transportation analyses under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) typically study changes in auto delay. New methodologies under the California Environmental Quality Act are needed for evaluating transportation impacts that are better able to promote the state’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic-related air pollution, promoting the development of a multimodal transportation system, and providing clean, efficient access to destinations. The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 created new provisions in the California Environmental Quality Act for projects in transit priority areas. The Office of Planning and Research should similarly be directed to prepare new criteria for assessing the significance of transportation impacts that will help the state to achieve its goals within transit priority areas.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to do all of the following:
(1) Ensure that the environmental impacts of traffic, such as noise, air pollution, and safety concerns, continue to be properly addressed and mitigated through the California Environmental Quality Act.
(2) Amend Section 65457 of the Government Code, which exempts from the California Environmental Quality Act projects undertaken pursuant to a specific plan for which an environmental impact report has been prepared, unless conditions specified under Section 21166 of the Public Resources Code have occurred, to define with greater specificity what “new information” means, and to avoid duplicative review undertaken pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act for projects and activities that comply with that plan.
(3) Enact amendments to Section 21168.9 of the Public Resources Code to establish clearer procedures for a trial court to remand to a lead agency for remedying only those portions of an environmental impact report, negative declaration, or mitigated negative declaration found to be in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act, while retaining those portions that are not in violation so that the violations can be corrected, recirculated for public comment, and completed more efficiently and expeditiously.
(4) Specify the circumstances under which a court could allow project approvals to remain in place and for projects to proceed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 705 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

705.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “eligible renewable energy resources” has the same meaning as in the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code).
(b) The department shall establish an internal division with the primary purpose of performing comprehensive planning and environmental compliance services with priority given to projects involving the building of eligible renewable energy resources.
(c) The internal division shall ensure the timely completion of plans pursuant to the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 2800) of Division 3).
(d) The position of Advisor on Renewable Energy Facilities is hereby established in the office of the Governor.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 4.

 Section 705 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

705.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “eligible renewable energy resources” has the same meaning as in the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code).
(b) The department shall establish an internal division with the primary purpose of performing comprehensive planning and environmental compliance services with priority given to projects involving the building of eligible renewable energy resources.
(c) The internal division shall ensure the timely completion of plans pursuant to the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 2800) of Division 3).
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

SEC. 5.

 Section 65088.1 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65088.1.
 As used in this chapter the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) Unless the context requires otherwise, “agency” means the agency responsible for the preparation and adoption of the congestion management program.
(b) “Bus rapid transit corridor” means a bus service that includes at least four of the following attributes:
(1) Coordination with land use planning.
(2) Exclusive right-of-way.
(3) Improved passenger boarding facilities.
(4) Limited stops.
(5) Passenger boarding at the same height as the bus.
(6) Prepaid fares.
(7) Real-time passenger information.
(8) Traffic priority at intersections.
(9) Signal priority.
(10) Unique vehicles.
(c) “Commission” means the California Transportation Commission.
(d) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.
(e) “Infill opportunity zone” means a specific area designated by a city or county, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 65088.4, that is within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor included in a regional transportation plan. A major transit stop is as defined in Section 21064.3 of the Public Resources Code, except that, for purposes of this section, it also includes major transit stops that are included in the applicable regional transportation plan. For purposes of this section, a high-quality transit corridor means a corridor with fixed route bus service with service intervals no longer than 15 minutes during peak commute hours.
(f) “Interregional travel” means any trips that originate outside the boundary of the agency. A “trip” means a one-direction vehicle movement. The origin of any trip is the starting point of that trip. A roundtrip consists of two individual trips.
(g) “Level of service standard” is a threshold that defines a deficiency on the congestion management program highway and roadway system which requires the preparation of a deficiency plan. It is the intent of the Legislature that the agency shall use all elements of the program to implement strategies and actions that avoid the creation of deficiencies and to improve multimodal mobility.
(h) “Local jurisdiction” means a city, a county, or a city and county.
(i) “Multimodal” means the utilization of all available modes of travel that enhance the movement of people and goods, including, but not limited to, highway, transit, nonmotorized, and demand management strategies including, but not limited to, telecommuting. The availability and practicality of specific multimodal systems, projects, and strategies may vary by county and region in accordance with the size and complexity of different urbanized areas.
(j) (1) “Parking cash-out program” means an employer-funded program under which an employer offers to provide a cash allowance to an employee equivalent to the parking subsidy that the employer would otherwise pay to provide the employee with a parking space. “Parking subsidy” means the difference between the out-of-pocket amount paid by an employer on a regular basis in order to secure the availability of an employee parking space not owned by the employer and the price, if any, charged to an employee for use of that space.
(2) A parking cash-out program may include a requirement that employee participants certify that they will comply with guidelines established by the employer designed to avoid neighborhood parking problems, with a provision that employees not complying with the guidelines will no longer be eligible for the parking cash-out program.
(k) “Performance measure” is an analytical planning tool that is used to quantitatively evaluate transportation improvements and to assist in determining effective implementation actions, considering all modes and strategies. Use of a performance measure as part of the program does not trigger the requirement for the preparation of deficiency plans.
(l) “Urbanized area” has the same meaning as is defined in the 1990 federal census for urbanized areas of more than 50,000 population.
(m) Unless the context requires otherwise, “regional agency” means the agency responsible for preparation of the regional transportation improvement program.

SEC. 6.

 Section 65088.4 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65088.4.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to balance the need for level of service standards for traffic with the need to build infill housing and mixed use commercial developments within walking distance of mass transit facilities, downtowns, and town centers and to provide greater flexibility to local governments to balance these sometimes competing needs.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, level of service standards described in Section 65089 shall not apply to the streets and highways within an infill opportunity zone.
(c) The city or county may designate an infill opportunity zone by adopting a resolution after determining that the infill opportunity zone is consistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan, and is a transit priority area within a sustainable communities strategy or alternative planning strategy adopted by the applicable metropolitan planning organization.

SEC. 7.

 Section 65457 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65457.
 (a) A residential development project, including any subdivision, or any zoning change that is undertaken to implement, and is consistent with, a specific plan for which an environmental impact report has been certified after January 1, 1980, is exempt from the requirements of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code. However, if after adoption of the specific plan, an event as specified in Section 21166 of the Public Resources Code occurs, the exemption provided by this subdivision does not apply unless and until a supplemental environmental impact report for the specific plan is prepared and certified in accordance with the provisions of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code. After a supplemental environmental impact report is certified, the exemption specified in this subdivision applies to projects undertaken pursuant to the specific plan.
(b) An action or proceeding alleging that a public agency has approved a project pursuant to a specific plan without having previously certified a supplemental environmental impact report for the specific plan, where required by subdivision (a), shall be commenced within 30 days of the public agency’s decision to carry out or approve the project.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “an event as specified in Section 21166 of the Public Resources Code” does not include any new information consisting solely of information described as not being substantial evidence in subdivision (c) of Section 21082.2.

SEC. 8.Section 21083.06 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
21083.06.

(a)On or before July 1, 2015, the Office of Planning and Research shall prepare, develop, and transmit to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency recommended proposed changes or amendments to the guidelines establishing criteria for a lead agency to assess the need for translating notices required pursuant to Sections 21083.9, 21092, 21108, and 21152 into non-English languages for projects considered pursuant to CEQA and requirements for posting these notices in non-English languages.

(b)On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall certify and adopt guidelines prepared and developed by the Office of Planning and Research pursuant to subdivision (a).

SEC. 9.SEC. 8.

 Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21081.
 (a) Pursuant to the policy stated in Sections 21002 and 21002.1, a public agency shall not approve or carry out a project for which an environmental impact report has been certified that identifies one or more significant effects on the environment that would occur if the project is approved or carried out, unless both of the following occur:
(1) The public agency makes one or more of the following findings with respect to each significant effect:
(A) Changes or alterations have been required in, or incorporated into, the project that mitigate or avoid the significant effects on the environment.
(B) Those changes or alterations are within the responsibility and jurisdiction of another public agency and have been, or can and should be, adopted by that other agency.
(C) Specific economic, legal, social, technological, or other considerations, including considerations for the provision of employment opportunities for highly trained workers, make infeasible the mitigation measures or alternatives identified in the environmental impact report.
(2) With respect to significant effects that were subject to a finding under subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), the public agency finds that specific overriding economic, legal, social, technological, or other benefits of the project outweigh the significant effects on the environment.
(b) A project applicant for a project, including a renewable energy project, may present to the public agency, orally or in writing, the benefits onsite or offsite of the project, including, but not limited to, measures that will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the project or measures that will significantly reduce traffic, improve air quality, or replace higher emitting energy sources, and other significant environmental or public health impacts.

SEC. 10.SEC. 9.

 Section 21081.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21081.5.
 (a) In making the findings required by paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of, and subdivision (b) of, Section 21081, the public agency shall base its findings on substantial evidence in the record. Those findings shall be made available in draft form for review by the members of the public for at least 10 days prior to approval of the proposed project. adoption of the findings by the public agency. A lead agency may provide a copy of the draft findings and the notice of their proposed adoption pursuant to Section 54957.5 of the Government Code if the posting of the draft finding and notice otherwise complies with this section.
(b) To make the draft findings available to the members of the public for the purposes of subdivision (a), the lead agency shall provide a notice of availability of the findings for review at the lead agency’s office during normal business hours through all of the following mechanisms:
(1) (A) Publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the proposed project. If more than one area will be affected, the notice shall be published in the newspaper with the largest circulation from among the newspapers of general circulation in those areas.
(B) In areas not served by a daily newspaper, notice may be provided through publication in the online version of the area’s local newspaper.
(2) By electronic mail, if available, and mail to the last known name and address of all individuals and organizations that have submitted timely comments on the draft environmental impact report.
(3) By electronic mail, if available, and mail to responsible and trustee agencies that have submitted timely comments on the draft environmental impact report.
(4) By electronic mail, if available, and mail to the project applicant, if different from the lead agency, and the applicant’s duly authorized agent.
(5) By electronic mail, if available, and mail to a person who has filed a written request for notice with the clerk of the governing body, if there is no governing body, the director of the agency.
(c) The 10-day notice required by this section does not extend, and shall not be construed to be a part of, the public review period required by Section 21091.

SEC. 11.SEC. 10.

 Section 21081.6 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21081.6.
 (a) When making the findings required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 21081 or when adopting a mitigated negative declaration pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 21080, the following requirements shall apply:
(1)  The public agency shall adopt a reporting or monitoring program for the changes made to the project or conditions of project approval, adopted in order to mitigate or avoid significant effects on the environment. The reporting or monitoring program shall be designed to ensure compliance during project implementation. For those changes which have been required or incorporated into the project at the request of a responsible agency or a public agency having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by the project, that agency shall, if so requested by the lead agency or a responsible agency, prepare and submit a proposed reporting or monitoring program.
(2) The lead agency shall specify the location and custodian of the documents or other material which constitute the record of proceedings upon which its decision is based.
(b) A public agency shall provide that measures to mitigate or avoid significant effects on the environment are fully enforceable through permit conditions, agreements, or other measures. Conditions of project approval may be set forth in referenced documents which address required mitigation measures or, in the case of the adoption of a plan, policy, regulation, or other public project, by incorporating the mitigation measures into the plan, policy, regulation, or project design.
(c) Prior to the close of the public review period for a draft environmental impact report or mitigated negative declaration, a responsible agency, or a public agency having jurisdiction over natural resources affected by the project, shall either submit to the lead agency complete and detailed performance objectives for mitigation measures which would address the significant effects on the environment identified by the responsible agency or agency having jurisdiction over natural resources affected by the project, or refer the lead agency to appropriate, readily available guidelines or reference documents. Any mitigation measures submitted to a lead agency by a responsible agency or an agency having jurisdiction over natural resources affected by the project shall be limited to measures which mitigate impacts to resources which are subject to the statutory authority of, and definitions applicable to, that agency. Compliance or noncompliance by a responsible agency or agency having jurisdiction over natural resources affected by a project with that requirement shall not limit the authority of the responsible agency or agency having jurisdiction over natural resources affected by a project, or the authority of the lead agency, to approve, condition, or deny projects as provided by this division or any other provision of law.
(d) As a part of the mitigation monitoring plan established pursuant to this section, and upon the request of a member of the public, the lead agency shall prepare or cause to be prepared a report on project compliance with mitigation measures required pursuant to this division. To the extent the lead agency operates or maintains an Internet Web site, the report shall be made publicly available online to enhance public disclosure and accountability. The lead agency may cease reporting once all mitigation measures are completed.

SEC. 11.

 Section 21083.06 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21083.06.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2015, the Office of Planning and Research shall prepare, develop, and transmit to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency recommended proposed changes or amendments to the guidelines establishing criteria for a lead agency to assess the need for translating notices required pursuant to Sections 21083.9, 21092, 21108, and 21152 into non-English languages for projects considered pursuant to this division and requirements for posting these notices in non-English languages.
(b) On or before January 1, 2016, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall certify and adopt guidelines prepared and developed by the Office of Planning and Research pursuant to subdivision (a) in accordance with Section 21083.
(c) This section is not a limitation on the requirements of this division or any other law.

SEC. 12.

 Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 21099) is added to Division 13 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
CHAPTER  2.7. Modernization of Transportation Analysis for Transit-Oriented Infill Projects

21099.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms mean the following:
(1) “Economic displacement” refers to the involuntary departure of residents and businesses from a community due to increased housing or rental costs attributable to specific private or public investments.

(1)

(2) “Employment center project” means a project located on property zoned for commercial uses with a floor area ratio of no less than 0.75 and that is located within a transit priority area.

(2)

(3) “Floor area ratio” means the ratio of gross building area of the development, excluding structured parking areas, proposed for the project divided by the net lot area.

(3)

(4) “Gross building area” means the sum of all finished areas of all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls.

(4)

(5) “Infill site” means a lot located within an urban area that has been previously developed, or on a vacant site where at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the site adjoins, or is separated only by an improved public right-of-way from, parcels that are developed with qualified urban uses.

(5)

(6) “Lot” means all parcels utilized by the project.

(6)

(7) “Net lot area” means the area of a lot, excluding publicly dedicated land and private streets that meet local standards, and other public use areas as determined by the local land use authority.

(7)

(8) “Transit priority area” means an area within one-half mile of a major transit stop that is existing or planned, if the planned stop is scheduled to be completed within the planning horizon included in a Transportation Improvement Program adopted pursuant to Section 450.216 or 450.322 of Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) (1) The Office of Planning and Research shall prepare, develop, and transmit to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency for certification and adoption proposed revisions to the guidelines adopted pursuant to Section 21083 establishing criteria for determining the significance of transportation impacts of projects within transit priority areas. Those criteria may address a project’s shall promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the development of multimodal transportation networks, and a diversity of land uses. In developing the criteria, the office shall recommend potential metrics to measure transportation impacts that may include, but are not limited to, vehicle miles traveled, vehicle miles traveled per capita, automobile trip generation rates, or automobile trips generated, or other metrics that promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the development of multimodal transportation networks, and a diversity of land uses. generated. The office may also establish criteria for models used in determining these to analyze transportation impacts in order to be sure to ensure the models are accurate, reliable, and consistent with the intent of this section.
(2) Upon certification of the guidelines by the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency pursuant to this section, automobile delay, as described solely by level of service or similar measures of vehicular capacity or traffic congestion within a transit priority area, shall not support a finding of significance pursuant to this division.
(3) This subdivision does not relieve a public agency from of the requirement of analyzing to analyze a project’s potentially significant transportation impacts related to air quality, noise, safety, or any other impact associated with transportation. The methodology established by these guidelines shall not create a presumption that a project will not result in significant impacts related to air quality, noise, safety, or any other impact associated with transportation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the adequacy of parking for a project shall not support a finding of significance pursuant to this section.
(4) This subdivision does not preclude the application of local general plan policies, zoning codes, conditions of approval, thresholds, or any other planning requirements pursuant to the police power or any other authority.
(5) On or before July 1, 2014, the Office of Planning and Research shall circulate a draft revision prepared pursuant to paragraph (1).
(c) The Office of Planning and Research may adopt guidelines pursuant to Section 21083 establishing alternative metrics to the metrics used for traffic levels of service for transportation impacts outside transit priority areas. The alternative metrics may include the retention of traffic levels of service, where appropriate and as determined by the office.

(c)

(d) (1) Aesthetic and parking impacts of a residential, mixed-use residential, or employment center project on an infill site within a transit priority area shall not be considered significant impacts on the environment.
(2) (A) This subdivision does not affect, change, or modify the authority of a lead agency to consider aesthetic impacts pursuant to local design review ordinances or other discretionary powers provided by other laws or policies.
(B) For the purposes of this subdivision, aesthetic impacts do not include impacts on historical or cultural resources.

(d)

(e) This section does not affect the authority of a public agency to establish or adopt thresholds of significance that are more protective of the environment.
(f) (1) The Office of Planning and Research shall produce a report on economic displacement. The report shall include all of the following:
(A) A review of social scientific literature on economic displacement.
(B) An explanation and analysis of any causes of economic displacement.
(C) A review of the individual and community impacts of economic displacement.
(D) A discussion and evaluation of available measures to prevent or mitigate the impacts of economic displacement.
(E) A discussion of any further research needs on economic displacement, if necessary.
(2) On or before July 1, 2014, the Office of Planning and Research shall circulate a draft report prepared pursuant to paragraph (1).
(3) The office shall prepare, develop, and transmit the report to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency summarizing the findings of this research and may make recommendations. The office and the Natural Resources Agency shall incorporate some or all of these recommendations into the guidelines adopted pursuant to Section 21083. The office may create a technical advisory committee providing guidance to jurisdictions on how to evaluate potential economic and physical displacement, and adopt policies to prevent and mitigate those impacts.

SEC. 13.

 Section 21155 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21155.
 (a) This chapter applies only to a transit priority project that is consistent with the general use designation, density, building intensity, and applicable policies specified for the project area in either a sustainable communities strategy or an alternative planning strategy, for which the State Air Resources Board, pursuant to subparagraph (H) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 65080 of the Government Code, has accepted a metropolitan planning organization’s determination that the sustainable communities strategy or the alternative planning strategy would, if implemented, achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, a transit priority project shall (1) contain at least 50 percent residential use, based on total building square footage and, if the project contains between 26 percent and 50 percent nonresidential uses, a floor area ratio of not less than 0.75; (2) provide a minimum net density of at least 20 dwelling units per acre; and (3) be within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor included in a regional transportation plan. A major transit stop is as defined in Section 21064.3, except that, for purposes of this section, it also includes major transit stops that are included in the applicable regional transportation plan. plan if the planned stop is scheduled to be completed within the planning horizon established by Section 450.322 of Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations. For purposes of this section, a high-quality transit corridor means a corridor with fixed route bus service with service intervals no longer than 15 minutes during peak commute hours. A project shall be considered to be within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor if all parcels within the project are infill sites as defined in Section 21061.3 and have no more than 25 percent of their area farther than one-half mile from the stop or corridor and if not more than 10 percent of the residential units or 100 units, whichever is less, in the project are farther than one-half mile from the stop or corridor.

SEC. 13.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 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) The limitation period provided pursuant to this section may be tolled for a period not to exceed four years if the agreement to toll the limitation period is in writing and signed by the party asserting noncompliance with this division, the public agency, and the real party in interest, as specified in subdivision (a) of Section 21167.6.5, if any. The tolling agreement shall bar a defense to any action filed pursuant to this division that the action was not commenced within the time period specified in this section. Prior to the expiration of the tolling agreement, the tolling agreement may be renewed for a further period not to exceed four years from the immediately preceding tolling agreement. The extension of the tolling agreement may be made successively.

SEC. 14.SEC. 15.

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

21167.6.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of 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 the respondent public agency prepare the record of proceedings relating to the subject 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.
(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) The plaintiff or petitioner may elect 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.
(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 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. 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) The record of proceedings 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 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 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 submitted to, or transferred from, the respondent public agency with respect to compliance with this division or with respect 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 internal agency communications, including staff notes and memoranda related to the project or to compliance with this division.
(11) The full written record before any inferior administrative decisionmaking body whose decision was appealed to a superior administrative decisionmaking body prior to the filing of litigation.
(f) In preparing the record of proceedings, 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 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.

SEC. 15.SEC. 16.

 Section 21167.6.2 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21167.6.2.
 (a) (1)  Notwithstanding Section 21167.6, for a project described in Section 21167.6.3, the lead agency, upon the written request of a project applicant received no later than 30 days after the date that the lead agency makes a determination pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 21080.1, Section 21094.5, or Chapter 4.2 (commencing with Section 21155), shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in the following manner:
(A) The lead agency for the project shall prepare the record of proceedings pursuant to this division concurrently with the administrative process, in a standardized format, as determined by the lead agency.
(B) All documents and other materials placed in the record of proceedings shall be posted on, and be downloadable from, an Internet Web site maintained by the lead agency commencing with the date of the release of the draft environmental document for a project specified in Section 21167.6.3. If the lead agency cannot maintain an Internet Web site with the information required pursuant to this section, the lead agency shall provide a link on the agency’s Internet Web site to that information.
(C) The lead agency shall make available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format the draft environmental document for a project specified in Section 21167.6.3, and all other documents submitted to, cited by, or relied on by the lead agency, in the preparation of the draft environmental document for a project specified in Section 21167.6.3.
(D) A document prepared by the lead agency or submitted by the applicant after the date of the release of the draft environmental document for a project specified in Section 21167.6.3 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 released or received by the lead agency.
(E) The lead agency shall encourage written comments on the project to be submitted in a readily accessible electronic format, and shall make any comment available to the public in a readily accessible electronic format within five business days of its receipt.
(F) 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.
(G) The lead agency shall certify the record of proceedings within 30 days after the filing of the notice required pursuant to Section 21108 or 21152.
(2) This subdivision does not require the disclosure or posting of any trade secret as defined in Section 6254.7 of the Government Code, information about the location of archaeological sites or sacred lands, or any other information that is subject to the disclosure restrictions of Section 6254 of the Government Code.
(b) Any dispute regarding the record of proceedings shall be resolved by the court in an action or proceeding brought pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 21167.
(c) The content of the record of proceedings shall be as specified in subdivision (e) of Section 21167.6.
(d) Subdivisions (g) to (i), inclusive, of Section 21167.6 are applicable to an appeal of a decision in an action or proceeding brought pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 21167.
(e) The negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, draft and final environmental impact report, or other environmental document for a project specified in Section 21167.6.3 shall include a notice in no less than 12-point type stating the following:

“THIS NEGATIVE DECLARATION, MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION, EIR, OR ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO SECTIONS 21167.6.2 AND 21167.6.3 OF THE PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE, WHICH REQUIRES THE RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS FOR THIS PROJECT TO BE PREPARED CONCURRENTLY WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS, DOCUMENTS PREPARED BY, OR SUBMITTED TO, THE LEAD AGENCY TO BE POSTED ON THE LEAD AGENCY’S INTERNET WEB SITE, AND THE LEAD AGENCY TO ENCOURAGE WRITTEN COMMENTS ON THE PROJECT TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE LEAD AGENCY IN A READILY ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC FORMAT.”

(f) For a lead agency that is a state agency, this section shall apply if the state agency consents to the preparation of the record of proceedings pursuant to this section.

SEC. 16.SEC. 17.

 Section 21167.6.3 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21167.6.3.
 (a) Section 21167.6.2 applies to the record of proceedings for the preparation of a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, environmental impact report, or other environmental document prepared for any of the following:
(1) A project determined to be of statewide, regional, or areawide environmental significance pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 21083.
(2) A project subject to Section 21094.5 or Chapter 4.2 (commencing with Section 21155).
(3) (A) A project, other than those described in paragraph (1) or (2), for which the project applicant has requested for, and the lead agency consents to, the preparation for the record of proceeding pursuant to this section and Section 21167.6.2.
(B) The lead agency shall respond to a request by the project applicant within 10 business days from the date that the request pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 21167.6.2 is received by the lead agency.
(C) A project applicant and the lead agency may mutually agree, in writing, to extend the time period for the lead agency to respond pursuant to subparagraph (B), but they shall not extend that period beyond the commencement of the public review period for the proposed negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, draft environmental impact report, or other environmental document.
(D) The request to prepare a record of proceedings pursuant to this paragraph shall be deemed denied if the lead agency fails to respond within 10 business days of receiving the request or within the time period agreed upon pursuant to subparagraph (C), whichever ends later.
(b) The written request of the applicant submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 21167.6.2 shall include an agreement to pay all of the lead agency’s costs of preparing and certifying the record of proceedings pursuant to Section 21167.6.2 and complying with the requirements of this section and Section 21167.6.2 in a manner specified by the lead agency.
(c) The cost of preparing the record of proceedings pursuant to Section 21167.6.2 and complying with the requirements of this section and Section 21167.6.2 are not recoverable costs pursuant to Section 21167.6 or Sections 1032 to 1033.5, inclusive, of the Code of Civil Procedure.

SEC. 17.SEC. 18.

 Section 21167.7 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21167.7.
 (a) Every person who brings an action pursuant to Section 21167 shall comply with the requirements of Section 388 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Every such person shall also furnish pursuant to Section 388 of the Code of Civil Procedure a copy of any amended or supplemental pleading filed by such person in such action to the Attorney General. No relief, temporary or permanent, shall be granted until a copy of the pleading has been furnished to the Attorney General in accordance with such requirements.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the California Research Bureau, subject to the availability of funds and of the information described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, shall annually submit to the Legislature a report, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, with information on actions or proceedings brought pursuant to this division that includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The names of the plaintiffs or petitioners, the respondents or defendants, and the real parties in interest.
(2) The type of action or proceeding filed and the alleged violation.
(3) The disposition, if any, of the action or proceeding.

SEC. 18.SEC. 19.

 Section 21168.9 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21168.9.
 (a) If a court finds, as a result of a trial, hearing, or remand from an appellate court, that any determination, finding, or decision of a public agency has been made without compliance with this division, the court shall enter an order that includes issuing a peremptory writ of mandate specifying what action by the public agency is necessary to comply with this division, including one or more of the following:
(1) A mandate that the determination, finding, or decision be voided by the public agency, in whole or in part.
(2) If the court finds that a specific project activity or activities will prejudice the consideration or implementation of particular mitigation measures or alternatives to the project, a mandate that the public agency and any real parties in interest suspend any or all specific project activity or activities, pursuant to the determination, finding, or decision, that could result in an adverse change or alteration to the physical environment, until the public agency has taken any actions that may be necessary to bring the determination, finding, or decision into compliance with this division.
(3) A mandate that the public agency take specific action as may be necessary to bring the determination, finding, or decision into compliance with this division.
(b) (1) A writ pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include only those mandates that are necessary to achieve compliance with this division and only those specific project activities in noncompliance with this division.
(2) The writ shall be limited to that portion of a determination, finding, or decision, or the specific project activity or activities found to be in noncompliance only if a court finds all of the following:
(A) The portion or specific project activity or activities is severable.
(B) Severance will not prejudice complete and full compliance with this division.
(C) The court has not found the remainder of the project to be in noncompliance with this division.
(3) A writ shall include a time by which the agency shall make an initial return of the writ.
(4) The trial court shall retain jurisdiction over the public agency’s proceedings by way of a return to the peremptory writ until the court has determined that the public agency has complied with this division.
(c) An initial return to a writ shall describe all of the following:
(1) The actions the agency will take to come into compliance with the writ and this division.
(2) A schedule for these actions.
(3) In the case of a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, or environmental impact report found not to be in compliance with this division, the public comment period applicable to the agency’s revision of the document.
(d) This section does not authorize a court to direct a public agency to exercise its discretion in any particular way. Except as expressly provided in this section, this section is not intended to limit the equitable powers of the court.
(e) This section does not affect the authority of a court to allow those determinations, findings, or decisions of a public agency that are not found to be in violation of this division to proceed, if allowing the public agency to proceed does not, in any manner, prejudice complete and full compliance with this division.

SEC. 19.SEC. 20.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to appropriate the sum of thirty million dollars ($30,000,000) in the annual Budget Act to the Strategic Growth Council to provide competitive grants to local agencies for planning activities pursuant to Chapter 4.2 (commencing with Section 21155) of Division 13 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 20.SEC. 21.

 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.