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AB-1804 California Environmental Quality Act: categorical exemption: infill development.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/10/2018 09:00 PM
AB1804:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1804


Introduced by Assembly Member Berman
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Chiu)

January 10, 2018


An act relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1804, as introduced, Berman. California Environmental Quality Act: categorical exemption: infill development.
(1) The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of an environmental impact report 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 prepare and develop, and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to certify and adopt, guidelines for the implementation of CEQA. CEQA requires the guidelines to include a list of classes of projects that have been determined not to have a significant effect on the environment and that are required to be exempt from CEQA (categorical exemption). Existing guidelines for the implementation of CEQA exempts from the requirements of CEQA infill development meeting certain requirements, including the requirement that the proposed development occurs within city limits.
This bill would revise the above-described categorical exemption to include proposed residential and mixed-use housing projects occurring within an unincorporated area of a county. Because a lead agency would be required to determine the applicability of this exemption, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill also would require the office to recommend proposed regulatory amendments for the implementation of these provisions and would require the secretary to certify and adopt the changes on or before January 1, 2020.
(2) 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The categorical exemption specified in Section 15332 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations shall apply also to a proposed residential or mixed-use housing project occurring in an unincorporated area of a county, on a project site of no more than five acres substantially surrounded by urban uses, if all other conditions of that section are satisfied.
(b) Pursuant to Section 21083, the Office of Planning and Research shall recommend proposed amendments to Section 15332 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations to implement subdivision (a), including any other necessary conforming changes, which shall be certified and adopted by the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency on or before January 1, 2020.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.