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AB-2856 California Environmental Quality Act: housing development projects.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2018 09:00 PM
AB2856:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2856


Introduced by Assembly Member Melendez

February 16, 2018


An act to add Section 21168.11 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2856, as introduced, Melendez. California Environmental Quality Act: housing development projects.
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 establishes a procedure by which a person may seek judicial review of the decision of the lead agency made pursuant to CEQA.
This bill would, except as provided, prohibit the court, in an action or proceeding brought alleging a violation of CEQA, from staying or enjoining the siting, construction, or operation of housing development projects, as defined.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 21168.11 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21168.11.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “housing development project” or “project” means any activity related to the construction of new houses or dwelling units for the primary purpose of providing decent, safe, and sanitary housing for persons and families of all income levels.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, in granting relief in an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this division challenging a housing development project, the court shall not stay or enjoin the siting, construction, or operation of the project unless the court finds either of the following:
(A) The continued construction or operation of the housing development project presents an imminent threat to public health and safety.
(B) The housing development project site contains unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical or archaeological values that would be materially, permanently, and adversely affected by the continued construction or operation of the project unless the courts stays or enjoins the construction or operation of the project.
(2) If the court finds that subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) is satisfied, the court shall only enjoin those specific activities associated with the housing development project 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 or archaeological values.