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AB-1244 Environmental quality: judicial review: housing projects.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/22/2019 04:00 AM
AB1244:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1244


Introduced by Assembly Member Fong

February 21, 2019


An act to add Section 21168.8 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1244, as introduced, Fong. Environmental quality: judicial review: housing projects.
The California Environmental Quality Act 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. The act establishes a procedure by which a person may seek judicial review of the decision of the lead agency made pursuant to the act.
This bill would, in an action or proceeding seeking judicial review under the act, prohibit a court from staying or enjoining a housing project for which an environmental impact report has been certified, unless the court makes specified findings.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 21168.8 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21168.8.
 (a) This section shall only apply to a housing project for which an environmental impact report has been certified.
(b) In any action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification of an environmental impact report for a housing project or the granting of a housing project’s approval, the court shall not stay or enjoin the construction or operation of the housing project unless the court finds either of the following:
(1) The continued construction or operation of the housing project presents an imminent threat to public health and safety.
(2) The housing project 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 housing project unless the court stays or enjoins the construction or operation of the housing project.
(c) If the court finds that paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b) is satisfied, the court shall only enjoin those specific activities associated with the housing project that present an imminent threat to public health and safety or that would materially, permanently, and adversely affect unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values.
(d) An action or proceeding to attack, set aside, void, or annul a determination, finding, or decision of the lead agency or responsible agency granting subsequent project approval for a housing project included in the environmental impact report shall be subject to the judicial remedy limitations of this section.
(e) When an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section challenges a portion of a housing project and that portion is severable from the housing project, the court may enter an order as to those portions of the housing project that includes one or more of the remedies set forth in Section 21168.9.
(f)  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.