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AB-1934 Planning and zoning: affordable housing: streamlined, ministerial approval process.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/15/2020 09:00 PM
AB1934:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1934


Introduced by Assembly Member Voepel

January 15, 2020


An act to add Section 65913.16 to the Government Code, relating to land use.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1934, as introduced, Voepel. Planning and zoning: affordable housing: streamlined, ministerial approval process.
Existing law, until January 1, 2026, authorizes a development proponent to submit an application for a multifamily housing development, which satisfies specified objective planning standards, that is subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process, as provided, and not subject to a conditional use permit. Existing law requires a local government to notify the development proponent in writing if the local government determines that the development conflicts with any of those objective standards by a specified time; otherwise, the development is deemed to comply with those standards. Existing law provides that if a local government approves a project pursuant to that process, that approval will not expire until a specified period of time depending on the nature of the development.
This bill would, notwithstanding those provisions, authorize a development proponent to submit an application for a development to be subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process provided that development meet specified objective planning standards, including that the development provide housing for persons and families of low or moderate income. The bill would require a local government to notify the development proponent in writing if the local government determines that the development conflicts with any of those objective standards within 30 days of the application being submitted; otherwise, the development would be deemed to comply with those standards. This bill would provide that the local government’s approval of a project pursuant to this process would not expire for 5 years.
The bill would include findings that changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities.
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 does not apply to the approval of ministerial projects.
By providing for the ministerial approval of certain housing projects, this bill would expand the exemption for the ministerial approval of projects under CEQA.
By imposing new duties upon local agencies with respect to the streamlined approval process described above, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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.

 Section 65913.16 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65913.16.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, including, but not limited to, Section 65913.4, a development proponent may submit an application for a development that is subject to the streamlined, ministerial approval process provided by subdivision (b) and not subject to a conditional use permit if the development satisfies all of the following objective planning standards:
(1) The development is located on a site that meets one of the following requirements:
(A) Is zoned for residential use or residential mixed-use development
(B) Has a general plan designation that allows residential use or a mix of residential and nonresidential uses, or a nonresidential use conversion to residential or mixed-use with at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development designated for residential use.
(2) The development provides housing for persons and families of low or moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) The development is in a public transit corridor, as defined in Section 50093.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) (1) Upon receipt of an application for streamlined, ministerial approval pursuant to this section, the local government shall notify the development proponent that submitted the application whether that application is complete and shall ministerially approve the application if it is in compliance with the standards specified in subdivision (a). If a local government determines that a development submitted pursuant to this section is in conflict with any of the objective planning standards specified in subdivision (a), it shall provide the development proponent written documentation of which standard or standards with which the development conflicts, and an explanation of the reason or reasons the development conflicts with that standard or standards, within 30 days of submittal of the development to the local government pursuant to this section.
(2) If the local government fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to paragraph (1), the development shall be deemed to satisfy the objective planning standards specified in subdivision (a).
(c) Any design review or public oversight of the development may be conducted by the local government’s planning agency. That design review or public oversight shall be objective and assess compliance only with criteria required for streamlined projects, as well as any reasonable objective design standards published and adopted by ordinance or resolution by a local jurisdiction before submission of a development application, and shall be broadly applicable to development within the jurisdiction. That design review or public oversight shall be completed within 30 days of submittal of the development to the local government pursuant to this section, and shall not in any way inhibit, chill, or preclude the ministerial approval provided by this section or its effect, as applicable.
(d) If a local government approves a development pursuant to this section, then, notwithstanding any other law, that approval shall not expire for five years.
(e) A local government shall not adopt any requirement, including, but not limited to, increased fees or inclusionary housing requirements, that applies to a project solely or partially on the basis that the project is eligible for a streamlined application and review process or ministerial approval pursuant to this section.
(f) This section shall not affect a development proponent’s ability to use any alternative streamlined by right permit processing adopted by a local government.
(g) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Development proponent” means the developer who submits an application for streamlined, ministerial approval pursuant to this section.
(2) “Local government” means a city, including a charter city, a county, including a charter county, or a city and county, including a charter city and county.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act adding Section 65913.16 to the Government Code addresses a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, Section 1 of this act applies to all cities, including charter cities.

SEC. 3.

 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.