Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-30 Environmental quality: judicial review: strip mall conversion housing projects.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/03/2017 09:00 PM
AB30:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 30


Introduced by Assembly Member Caballero

December 05, 2016


An act to add Section 65458 to the Government Code, relating to housing. 21168.6.7 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 30, as amended, Caballero. Planning and zoning: specific plan: housing. Environmental quality: judicial review: strip mall conversion housing projects.
The California Environmental Quality Act, referred to as CEQA, requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared and certify the completion of an environmental impact report, referred to as an 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 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 requires that an action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void or annul a determination, finding, or decision of a public agency, as provided, on the grounds of noncompliance with its provisions be brought in accordance with specified law governing administrative mandamus. CEQA requires a court to make specified orders if it finds that any determination, finding, or decision of a public agency has been made without compliance with CEQA, but prohibits a court from enjoining certain projects unless the court makes specified findings.
This bill would similarly prohibit a court from enjoining a qualified strip mall conversion housing projects, as defined, unless the court makes specified findings.

The Planning and Zoning Law requires a county or city to prepare and adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city. After the legislative body has adopted a general plan, that law authorizes the preparation of specific plans by the planning agency for the systematic implementation of the general plan for all or part of the area covered by the general plan. That law generally requires that a specific plan be adopted in the same manner as a general plan, but provides that a specific plan may be adopted by resolution or by ordinance and amended as often as the legislative body deems necessary.

This bill would authorize a legislative body of a city or county to identify an area of underperforming infill and direct the planning agency to prepare a specific plan, in accordance with the above described provisions and specified additional procedures, to provide for immediate development within that area. The bill would require the specific plan make certain findings relating to the need for affordable housing and to designate the specific plan area as an overlay zone in which development is permitted by right. The bill would require the legislative body conduct at least one public hearing before approving a specific plan pursuant to these provisions to provide for community participation.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 21168.6.7 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21168.6.7.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Approved strip mall conversion housing project” means a project that meets all of the following criteria:
(A) The project is located at a site consisting of a single-story shopping center with surface parking.
(B) The project is funded, approved, or both, by a public agency, whether state, regional, or local.
(C) The project is for the construction of new housing units in a location and at a density that is consistent with, and not greater than, allowed by either of the following:
(i) An approved local general plan, specific plan, community redevelopment plan, or zoning ordinance, provided that the applicable plan or ordinance was approved by a local agency following certification of an environmental impact report pursuant to this division.
(ii) An applicable sustainable communities strategy that was adopted by a transportation planning agency as part of a regional transportation plan pursuant to Section 65080 of the Government Code following certification of an environmental impact report pursuant to this division.
(2) “Qualified strip mall conversion housing project” means an approved strip mall conversion housing project that meets all of the following criteria:
(A) The approved strip mall conversion housing project does not displace any residents in existing, permitted housing units.
(B) The approved strip mall conversion housing project includes any of the following:
(i) Rental units that are affordable to households with an income at or below 120 percent of the area median income for the location in which the project is located.
(ii) For-sale units that are affordable to households with an income at or below 150 percent of the area median income for the location in which the project is located, assuming that the household has sufficient funds for a 20-percent or greater downpayment plus closing costs.
(iii) A combination of rental and for-sale units as described in clauses (i) and (ii), respectively.
(C) The approved strip mall conversion housing project is located in a city or urbanized area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau for purposes of the dicennial census, and includes in an onsite or offsite location the equivalent of 20 percent of the housing units as deed restricted affordable housing that is affordable to very low and low-income households in the proportion of very low and low-income housing units set forth in the applicable regional housing needs assessment pursuant to Section 65584 of the Government Code.
(D) The approved strip mall conversion housing project pays to support workforce training funds in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200) per housing unit to support certified construction trade apprenticeship training programs offered in partnership with California community colleges that are designed to train adults with and without high school diplomas with the technical skills needed to be hired to perform middle wage jobs which are available within the region. As used in this subparagraph, “middle wage job” means a job that offers gross annual wages that are approximately 150 percent of the area median income.
(b) In granting relief in an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this division, the court shall not enjoin a qualified strip mall conversion housing project unless the court finds either of the following:
(1) The continuation of the qualified strip mall conversion housing project presents an imminent threat to the public health and safety.
(2) The qualified strip mall conversion housing project site contains unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values that would be materially, permanently, and adversely affected by the continuation of the qualified strip mall conversion housing project unless the court stays or enjoins the qualified strip mall conversion housing project.
(c) If the court finds that either paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b) is satisfied, the court shall only enjoin those specific activities associated with the qualified strip mall conversion housing 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, archaeological, or ecological values.
(d) This section shall not be construed to do either of the following:
(1) Limit or otherwise modify the authority of a public agency to approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove a housing development project.
(2) Exempt a public agency from compliance with any otherwise applicable provision of this division, including requirements regarding the evaluation and mitigation of environmental impacts, public review or comment, and review and decisionmaking by a lead agency or responsible agency.

SECTION 1.Section 65458 is added to the Government Code, to read:
65458.

(a)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1)It is estimated that California has a housing deficit of approximately 1,000,000 units across all income levels.

(2)Less than 200,000 housing units are built in California per year, and during the economic downturn, fewer than ___ units were constructed each year.

(3)The lack of housing availability has resulted in significant overcrowding in many neighborhoods as many families double and triple up in housing units intended for two to three people.

(4)This causes tension within neighborhoods, insecurity, a strain on municipal and other public services, and overcrowding in schools.

(5)Families are moving further from their principal place of employment, resulting in longer commute times, increased environmental impact including greenhouse gas emissions, latchkey children without adult supervision after school, and a disconnect between residents and the cities or communities in which they live.

(6)The lack of affordable housing in many communities results in people living in unsuitable and illegal living spaces for the long term, including attics, garages, sheds, cars, motels, parks, and open spaces.

(7)The lack of housing affordable to local workforces has arrested economic development.

(b)(1)A legislative body may identify an area of underperforming infill and direct the planning agency to prepare a specific plan in accordance with the requirements of this article to provide for immediate development within that area.

(2)The legislative body shall conduct at least one public hearing before approving a specific plan prepared pursuant to this section to provide for community participation. Notice of the hearing shall be given pursuant to Section 65090.

(c)(1)A specific plan prepared pursuant to this section shall, at minimum, do both of the following:

(A)Make all of the following findings:

(i)There is a critical need for housing within the community.

(ii)There is an unmet need for housing affordable to workers, seniors, veterans, or other vital and underserved groups.

(iii)If the designated property use within the proposed specific plan area is not changed, any new housing would create sprawl and detrimentally affect the environment.

(iv)The proposed specific plan area is along an arterial road that has access, or will have access, to public transportation.

(v)Mixed use of the property within the proposed specific plan area will benefit the neighborhood and enhance the aesthetics of the community.

(vi)It is in the best interests of the community to develop a walkable neighborhood.

(B)Designate the specific plan area as an overlay zone in which development is permitted by right.

(2)The specific plan may additionally do any or all of the following:

(A)Increase the density of parcels of property within the specific plan area to accommodate commercial and residential uses.

(B)Reduce parking requirements applicable to a residential development, including by allowing for residential use of commercial parking.

(C)Increase the floor area ratio of parcels of property within the specific plan area to intensify use of the parcel.

(D)Develop opportunities to connect the specific plan area with surrounding neighborhoods to encourage walking and bicycle usage to access commercial developments.