Bill Text

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

AB-890 Land use: planning and zoning: initiatives.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 06/20/2017 09:00 PM
AB890:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 20, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 10, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 890


Introduced by Assembly Member Medina
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Gonzalez Fletcher)

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Sections 9105, 9108, 9110, 9116, 9118, 9203, 9207, 9208, 9214, 9215, 9301, 9305, 9310, and 9311 of, and to add Sections 9117, and 9227 to, the Elections Code, to amend Section 65867.5 of the Government Code, and to amend Sections 21065 and 21152 of the Public Resources Code, relating to initiatives. Section 65867.5 of, and to add Sections 65363 and 65850.10 to, the Government Code, relating to land use.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 890, as amended, Medina. Local land use initiatives: environmental review. Land use: planning and zoning: initiatives.
(1) The California Constitution authorizes the electors of each city and county to exercise the powers of initiative and referendum under procedures provided by the Legislature. 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. The Planning and Zoning Law provides for the adoption and administration of zoning laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations by counties and cities.
This bill would require that the city council of a city or the board of supervisors of a county have exclusive authority to adopt or amend a general plan, specific plan, zoning ordinance, or any other similar document, that would convert any discretionary land use approval necessary for a project to ministerial approval; change the land use or zoning designation of a parcel or parcels to a more intensive designation; or allow more intensive land uses within an existing land use designation or zoning designation. The bill would specify that it would not apply to ordinances that increase residential density that meet certain requirements and would not affect the referendum powers or the power of a city council or board of supervisors to submit a ballot measure to the voters.
(2) Under the Planning Zone Law, a city, county, or city and county may enter into a development agreement with any person having a legal or equitable interest in real property for the development of the property. Existing law prohibits a city, county, or city and county from approving a development agreement unless the legislative body of that city or county finds that the agreement is consistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan.
This bill would also prohibit a development agreement described above from being approved or amended by an ordinance adopted through the initiative process.
(3) The bill would include findings that the changes proposed by this bill addresses a matter of statewide concern, and therefore shall apply to all cities and counties, including charter cities.

The California Constitution authorizes the electors of each city and county to exercise the powers of initiative and referendum under procedures provided by the Legislature. Pursuant to that authority, existing law authorizes a proposed ordinance to be submitted to the appropriate elections official and requires the elections official to forward the proposed ordinance to appropriate counsel for preparation of a ballot title and summary. Existing law requires the elections official to provide the ballot title and summary to proponents of the proposed measure and the proponents are required to include the ballot title and summary upon each section of the petition used to gather the required number of signatures. Under existing law, if an initiative petition is signed by not less than a specified number of voters and filed with the elections official, that elections official must submit the proposed ordinance to the county board of supervisors, legislative body of a city, or governing board of a district. Existing law requires the governing body to (1) adopt the ordinance without alteration, (2) call an election or special election in certain instances, at which the ordinance, without alteration, would be submitted to a vote of the voters of the jurisdiction, or (3) for cities and counties, order a report on the ordinance and then adopt the ordinance or submit it to the voters.

This bill would require the city attorney or county counsel to determine, within 15 days after a proposed initiative measure is filed, to determine whether the measure constitutes a project proposing specific activity that would eliminate discretionary land use approval for future development. If the city attorney or county counsel makes the determination that the measure constitutes such a project, the bill would require the city or county, to comply with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). Within 5 days of completing the CEQA process, the bill would require the elections official to furnish to the proponents of the proposed measure an environmental summary of the measure. The bill would establish that the provision of the environmental summary to the proponent of the proposed measure constitutes approval of the project for purposes of CEQA, except as specified. The bill would authorize the city or county to charge and collect a reasonable fee from the proponent in order to recover the estimated costs to prepare an environmental document prepared in compliance with CEQA. Notwithstanding existing law, the bill would require the governing body to submit the proposed ordinance, without alteration, to the voters at a special election.

By requiring local officials to provide a higher level of service, this 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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)Local initiative measures may impact the environment, which is an asset of all the people of California and is a matter of statewide concern, consistent with the legislative intent expressed in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 21000) of Division 13 of the Public Resources Code.

(b)A thorough environmental review of local land use projects is necessary to safeguard the environment and to inform the public of the projects’ possible consequences. This environmental review must occur at the earliest possible time.

(c)Voters, like legislators, should have access to information about a local land use initiative measure’s environmental impacts.

(a) Legislative actions that change required discretionary approvals for local land use development projects or that establish more intensive land uses may significantly impact the environment.
(b) In order to perform its substantive mandate to prevent significant environmental impacts under Section 21002 of the Public Resources Code, a local government needs discretionary authority over legislative actions that change required discretionary approvals for local land use development projects or that establish more intensive land uses.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to prevent an initiative that allows for more intensive land uses than were previously analyzed and mitigated under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature to prevent a project applicant from avoiding enforceable environmental review by using the initiative process to remove the local government’s discretionary authority over the project.
(e)  It is the intent of the Legislature to clarify that development agreements, which are negotiated contractual agreements between a legislative body and an individual or entity, are unsuitable for the initiative process.
(f) This act addresses a matter of statewide concern and therefore shall apply equally to all cities and counties, including charter cities.

SEC. 2.

 Section 65363 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65363.
 (a) A city council of a city or a board of supervisors of a county shall have exclusive authority to adopt or amend the general plan, or to adopt or amend a specific plan pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 65450), or any other similar document, that would do one of the following:
(1) Convert any discretionary land use approval necessary for a project, as defined in Section 65931, to a ministerial approval.
(2) Change the land use designation on a parcel or parcels to a more intensive land use designation.
(3) Allow more intensive land uses within an existing land use designation.
(b) This section does not apply to any ordinance that increases residential densities in order to encourage or accommodate affordable housing units.
(c) This section does not affect the referendum powers over any ordinance or resolution.
(d) This section does not affect the authority of the legislative body of a local agency to submit a ballot measure to the voters for either an advisory vote or for final approval.
(e) Notwithstanding Section 65700, this section shall apply to a charter city.

SEC. 3.

 Section 65850.10 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65850.10.
 (a) A city council of a city or a board of supervisors of a county shall have exclusive authority to adopt or amend a zoning ordinance or any other similar document that would do one of the following:
(1) Convert any discretionary land use approval necessary for a project, as defined in Section 65931, to a ministerial approval.
(2) Change the zoning classification on a parcel or parcels to a more intensive classification.
(3) Allow more intensive land uses within an existing zoning district.
(b) This section does not apply to any ordinance that increases residential densities in order to encourage or accommodate affordable housing units.
(c) This section does not affect the referendum powers over any ordinance or resolution.
(d) This section does not affect the authority of the legislative body of a local agency to submit a ballot measure to the voters for either an advisory vote or for final approval.
(e) Notwithstanding Section 65803, this section shall apply to a charter city.

SEC. 4.

 Section 65867.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65867.5.
 (a) A development agreement is a legislative act that shall be approved by ordinance and is subject to referendum.
(b) A development agreement cannot be approved or amended by an ordinance adopted through the initiative process.

(b)

(c) A development agreement shall not be approved unless the legislative body finds that the provisions of the agreement are is consistent with the general plan and any applicable specific plan.

(c)

(d) A development agreement that includes a subdivision, as defined in Section 66473.7, shall not be approved unless the agreement provides that any tentative map prepared for the subdivision will comply with the provisions of Section 66473.7.