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SB-530 Employee housing: agricultural employees.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2017 09:00 PM
SB530:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 530


Introduced by Senator Vidak

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Section 17021 of, and to add Section 17021.8 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 530, as introduced, Vidak. Employee housing: agricultural employees.
The Planning and Zoning Law requires that the housing element of a city’s or county’s general plan include, among other things, an analysis of any special needs housing, such as the needs of, among others, farmworkers. A provision of the Employee Housing Act provides that employee housing that meets specified requirements is deemed an agricultural land use and prohibits a local government from requiring a conditional use permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance for that employee housing.
This bill would require that certain agricultural worker housing be deemed an agricultural land use for purposes of the general plan of a local agency and, except as provided, would prohibit the local agency from requiring a conditional use permit or other discretionary permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance for that housing that is not required for any other agricultural use within the same zone. The bill would define “local agency” for these purposes as a city, county, or city and county, including a charter city, charter county, or charter city and county. The bill would also provide that local sewage disposal requirements only apply to agricultural worker housing if that agricultural worker housing is connected to an existing sewage disposal system. The bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to propose building standards applicable to agricultural worker housing subject to these provisions that comply with specified requirements, as provided. The bill would declare that its provisions address a matter of statewide concern and would apply equally to any local agency, as defined. The bill would also make various technical and conforming changes to the Employee Housing Act.
Under existing law, a violation of the Employee Housing Act is a misdemeanor. By expanding the scope of a crime, 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 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.

 It is the intent of the Legislature that employers and builders work with local jurisdictions to balance the need to construct safe, high-quality, affordable farmworker housing with the concerns of local communities.

SEC. 2.

 Section 17021 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

17021.
 (a) Except as provided in Sections 17021.5 and 17021.5, 17021.6, and 17021.8, local use zone requirements, local fire zones, property line, source of water supply and method of sewage disposal requirements are hereby specifically and entirely reserved to the local jurisdictions.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, with respect to a building permit, grading permit, or other approval from a city or county building department for the rehabilitation of real property improvements that are or will be employee housing for agricultural employees, or from a city or county health department for the operation, construction, or repair of a water system or waste disposal system servicing employee housing for agricultural employees, all of the following processing requirements shall apply:
(1) The local building or health department shall have up to 60 calendar days to approve or deny a complete application or permit request accompanied by applicable fees, or a shorter time period if required by the Permit Streamlining Act (Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code). An The local building or health department may deny an application or permit request may be denied on procedural grounds only if the denial occurs within 30 calendar days and the denial includes an itemization of the procedural defects. An The local building or health department may deny an application or permit request may be denied on substantive grounds if the denial includes an itemization of all substantive defects.
(2) If the local building or health department does not approve or deny the application or permit request is not approved or denied by the local building or health department within the period prescribed by paragraph (1), then the Department of Housing and Community Development may approve the application or permit request if it determines that the plans are consistent with all applicable building codes and health and safety requirements. At that time, the applicant may initiate any work consistent with the application or permit approved pursuant to this subdivision. Upon completion of the work, any other state or local agency shall accept the improvements as if they had been approved by the local building or health department. department had approved them. However, if that other local agency identifies any defects that would have resulted in that agency’s disapproval of the improvements or plans thereto, for improvements, the agency may identify those defects may be identified by the agency and the applicant shall be corrected by the applicant. correct them. The local building or health department shall inspect the plans and improvements prior to and during rehabilitation and issue a certificate of completion if the work is consistent with the plans and all applicable building codes and health and safety requirements.
(c) Nothing in this This section shall not be construed to exempt an application or permit request from complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(d) For purposes of this section, “agricultural employee” has the same meaning specified in subdivision (b) of Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code.
(e) The Department of Housing and Community Development may recover from a local building or health department costs incurred to review an application or permit request in compliance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (b). The amount recoverable may not exceed the applicable plan check fee published by the International Conference of Building Officials.

SEC. 3.

 Section 17021.8 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

17021.8.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Building standard” has the same meaning as specified in Section 18909.
(2) “Agricultural employee” has the same meaning specified in subdivision (b) of Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code.
(3) “Agricultural worker housing” means employee housing, including employee housing intended for temporary or seasonal use, that consists of five or more dwelling units, or any combination of dwelling units, dormitories, or spaces that houses 10 or more occupants, for use by agricultural employees.
(4) “Local agency” means a city, county, or city and county, including a charter city, charter county, or charter city and county.
(5) “Occupant” means an agricultural employee or other person who resides in agricultural worker housing.
(b) (1) Agricultural worker housing shall be deemed an agricultural land use for purposes of the general plan of a local agency. The local agency shall not require a conditional use permit or other discretionary permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance for agricultural worker housing that is not required for any other agricultural use within the same zone, except that the local agency may apply height and setback requirements.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 17021, local method of sewage disposal requirements shall only apply to agricultural worker housing if that agricultural worker housing is connected to an existing sewage disposal system.
(c) (1) The department shall propose building standards applicable to agricultural worker housing and submit those building standards to the California Building Standards Commission for approval in accordance with the California Building Standards Law (Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901)). In developing building standards applicable to agricultural worker housing, the department shall do all of the following:
(A) Ensure that agricultural worker housing complies with any other applicable building standard in the California Building Standards Code, except to the extent that an existing building standard conflicts with the requirements of this section, and the federal Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, as amended (Public Law 97-470; 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1801 et seq.).
(B) Include construction standards to ensure safety, security, and that agricultural worker housing will be capable of withstanding stresses and loads associated with the intended use and environment.
(C) Permit and facilitate designs and formats that allow for maximum affordability while ensuring decent, safe, and sanitary housing for occupants.
(D) Consider the need for dormitory-type housing for groups of unrelated individuals and the need for housing to accommodate families.
(E) Provide for the opportunity to use construction alternatives and new technologies, consistent with applicable law.
(F) Include standards for heating and insulation appropriate to the type of structure and the length and season of occupancy, including for agricultural worker housing that is to be used only during periods in which no auxiliary heat is required.
(2) The department may adopt temporary building standards applicable to agricultural worker housing as emergency regulations in accordance with Section 11346.1 of the Government Code. Notwithstanding Sections 18930, 18933, 18938, 18940, 18943, 18944, and 18945, the department shall not be required to submit the temporary building standards to the California Building Standards Commission or otherwise comply with the requirements of the California Building Standards Law (Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901)) with respect to these temporary building standards. Any temporary building standard adopted pursuant to this paragraph shall comply with the requirements specified in paragraph (1), and shall remain in effect only until the building standards adopted pursuant to paragraph (1) become effective.
(d) The enforcement agency shall, consistent with Section 17052, enter and inspect agricultural worker housing at least annually. In addition, the enforcement agency may enter and inspect agricultural worker housing if the enforcement agency has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of a building standard applicable to agricultural worker housing developed pursuant to subdivision (c) has occurred or is occurring.
(e) The employer or other person operating the agricultural worker housing shall obtain a permit from the enforcement agency, as required by Section 17030.
(f) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the policy of this state that each county and city shall permit and encourage the development and use of sufficient numbers and types of employee housing facilities as are commensurate with local need. Due to the lack of affordable housing, renters typically do not report substandard living conditions for fear of becoming homeless. Therefore, this section addresses a matter of statewide concern and shall apply equally to any local agency.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.