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SB-592 Jury service.(2019-2020)



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SB592:v91#DOCUMENT

Corrected  July 09, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 27, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 09, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 06, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 26, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 12, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 03, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 13, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  March 27, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 592


Introduced by Senator Wiener
(Coauthor: Senator Skinner)

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, relating to housing. An act to amend Section 197 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and to amend Section 19542 of, and to add Sections 19548.4 and 19585 to, the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to juries.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 592, as amended, Wiener. Housing development: Housing Accountability Act: permit streamlining. Jury service.
The Trial Jury Selection and Management Act (act) requires all persons be selected for jury service at random and from sources inclusive of a representative cross section of the population of the area served by the court. The act specifies that the list of registered voters and list of licensed drivers and identification cardholders who are resident within the area served by the court are appropriate source lists for the selection of jurors, and further specifies that these 2 source lists, when substantially purged of duplicate names, are considered inclusive of a representative cross section of the population.
This bill would require the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to annually furnish the jury commissioner of each county with a list of resident state tax filers, as defined, and include the list of resident state tax filers as a source list for the purposes of jury selection. The bill would also require the FTB to revise the state resident income tax return to include a line for taxpayers to include the address of their principal residence and their county of principal residence.
Existing law generally makes it a misdemeanor for specified persons, including, among others, officers or employees of the state or its political subdivisions, to disclose information set forth or disclosed in returns, reports, or documents required to be filed under the franchise and income tax laws.
This bill would expressly state that this misdemeanor is applicable to jury commissioners who disclose that information.

(1)The Housing Accountability Act (the HAA), among other things, requires a local agency that proposes to disapprove or impose specified conditions on a housing development project that complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria in effect at the time the application for the project is deemed complete, within the meaning of the Permit Streamlining Act, to make specified written findings based on a preponderance of the evidence in the record.

This bill would additionally require a local agency to make those findings if it proposes to disapprove or impose specified conditions on a housing development project that is determined to be complete, as provided, and would make other related conforming changes. The bill would provide that the HAA applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is subject to a local agency’s discretionary review and, except as specified, any application submitted pursuant to specified law or another review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval, as provided. For purposes of an application that is not subject to the Permit Streamlining Act, the bill would specify that an application is deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency. The bill would specify that the HAA does not prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of the HAA. By increasing the duties on local agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(2)Existing law provides that disapproving a housing development project for purposes of the HAA includes, among other things, any instance in which a local agency votes on the proposed housing development project application, or the local agency fails to comply with the time periods specified in the Permit Streamlining Act.

This bill would instead provide that disapproving a housing development project for purposes of the act includes any instance in which a local agency takes action on the proposed housing development project application and disapproves the project.

(3)The HAA requires a local agency that considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with applicable law to provide the applicant with a written document, within a specified amount of time, identifying the provisions the application is not in compliance with and an explanation of the reasons for the decision.

This bill would require a local agency that determines an application that was revised after the agency’s initial denial is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with applicable law to provide a similar written document within 30 days providing an explanation of the reasons for the decision. By requiring local agencies to provide additional specified written documents and explanations, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(4)The HAA defines “housing development project” to mean a use consisting of residential units only, specified mixed-use developments, and transitional housing or supportive housing.

The bill would define “housing development project” for purposes of the HAA to also include an accessory dwelling unit.

(5)The HAA requires a local agency that proposes to impose a condition on a housing development project that the project be developed at a lower density to base its decision upon specified findings. The act defines “lower density” to mean any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.

The bill would specify that lower density includes a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses, and would clarify that project means a housing development project.

(6)Existing law authorizes a court to issue a writ of mandate, known as a “traditional writ of mandate,” to compel the performance of an act which the law specially enjoins or to compel the admission of a party to the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which the party is entitled, and from which the party is unlawfully precluded, as provided. Existing law also provides for the issuance of a writ, known as a “writ of administrative mandate,” for the purpose of inquiring into the validity of any final administrative order or decision made as the result of a proceeding in which by law a hearing is required to be given, evidence is required to be taken, and discretion in the determination of facts is vested in an inferior tribunal, corporation, board, or officer, as provided.

Existing law authorizes the applicant to bring an action to enforce the HAA, and authorizes a court to issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter and, if the local agency fails to comply with such an order within 60 days, impose fines, as specified. Existing law requires the court to award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, unless an exception applies. Existing law requires that an action brought to enforce the HAA be brought by seeking a writ of administrative mandate.

This bill would instead require that an action brought to enforce the HAA be brought by seeking either a writ of traditional mandate or a writ of administrative mandate, as applicable. In an action brought seeking a traditional writ of mandate, the bill would authorize a court to award remedies under the HAA, as described above, if it finds that the local agency improperly disapproved or imposed a condition on an application necessary for a housing development project subject to the HAA.

(7)This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by AB 1743 and SB 330 to be operative only if this bill and either or both AB 1743 and SB 330 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.

(8)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: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 197 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

197.
 (a) All persons selected for jury service shall be selected at random, from a source or sources inclusive of a representative cross section of the population of the area served by the court. Sources may include, in addition to other lists, customer mailing lists, telephone directories, or utility company lists.
(b) The list of registered voters voters, the list of resident state tax filers, and the Department of Motor Vehicles’ list of licensed drivers and identification cardholders resident within the area served by the court, are appropriate source lists for selection of jurors. These two three source lists, when substantially purged of duplicate names, shall be considered inclusive of a representative cross section of the population, within the meaning of subdivision (a).
(c) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall furnish the jury commissioner of each county with the current list of the names, addresses, and other identifying information of persons residing in the county who are age 18 years or older and who are holders of a current driver’s license or identification card issued pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 12800) of, or Article 5 (commencing with Section 13000) of, Chapter 1 of Division 6 of the Vehicle Code. The conditions under which these lists shall be compiled semiannually shall be determined by the director, consistent with any rules which may be adopted by the Judicial Council. This service shall be provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to Section 1812 of the Vehicle Code. The jury commissioner shall not disclose the information furnished by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to this section to any person, organization, or agency.
(d) (1) The Franchise Tax Board shall annually furnish the jury commissioner of each county with a list of resident state tax filers.
(2) (A) For purposes of this section, “list of resident state tax filers” means a list of names, principal residence addresses, and counties of principal residence, of persons who are 18 years of age or older and have filed a state resident income tax return for the preceding taxable year.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “county of principal residence” means the county in which the taxpayer has their principal residence on the date that the taxpayer filed their state resident income tax return.
(C) For the purposes of this paragraph, “principal residence” is used in the same manner it is used in Section 121 of Title 26 of the United States Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 19542 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

19542.
 Except as otherwise provided in this article and as required to administer subdivision (b) of Section 19005, it is a misdemeanor for the Franchise Tax Board or any member thereof, or any deputy, agent, clerk, or other officer or employee of the state (including its political subdivisions), or a jury commissioner, or any former officer or employee or other individual, who in the course of his or her their employment or duty has or had access to returns, reports, or documents required to be filed under this part, to disclose or make known in any manner information as to the amount of income or any particulars (including the business affairs of a corporation) set forth or disclosed therein.

SEC. 3.

 Section 19548.4 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

19548.4.
 The Franchise Tax Board shall annually furnish the jury commissioner of each county with a list of resident state tax filers, as defined in Section 197 of the Code of Civil Procedure, for the purpose of expanding jury pools.

SEC. 4.

 Section 19585 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

19585.
 (a) The Franchise Tax Board shall revise the state resident income tax return to include a line for taxpayers to include the address of their principal residence and their county of principal residence.
(b) For purposes of this section the terms “principal residence” and “county of principal residence” have the same meanings as in Section 197 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

SECTION 1.Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:
65589.5.

(a)(1)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(A)The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.

(B)California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.

(C)Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.

(D)Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.

(2)In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:

(A)California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.

(B)While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.

(C)The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.

(D)According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.

(E)California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.

(F)Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.

(G)The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.

(H)When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.

(I)An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.

(J)California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.

(K)The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.

(L)It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.

(3)It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.

(b)It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).

(c)The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.

(d)A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:

(1)The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.

(2)The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety.

(3)The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.

(4)The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.

(5)The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(A)This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.

(B)If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.

(C)If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.

(e)Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(f)(1)Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.

(2)Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.

(3)This section does not prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(4)For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.

(g)This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.

(h)The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:

(1)“Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.

(2)“Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:

(A)Residential units only.

(B)Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.

(C)Transitional housing or supportive housing.

(D)Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.

(3)“Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.

(4)“Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.

(5)“Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:

(A)Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.

(B)Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.

(6)“Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.

(i)If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the application is deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record.

(j)(1)When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:

(A)The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.

(B)There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.

(2)(A)If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:

(i)Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.

(ii)Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.

(B)If an applicant submits a written revision to the application and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.

(C)If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.

(3)For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.

(4)For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.

(k)(1)(A)The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.

(B)(i)Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.

(ii)If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.

(C)If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.

(2)For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(l)If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.

(m)(1)Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.

(2)Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).

(n)In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.

(o)(1)(A)This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.

(B)The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act.

(C)In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.

(D)For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.

(2)Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.

(p)This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 1.1.Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:
65589.5.

(a)(1)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(A)The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.

(B)California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.

(C)Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.

(D)Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.

(2)In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:

(A)California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.

(B)While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.

(C)The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.

(D)According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.

(E)California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.

(F)Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.

(G)The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.

(H)When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.

(I)An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.

(J)California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.

(K)The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.

(L)It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.

(3)It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.

(b)It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).

(c)The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.

(d)A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:

(1)The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.

(2)The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety:

(A)Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation.

(B)The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(3)The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.

(4)The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.

(5)The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(A)This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.

(B)If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.

(C)If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.

(e)Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(f)(1)Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.

(2)Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.

(3)This section does not prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(4)For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.

(g)This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.

(h)The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:

(1)“Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.

(2)“Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:

(A)Residential units only.

(B)Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.

(C)Transitional housing or supportive housing.

(D)Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.

(3)“Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.

(4)“Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.

(5)“Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:

(A)Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.

(B)Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.

(6)“Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.

(i)If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the application is deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record.

(j)(1)When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:

(A)The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.

(B)There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.

(2)(A)If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:

(i)Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.

(ii)Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.

(B)If an applicant submits a written revision to the application and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.

(C)If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.

(3)For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.

(4)For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.

(k)(1)(A)The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.

(B)(i)Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.

(ii)If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.

(C)If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.

(2)For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(l)If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.

(m)(1)Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.

(2)Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).

(n)In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.

(o)(1)(A)This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.

(B)The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act.

(C)In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.

(D)For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.

(2)Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.

(p)This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 1.2.Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:
65589.5.

(a)(1)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(A)The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.

(B)California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.

(C)Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.

(D)Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.

(2)In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:

(A)California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.

(B)While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.

(C)The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.

(D)According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.

(E)California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.

(F)Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.

(G)The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.

(H)When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.

(I)An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.

(J)California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.

(K)The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.

(L)It is the policy of the state that this section be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.

(3)It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.

(b)It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).

(c)The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.

(d)A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:

(1)The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.

(2)The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety.

(3)The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.

(4)The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.

(5)The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(A)This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.

(B)If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.

(C)If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.

(e)Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(f)(1)Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.

(2)Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.

(3)Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(4)For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.

(g)This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.

(h)The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:

(1)“Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.

(2)“Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:

(A)Residential units only.

(B)Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.

(C)Transitional housing or supportive housing.

(D)Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.

(3)“Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.

(4)“Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.

(5)Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “deemed complete” means that the applicant has submitted a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1.

(6)“Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:

(A)Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.

(B)Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.

(7)“Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.

(8)Until January 1, 2025, “objective” means involving no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and being uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official.

(9)Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “determined to be complete” means that the applicant has submitted a complete application pursuant to Section 65943.

(i)If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d), and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record, and with the requirements of subdivision (o).

(j)(1)When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the application was deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:

(A)The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.

(B)There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.

(2)(A)If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:

(i)Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.

(ii)Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.

(B)If an applicant submits a written revision to the application and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.

(C)If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.

(3)For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.

(4)For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.

(k)(1)(A)(i)The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that any of the following are met, the court shall issue an order pursuant to clause (ii):

(I)The local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

(II)The local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

(III)(ia)Subject to sub-subclause (ib), the local agency, in violation of subdivision (o), required or attempted to require a housing development project to comply with an ordinance, policy, or standard not adopted and in effect when a preliminary application was submitted.

(ib)This subclause shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.

(ii)If the court finds that one of the conditions in clause (i) is met, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.

(B)(i)Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.

(ii)If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.

(C)If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.

(2)For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(l)If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.

(m)(1)Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.

(2)Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).

(n)In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.

(o)(1)Subject to paragraphs (2), (6), and (7), and subdivision (d) of Section 65941.1, a housing development project shall be subject only to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when a preliminary application including all of the information required by subdivision (a) of Section 65941.1 was submitted.

(2)Paragraph (1) shall not prohibit a housing development project from being subject to ordinances, policies, and standards adopted after the preliminary application was submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 in the following circumstances:

(A)In the case of a fee, charge, or other monetary exaction, to an increase resulting from an automatic annual adjustment based on an independently published cost index that is referenced in the ordinance or resolution establishing the fee or other monetary exaction.

(B)A preponderance of the evidence in the record establishes that subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, or standard beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to mitigate or avoid a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), and there is no feasible alternative method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact.

(C)Subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, standard, or any other measure, beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to avoid or substantially lessen an impact of the project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(D)The housing development project has not commenced construction within two and one-half years following the date that the project received final approval. For purposes of this subparagraph, “final approval” means that the housing development project has received all necessary approvals to be eligible to apply for, and obtain, a building permit or permits and either of the following is met:

(i)The expiration of all applicable appeal periods, petition periods, reconsideration periods, or statute of limitations for challenging that final approval without an appeal, petition, request for reconsideration, or legal challenge having been filed.

(ii)If a challenge is filed, that challenge is fully resolved or settled in favor of the housing development project.

(E)The housing development project is revised following submittal of a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1 such that the number of residential units or square footage of construction changes by 20 percent or more, exclusive of any increase resulting from the receipt of a density bonus, incentive, concession, waiver, or similar provision. For purposes of this subdivision, “square footage of construction” means the building area, as defined by the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations).

(3)This subdivision does not prevent a local agency from subjecting the additional units or square footage of construction that result from project revisions occurring after a preliminary application is submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when the preliminary application was submitted.

(4)For purposes of this subdivision, “ordinances, policies, and standards” includes general plan, community plan, specific plan, zoning, design review standards and criteria, subdivision standards and criteria, and any other rules, regulations, requirements, and policies of a local agency, as defined in Section 66000, including those relating to development impact fees, capacity or connection fees or charges, permit or processing fees, and other exactions.

(5)This subdivision shall not be construed in a manner that would lessen the restrictions imposed on a local agency, or lessen the protections afforded to a housing development project, that are established by any other law, including any other part of this section.

(6)This subdivision shall not restrict the authority of a public agency or local agency to require mitigation measures to lessen the impacts of a housing development project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(7)With respect to completed residential units for which the project approval process is complete and a certificate of occupancy has been issued, nothing in this subdivision shall limit the application of later enacted ordinances, policies, and standards that regulate the use and occupancy of those residential units, such as ordinances relating to rental housing inspection, rent stabilization, restrictions on short-term renting, and business licensing requirements for owners of rental housing.

(8)This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.

(p)(1)(A)This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.

(B)The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act.

(C)In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.

(D)For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.

(2)Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.

(q)This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 1.3.Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:
65589.5.

(a)(1)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(A)The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.

(B)California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.

(C)Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.

(D)Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.

(2)In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:

(A)California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.

(B)While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.

(C)The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.

(D)According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.

(E)California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.

(F)Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.

(G)The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.

(H)When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.

(I)An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.

(J)California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.

(K)The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.

(L)It is the policy of the state that this section be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.

(3)It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.

(b)It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).

(c)The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.

(d)A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:

(1)The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.

(2)The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety:

(A)Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation.

(B)The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(3)The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.

(4)The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.

(5)The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(A)This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.

(B)If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.

(C)If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.

(e)Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(f)(1)Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.

(2)Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.

(3)Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.

(4)For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.

(g)This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.

(h)The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:

(1)“Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.

(2)“Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:

(A)Residential units only.

(B)Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.

(C)Transitional housing or supportive housing.

(D)Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.

(3)“Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.

(4)“Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.

(5)Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “deemed complete” means that the applicant has submitted a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1.

(6)“Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:

(A)Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.

(B)Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.

(7)“Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.

(8)Until January 1, 2025, “objective” means involving no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and being uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official.

(9)Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “determined to be complete” means that the applicant has submitted a complete application pursuant to Section 65943.

(i)If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d), and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record, and with the requirements of subdivision (o).

(j)(1)When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the application was deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:

(A)The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.

(B)There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.

(2)(A)If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:

(i)Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.

(ii)Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.

(B)If an applicant submits a written revision to the application, and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.

(C)If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.

(3)For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.

(4)For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.

(k)(1)(A)(i)The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that any of the following are met, the court shall issue an order pursuant to clause (ii):

(I)The local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

(II)The local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

(III)(ia)Subject to sub-subclause (ib), the local agency, in violation of subdivision (o), required or attempted to require a housing development project to comply with an ordinance, policy, or standard not adopted and in effect when a preliminary application was submitted.

(ib)This subclause shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.

(ii)If the court finds that one of the conditions in clause (i) is met, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.

(B)(i)Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.

(ii)If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.

(C)If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.

(2)For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(l)If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.

(m)(1)Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.

(2)Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).

(n)In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.

(o)(1)Subject to paragraphs (2), (6), and (7), and subdivision (d) of Section 65941.1, a housing development project shall be subject only to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when a preliminary application including all of the information required by subdivision (a) of Section 65941.1 was submitted.

(2)Paragraph (1) shall not prohibit a housing development project from being subject to ordinances, policies, and standards adopted after the preliminary application was submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 in the following circumstances:

(A)In the case of a fee, charge, or other monetary exaction, to an increase resulting from an automatic annual adjustment based on an independently published cost index that is referenced in the ordinance or resolution establishing the fee or other monetary exaction.

(B)A preponderance of the evidence in the record establishes that subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, or standard beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to mitigate or avoid a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), and there is no feasible alternative method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact.

(C)Subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, standard, or any other measure, beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to avoid or substantially lessen an impact of the project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(D)The housing development project has not commenced construction within two and one-half years following the date that the project received final approval. For purposes of this subparagraph, “final approval” means that the housing development project has received all necessary approvals to be eligible to apply for, and obtain, a building permit or permits and either of the following is met:

(i)The expiration of all applicable appeal periods, petition periods, reconsideration periods, or statute of limitations for challenging that final approval without an appeal, petition, request for reconsideration, or legal challenge having been filed.

(ii)If a challenge is filed, that challenge is fully resolved or settled in favor of the housing development project.

(E)The housing development project is revised following submittal of a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1 such that the number of residential units or square footage of construction changes by 20 percent or more, exclusive of any increase resulting from the receipt of a density bonus, incentive, concession, waiver, or similar provision. For purposes of this subdivision, “square footage of construction” means the building area, as defined by the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations).

(3)This subdivision does not prevent a local agency from subjecting the additional units or square footage of construction that result from project revisions occurring after a preliminary application is submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when the preliminary application was submitted.

(4)For purposes of this subdivision, “ordinances, policies, and standards” includes general plan, community plan, specific plan, zoning, design review standards and criteria, subdivision standards and criteria, and any other rules, regulations, requirements, and policies of a local agency, as defined in Section 66000, including those relating to development impact fees, capacity or connection fees or charges, permit or processing fees, and other exactions.

(5)This subdivision shall not be construed in a manner that would lessen the restrictions imposed on a local agency, or lessen the protections afforded to a housing development project, that are established by any other law, including any other part of this section.

(6)This subdivision shall not restrict the authority of a public agency or local agency to require mitigation measures to lessen the impacts of a housing development project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

(7)With respect to completed residential units for which the project approval process is complete and a certificate of occupancy has been issued, nothing in this subdivision shall limit the application of later enacted ordinances, policies, and standards that regulate the use and occupancy of those residential units, such as ordinances relating to rental housing inspection, rent stabilization, restrictions on short-term renting, and business licensing requirements for owners of rental housing.

(8)This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.

(p)(1)(A)This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.

(B)The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act.

(C)In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.

(D)For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.

(2)Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.

(q)This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 2.

(a)Section 1.1 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 1743. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, (3) Senate Bill 330 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1743, in which case Sections 1, 1.2, and 1.3 of this bill shall not become operative.

(b)Section 1.2 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 330. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, (3) Assembly Bill 1743 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 330 in which case Sections 1, 1.1, and 1.3 of this bill shall not become operative.

(c)Section 1.3 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by this bill, Assembly Bill 1743, and Senate Bill 330. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) all three bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) all three bills amend Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1743 and Senate Bill 330, in which case Sections 1, 1.1, and 1.2 of this bill shall not become operative.

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.

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CORRECTIONS:
Heading—Amend Date.
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