Today's Law As Amended

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SB-281 Housing development: permits and other entitlements: extension.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today


 Section 65914.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares each of the following:
(1) On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and, on January 31, 2020, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency.
(2) On March 4, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for a broader spread of COVID-19.
(3) According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States economy, as measured by gross domestic product, contracted by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020.
(4) Last month, California’s unemployment rate tripled, the largest increase since 1976.
(5) It is estimated that California lost 2,000,000 jobs by March 27, 2020.
(6) In the past month, 3,100,000 Californians filed for unemployment benefits, and California became the first state in the nation to borrow money from the federal government to continue paying out rising claims for unemployment benefits.
(7) The Governor has labeled California’s economic crisis a “pandemic-induced recession.”
(8) Even before the pandemic-induced recession, California was in the midst of a housing affordability crisis caused fundamentally by a consistent failure to supply enough new housing for Californians of all income levels.
(9) According to the League of California Cities, over 90 percent of cities in this state report they are considering cutting or furloughing city staff or decreasing public services, and 72 percent of cities report they may take both actions. In addition, over 70 percent of cities, and 90 percent of the largest cities, report that they expect a significant impact to “core” planning and housing services.
(10) The pandemic-induced recession, combined with mandatory social distancing, stringent construction protocols, and anticipated reductions in the capacity of local governments to deliver services to the housing industry, will drastically impact all segments of a complex ecosystem that delivers the essential housing California so desperately needs to combat the ongoing housing crisis.
(11) To facilitate and expedite the return of this vital industry, it is necessary to relieve any additional pressure on housing development as a result of the lapse in planning, finance, and construction due to the pandemic-induced recession. An essential component of ensuring the survival of the housing industry is proactively extending the life of the myriad state and local approvals, permits, and other entitlements required to develop and construct housing in California.
(12) A uniform statewide entitlement extension measure is necessary to avoid the significant statewide cost and allocation of local government staff resources associated with addressing individual permit extensions on a case-by-case basis.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), notwithstanding any law, including any inconsistent provision of a local agency’s general plan, ordinances, or regulations, the otherwise applicable time for the expiration, effectuation, or utilization of a housing entitlement that is within the scope of the timeframes specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) is extended by 18 months. For the purposes of this section, housing entitlements that are extended are entitlements where both of the following apply:
(1)  It was issued prior to and was in effect on March 4, 2020; and
(2) It will expire prior to December 31, 2021.
The otherwise applicable time for the utilization of a housing entitlement provided by this section includes any requirement to request the issuance of a building permit within a specified period of time.
(c) If the state or a local agency extends, on or after March 4, 2020, but before the effective date of the act adding this section, the otherwise applicable time for the expiration, effectuation, or utilization of a housing entitlement for not less than 18 months and pursuant to the same conditions provided in subdivision (b), that housing entitlement shall not be extended for an additional 18 months by operation of subdivision (b).
(d) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Housing entitlement” means:
(A) A legislative, adjudicative, administrative, or any other kind of approval, permit, or other entitlement necessary for, or pertaining to, a housing development project issued by a state agency.
(B) An approval, permit, or other entitlement issued by a local agency for a housing development project that is subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920).
(C) A ministerial approval, permit, or entitlement by a local agency required as a prerequisite to issuance of a building permit for a housing development project.
(D) A requirement to submit an application for a building permit within a specified period of time after the effective date of a housing entitlement described in subparagraph (B) or (C).
(E) A vested right associated with an approval, permit, or other entitlement described in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a housing entitlement does not include any of the following:
(A) A development agreement issued pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 65864).
(B) An approved or conditionally approved tentative map that is extended for a minimum of 18 months pursuant to Section 66452.6 on or after March 4, 2020.
(C) A preliminary application as defined in Section 65941.1.
(3) “Housing development project” means a residential development or mixed-use development in which at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development is designated for residential use. Both of the following apply for the purposes of calculating the square footage usage of a development for purposes of this section:
(A) The square footage of a development shall include any additional density, floor area, and units, and any other concession, incentive, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915.
(B) The square footage of a development shall not include any underground space, including, but not limited to, a basement or underground parking garage.
(4) “Local agency” means a county, city, whether general law or chartered, city and county, school district, special district, authority, agency, any other municipal public corporation or district, or other political subdivision of the state.
(e) The extension granted pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be tolled during any time that the housing entitlement is the subject of a legal challenge.
(f) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude a local government from exercising its existing authority to provide an extension to an entitlement identified in this section.
(g) The Legislature finds and declares that, for the reasons described in subdivision (a), this section addresses a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, this section applies to all cities, including charter cities.
SEC. 2.
 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.