Today's Law As Amended


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AB-512 Surplus unimproved property: State Highway Route 710.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The earliest iterations of Route 710, former State Highway Routes 7 and 167, were designed in 1933 to improve north-south mobility in the County of Los Angeles extending from the harbors of the Cities of San Pedro and Long Beach to the San Gabriel Valley.
(b) Construction of the Route 710 freeway was terminated at the Route 10 freeway, stopping short of its intended connections and terminations creating a 6.2-mile gap between Routes 10 and 210, crossing through the Cities of Los Angeles, Alhambra, South Pasadena, and Pasadena.
(c) In the 1960s, the State of California purchased 143 homes in the City of Pasadena, and over 300 homes in other cities, in order to demolish them and continue building the Route 710 freeway.
(d) These communities were predominantly made up of people of color because the houses were affordable and did not have race-based covenants.
(e) Some of those homes were demolished immediately, many of them belonging to African Americans.
(f) This historically African American neighborhood was first known as the South Vernon Avenue Corridor and was initially where wealthy White property owners housed their servants.
(g) Historically, African Americans in Pasadena were limited to two areas, the South Vernon Avenue Corridor in southwest Pasadena west of Fair Oaks Avenue between Green Street and California Boulevard, and in northwest Pasadena.
(h) The South Vernon Avenue Corridor became a vibrant, predominantly African American neighborhood that was demolished in the 1960s along with at least two churches to make way for the Route 710 freeway.
(i) Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans also had thriving communities in this area including churches and small businesses.
(j) The homes that were not demolished were rented back to residents; however, today none of the original residents live in the homes.
(k) Years of lawsuits and pressure from residents of the cities delayed the freeway construction.
(l) In 1998, the Federal Highway Administration published a record of decision approving a surface freeway to close the 6.2-mile gap, but later rescinded it due to litigation and community concerns.
(m) In 2019, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 29 and Senate Bill 7 (Chapters 791 and 835 of the Statutes of 2019) which, beginning on January 1, 2024, will remove the portion of the Route 710 between Cities of Alhambra and Pasadena from the California freeway and expressway system, effectively preventing the future construction of a freeway.
(n) Section 54235 of the Government Code affirms that the “highway and other state activities have contributed to the severe shortage of such housing” and states that the Legislature intends to “preserve, upgrade and expand” housing for low- and moderate-income people in this region.
(o) Housing options should be made available to low- and moderate- income households.
(p) Due to the unjust, racist, and permanently destructive nature of the action by the state to construct a freeway, the amount of time since that initial injustice, and the precedent set by the state law commonly referred to as the Roberti Act (Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 54235) of Chapter 5 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), the state should provide a unique relinquishment solution to repair the community.
(q) Nothing in this act determines project elements, housing density, setback limits, or places restrictions on use of land on portions of land not being relinquished.

SEC. 2.

 Section 54235 of the Government Code is amended to read:

54235.
 (a)  The Legislature reaffirms its finding that the disposition of surplus property owned by public agencies should be utilized to further state policies.
(b)  The Legislature reaffirms its finding that there exists within the urban and rural areas of the state a serious shortage of decent, safe, and sanitary housing which that  persons and families of low or moderate income can afford, and consequently a pressing and urgent need for the preservation and expansion of the low- and moderate-income housing supply. The Legislature further reaffirms its finding that highway and other state activities have contributed to the severe shortage of such that  housing. The Legislature reaffirms that the provision of decent housing for all Californians is a state goal of the highest priority. The Legislature finds and declares that actions of state agencies including the sales of surplus residential properties which that  result in the loss of decent and affordable housing for persons and families of low or moderate income is contrary to state housing, urban development, and environmental policies and is a significant environmental effect, within the meaning of Article XIX of the California Constitution, which will be mitigated by the sale of surplus residential property pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(c)  The Legislature further finds and declares that the displacement of large numbers of persons as a result of the sale of surplus residential property owned by agencies of the state is a significant environmental effect, within the meaning of Article XIX of the California Constitution which will be mitigated by sale of such those  properties pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(d)  The Legislature further finds and declares that the sale of surplus residential property and surplus unimproved property  pursuant to the provisions of this article will directly serve an important public purpose. Wherefore, the Legislature intends by this article to preserve, upgrade upgrade,  and expand the supply of housing available to persons and families of low or moderate income. The Legislature further intends by this article to mitigate the environmental effects, within the meaning of Article XIX, XIX  of the California Constitution, caused by highway activities.

SEC. 3.

 Section 54239.2 is added to the Government Code, to read:

54239.2.
 Before selling unimproved property within the State Route 710 corridor in the City of Los Angeles, City of Pasadena, and City of South Pasadena pursuant to Section 118 of the Streets and Highways Code, the Department of Transportation shall offer to sell the property at the price paid by the Department of Transportation for original acquisition to a housing-related entity for affordable housing purposes, in accordance with the following:
(a) The sales price shall be the price paid by the Department of Transportation for original acquisition. The original acquisition price shall not be adjusted for inflation.
(b) Property sold pursuant to this section shall be sold in the existing “as is” condition.
(c) For each property purchased under this section, the housing-related entity shall do all of the following:
(1) (A)   Cause the property to be used for low- and moderate-income rental housing for a term of at least 55 years. The purchase and operation of the property shall be subject to a covenant recorded against the property that requires the property to remain available and affordable for rental by lower income and moderate-income households, as defined by Sections 50079.5 and 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code, respectively, for a term no shorter than 55 years.
(B) If the property is sold prior to the expiration of the covenant, the covenant shall remain in effect until the time at which it expires. If the housing-related entity is no longer able to provide the housing on the property, the housing-related entity shall transfer the title to the city in which the property is located, which shall transfer the title and operations to a successor housing-related entity that will maintain the property and the operations in compliance with the covenant. Any housing-related entity purchaser shall comply with monitoring requirements, as determined by the Department of Transportation.
(2) Cause any new units added to the property to be used only for low- or moderate-income rental housing.
(d) The Department of Transportation may designate in regulations, or delegate by agreement to, a public agency to monitor the property’s compliance with the covenant required by this section. The monitoring entity may charge the property owner a fee to recover the cost of this monitoring.
(e) This section does not apply to unimproved property subject to a valid lease pursuant to Section 104.7 of the Streets and Highway Code.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the use of skilled and trained labor for these types of potential affordable housing projects.
(g) This section does not apply to the portion of Route 710 located within the jurisdictional limits of the City of Pasadena between California Boulevard and Route 210 and west of South Pasadena Avenue.

SEC. 4.

 Section 622.3 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

622.3.
 (a) (1)  Upon a determination by the commission that it is in the best interest of the state to do so, the commission may, upon terms and conditions approved by it, relinquish to the City of Pasadena the portion of Route 710 located  within the jurisdictional limits of that city,  city between California Boulevard and Route 210 and west of South Pasadena Avenue,  if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment.
(2) The commission may relinquish the portion of Route 710, including air rights, pursuant to paragraph (1) for nontransportation purposes if all of the following conditions are met:
(A) The purposes of the relinquishment are for restorative economic and social justice, including, but not limited to, transit-oriented development, affordable housing for low- and moderate- income people, green space, and active transportation infrastructure, and to accomplish the goals of Section 54235 of the Government Code.
(B) A part of the relinquished portion of Route 710 is used for transportation purposes to ensure the continuity of traffic flow.
(C) The relinquishment is consistent with federal law.
(b) A relinquishment under this section shall become effective on the date following the county recorder’s recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.
(c) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, all of the following shall occur:
(1) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall cease to be a state highway.
(2) The relinquished portion of Route 710 shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81.
(3) The City of Pasadena shall ensure the continuity of traffic flow on the relinquished portion of Route 710.
SEC. 5.
 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique housing needs in the City of Los Angeles, City of Pasadena, and City of South Pasadena.