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SB-1289 California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: housing projects.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/21/2020 02:00 PM


Senate Bill
No. 1289

Introduced by Senator Chang

February 21, 2020

An act to add and repeal Section 21080.51 of the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


SB 1289, as introduced, Chang. California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: housing projects.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.
This bill would, until January 1, 2029, exempt from the requirements of CEQA, housing projects that meet certain requirements. The bill would require a lead agency, if it determines that a housing project is exempt from CEQA under the above provision, to file a specified notice with the county clerk in each county in which the project is located. By requiring the lead agency to determine the applicability of the exemption to housing projects and to file the notice with the county clerk, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


 Section 21080.51 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

 (a) For purposes of this section, “housing project” means a project consisting of residential use only or a mix of residential and nonresidential uses.
(b) This division does not apply to a housing project that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The housing project occurs within an area that was previously developed.
(2) The housing project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare, or threatened species.
(3) The housing project site can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services.
(c) If a lead agency determines that a housing project is not subject to this division under this section and it approves or determines to carry out the housing project, the lead agency shall file a notice described in subdivision (b) of Section 21152 in a manner specified in subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 21152.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2029, and as of that date is repealed.

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.