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AB-1486 California Environmental Quality Act: housing.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/07/2021 09:00 PM
AB1486:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 07, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 18, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1486


Introduced by Assembly Member Carrillo

February 19, 2021


An act to add Sections 21080.52 and Section 21083.3.1 to to, and to add and repeal Section 21080.52 of, the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1486, as amended, Carrillo. California Environmental Quality Act: housing.
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 (EIR) 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 would, until January 1, 2025, exempt from CEQA the adoption of a housing element, revisions of a housing element, and amendments to other general plan elements to ensure consistency with the housing element or comply with legal requirements triggered by a housing element revision, amendment, or update.
CEQA limits the environmental review of the approval of any subdivision map or other project that is consistent with a zoning or community plan if certain conditions are met, as provided. CEQA limits the environmental review of a development project if the development is consistent with the general plan and an EIR was certified for the general plan, as provided.
This bill would limit the environmental review of a housing element implementation project, as defined, if an EIR was certified within the last 8 years for the adoption or revision of the housing element and the project meets certain requirements, as provided. The bill would exempt from the requirements of CEQA a housing element implementation project if applicable development policies or standards adopted by a city, county, or the lead agency apply to the project and substantially mitigate significant effects of the project, as determined by the lead agency. By requiring a lead agency to determine the applicability of these provisions, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 21080.52 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21080.52.
 (a) This division does not apply to the adoption of a housing element, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 65302 of the Government Code, revisions of a housing element pursuant to Section 65588 of the Government Code, and amendments to other general plan elements to ensure consistency with the housing element or comply with legal requirements triggered by a housing element revision, amendment, or update.
(b) This section does not exempt from this division any action to implement a policy or program of an adopted housing element, including the approval of any development project.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21083.3.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21083.3.1.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Housing element implementation project” means a project that the lead agency has determined based upon substantial evidence meets all of the following criteria:
(A) The project is an action intended to implement a housing element policy or program, such as adoption of rezoning ordinances in furtherance of implementing a program in a housing element adopted pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 65583 of the Government Code to rezone property to accommodate low-income housing needs.
(B) The project is located within an urban area on a site that has been previously developed, or on a vacant site where at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the site adjoins, or is separated only by an improved public right-of-way from parcels that are developed with qualified urban uses. area.
(C) The project is consistent with the goals and applicable policies specified for the project area in either a sustainable communities strategy or an alternative planning strategy for which the State Air Resources Board, pursuant to subparagraph (H) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 65080 of the Government Code, has accepted a metropolitan planning organization’s determination that the sustainable communities strategy or the alternative planning strategy would, if implemented, achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
(2) “Urban area” includes either an incorporated city or an unincorporated area that is completely surrounded by one or more incorporated cities that meets both of the following criteria:
(A) The population of the unincorporated area and the population of the surrounding incorporated cities equal a population of 100,000 or more.
(B) The population density of the unincorporated area is equal to, or greater than, the population density of the surrounding cities.
(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), if an environmental impact report was certified within the last eight years for the adoption or revision of a housing element, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 65302 of the Government Code, the application of this division to the approval of a housing element implementation project shall be limited to the effects on the environment that (A) were not analyzed in the environmental impact report or (B) new information that was not known and could not have been known at the time of the certification of the environmental impact report shows the effects will be more severe significant effects than described in the environmental impact report.
(2) This division does not apply to a housing element implementation project if an environmental impact report was certified for the adoption or revision of a housing element and uniformly applicable development policies or standards adopted by the city, county, or the lead agency, would apply to the project, and the lead agency, makes a finding that the uniformly applicable development policies or standards will substantially mitigate those significant effects described in paragraph (1).
(3) A lead agency determination pursuant to this subdivision shall be supported by substantial evidence.
(c) If a housing element implementation project would result in significant effects described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) and the project is not otherwise exempt under paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), and if a mitigated negative declaration or a sustainable communities environmental assessment could not be otherwise adopted, an environmental impact report prepared for the project analyzing those effects need not consider either of the following:
(1) Alternative locations, densities, and building intensities to the project.
(2) Growth-inducing impacts of the project.

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.