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AB-950 Department of Transportation: sales of excess real property: affordable housing.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/17/2021 09:00 PM
AB950:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 950


Introduced by Assembly Member Ward

February 17, 2021


An act to add Section 118.8 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to streets and highways.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 950, as introduced, Ward. Department of Transportation: sales of excess real property: affordable housing.
Existing law vests the Department of Transportation with full possession and control of all state highways. Existing law authorizes the department to acquire any real property that it considers necessary for state highway purposes. Existing law requires the department to offer to sell or exchange excess real property, as defined, within one year from the date that it is determined by the department to be excess.
This bill would authorize the department to sell its excess real property to the city, county, or city and county where the real property is located if the city, county, or city and county agrees to use the real property for the sole purpose of implementing affordable housing, as specified. The bill would exempt these transfers and sales from the California Environmental Quality Act.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California is experiencing an acute affordable housing crisis that stifles economic growth, contributes to the homelessness epidemic, consumes an ever-growing share of the paychecks of working families, and holds millions of households back from realizing the California Dream.
(b) Nearly 50 percent of California households cannot afford the cost of housing in their local market.
(c) For decades, California has failed to build enough homes for its growing population at all income levels, ranking 49th in the country in housing production per capita in 2016.
(d) Restrictive zoning and land-use policies at the local level are a major cause of the shortfall between California’s housing needs and the available supply of housing.
(e) When communities do not build their fair share of housing, the surrounding region must absorb new residents who, as a consequence of a lack of access to affordable housing, suffer from higher rents and longer commutes.
(f) The high cost of land also significantly limits the development of affordable housing in areas with the greatest demand for new housing.
(g) State agencies own thousands of parcels of land throughout the state, some of which exceed those agencies’ foreseeable needs.
(h) Excess state land is often located in or near urban areas where the need for new housing is acute.
(i) The lack of affordable housing across California is a matter of vital statewide importance.
(j) Expanding housing opportunities and solving the affordable housing crisis will require a new level of innovation and cooperation between the public and private sectors.
(k) Fostering housing innovation will catalyze new construction industries and spur job growth in the state.
(l) Local zoning ordinances do not govern the use of state property, and the state possesses legal authority to enter into low-cost, long-term leasing agreements with housing developers and accelerate housing development on state-owned land as a public use.
(m) The transfer or sale of real property pursuant to this act directly serves an important public purpose.

SEC. 2.

 Section 118.8 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:

118.8.
 (a) (1) The department may sell its excess real property, as defined in Section 118.6, to the city, county if the real property is located in an unincorporated area, or city and county if applicable, where the real property is located if the city, county, or city and county agrees to use the real property for the sole purpose of implementing affordable housing, as defined in Section 62250 of the Government Code.
(2) The sales price shall be the price paid by the department in the original acquisition, which shall not be adjusted for inflation.
(3) The department shall identify the real property eligible for sale pursuant to this subdivision.
(4) Upon the department identifying eligible real property pursuant to paragraph (3), the department shall notify the city, county, or city and county where the real property is located of the real property’s eligibility for sale.
(5) Within 60 days of receiving notice pursuant to paragraph (4), the city, county, or city and county shall notify the department of its interest in accepting or declining the sale of real property.
(6) For real property sold pursuant to this subdivision, the city, county, or city and county shall do both of the following:
(A) Ensure the real property is used for affordable housing purposes for a term of at least 55 years. The purchase and operation of the real property shall be subject to a covenant recorded against the real property that requires the real property to remain available and affordable.
(B) Ensure any new units added to the property are used only for affordable housing purposes.
(7) The department may designate in regulations, or delegate by agreement to, a public agency to monitor the use of real property sold pursuant to this subdivision. The monitoring agency may charge the real property owner a fee to recover the cost of this monitoring.
(b) The California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) and Section 5024.5 of the Public Resources Code do not apply to the transfer or sale of real property pursuant to this section.
(c) (1) All real property sold pursuant to this section shall be “as is” and the department shall have no further obligation or liability whatsoever for conditions existing at the time of the sale or occurring after that time, including, to the full extent permitted by law, any costs or other obligations related to the remediation of hazardous materials. Compliance with all applicable environmental laws, including, but not limited to, the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) and Sections 5024.5 and 5027 of the Public Resources Code, shall be the sole responsibility of the purchaser. Zoning and other laws related to the use of the real property shall be the sole responsibility of the purchaser.
(2) As a condition of sale, the purchaser shall agree to indemnify and hold harmless the department and its officers, officials, employees, agents, and volunteers from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, obligations, penalties, judgments, awards, and other liabilities, including attorney’s fees, whether caused by, relating to, based upon, arising out of, or in connection with the real property being sold and any subsequent use of that real property.
(d) By accepting the sale, the purchaser accepts full responsibility for ensuring that the real property will be used solely for the purposes enumerated in this section. The purchaser shall record in the office of the county recorder the covenants or restrictions implementing this section. Notwithstanding any other law, the covenants or restrictions shall run with the land and shall be enforceable against the original purchaser receiving the property from the department and all successors in interest. The purchaser shall ensure that, at all times, uses of the real property remain compatible and do not interfere with the maintenance, operations, and safe use of remaining adjacent or nearby department real property and any transportation facilities, as determined by the department.
(e) This section does not apply to real property sales governed by Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 54235) of Chapter 5 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.