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AB-1743 Local government: properties eligible to claim or receiving a welfare exemption.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/06/2019 09:00 PM
AB1743:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  September 06, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  August 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1743


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 53340, 65008, and 65589.5 of the Government Code, relating to local government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1743, as amended, Bloom. Local government: properties eligible to claim or receiving a welfare exemption.
The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982, after a community facilities district has been created and authorized to levy specified special taxes, authorizes the legislative body, by ordinance, to levy the special taxes at the rate and apportion them in the manner specified in the resolution forming the community facilities district. The act requires properties or entities of the state, federal, or local governments, except as otherwise provided, to be exempt from the special tax.
This bill would also require property receiving a welfare exemption, as specified, to be exempt from the special tax. The bill would require this exemption to apply to taxes imposed by an ordinance adopted on or after January 1, 2020.
The Planning and Zoning Law provides that any action by a city, county, city and county, or other local governmental agency in this state is null and void if it denies to any individual or group of individuals the enjoyment of residence, landownership, tenancy, or any other land use in this state because of, among other things, the method of financing of any residential development of the individual or group of individuals. That law also prohibits a city, county, city and county, or other local governmental agency from prohibiting or discriminating against a residential development or emergency shelter because of, among other things, the method of financing.
This bill would define “method of financing” for the purposes described above to include the eligibility to claim a welfare exemption, as specified.
The Housing Accountability Act, which is part of the Planning and Zoning Law, prohibits a local agency from disapproving, or conditioning approval in a manner that renders infeasible, a housing development project for very low, low-, or moderate-income households or an emergency shelter unless the local agency makes one of specified findings, including that the housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable, as provided, or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. The act defines “specific, adverse impact” for this purpose and prohibits inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation from constituting a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety.
This bill would additionally prohibit the eligibility to claim a welfare exemption, as specified, from constituting a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety.
This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by SB 330 and SB 592 to be operative only if this bill and either or both SB 330 and SB 592 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 53340 of the Government Code is amended to read:

53340.
 (a) After a community facilities district has been created and authorized to levy specified special taxes pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 53318), Article 3 (commencing with Section 53330), or Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 53339), the legislative body may, by ordinance, levy the special taxes at the rate and apportion them in the manner specified in the resolution adopted pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 53318), Article 3 (commencing with Section 53330), or Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 53339). After creation of a community facilities district that includes territory proposed for annexation in the future by unanimous approval as described in subdivision (b) of Section 53339.3, the legislative body may, by ordinance, provide for the levy of special taxes on parcels that will be annexed to the community facilities district at the rate or rates to be approved unanimously by the owner or owners of each parcel or parcels to be annexed to the community facilities district and for apportionment and collection of the special taxes in the manner specified in the resolution of formation.
(b) The legislative body may provide, by resolution, for the levy of the special tax in the current tax year or future tax years at the same rate or at a lower rate than the rate provided by the ordinance, if the resolution is adopted and a certified list of all parcels subject to the special tax levy including the amount of the tax to be levied on each parcel for the applicable tax year, is filed by the clerk or other official designated by the legislative body with the county auditor on or before the 10th day of August of that tax year. The clerk or other official designated by the legislative body may file the certified list after the 10th of August but not later than the 21st of August if the clerk or other official obtains prior written consent of the county auditor.
(c) Properties or entities of the state, federal, or local governments and properties receiving a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code shall, except for properties that a local agency is a landowner of within the meaning of subdivision (f) of Section 53317, or except as otherwise provided in Section 53317.3, be exempt from the special tax. No other properties or entities are exempt from the special tax unless the properties or entities are expressly exempted in the resolution of formation to establish a district adopted pursuant to Section 53325.1 or in a resolution of consideration to levy a new special tax or special taxes or to alter the rate or method of apportionment of an existing special tax as provided in Section 53334.
(d) The proceeds of any special tax may only be used to pay, in whole or part, the cost of providing public facilities, services, and incidental expenses pursuant to this chapter.
(e) The special tax shall be collected in the same manner as ordinary ad valorem property taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure, sale, and lien priority in case of delinquency as is provided for ad valorem taxes, unless another procedure has been authorized in the resolution of formation establishing the district and adopted by the legislative body.
(f) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (e), the legislative body of the district may waive all or any specified portion of the delinquency penalties and redemption penalties if it makes all of the following determinations:
(A) The waivers shall apply only to parcels delinquent at the time of the determination.
(B) The waivers shall be available only with respect to parcels for which all past due and currently due special taxes and all other costs due are paid in full within a limited period of time specified in the determination.
(C) The waivers shall be available only with respect to parcels sold or otherwise transferred to new owners unrelated to the owner responsible for the delinquency.
(D) The waivers are in the best interest of the debtholders.
(2) The charges with penalties to be waived shall be removed from the tax roll pursuant to Section 53356.2 and local administrative procedures, and any distributions made to the district prior to collection pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 4701) of Part 8 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code shall be repaid by the district prior to granting the waiver.
(g) The tax collector may collect the special tax at intervals as specified in the resolution of formation, including intervals different from the intervals determining when the ordinary ad valorem property taxes are collected. The tax collector may deduct the reasonable administrative costs incurred in collecting the special tax.
(h) All special taxes levied by a community facilities district shall be secured by the lien imposed pursuant to Section 3115.5 of the Streets and Highways Code. This lien shall be a continuing lien and shall secure each levy of special taxes. The lien of the special tax shall continue in force and effect until the special tax obligation is prepaid, permanently satisfied, and canceled in accordance with Section 53344 or until the special tax ceases to be levied by the legislative body in the manner provided in Section 53330.5. If any portion of a parcel is encumbered by a lien pursuant to this chapter, the entirety of the parcel shall be encumbered by that lien.
(i) The amendments to subdivision (c) made by the act adding this subdivision shall apply to taxes imposed by an ordinance adopted on or after January 1, 2020.

SEC. 2.

 Section 65008 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65008.
 (a) Any action pursuant to this title by any city, county, city and county, or other local governmental agency in this state is null and void if it denies to any individual or group of individuals the enjoyment of residence, landownership, tenancy, or any other land use in this state because of any of the following reasons:
(1) (A) The lawful occupation, age, or any characteristic of the individual or group of individuals listed in subdivision (a) or (d) of Section 12955, as those bases are defined in Sections 12926, 12926.1, subdivision (m) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 12955 and Section 12955.2.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), with respect to familial status, subparagraph (A) shall not be construed to apply to housing for older persons, as defined in Section 12955.9. With respect to familial status, nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be construed to affect Sections 51.2, 51.3, 51.4, 51.10, 51.11, and 799.5 of the Civil Code, relating to housing for senior citizens. Subdivision (d) of Section 51, Section 4760, and Section 6714 of the Civil Code, and subdivisions (n), (o), and (p) of Section 12955 of this code shall apply to subparagraph (A).
(2) The method of financing of any residential development of the individual or group of individuals.
(3) The intended occupancy of any residential development by persons or families of very low, low, moderate, or middle income.
(b) (1) No city, county, city and county, or other local governmental agency shall, in the enactment or administration of ordinances pursuant to any law, including this title, prohibit or discriminate against any residential development or emergency shelter for any of the following reasons:
(A) Because of the method of financing.
(B) (i) Because of the lawful occupation, age, or any characteristic listed in subdivision (a) or (d) of Section 12955, as those characteristics are defined in Sections 12926, 12926.1, subdivision (m) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 12955, and Section 12955.2 of the owners or intended occupants of the residential development or emergency shelter.
(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), with respect to familial status, clause (i) shall not be construed to apply to housing for older persons, as defined in Section 12955.9. With respect to familial status, nothing in clause (i) shall be construed to affect Sections 51.2, 51.3, 51.4, 51.10, 51.11, and 799.5 of the Civil Code, relating to housing for senior citizens. Subdivision (d) of Section 51, Section 4760, and Section 6714 of the Civil Code, and subdivisions (n), (o), and (p) of Section 12955 of this code shall apply to clause (i).
(C) Because the development or shelter is intended for occupancy by persons and families of very low, low, or moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income.
(D) Because the development consists of a multifamily residential project that is consistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete, except that a project shall not be deemed to be inconsistent with the zoning designation for the site if that zoning designation is inconsistent with the general plan only because the project site has not been rezoned to conform with a more recently adopted general plan.
(2) The discrimination prohibited by this subdivision includes the denial or conditioning of a residential development or shelter because of, in whole or in part, either of the following:
(A) The method of financing.
(B) The occupancy of the development by persons protected by this subdivision, including, but not limited to, persons and families of very low, low, or moderate income.
(3) A city, county, city and county, or other local government agency may not, pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 65589.5, disapprove a housing development project or condition approval of a housing development project in a manner that renders the project infeasible if the basis for the disapproval or conditional approval includes any of the reasons prohibited in paragraph (1) or (2).
(c) For the purposes of this section, “persons and families of middle income” means persons and families whose income does not exceed 150 percent of the median income for the county in which the persons or families reside.
(d) (1) No city, county, city and county, or other local governmental agency may impose different requirements on a residential development or emergency shelter that is subsidized, financed, insured, or otherwise assisted by the federal or state government or by a local public entity, as defined in Section 50079 of the Health and Safety Code, than those imposed on nonassisted developments, except as provided in subdivision (e). The discrimination prohibited by this subdivision includes the denial or conditioning of a residential development or emergency shelter based in whole or in part on the fact that the development is subsidized, financed, insured, or otherwise assisted as described in this paragraph.
(2) (A) No city, county, city and county, or other local governmental agency may, because of the lawful occupation age, or any characteristic of the intended occupants listed in subdivision (a) or (d) of Section 12955, as those characteristics are defined in Sections 12926, 12926.1, subdivision (m) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (p) of Section 12955, and Section 12955.2 or because the development is intended for occupancy by persons and families of very low, low, moderate, or middle income, impose different requirements on these residential developments than those imposed on developments generally, except as provided in subdivision (e).
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), with respect to familial status, subparagraph (A) shall not be construed to apply to housing for older persons, as defined in Section 12955.9. With respect to familial status, nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be construed to affect Sections 51.2, 51.3, 51.4, 51.10, 51.11, and 799.5 of the Civil Code, relating to housing for senior citizens. Subdivision (d) of Section 51, Section 4760, and Section 6714 of the Civil Code, and subdivisions (n), (o), and (p) of Section 12955 of this code shall apply to subparagraph (A).
(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, this section and this title do not prohibit either of the following:
(1) The County of Riverside from enacting and enforcing zoning to provide housing for older persons, in accordance with state or federal law, if that zoning was enacted prior to January 1, 1995.
(2) Any city, county, or city and county from extending preferential treatment to residential developments or emergency shelters assisted by the federal or state government or by a local public entity, as defined in Section 50079 of the Health and Safety Code, or other residential developments or emergency shelters intended for occupancy by persons and families of low and moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, or agricultural employees, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code, and their families. This preferential treatment may include, but need not be limited to, reduction or waiver of fees or changes in architectural requirements, site development and property line requirements, building setback requirements, or vehicle parking requirements that reduce development costs of these developments.
(f) For purposes of this section, both of the following shall apply:
(1) “Method of financing” includes the eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(2) “Residential development” means a single-family residence or a multifamily residence, including manufactured homes, as defined in Section 18007 of the Health and Safety Code.
(g) This section shall apply to chartered cities.
(h) The Legislature finds and declares that discriminatory practices that inhibit the development of housing for persons and families of very low, low, moderate, and middle incomes, or emergency shelters for the homeless, are a matter of statewide concern.

SEC. 3.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete. The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety:
(A) Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation.
(B) The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Neither shall anything in this section be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) This section does not prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Votes on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the application is deemed complete pursuant to Section 65943, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus pursuant to Section 65915 shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity, with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.
(5) For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
(k) (1) (A) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the development or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval of a housing development by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 3.1.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete. Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety. safety:
(A) Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation.
(B) The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Neither shall anything in this section be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Nothing in this section Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Nothing in this section Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) This section does not Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “deemed complete” means that the applicant has submitted a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1.

(5)

(6) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Votes on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(7) “Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
(8) Until January 1, 2025, “objective” means involving no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and being uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official.
(9) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “determined to be complete” means that the applicant has submitted a complete application pursuant to Section 65943.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time housing development project’s the application is deemed complete pursuant to Section 65943, complete, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) (d), and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing. record, and with the requirements of subdivision (o).
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is determined to be application was deemed complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus pursuant to Section 65915 shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity, with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.

(5)For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.

(k) (1) (A) (i) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the any of the following are met, the court shall issue an order pursuant to clause (ii):
(I) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the evidence.
(II) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the evidence.
(III) (ia) Subject to sub-subclause (ib), the local agency, in violation of subdivision (o), required or attempted to require a housing development project to comply with an ordinance, policy, or standard not adopted and in effect when a preliminary application was submitted.
(ib) This subclause shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.
(ii) If the court finds that one of the conditions in clause(i) is met, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval of a housing development by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (6), and (7), and subdivision (d) of Section 65941.1, a housing development project shall be subject only to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when a preliminary application including all of the information required by subdivision (a) of Section 65941.1 was submitted.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not prohibit a housing development project from being subject to ordinances, policies, and standards adopted after the preliminary application was submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 in the following circumstances:
(A) In the case of a fee, charge, or other monetary exaction, to an increase resulting from an automatic annual adjustment based on an independently published cost index that is referenced in the ordinance or resolution establishing the fee or other monetary exaction.
(B) A preponderance of the evidence in the record establishes that subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, or standard beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to mitigate or avoid a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), and there is no feasible alternative method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact.
(C) Subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, standard, or any other measure, beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to avoid or substantially lessen an impact of the project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(D) The housing development project has not commenced construction within two and one-half years following the date that the project received final approval. For purposes of this subparagraph, “final approval” means that the housing development project has received all necessary approvals to be eligible to apply for, and obtain, a building permit or permits and either of the following is met:
(i) The expiration of all applicable appeal periods, petition periods, reconsideration periods, or statute of limitations for challenging that final approval without an appeal, petition, request for reconsideration, or legal challenge having been filed.
(ii) If a challenge is filed, that challenge is fully resolved or settled in favor of the housing development project.
(E) The housing development project is revised following submittal of a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1 such that the number of residential units or square footage of construction changes by 20 percent or more, exclusive of any increase resulting from the receipt of a density bonus, incentive, concession, waiver, or similar provision. For purposes of this subdivision, “square footage of construction” means the building area, as defined by the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations).
(3) This subdivision does not prevent a local agency from subjecting the additional units or square footage of construction that result from project revisions occurring after a preliminary application is submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when the preliminary application was submitted.
(4) For purposes of this subdivision, “ordinances, policies, and standards” includes general plan, community plan, specific plan, zoning, design review standards and criteria, subdivision standards and criteria, and any other rules, regulations, requirements, and policies of a local agency, as defined in Section 66000, including those relating to development impact fees, capacity or connection fees or charges, permit or processing fees, and other exactions.
(5) This subdivision shall not be construed in a manner that would lessen the restrictions imposed on a local agency, or lessen the protections afforded to a housing development project, that are established by any other law, including any other part of this section.
(6) This subdivision shall not restrict the authority of a public agency or local agency to require mitigation measures to lessen the impacts of a housing development project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(7) With respect to completed residential units for which the project approval process is complete and a certificate of occupancy has been issued, nothing in this subdivision shall limit the application of later enacted ordinances, policies, and standards that regulate the use and occupancy of those residential units, such as ordinances relating to rental housing inspection, rent stabilization, restrictions on short-term renting, and business licensing requirements for owners of rental housing.
(8) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.

(o)

(p) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 3.2.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety.
(A) Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation.
(B) The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Neither shall anything Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) This section does not prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(D) Accessory dwelling unit as defined in Section 65852.2.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Votes Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the application is deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the housing development project to provide housing. housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If an applicant elects to revise the application in response to any comments, and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.

(B)

(C) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A), (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus pursuant to Section 65915 shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity, conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.
(5) For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the housing development project to provide housing. housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.
(k) (1) (A) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the housing development project to provide housing. housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section section, regardless of whether the action of the local agency was taken in a proceeding in which by law a hearing is required, shall be brought pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) (1) This section shall apply to a housing development project regardless of whether the local agency’s review of the project is a ministerial or use by right decision, or a discretionary approval.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.

(o)

(p) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 3.3.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete. Inconsistency or determined to be complete. The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety:
(A) Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety. designation.
(B) The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Neither shall anything Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Nothing Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Nothing Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) This section does not Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(D) Accessory dwelling unit, as defined in Section 65852.2.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “deemed complete” means that the applicant has submitted a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1.

(5)

(6) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Votes Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(7) “Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
(8) Until January 1, 2025, “objective” means involving no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and being uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official.
(9) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “determined to be complete” means that the applicant has submitted a complete application pursuant to Section 65943.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the housing development project’s application is deemed complete pursuant to Section 65943, or determined to be complete, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) (d), and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing. record, and with the requirements of subdivision (o).
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is application was deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If an applicant elects to revise the application in response to any comments, and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.

(B)

(C) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A), (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus pursuant to Section 65915 shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity, conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.
(5) For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the housing development project to provide housing. housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.
(k) (1) (A) (i) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the any of the following are met, the court shall issue an order pursuant to clause (ii):
(I) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the evidence.
(II) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the evidence.
(III) (ia) Subject to sub-subclause (ib), the local agency, in violation of subdivision (o), required or attempted to require a housing development project to comply with an ordinance, policy, or standard not adopted and in effect when a preliminary application was submitted.
(ib) This subclause shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.
(ii) If the court finds that one of the conditions in clause (i) is met, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section. For purposes of this section, “lower density” includes conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section section, regardless of whether the action of the local agency was taken in a proceeding in which by law a hearing is required, shall be brought pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (6), and (7), and subdivision (d) of Section 65941.1, a housing development project shall be subject only to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when a preliminary application including all of the information required by subdivision (a) of Section 65941.1 was submitted.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not prohibit a housing development project from being subject to ordinances, policies, and standards adopted after the preliminary application was submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 in the following circumstances:
(A) In the case of a fee, charge, or other monetary exaction, to an increase resulting from an automatic annual adjustment based on an independently published cost index that is referenced in the ordinance or resolution establishing the fee or other monetary exaction.
(B) A preponderance of the evidence in the record establishes that subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, or standard beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to mitigate or avoid a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), and there is no feasible alternative method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact.
(C) Subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, standard, or any other measure, beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to avoid or substantially lessen an impact of the project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(D) The housing development project has not commenced construction within two and one-half years following the date that the project received final approval. For purposes of this subparagraph, “final approval” means that the housing development project has received all necessary approvals to be eligible to apply for, and obtain, a building permit or permits and either of the following is met:
(i) The expiration of all applicable appeal periods, petition periods, reconsideration periods, or statute of limitations for challenging that final approval without an appeal, petition, request for reconsideration, or legal challenge having been filed.
(ii) If a challenge is filed, that challenge is fully resolved or settled in favor of the housing development project.
(E) The housing development project is revised following submittal of a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1 such that the number of residential units or square footage of construction changes by 20 percent or more, exclusive of any increase resulting from the receipt of a density bonus, incentive, concession, waiver, or similar provision. For purposes of this subdivision, “square footage of construction” means the building area, as defined by the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations).
(3) This subdivision does not prevent a local agency from subjecting the additional units or square footage of construction that result from project revisions occurring after a preliminary application is submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when the preliminary application was submitted.
(4) For purposes of this subdivision, “ordinances, policies, and standards” includes general plan, community plan, specific plan, zoning, design review standards and criteria, subdivision standards and criteria, and any other rules, regulations, requirements, and policies of a local agency, as defined in Section 66000, including those relating to development impact fees, capacity or connection fees or charges, permit or processing fees, and other exactions.
(5) This subdivision shall not be construed in a manner that would lessen the restrictions imposed on a local agency, or lessen the protections afforded to a housing development project, that are established by any other law, including any other part of this section.
(6) This subdivision shall not restrict the authority of a public agency or local agency to require mitigation measures to lessen the impacts of a housing development project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(7) With respect to completed residential units for which the project approval process is complete and a certificate of occupancy has been issued, nothing in this subdivision shall limit the application of later enacted ordinances, policies, and standards that regulate the use and occupancy of those residential units, such as ordinances relating to rental housing inspection, rent stabilization, restrictions on short-term renting, and business licensing requirements for owners of rental housing.
(8) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.
(p) (1) This section shall apply to a housing development project regardless of whether the local agency’s review of the project is a ministerial or use by right decision, or a discretionary approval.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.

(o)

(q) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 4.

 (a) Section 3.1 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 330. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, and (3) Senate Bill 592 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 330, in which case Sections 3, 3.2, and 3.3 of this bill shall not become operative.
(b) Section 3.2 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 592. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, (3) Senate Bill 330 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 592 in which case Sections 3, 3.1, and 3.3 of this bill shall not become operative.
(c) Section 3.3 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by this bill, Senate Bill 330, and Senate Bill 592. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) all three bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) all three bills amend Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 330 and Senate Bill 592, in which case Sections 3, 3.1, and 3.2 of this bill shall not become operative.