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ACA-7 Local government: police power: municipal affairs: land use and zoning.(2021-2022)



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ACA7:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Constitutional Amendment
No. 7


Introduced by Assembly Member Muratsuchi
(Principal coauthor: Senator Glazer)

March 16, 2021


A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Section 7 of, and adding Section 5.5 to, Article XI thereof, relating to local government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACA 7, as introduced, Muratsuchi. Local government: police power: municipal affairs: land use and zoning.
The California Constitution authorizes a city or county to make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws, which is also known as the police power. Existing law also authorizes a county or city to adopt a charter, as provided. The California Constitution authorizes a city governed under a charter make and enforce all ordinances and regulations in respect to municipal affairs and provides that, with respect to municipal affairs, a city charter supersedes all inconsistent laws. Under the California Constitution, the power to regulate land use is within the scope of the police power, and is also generally considered to be a municipal affair, for purposes of these provisions.
This measure would provide that a county or city ordinance or regulation enacted under the police power that regulates the zoning or use of land within the boundaries of the county or city would prevail over conflicting general laws, with specified exceptions. The measure, in the event of the conflict with a state statute, would also specify that a city charter provision, or an ordinance or regulation adopted pursuant to a city charter, that regulates the zoning or use of land within the boundaries of the city is deemed to address a municipal affair and prevails over a conflicting state statute, except that the measure would provide that a court may determine that a city charter provision, ordinance, or regulation addresses either a matter of statewide concern or a municipal affair if it conflicts with specified state statutes. The measure would make findings in this regard and provide that its provisions are severable.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

Resolved by the Assembly, the Senate concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California at its 2021–22 Regular Session commencing on the seventh day of December 2020, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, hereby proposes to the people of the State of California, that the Constitution of the State be amended as follows:

First—

 That the people of the State of California find and declare all of the following:
(a) The circumstances and impacts of local land use decisions vary greatly across the state from locality to locality.
(b) The infrastructure required to maintain appropriate levels of public services, including police and fire services, parklands and public open spaces, transportation, schools, and sewers, also varies greatly across the state from locality to locality.
(c) Land use decisions made by local officials seek to balance development with the economic, environmental, and social needs of the particular communities served by those local officials.
(d) Thus, it is in the best interests of the state for these complex decisions to be made at the local level to ensure that the specific, unique characteristics, constraints, and needs of those communities are properly analyzed and addressed.
(e) Gentrification of housing adjacent to public transportation will reduce or eliminate the availability of very low income housing near public transit.
(f) The Legislature cannot properly assess the impacts upon each community of sweeping land use rules and zoning regulations that apply across the state and, as a result, do great harm to many local communities with differing circumstances and concerns.
(g) Development within a community should not be controlled by state laws that may or may not address the needs of, and the impacts upon, that local community.
(h) Numerous state laws have been enacted, and continue to be proposed, that eliminate or erode local control over the type and character of local development.
(i) The purpose of this measure is to ensure that all decisions regarding local land use controls and zoning regulations are made within the affected communities in accordance with local law, while still allowing either local or state law to control, as it otherwise would, in those instances where state and local law conflict regarding the coastal zone, the siting of a power plant that can generate more than 50 megawatts of electricity, or the development or construction of a water or transportation infrastructure project for which the Legislature declares why the project addresses a matter of statewide concern and is in the best interests of the state. For purposes of this measure, it is the intent that a transportation infrastructure project not include a transit-oriented development project that is residential, commercial, or mixed used.

Second—

 That Section 5.5 is added to Article XI thereof, to read:

SEC. 5.5.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), in the event of a conflict with a state statute, a city charter provision, or an ordinance or a regulation adopted pursuant to a city charter, that regulates the zoning or use of land within the boundaries of the city shall be deemed to address a municipal affair within the meaning of Section 5 and shall prevail over a conflicting state statute.
(b) A city charter provision, or an ordinance or a regulation adopted pursuant to a city charter, may be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, in accordance with Section 5, to address either a matter of statewide concern or a municipal affair if that provision, ordinance, or regulation conflicts with a state statute with regard to any of the following:
(1) The California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code), or a successor statute.
(2) The siting of a power generating facility capable of generating more than 50 megawatts of electricity.
(3) The development or construction of a water or transportation infrastructure project for which the Legislature has declared in statute the reasons why the project addresses a matter of statewide concern and is in the best interests of the state. For purposes of this paragraph, a transportation infrastructure project does not include a transit-oriented development project, whether residential, commercial, or mixed use.
(c) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

Third—

 That Section 7 of Article XI thereof is amended to read:

SEC. 7.
 (a) A county or city may make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not that are not, except as provided in subdivision (b), in conflict with general laws.
(b) (1) A county or city ordinance or regulation that regulates the zoning or use of land within the boundaries of the county or city shall prevail over conflicting general laws, except for the following:
(A) An ordinance or regulation that conflicts with the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code), or a successor statute.
(B) An ordinance or regulation that addresses the siting of a power generating facility capable of generating more than 50 megawatts of electricity.
(C) An ordinance or regulation that addresses the development or construction of a water or transportation infrastructure project for which the Legislature has declared in statute the reasons why the project addresses a matter of statewide concern and is in the best interests of the state. For purposes of this subparagraph, a transportation infrastructure project does not include a transit-oriented development project, whether residential, commercial, or mixed use.
(2) The provisions of this subdivision are severable. If any provision of this subdivision or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.