Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 7. PLANNING AND LAND USE [65000 - 66499.58]

  ( Heading of Title 7 amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1536. )

DIVISION 1. PLANNING AND ZONING [65000 - 66301]

  ( Heading of Division 1 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1536. )

CHAPTER 4.5. Review and Approval of Development Projects [65920 - 65964.1]

  ( Chapter 4.5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1200. )

ARTICLE 5. Approval of Development Permits [65950 - 65957.5]
  ( Article 5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1200. )

65950.
  

(a) A public agency that is the lead agency for a development project shall approve or disapprove the project within whichever of the following periods is applicable:

(1) One hundred eighty days from the date of certification by the lead agency of the environmental impact report, if an environmental impact report is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the Public Resources Code for the development project.

(2) Ninety days from the date of certification by the lead agency of the environmental impact report, if an environmental impact report is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the Public Resources Code for a development project defined in subdivision (c).

(3) Sixty days from the date of certification by the lead agency of the environmental impact report, if an environmental impact report is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the Public Resources Code for a development project defined in subdivision (c) and all of the following conditions are met:

(A) At least 49 percent of the units in the development project are affordable to very low or low-income households, as defined by Sections 50105 and 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, respectively. Rents for the lower income units shall be set at an affordable rent, as that term is defined in Section 50053 of the Health and Safety Code, for at least 30 years. Owner-occupied units shall be available at an affordable housing cost, as that term is defined in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) Prior to the application being deemed complete for the development project pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 65940), the lead agency received written notice from the project applicant that an application has been made or will be made for an allocation or commitment of financing, tax credits, bond authority, or other financial assistance from a public agency or federal agency, and the notice specifies the financial assistance that has been applied for or will be applied for and the deadline for application for that assistance, the requirement that one of the approvals of the development project by the lead agency is a prerequisite to the application for or approval of the application for financial assistance, and that the financial assistance is necessary for the project to be affordable as required pursuant to subparagraph (A).

(C) There is confirmation that the application has been made to the public agency or federal agency prior to certification of the environmental impact report.

(4) Sixty days from the date of adoption by the lead agency of the negative declaration, if a negative declaration is completed and adopted for the development project.

(5) Sixty days from the determination by the lead agency that the project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), if the project is exempt from that act.

(b) This section does not preclude a project applicant and a public agency from mutually agreeing in writing to an extension of any time limit provided by this section pursuant to Section 65957.

(c) For purposes of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) and Section 65952, “development project” means a housing development project, as that term is defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) of Section 65589.5.

(d) For purposes of this section, “lead agency” and “negative declaration” have the same meaning as defined in Sections 21067 and 21064 of the Public Resources Code, respectively.

(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 654, Sec. 11. (SB 330) Effective January 1, 2020. Repealed as of January 1, 2025, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Sec. 12 of Stats. 2019, Ch. 654.)

65950.
  

(a) A public agency that is the lead agency for a development project shall approve or disapprove the project within whichever of the following periods is applicable:

(1) One hundred eighty days from the date of certification by the lead agency of the environmental impact report, if an environmental impact report is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the Public Resources Code for the development project.

(2) One hundred twenty days from the date of certification by the lead agency of the environmental impact report, if an environmental impact report is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the Public Resources Code for a development project defined in subdivision (c).

(3) Ninety days from the date of certification by the lead agency of the environmental impact report, if an environmental impact report is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the Public Resources Code for a development project defined in subdivision (c) and all of the following conditions are met:

(A) At least 49 percent of the units in the development project are affordable to very low or low-income households, as defined by Sections 50105 and 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, respectively. Rents for the lower income units shall be set at an affordable rent, as that term is defined in Section 50053 of the Health and Safety Code, for at least 30 years. Owner-occupied units shall be available at an affordable housing cost, as that term is defined in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) Prior to the application being deemed complete for the development project pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 65940), the lead agency received written notice from the project applicant that an application has been made or will be made for an allocation or commitment of financing, tax credits, bond authority, or other financial assistance from a public agency or federal agency, and the notice specifies the financial assistance that has been applied for or will be applied for and the deadline for application for that assistance, the requirement that one of the approvals of the development project by the lead agency is a prerequisite to the application for or approval of the application for financial assistance, and that the financial assistance is necessary for the project to be affordable as required pursuant to subparagraph (A).

(C) There is confirmation that the application has been made to the public agency or federal agency prior to certification of the environmental impact report.

(4) Sixty days from the date of adoption by the lead agency of the negative declaration, if a negative declaration is completed and adopted for the development project.

(5) Sixty days from the determination by the lead agency that the project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), if the project is exempt from that act.

(b) This section does not preclude a project applicant and a public agency from mutually agreeing in writing to an extension of any time limit provided by this section pursuant to Section 65957.

(c) For purposes of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) and Section 65952, “development project” means a use consisting of either of the following:

(1) Residential units only.

(2) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses in which the nonresidential uses are less than 50 percent of the total square footage of the development and are limited to neighborhood commercial uses and to the first floor of buildings that are two or more stories. As used in this paragraph, “neighborhood commercial” means small-scale general or specialty stores that furnish goods and services primarily to residents of the neighborhood.

(d) For purposes of this section, “lead agency” and “negative declaration” have the same meaning as defined in Sections 21067 and 21064 of the Public Resources Code, respectively.

(e) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2025.

(Repealed (in Sec. 11) and added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 654, Sec. 12. (SB 330) Effective January 1, 2020. Section operative January 1, 2025, by its own provisions.)

65950.1.
  

Notwithstanding Section 65950, if there has been an extension of time pursuant to Section 21100.2 or 21151.5 of the Public Resources Code to complete and certify the environmental impact report, the lead agency shall approve or disapprove the project within 90 days after certification of the environmental impact report.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1240, Sec. 1.)

65950.5.
  

(a) If an applicant for a development project for natural gas exploration or production and a public agency agree in writing to expedite the public agency’s actions pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 65940) or this article, the public agency may provide the services, contract with a private entity, or employ persons on a temporary basis to perform the services necessary to meet those time limits.

(b) The private entities or persons temporarily employed by the public agency may, pursuant to a contract or agreement with the public agency, perform any of the functions necessary to comply with the requirements of Article 3 (commencing with Section 65940), this article, or local ordinances adopted pursuant to those articles, except those functions reserved by those articles or local ordinances to the legislative body of a local agency.

(c) A public agency may charge the applicant a fee that does not exceed the estimated reasonable cost of providing the service pursuant to this section. A local agency shall comply with Section 66014, Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 66016), and Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 66020).

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 439, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

65951.
  

In the event that a combined environmental impact report-environmental impact statement is being prepared on a development project pursuant to Section 21083.6 of the Public Resources Code, a lead agency shall approve or disapprove the project within 90 days after the combined environmental impact report-environmental impact statement has been completed and adopted.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 283, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)

65952.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a public agency that is a responsible agency for a development project that has been approved by the lead agency shall approve or disapprove the development project within whichever of the following periods of time is longer:

(1) Within 180 days from the date on which the lead agency has approved the project.

(2) Within 180 days of the date on which the completed application for the development project has been received and accepted as complete by that responsible agency.

(b) A public agency other than the California Coastal Commission that is a responsible agency for a development project described in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 65950 that has been approved by the lead agency shall approve or disapprove the development project within whichever of the following periods of time is longer:

(1) Within 90 days from the date on which the lead agency has approved the project.

(2) Within 90 days of the date on which the completed application for the development project has been received and accepted as complete by that responsible agency.

(c) At the time a decision by a lead agency to disapprove a development project becomes final, applications for that project which are filed with responsible agencies shall be deemed withdrawn.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 566, Sec. 2. (AB 2180) Effective January 1, 2017.)

65952.1.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), where a development project consists of a subdivision pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410) of Title 7), the time limits established by Sections 65950 and 65952 shall apply to the approval or disapproval of the tentative map, or the parcel map for which a tentative map is not required.

(b) The time limits specified in Sections 66452.1, 66452.2, and 66463 for tentative maps and parcel maps for which a tentative map is not required, shall continue to apply and are not extended by the time limits specified in subdivision (a).

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 847, Sec. 3.)

65952.2.
  

No public agency shall disapprove an application for a development project in order to comply with the time limits specified in this chapter. Any disapproval of an application for a development project shall specify reasons for disapproval other than the failure to timely act in accordance with the time limits specified in this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1068, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

65953.
  

All time limits specified in this article are maximum time limits for approving or disapproving development projects. All public agencies shall, if possible, approve or disapprove development projects in shorter periods of time.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1200.)

65954.
  

The time limits established by this article shall not apply in the event that federal statutes or regulations require time schedules which exceed such time limits.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1200.)

65955.
  

The time limits established by this article shall not apply to applications to appropriate water where such applications have been protested pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1330) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Water Code, or to petitions for changes pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1700) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Water Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1113.)

65956.
  

(a) If any provision of law requires the lead agency or responsible agency to provide public notice of the development project or to hold a public hearing, or both, on the development project and the agency has not provided the public notice or held the hearing, or both, at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the time limits established by Sections 65950 and 65952, the applicant or his or her representative may file an action pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure to compel the agency to provide the public notice or hold the hearing, or both, and the court shall give the proceedings preference over all other civil actions or proceedings, except older matters of the same character.

(b) In the event that a lead agency or a responsible agency fails to act to approve or to disapprove a development project within the time limits required by this article, the failure to act shall be deemed approval of the permit application for the development project. However, the permit shall be deemed approved only if the public notice required by law has occurred. If the applicant has provided seven days advance notice to the permitting agency of the intent to provide public notice, then no earlier than 60 days from the expiration of the time limits established by Sections 65950 and 65952, an applicant may provide the required public notice using the distribution information provided pursuant to Section 65941.5. If the applicant chooses to provide public notice, that notice shall include a description of the proposed development substantially similar to the descriptions which are commonly used in public notices by the permitting agency, the location of the proposed development, the permit application number, the name and address of the permitting agency, and a statement that the project shall be deemed approved if the permitting agency has not acted within 60 days. If the applicant has provided the public notice required by this section, the time limit for action by the permitting agency shall be extended to 60 days after the public notice is provided. If the applicant provides notice pursuant to this section, the permitting agency shall refund to the applicant any fees which were collected for providing notice and which were not used for that purpose.

(c) Failure of an applicant to submit complete or adequate information pursuant to Sections 65943 to 65944, inclusive, may constitute grounds for disapproving a development project.

(d) Nothing in this section shall diminish the permitting agency’s legal responsibility to provide, where applicable, public notice and hearing before acting on a permit application.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 550, Sec. 19. Effective September 28, 1999. Operative January 1, 2000, by Sec. 33 of Ch. 550.)

65956.5.
  

(a) Prior to an applicant providing advance notice to an environmental agency of the intent to provide public notice pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 65956 for action on an environmental permit, the applicant may submit an appeal in writing to the governing body of the environmental agency, or if there is no governing body, to the director of the environmental agency, as provided by the environmental agency, for a determination regarding the failure by the environmental agency to take timely action on the issuance or denial of the environmental permit in accordance with the time limits specified in this chapter.

(b) There shall be a final written determination by the environmental agency on the appeal not later than 60 calendar days after receipt of the applicant’s written appeal. The final written determination by the environmental agency shall specify both of the following:

(1) The reason or reasons for failing to act pursuant to the time limits in this chapter.

(2) A date by which the environmental agency shall act on the permit application.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any appeal submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) involving an environmental permit from an environmental agency shall be made to the Secretary for Environmental Protection if the environmental agency declines to accept the appeal for a decision pursuant to subdivision (a) or the environmental agency does not make a final written determination pursuant to subdivision (b).

(d) Any appeal submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) involving an environmental permit to a board, office, or department within the California Environmental Protection Agency shall be made to the Secretary for Environmental Protection.

(e) For purposes of this section, “environmental permit” has the same meaning as defined in Section 71012 of the Public Resources Code, and “environmental agency” has the same meaning as defined in Section 71011 of the Public Resources Code, except that “environmental agency” does not include the agencies described in subdivisions (c) and (h) of Section 71011 of the Public Resources Code.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 419, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1994.)

65957.
  

The time limits established by Sections 65950, 65950.1, 65951, and 65952 may be extended once upon mutual written agreement of the project applicant and the public agency for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of the extension. No other extension, continuance, or waiver of these time limits either by the project applicant or the lead agency shall be permitted, except as provided in this section and Section 65950.1. Failure of the lead agency to act within these time limits may result in the project being deemed approved pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (b) of Section 65956.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 283, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1999.)

65957.1.
  

In the event that a development project requires more than one approval by a public agency, such agency may establish time limits (1) for submitting the information required in connection with each separate request for approval and (2) for acting upon each such request; provided, however, that the time period for acting on all such requests shall not, in aggregate, exceed those limits specified in Sections 65950 and 65952.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1113.)

65957.5.
  

(a) Whenever the director of a Department of Transportation highway district recommends to a public agency considering an application to subdivide real property or to issue a construction permit that the agency impose certain conditions on its approval of the application, the applicant may appeal the district director’s recommendation.

(b) The Department of Transportation shall adopt regulations prescribing procedures for effecting an appeal pursuant to subdivision (a). The appeal shall be made in writing to the Director of Transportation. The director’s decision on the appeal shall be rendered within 60 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, and the director’s written determination shall be transmitted to the appellant and to the agency to whom the appealed recommendation was made. The adopted regulations shall require the appellant to pay to the department a fee of not more than 50 percent of the estimated administrative cost to the department of conducting the appeal.

(c) The appeal process, including the director’s written determination, shall be completed at least 60 days prior to completion of the period of public review for a draft environmental impact report or a negative declaration prescribed by Section 21091 of the Public Resources Code.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 796, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1994.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV5