Jun 30, 2020 0 Comments in Affordable Housing, Legislation by
BayHAC Updates from Sacramento

The Bay Area Housing Advocacy Coalition (BayHAC) has been hard at work in the state capitol (digitally) supporting a number of bills working through the Senate and Assembly. Looking at the calendar, both the Senate and Assembly are in breaks until mid-July. At this point, all bills will have needed to be voted out of its house of origin and moved to the second house.

HAC has worked with stakeholders across the state including California YIMBY, the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, SPUR, Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Up For Growth, and many others to establish “priority” bills for the production of housing in California. The following bills have been endorsed by BayHAC.

Bills Endorsed:
Senate Bill 899 (Wiener)
Senate Bill 902 (Wiener)
Senate Bill 995 (Atkins)
Senate Bill 1085 (Skinner)
Senate Bill 1120 (Atkins)
Senate Bill 1385 (Caballero)
Assembly Bill 831 (Grayson)
Assembly Bill 2323 (Friedman)
Assembly Bill 2345 (Gonzalez)
Assembly Bill 3153 (Rivas)
Assembly Bill 3279 (Friedman)

The top bills in the Senate have been lumped together by Pro Tem Atkins and others, and are commonly referred to as the Senate Housing Package. The six bills in the package include:

Senate Bill 899 (Wiener)
Summary: The Planning and Zoning Law requires each county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for its physical development, and the development of certain lands outside its boundaries, that includes, among other mandatory elements, a housing element. That law allows a development proponent to submit an application for a development that is subject to a specified streamlined, ministerial approval process not subject to a conditional use permit if the development satisfies certain objective planning standards. This bill would require that a housing development project be a use by right upon the request of an independent institution of higher education or religious institution that partners with a qualified developer on or before January 1, 2020, if the development satisfies specified criteria.

Senate Bill 902 (Wiener)
Summary: Would authorize a local government to pass an ordinance, notwithstanding any local restrictions on adopting zoning ordinances, to zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density per parcel, at a height specified by the local government in the ordinance, if the parcel is located in a transit-rich area, a jobs-rich area, or an urban infill site, as those terms are defined. In this regard, the bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development, with the Office of Planning and Research, to determine jobs-rich areas and publish a map of those areas every 5 years.

Senate Bill 995 (Atkins)
Summary: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. CEQA authorizes the preparation of a master environmental impact report (EIR)  and authorizes the use of the master EIR to limit the environmental review of subsequent projects that are described in the master EIR, as specified. This bill would require a lead agency to prepare a master EIR for a general plan, plan amendment, plan element, or specified plan for housing projects where the state has provided funding for the preparation of the master EIR.

Senate Bill 1085 (Skinner)
Summary: The Density Bonus Law requires a city or county to provide a developer that proposes a housing development in the city or county with a density bonus and other incentives or concessions for the production of lower income housing units, or for the donation of land within the development, if the developer agrees to, among other things, construct a specified percentage of units for very low income, low-income, or moderate-income households or qualifying residents, including lower income students. Current law defines “incentives or concessions” to include, among other things, regulatory incentives or concessions proposed by the developer or the city or county that result in identifiable and actual cost reductions to provide for affordable housing costs, as specified.This bill would revise that definition of “incentives or concessions” to include those proposed regulatory incentives or concessions that the developer determines result in identifiable and actual cost reductions to provide for affordable housing costs.

Senate Bill 1120 (Atkins)
Summary: Would require a proposed housing development containing 2 residential units to be considered ministerially, without discretionary review or hearing, in zones where allowable uses are limited to single-family residential development if the proposed housing development meets certain requirements, including that the proposed housing development would not require demolition or alteration requiring evacuation or eviction of an existing housing unit that is subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law that restricts rents to levels affordable to persons and families of moderate, low, or very low income.

Senate Bill 1385 (Caballero)
Summary: The Planning and Zoning Law requires each county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for its physical development, and the development of certain lands outside its boundaries, that includes a housing element. This bill, the Neighborhood Homes Act, would deem a housing development project, as defined, an authorized use on a neighborhood lot that is zoned for office or retail commercial use under a local agency’s zoning code or general plan. The bill would require the density for a housing development under these provisions to meet or exceed the density deemed appropriate to accommodate housing for lower income households according to the type of local jurisdiction, including a density of at least 20 units per acre for a suburban jurisdiction.

The State Assembly has also put together a housing package, which includes many of our top priority bills. Our top priority bills are:

Assembly Bill 831 (Grayson)
Summary: The Planning and Zoning Law, until January 1, 2026, authorizes a development proponent to submit an application for a multifamily housing development that is subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process, as provided, and not subject to a conditional use permit, if the development satisfies specified objective planning standards, including, among other things, that the development is located on a site that satisfies specified location, urbanization, and zoning requirements. Current law requires a local government that determines that a development submitted pursuant to these provisions is in conflict with any of the objective planning standards to provide the development proponent written documentation of which standard or standards the development conflicts with and an explanation of the reasons, as specified. This bill would require the development and the site on which it is located to satisfy the specified location, urbanization, and zoning requirements.

Assembly Bill 2323 (Friedman)
Summary: CEQA exempts from its requirements a transit priority project that is declared by the legislative body of a local government to be a sustainable communities project and various housing projects, including, among others, agricultural employee housing projects, affordable housing projects, housing projects on infill sites, and residential or mixed-use housing projects, that meet certain requirements. This bill would allow a project located on a site that is included in lists regarding the presence of hazardous substances compiled by specified state agencies to be exempt from those requirements if the Department of Toxic Substances Control has cleared the site for the proposed land use.

Assembly Bill 2345 (Gonzalez)
Summary: The Planning and Zoning Law requires the planning agency of a city or county to provide by April 1 of each year an annual report to, among other entities, the Department of Housing and Community Development that includes, the number of net new units of housing that have been issued a completed entitlement, a building permit, or a certificate of occupancy, thus far in the housing element cycle, as provided. This bill would require that the annual report include specified information regarding density bonuses granted in accordance with specified law.

Assembly Bill 3153 (Rivas)
Summary: Would require a local agency, as defined, to allow an applicant for a housing development project to reduce the number of motor vehicle parking spaces that they would otherwise be required to provide based on the number of long-term bicycle parking spaces and car-sharing spaces provided subject to certain limitations, as specified. The bill would provide that a parking reduction allowed pursuant to these provisions does not reduce or increase the number of incentives or concessions to which the applicant is otherwise entitled under a specified provision of the Density Bonus Law.

Assembly Bill 3279 (Friedman)
Summary: The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of an environmental impact report (EIR) on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment. If the project does not have that effect, a lead agency is required to adopt a negative declaration. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. Among other changes, this bill would repeal certain obsolete and duplicative provisions from CEQA and make non substantive changes to certain other provisions.

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SF Housing Action Coalition

SF Housing Action Coalition

The SF Housing Action Coalition is a member-supported non-profit that advocates for the creation of well designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe more housing means more choices and better solutions for San Franciscans.

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