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Governor Considers Land Use Legislation Among 600 Pending Bills

Josh Stephens on
Sep 26, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown has indicated that he has little patience for new laws that he considers pointless or redundant. He recently noted, in fact, that many of the laws passed during the recent legsilative session, which ended Aug. 31, try to address problems that haven't gone away on countless previous attempts to legislate them away. So why bother passing new laws?

Therefore, of the 600-plus bills waiting on the governor's desk--including many involving land use--many are likely to get vetoed. Here is a rough list of bills that the governor is considering: 

CEQA

SB 226 (Simitian) allows CEQA benefits to certain urban infill projects deemed "green."

Senate Bill 292 (Padilla) SB 292, which provides judicial streamlining for AEG's proposed downtown Los Angles football stadium in exchange for certain environmental commitments.

Assembly Bill 900 (Buchanan) will allow the Governor to choose as many projects as he deems appropriate for the expedited judicial review process, primarily by skipping Superior Court review and expediting the timeline for the litigation process at Appellate Court 

AB 320 (Hill) - Bill will prevent CEQA lawsuits and litigation from being thrown out in the event a "recipient of approval" appears only after the statute of limitations time period has passed. The bill will help bring clarity to the question of which parties must be named in CEQA lawsuits and litigation.

Development

SB 469 (Vargas) would require additional economic and community impact analyses for retail developments that are 90,000 feet or larger and sell groceries. The bill is reportedly intended to hamper the development of Walmart superstores in San Diego. 

Redevelopment

SB 450 (Lowenthal) makes many changes to the rules governing spending of redevelopment agencies' Low and Moderate Income Housing Funds. It requires at least 75% of funds be spent on construction, rehab, or preservation of homes affordable to lower-income households, with at least 25% for extremely low-income and 25% for very low-income. Establishes a cap on the amount of funds spent on administration. Provides approximately $500,000 annually to the state Department of Housing and Community Development to conduct audits of agencies' spending.

SB 8x extends the repayment deadline by five years for any redevelopment agency that borrowed money from its Low and Moderate Income Housing Fund in 2009-10 and 2010-11. 

AB 1338 (Roger Hernández) requires redevelopment agencies to get appraisals before acquiring real property. Chaptered.

AB 936 (Hueso) requires redevelopment agencies and other public bodies to report debt forgiveness.  Chaptered.

Housing

AB 1220 (Alejo/Steinberg) extends the deadline for community residents to hold local governments accountable for housing planning that meets the needs of all community members. Currently, residents only have 90 days to notify a city or county that its housing plan (aka "housing element") does not meet state standards. AB 1220 would extend this 90-day period to  three years. After notification and a two-month negotiating period, if the locality still refuses to plan for the development of homes affordable to all, then residents can bring suit.

AB 1103 (Huffman) allows localities to count foreclosed homes and second units converted into deed-restricted homes toward their regional housing needs assessment requirement.

Water & Waste

AB 275 (Solorio) -  The Rainwater Capture Act of 2011 - which would authorize landowners to install, maintain, and operate rain barrel systems, provided that the systems comply with specified requirements.

AB 359 (Huffman) - Groundwater management plans – Bill would encourage the sustainable management of groundwater resources by requiring, as a condition of receiving a state grant or loan, local agencies to including a map of prime recharge areas in their groundwater management plans. It would then require these maps to be shared with the planning agencies, interested parties and organizations.

SB 833 (Vargas) - San Diego solid waste facilities - This bill, co-authored by Assembly Member Hueso, will protect critical drinking water sources and sacred Native American sites in Northern San Diego County, by making it illegal to operate a landfill within 1,000 feet of those sensitive resources. This bill applies only to new landfills and not existing, permitted landfills or any expansion of an existing, permitted landfill.

AB 54 (Solorio) establishes new requirements for organizing and operating mutual water companies.  

Infrastructure

AB 664 (Ammiano) allows San Francisco to form special waterfront Infrastructure Financing Districts for the Port America's Cup and Treasure Island areas.  

AB 696 (Hueso) requires the Infrastructure Bank to improve its analysis of benefits when selecting projects

AB 700 (Blumenfield) makes the Infrastructure Bank independent under the governor.  

SB 310 (Hancock) allows cities and counties to adapt Infrastructure Financing Districts and other incentives for transit priority projects.  

Miscellaneous

SB 618 (Wolk) allows landowners and local officials to simultaneously rescind Williamson Act contracts and enter into easements allowing photovoltaic solar facilities on the same land. 

SB 555 (Hancock) allows Mello-Roos community facilities districts to finance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water efficiency improvements on private property.  

SB 244 (Wolk) General Plan: Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities.. Mandates General Plans be updated to address disadvantaged unincorporated communities. Cities required to submit dual annexation requests.  

AB 1430 (Committee on Local Government): The Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 omnibus bill.

AB 42 (Huffman): State Parks Partnerships. Would allow the state to explore partnerships with non-profit organizations that can help support state park system. 

AB 1344 (Feuer) Local Governance: Alters the statutory requirements regarding how cities and counties can put a proposed charter before the voters. Increases the noticing period from the regular 72-hour noticing requirement to a 10-week process.

AB 912 (Gordon) expedites the dissolution of special districts.  

Vetoes

SB 847 (Correa): Medical Marijuana Program: zoning restrictions: residential use. 

SB 386 (Harman): State parks: proposed closures: public notice. 

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