BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair 812 (Ashburn) Hearing Date: 01/21/2010 Amended: 01/13/2010 Consultant: Mark McKenzie Policy Vote: T&H 10-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: SB 812 would require the housing element to include an analysis of the special housing needs of persons with developmental disabilities. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Fund Mandate Unknown, moderate costs to local Local/ governments. Unlikely to be reimbursable. General ----------see staff comments---------- _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: SUSPENSE FILE. The Planning and Zoning Law requires cities and counties to prepare and adopt a general plan, including a housing element to guide the future growth of a community. Following a staggered schedule, cities and counties located in more urban areas revise their housing elements every eight years, while rural local governments are on a five year schedule. A housing element must identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs, identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning to meet its fair share of the regional housing need, and ensure that regulatory systems provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development. The housing needs assessment portion of the housing element must include an analysis of any special housing needs of the following specified groups: the elderly, persons with disabilities, large families, farmworkers, families with female heads of households, and families and persons in need of emergency shelter. Existing law also requires cities and counties to make a diligent effort to achieve public participation of all economic segments of the community in the housing element development process. HCD reviews both draft and adopted housing elements to determine whether or not they are in substantial compliance with the law. DDS currently provides community-based services to approximately 243,000 persons with developmental disabilities and their families through a statewide system of 21 regional centers, four developmental centers, and two community-based facilities. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are the fastest growing developmental disability in California, and within the next decade the state is projected to face a massive influx of persons with ASD who want to live independently. Currently, approximately 6,000 adults with a diagnosis of ASD receive services from DDS. In the next five years, more than 4,000 teenagers diagnosed with ASD will reach adulthood. By 2018, the number of adults with an ASD diagnosis who are receiving services from DDS is expected to grow to 19,000. This bill is intended to identify some of the particular needs of persons with developmental disabilities, using data that is available from regional centers and other facilities, so that local governments can ensure the provision of adequate and appropriate housing for this population, including persons living with ASD. Page 2 SB 812 (Ashburn) SB 812 would require cities and counties to make a diligent effort to obtain, assess, and analyze appropriate information on the special housing needs of persons with developmental disabilities, and include the analysis of this information within the housing needs assessment portion of the housing element. Legislative Counsel has keyed SB 812 as a state-mandated local program by requiring additional information to be included in the housing element. Recent decisions by the Commission on State Mandates (COSM), however, indicate that local governments may not succeed in filing a test claim for reimbursement for the higher level of service imposed by this bill. In 2005, the COSM reversed previous decisions that had provided for reimbursement to local governments and councils of government (COGs) for the "Regional Housing Needs Determination" mandate (Statutes of 1980, Chapter 1143), related to housing element requirements. On reconsideration of the previous decisions, the COSM determined, in light of statutes enacted and court decisions rendered since 1980, that previously approved test claims are not reimbursable because cities, counties, and COGs have fee authority for this program, citing Government Code Sections 65104, which authorizes local entities to establish fees to support the work of the planning agency, and 65584.1, which allows a city or county to charge a fee to recover costs incurred by a COG in distributing regional housing needs. In light of these decisions, staff notes that the COSM would probably not approve a claim for reimbursement related to SB 812 because local entities have the authority to charge fees for planning costs, including costs associated with housing element requirements. If a successful claim were filed, however, costs would likely be relatively minor for each agency to comply with the requirements of this bill.