Amended in Assembly March 26, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1268


Introduced by Assembly Memberbegin delete Travis Allenend deletebegin insert end insertbegin insertSteinorthend insert

February 27, 2015


An act to amend Sectionbegin delete 30500end deletebegin insert 21159.21end insert of the Public Resources Code, relating tobegin delete coastal resources.end deletebegin insert the California Environmental Quality Act.end insert

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1268, as amended, begin deleteTravis Allenend delete begin insertSteinorthend insert. begin deleteCoastal resources: local coastal programs. end deletebegin insertCalifornia Environmental Quality Act: exemption for a housing project.end insert

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The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally requires all state and local governmental lead agencies to prepare, or cause to be prepared by contract, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on any discretionary project that they propose to carry out or approve that may result in a significant effect on the environment, that is, a substantial, or potentially substantial, adverse change in the physical conditions that exist within the area that will be affected by the project. Under existing law, a housing project qualifies for an exemption from CEQA if certain requirements are met, including the requirement that the site is not located within the boundaries of a state conservancy.

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This bill would eliminate the requirement that the site not be located within the boundaries of a state conservancy.

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The California Coastal Act of 1976 establishes procedures for the preparation, approval, and certification of local coastal programs. The act requires each local coastal program to contain a specific public access component to ensure that maximum public access to the coast and public recreation areas is provided.

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This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to that public access provision.

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Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

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begin insertSection 21159.21 of the end insertbegin insertPublic Resources Codeend insert
2begin insert is amended to read:end insert

3

21159.21.  

A housing project qualifies for an exemption from
4this division pursuant to Section 21159.22, 21159.23, or 21159.24
5if it meets the criteria in the applicable section and all of the
6following criteria:

7(a) The project is consistent with any applicable general plan,
8specific plan, and local coastal program, including any mitigation
9measures required by a plan or program, as that plan or program
10existed on the date that the application was deemed complete and
11with any applicable zoning ordinance, as that zoning ordinance
12existed on the date that the application was deemed complete,
13except that a project shall not be deemed to be inconsistent with
14the zoning designation for the site if that zoning designation is
15inconsistent with the general plan only because the project site has
16not been rezoned to conform with a more recently adopted general
17plan.

18(b) Community-level environmental review has been adopted
19or certified.

20(c) The project and other projects approved prior to the approval
21of the project can be adequately served by existing utilities, and
22the project applicant has paid, or has committed to pay, all
23applicable in-lieu or development fees.

24(d) The site of the project does not contain wetlands, does not
25have any value as a wildlife habitat, and the project does not harm
26any species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act of
271973 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.) or by the Native Plant Protection
28Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1900) of Division 2
29of the Fish and Game Code), the California Endangered Species
30Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3
31of the Fish and Game Code), and the project does not cause the
P3    1destruction or removal of any species protected by a local ordinance
2in effect at the time the application for the project was deemed
3complete. For the purposes of this subdivision, “wetlands” has the
4same meaning as in Section 328.3 of Title 33 of the Code of
5Federal Regulations and “wildlife habitat” means the ecological
6communities upon which wild animals, birds, plants, fish,
7amphibians, and invertebrates depend for their conservation and
8protection.

9(e) The site of the project is not included on any list of facilities
10and sites compiled pursuant to Section 65962.5 of the Government
11Code.

12(f) The site of the project is subject to a preliminary
13endangerment assessment prepared by an environmental assessor
14to determine the existence of any release of a hazardous substance
15on the site and to determine the potential for exposure of future
16occupants to significant health hazards from any nearby property
17or activity.

18(1) If a release of a hazardous substance is found to exist on the
19site, the release shall be removed, or any significant effects of the
20release shall be mitigated to a level of insignificance in compliance
21with state and federal requirements.

22(2) If a potential for exposure to significant hazards from
23surrounding properties or activities is found to exist, the effects of
24the potential exposure shall be mitigated to a level of insignificance
25in compliance with state and federal requirements.

26(g) The project does not have a significant effect on historical
27resources pursuant to Section 21084.1.

28(h) The project site is not subject to any of the following:

29(1) A wildland fire hazard, as determined by the Department of
30Forestry and Fire Protection, unless the applicable general plan or
31zoning ordinance contains provisions to mitigate the risk of a
32wildland fire hazard.

33(2) An unusually high risk of fire or explosion from materials
34stored or used on nearby properties.

35(3) Risk of a public health exposure at a level that would exceed
36the standards established by any state or federal agency.

37(4) Within a delineated earthquake fault zone, as determined
38pursuant to Section 2622, or a seismic hazard zone, as determined
39pursuant to Section 2696, unless the applicable general plan or
P4    1zoning ordinance contains provisions to mitigate the risk of an
2earthquake fault or seismic hazard zone.

3(5) Landslide hazard, flood plain, flood way, or restriction zone,
4unless the applicable general plan or zoning ordinance contains
5provisions to mitigate the risk of a landslide or flood.

6(i) (1) The project site is not located on developed open space.

7(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, “developed open space”
8means land that meets all of the following criteria:

9(A) Is publicly owned, or financed in whole or in part by public
10funds.

11(B) Is generally open to, and available for use by, the public.

12(C) Is predominantly lacking in structural development other
13than structures associated with open spaces, including, but not
14limited to, playgrounds, swimming pools, ballfields, enclosed child
15play areas, and picnic facilities.

16(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, “developed open space”
17includes land that has been designated for acquisition by a public
18agency for developed open space, but does not include lands
19acquired by public funds dedicated to the acquisition of land for
20housing purposes.

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21(j) The project site is not located within the boundaries of a state
22conservancy.

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SECTION 1.  

Section 30500 of the Public Resources Code is
24amended to read:

25

30500.  

(a) Each local government lying, in whole or in part,
26within the coastal zone shall prepare a local coastal program for
27that portion of the coastal zone within its jurisdiction. However,
28any local government may request, in writing, the commission to
29prepare a local coastal program, or a portion thereof, for the local
30government. Each local coastal program prepared pursuant to this
31chapter shall contain a specific public access component to ensure
32that maximum public access to the coast and public recreation
33areas is provided.

34(b) Amendments to a local general plan for the purpose of
35developing a certified local coastal program shall not constitute
36an amendment of a general plan for purposes of Section 65358 of
37the Government Code.

38(c) The precise content of each local coastal program shall be
39determined by the local government, consistent with Section 30501,
P5    1in full consultation with the commission and with full public
2participation.

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