BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2180


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          Date of Hearing:   April 20, 2016


                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT


                           Susan Talamantes Eggman, Chair


          AB 2180  
          (Ting) - As Amended March 31, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Land use:  development project review.


          SUMMARY:  Expedites timelines for approval or disapproval by a  
          public agency for certain types of development projects.  
          Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Expedites, pursuant to the Permit Streamlining Act, the  
            timelines for review of a development project by a public  
            agency, as follows:


             a)   Requires a public agency that is a responsible agency  
               for a development project that has been approved by the  
               lead agency to approve or disapprove the development  
               project within whichever of the following periods of time  
               is longer:


               i)     Within 90 days from the date on which the lead  
                 agency has approved the project; or,


               ii)    Within 90 days of the date on which the completed  
                 application for the development project has been received  








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                 and accepted as complete by that responsible agency.


             b)   Requires any public agency that is the lead agency for a  
               development project to approve or disapprove the project  
               within 120 days from the date of certification by the lead  
               agency of the environmental impact report (EIR), if an EIR  
               is prepared for a development project, and specified  
               conditions are met.


          2)Makes other minor and technical changes.


          3)Declares that no reimbursement is necessary because a local  
            agency has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or  
            assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of  
            service, as specified.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Defines, pursuant to the Permit Streamlining Act, the term  
            "development project" to mean a use consisting of either of  
            the following:


             a)   Residential units only; or, 


             b)   Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and  
               nonresidential uses in which the nonresidential uses are  
               less than 50% 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 or services primarily to residents of  








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               the neighborhood.


          2)Requires, pursuant to the Permit Streamlining Act, any public  
            agency that is the lead agency for a development project to  
            approve or disapprove the project within whichever of the  
            following periods is applicable:


             a)   180 days from the date of certification by the lead  
               agency of the EIR, if an EIR is prepared, pursuant to  
               existing law for the development project;


             b)   90 days from the date of certification by the lead  
               agency of the EIR, if an EIR is prepared, pursuant to  
               existing law for the development project, and all of the  
               following conditions are met:


               i)     At least 49% of the units in the development project  
                 are affordable to very low- or low-income households, as  
                 defined.  Rents for the lower-income units shall be set  
                 at an affordable rent, as specified, for at least 30  
                 years.  Owner-occupied units shall be available at an  
                 affordable housing cost, as specified;


               ii)    Prior to the application being deemed complete for  
                 the development project, as specified, 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  








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                 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 i), above;  and,
               iii)   There is confirmation that the application has been  
                 made to the public agency or federal agency prior to  
                 certification of the EIR.


             c)   60 days from the date of the adoption by the lead agency  
               of the negative declaration if a negative declaration is  
               completed and adopted for the development project; or,


             d)   60 days from the determination by the lead agency that  
               the project is exempt from the California Environmental  
               Quality act (CEQA) if the project is exempt from CEQA.


          3)States that 2), above, does not preclude a project applicant  
            and a public agency from mutually agreeing in writing to an  
            extension of any time limited provided by existing law, as  
            specified.


          4)Requires any public agency which is a responsible agency for a  
            development project that has been approved by the lead agency  
            to approve or disapprove the development project within  
            whichever of the following periods of time is longer:


             a)   Within 180 days from the date on which the lead agency  
               has approved the project; or,


             b)   Within 180 days of the date on which the completed  
               application for the development project has been received  








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               and accepted as complete by that responsible agency.


          5)Provides that 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.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  This bill is keyed fiscal.


          COMMENTS:  


          1)Bill Summary.  This bill expedites, for a public agency, the  
            review process for certain development projects, pursuant to  
            the Permit Streamlining Act, specifically those development  
            projects that are either: a) residential units only; or, b)  
            mixed-use developments consisting of residential and  
            nonresidential uses in which the nonresidential uses are less  
            than 50% 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.


            The bill requires any public agency that is the lead agency  
            for a development project to approve or disapprove the project  
            within 120 days from the date of certification by the lead  
            agency of the EIR, if an EIR is prepared for that development  
            project.  The bill also requires a public agency that is a  
            responsible agency for a development project that has been  
            approved by the lead agency to approve or disapprove the  
            development project within whichever of the following periods  
            of time is longer:


             a)   Within 90 days from the date on which the lead agency  
               has approved the project; or,








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             b)   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.


            This bill is sponsored by the California Apartment  
            Association.


          2)Author's Statement.  According to the author, "California is  
            in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis caused by a  
            severe lack of new housing construction, both market rate and  
            affordable.  In its most recent report on housing, the  
            Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) stressed that facilitating  
            more private housing development was needed to make housing  
            more affordable for low-income Californians.


            "Unfortunately, the local and state approval processes for new  
            housing construction are frequently slow and cumbersome. In  
            its March 2015 report on "California's High Housing Costs:  
            Causes and Consequences", the LAO concluded:


            Cities and counties often require housing projects to go  
            through multiple layers of review prior to approval.  For  
            example, a project may require independent review by a  
            building department, health department, fire department,  
            planning commission, and city council. Each layer of review  
            can increase project approval time.  Additional complexity in  
            review processes also creates avenues for concerned residents  
            to slow building or reduce its size and scope? 


            "AB 2180 seeks to expedite the housing construction permit  
            approval process by reducing the time for a lead agency to  
            approve a housing project from 180 to 120 days.  The bill  








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            still ensures that purely affordable housing projects continue  
            to get the same 90 day approval process.  In addition, AB 2180  
            reduces the approval process for any other responsible public  
            agencies from 180 days to 90 days for all types of housing  
            developments. 


            "AB 2180 will ensure that badly needed housing projects move  
            through the building approval process faster.  It will not  
            only reduce the amount of time, but will also reduce costs and  
            other delays that can be associated with a lengthy approval  
            process. AB 2180 is a modest, yet important step towards  
            addressing California's severe housing shortage."


          3)Background.  The Permit Streamlining Act applies to all public  
            agencies, including charter cities, and was adopted to ensure  
            that permit applicants for projects are not subjected to  
            protracted and unjustified governmental delays in the  
            processing of the applications for development projects.  The  
            Legislature, in enacting the Permit Streamlining Act, declared  
            that "there is a statewide need to ensure clear understanding  
            of the specific requirements which must be met in connection  
            with the approval of development projects and to expedite  
            decisions on such projects."


            Submittal of a project application is the first step in the  
            streamlined permitting process.  Within 30 calendar days of  
            receiving an application, a city is required to respond to the  
            applicant in writing with the determination of whether the  
            application is complete and accepted for filing.  If the  
            application is deemed complete, the city proceeds with the  
            evaluation of the project, but if the application is  
            incomplete, the city is required to indicate in detail the  
            deficiencies in the application.  


            All deadlines under the Permit Streamlining Act begin from the  








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            day the application is accepted as complete or deemed  
            complete.  The completion date also starts the clock running  
            on processing the application.  If a city is acting as the  
            lead agency for a project for which an EIR is prepared, then  
            the city must approve or disapprove the project within 180  
            days from the date of the EIR's certification.  The Act  
            specifies other time lines for approval or disapproval by the  
            public agency, in coordination with specific CEQA actions,  
            like whether a project is exempt from CEQA, the adoption of a  
            negative declaration, or the certification of an EIR.  The Act  
            also contains timelines for approval of a development project  
            for a responsible agency, once the project has been approved  
            by the lead agency.  "Development project" is defined as  
            either a) residential units only; or, b) mixed-use  
            developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses  
            in which the nonresidential uses are less than 50% 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.


            If approval or disapproval of a project does not occur within  
            these deadlines, the project shall be deemed approved provided  
            the prescribed public notice requirements have been met.


          4)Arguments in Support.  Supporters argue that the bill will  
            ensure that badly needed housing projects move through the  
            building approval process faster, thus reducing costs and  
            other delays that can be associated with a lengthy approval  
            process.


          5)Arguments in Opposition.  None on file.


          










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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support








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          California Apartment Association [SPONSOR]


          California Association of Realtors


          California Building Industry Association


          California Business Properties Association


          California Chamber of Commerce




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Debbie Michel / L. GOV. / (916) 319-3958



















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