BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2685


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          Date of Hearing:  April 13, 2016


               ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


                                  David Chiu, Chair


          AB 2685  
          (Lopez) - As Amended March 18, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Housing elements:  adoption


          SUMMARY:  Requires a local planning agency to make a draft  
          housing element available to the public prior to the submission  
          to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).   
          Specifically, this bill:  





          1)Requires the planning agency to make the draft housing element  
            available to the public at least 30 days prior to the  
            submission to HCD. 



          2)Requires the planning agency to provide public comments it has  
            received to the legislative body before the housing element is  
            adopted.



          3)Makes other non-substantive technical changes.









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          EXISTING LAW:  





          1)Requires every city and county to prepare and adopt a general  
            plan containing seven mandatory elements, including a housing  
            element. (Government Code Sections 65300 and 65302)



          2)Requires a jurisdiction's housing element to identify and  
            analyze existing and projected housing needs, identify  
            adequate sites with appropriate zoning to meet the housing  
            needs of all income segments of the community, and ensure that  
            regulatory systems provide opportunities for, and do not  
            unduly constrain, housing development. (Government Code  
            Section 65583)



          3)Requires cities and counties located within the territory of a  
            metropolitan planning organization (MPO) to revise their  
            housing elements every eight years following the adoption of  
            every other regional transportation plan. Cities and counties  
            in rural non-MPO regions must revise their housing elements  
            every five years. (Government Code 65588)



          4)Requires, prior to each housing element revision, that each  
            council of governments (COG), in conjunction with HCD, prepare  
            a regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) and allocate to  
            each jurisdiction in the region its fair share of the housing  
            need for all income categories. (Government Code 65584).

          5)Requires the housing element to contain a program which sets  








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            forth a schedule of actions during the planning period, each  
            with a timeline for implementation.

               a.     In order to make adequate provision for the housing  
                 needs of all economic segments of the community, the  
                 program must include a diligent effort by the local  
                 government to achieve public participation of all  
                 economic segments of the community in the development of  
                 the housing element. (Government Code Section 65583)



          6)Requires the jurisdiction to submit a draft housing element to  
            HCD at least 90 days prior to adopting the housing element, or  
            60 days prior amending the housing element. (Government Code  
            Section 65585)

          7)Requires HCD to review the draft and report its written  
            findings to the local jurisdiction within 90 days of its  
            receipt of the draft in the case of an adoption or within 60  
            days of its receipt in the case of a draft amendment.  
            (Government Code Section 65585)



          8)Requires HCD to consider written comments from any public  
            agency, group, or person regarding the draft or adopted  
            element or amendment under review.  (Government Code Section  
            65585)



          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  


          Every local government is required to prepare a housing element  








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          as part of its general plan.  The housing element process starts  
          when HCD determines the number of new housing units a region is  
          projected to need at all income levels (very low-, low-,  
          moderate-, and above-moderate income) over the course of the  
          next housing element planning period to accommodate population  
          growth and overcome existing deficiencies in the housing supply.  
           This number is known as the regional housing needs assessment  
          (RHNA).  The council of governments (COG) for the region, or HCD  
          for areas with no COG, then assigns a share of the RHNA number  
          to every city and county in the region based on a variety of  
          factors.


          The housing element must show how the city or county plans to  
          accommodate its share of the RHNA.  The housing element must  
          include an inventory of sites already zoned for housing.  If a  
          community does not have enough sites within its existing  
          inventory of residentially zoned land to accommodate its entire  
          RHNA, then the community must adopt a program to rezone land  
          within the first three years of the planning period.  


          During the development of the housing element, local governments  
          are required to make a "diligent" effort to achieve public  
          participation.  Regarding public participation, HCD has  
          previously stated: "Most jurisdictions use a variety of  
          approaches such as workshops, surveys, and targeted outreach  
          with community representatives to garner public participation.  
          However, there are not consistent standards on what constitutes  
          "diligent" resulting in a variety of strategies and efforts that  
          may or may not achieve successful public participation. As a  
          result, housing elements may not accurately reflect the housing  
          needs of the community."  
          (  http://www.hcd.ca.gov/housing-policy-development/docs/staffrepor 
          t-publicparticipation.pdf  ). 


          Before a local government can adopt or amend its housing  
          element, it must submit a draft to HCD for review.  This is  








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          another opportunity for public participation, as HCD must  
          consider any written comments it receives from a public agency,  
          group, or person during the review process.  The findings of  
          HCD's review have to be considered by the local government prior  
          its adoption of the housing element or amendment to the housing  
          element.


           Purpose of the bill:   According to the author, "The community  
          feels very strongly about the need to be engaged in the public  
          participation process at every opportunity and would like more  
          opportunities to voice their  
          views/comments/suggestions/opposition.  Advocates feel that when  
          they do make comments about housing issues, the City does not  
          fully take those comments into account.  In the case of the  
          housing element update, it is too late to provide comment  
          because the City is taking a vote on the approved housing  
          elements and is not likely to want to amend the approved housing  
          element. This bill would codify that the community has one more  
          time to comment, that the City has to review public comment  
          before taking a vote to adopt the plan."


           Staff comments  :  The bill does not address public access to the  
          draft element after it is submitted to HCD where it may be  
          further amended.  The committee may wish to consider directing  
          HCD to provide public access to the draft following each  
          amendment, perhaps within an abbreviated timeframe. 


           Double referred  :  If AB 2685 passes this committee, the bill  
          will be referred to the Committee on Local Government.





          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:









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          Support


          None on file




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Ken Spence / H. & C.D. / (916) 319-2085,   
          Ken Spence / H. & C.D. / (961) 319-2085