BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING
                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          AB 2685           Hearing Date:    6/21/2016
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          |Author:   |Lopez                                                 |
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          |Version:  |5/11/2016                                             |
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          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant|Alison Dinmore                                        |
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          SUBJECT:  Housing elements:  adoption


            DIGEST:  This bill requires a local planning agency staff to  
          collect and compile public comments and provide them to each  
          member of the legislative body prior to the adoption of the  
          housing element.  

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Requires cities and counties, under existing planning and  
            zoning law, to prepare and adopt a general plan, including a  
            housing element, to guide the future growth of a community.   
            The housing element shall consist of an identification and  
            analysis of existing and projected housing needs and a  
            statement of goals, policies objectives, financial resources,  
            and scheduled programs for the preservation, improvement, and  
            development of housing. 

          2)Requires the housing element to identify adequate sites for  
            housing, including rental housing, factory-built housing,  
            mobile homes, and emergency shelters and shall make adequate  
            provision for the existing and projected needs of all economic  
            segments of the community.

          3)Requires cities and counties within the territory of a  
            metropolitan planning organization (MPO) to revise their  
            housing elements every eight years following the adoption of  







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            every other regional transportation plan.  Cities and counties  
            in rural non-MPO regions must revise their housing elements  
            every five years.

          4)Requires the housing element to contain a program which sets  
            forth a schedule of actions during the planning period, each  
            with a timeline for implementation.   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.  

          5)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 to amending the housing element.

          6)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.

          7)Requires HCD to consider written comments from any public  
            agency, group, or person regarding the draft or adopted  
            element or amendment under review. 

          This bill requires local planning agency staff to collect and  
          compile the public comments regarding the housing element  
          received by the city, county, or city and county, and provide  
          these comments to each member of the legislative body before it  
          adopts the housing element. 

          COMMENTS:

          1)Purpose. According to the author, existing law requires local  
            planning agencies to involve the public during the development  
            of the housing element and allows the public to provide  
            comments.  Additionally, local governments must "make a  
            diligent effort to achieve public participation in the  
            development of the housing element?"  Local community  
            advocates in the 39th Assembly District have experienced being  
            left out of the planning process, specifically as it pertains  
            to housing issues.  The community feels strongly about  
            engagement in the housing element planning development process  
            and would like more opportunities to voice their views,  








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            comments, suggestions, or opposition.  More importantly,  
            advocates want to ensure that the local legislative body  
            receives their feedback.  Advocates feel that when they do  
            make comments about housing issues, the City does not fully  
            take those comments into account.  This bill would codify that  
            the community has one more opportunity to comment and that the  
            City has to review public comments before taking a vote to  
            adopt the plan.

          2)Housing Elements.  Existing 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.  The general plan must contain seven elements, one  
            of which is a housing element.  Before each housing element  
            revision, each city and county receives its fair share of  
            housing through the regional housing needs assessment (RHNA)  
            process.  First, the Department of Housing and Community  
            Development (HCD) works with a council of governments to  
            determine the region's housing need.  A council of governments  
            then allocates the region's need to each city and county  
            within the region.  The RHNA allocation includes both an  
            overall housing need number and a breakdown of this overall  
            need into four income categories: above moderate-, moderate-,  
            low-, and very low-income households.  The RHNA serves as  
            goals for the development of all income groups that the  
            jurisdictions are expected to meet.  A housing element must  
            identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning to meet the  
            city's or county's share of the RHNA by income category and  
            ensure that regulatory systems provide opportunities for, and  
            do not unduly constrain, housing development.  HCD reviews  
            both draft and adopted housing elements to determine whether  
            or not they are in substantial compliance with the law.  

            During the planning process, local governments are required to  
            make a "diligent effort" to achieve public participation.   
            Jurisdictions use different approaches to engage the public,  
            including workshops, surveys, and targeted outreach with  
            community representatives; however, these standards are not  
            consistent.  Before a local government can adopt or amend its  
            housing element, it must submit a draft to HCD for review.   
            This is another opportunity for public participation, as HCD  
            must consider any written comments it receives form a public  
            agency, group, or person during the review process.  HCD's  
            findings must be considered by the local government prior to  
            its adoption of the housing element or amendment to the  








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            housing element.  

          Assembly Votes:

               Floor:    67-0
               Appr:     20-0
               L.Gov:    9-0
               H&CD:     6-0
          
          Related Legislation:
          
          AB 2208 (Santiago) - add to the list of types of sites that a  
          local government can identify as suitable for residential  
          development in the housing element.  This bill is also being  
          heard in the Senate Transportation and Housing committee. 

          AB 2684 (Daly) - authorizes a "housing organization" to enforce  
          the Housing Accountability Act (HAA).  This bill is also being  
          heard in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  No    Fiscal Com.:  Yes     
          Local:  Yes


            POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,
                          June 15, 2016.)
          
            SUPPORT:  

          None received

          OPPOSITION:

          None received

                                      -- END --