BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 734|
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                                UNFINISHED BUSINESS 

          Bill No:  SB 734
          Author:   Galgiani (D) 
          Amended:  6/21/16  
          Vote:     27 - Urgency


           SENATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY COMMITTEE:  4-1, 8/10/16 (Pursuant  
            to Senate Rule 29.10)
           AYES:  Wieckowski, Gaines, Hill, Leno
           NOES:  Bates
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Jackson, Pavley

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  61-10, 8/4/16 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Environmental quality:  Jobs and Economic  
                     Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of  

          SOURCE:    State Building and Construction Trades Council

          DIGEST:  This bill extends for two years the expedited  
          California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) judicial review  
          procedures established by the Jobs and Economic Improvement  
          Through Environmental Leadership Act (AB 900, Buchanan and  
          Gordon, Chapter 354, Statutes of 2011).

          Assembly Amendments delete the Senate version of the bill  
          relating to state land acquisitions, and insert the current  


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          Existing law:

          1) Requires, under CEQA, lead agencies with the principal  
             responsibility for carrying out or approving a proposed  
             discretionary project to prepare a negative declaration,  
             mitigated declaration, or environmental impact report (EIR)  
             for this action, unless the project is exempt from CEQA (CEQA  
             includes various statutory exemptions, as well as categorical  
             exemptions in the CEQA guidelines).  (Public Resources Code  
             (PRC) §21000 et seq.).

          2) Establishes CEQA administrative and judicial review  
             procedures for an "environmental leadership development  
             project", under the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through  
             Environmental Leadership Act of 2011, which is part of CEQA.

          This bill:

          1)Extends the operation of AB 900 by two years, so that the  
            Governor must certify a project prior to January 1, 2018, the  
            project must be approved prior to January 1, 2019, and AB 900  
            sunsets January 1, 2019.

          2)Adds the following prevailing wage conditions and enforcement  

             a)   Requires contractors and subcontractors to pay to all  
               construction workers employed in the execution of the  
               project at least the general prevailing rate of per diem  

             b)   Provides that this obligation may be enforced by the  
               Labor Commissioner through the issuance of a civil wage and  
               penalty assessment pursuant to relevant provisions of the  
               Labor Code, unless all contractors and subcontractors  
               performing work on the project are subject to a project  
               labor agreement that requires the payment of prevailing  
               wages and provides for enforcement through an arbitration  


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          3)Requires a multifamily residential project certified under AB  
            900 to provide unbundled parking, such that private vehicle  
            parking spaces are priced and rented or purchased separately  
            from dwelling units, except for units subject to affordability  
            restrictions in law that prescribe rent or sale prices, where  
            the cost of parking spaces cannot be unbundled from the cost  
            of dwelling units.

         1)Previous, related bills.

            a)   AB 900 and SB 292.  AB 900 (Buchanan and Gordon) and SB  
               292 (Padilla, Chapter 353, Statutes of 2011) established  
               expedited CEQA judicial review procedures for a limited  
               number of projects.  For AB 900, it was large-scale  
               projects meeting extraordinary environmental standards and  
               providing significant jobs and investment.  For SB 292, it  
               was a proposed downtown Los Angeles football stadium and  
               convention center project achieving specified traffic and  
               air quality mitigations.  The stadium project subject to SB  
               292 has not proceeded.  

            For these eligible projects, the bills provided for original  
               jurisdiction by the Court of Appeal and a compressed  
               schedule requiring the court to render a decision on any  
               lawsuit within 175 days.  This promised to reduce the  
               existing judicial review timeline by 100 days or more,  
               while creating new burdens for the courts and litigants to  
               meet the shortened schedule.  

            AB 900's provision granting original jurisdiction to the Court  
               of Appeal was invalidated in 2013 by a decision in Alameda  
               Superior Court in Planning and Conservation League v. State  
               of California.  


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            b)   SB 743 (Steinberg, Chapter 386, Statutes of 2013).   
               Subsequent to the Alameda Superior Court holding mentioned  
               above, SB 743 repealed the provision that gave original  
               jurisdiction to the Court of Appeal and required Judicial  
               Council to adopt a rule of court mandating lawsuits and any  
               appeals to be resolved within 270 days. 

            Also, SB 743 (Steinberg) established special CEQA procedures  
               modeled on SB 292 for the Sacramento Kings arena project.   
               Like SB 292, SB 743 applied to a single project and  
               included specified traffic and air quality mitigations.   
               CEQA lawsuits were filed against the Kings arena, and the  
               lawsuits, including appeals, were resolved 267 days after  
               certification of the record.  

         2)AB 900 projects to date.  Six projects have been certified  
            under AB 900.  The deadline for AB 900 certification under  
            current law has passed (which was January 1, 2016).  According  
            to the Office of Planning and Research, the following projects  
            have had AB 900 applications submitted:

                  McCoy Solar Energy Project (January 12, 2012).
                  Apple Campus 2 (April 19, 2012).
                  Soitec Solar Energy Project (January 7, 2013).
                  8150 Sunset Boulevard (January 31, 2014).
                  Event Center and Mixed-Use Development at Mission Bay  
                Blocks (The Golden State Warriors Arena) (February 17,  
                  Qualcomm Stadium Reconstruction Project (August 25,  

          1)Purpose of bill.  According to the author, "California is  
            continually recovering from and preparing for future economic  
            devastation.  SB 734 will help large job producing green  
            projects avoid delay and keep Californians working by  
            extending the Governor's authority to certify a project to  
            January 1, 2018."

          2)Golden State Warriors Arena and two lawsuits.  The proposed  
            Golden State Warriors Arena and related development at Mission  


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            Bay in San Francisco, which has received AB 900 certification,  
            has been challenged under CEQA.  The case, Mission Bay  
            Alliance et al. v Office of Community Investment and  
            Infrastructure, was filed March 11, 2016.  One of the  
            plaintiffs, Mission Bay Alliance, which is a coalition of UCSF  
            stakeholders, donors, faculty, and physicians, argues that the  
            18,500-seat arena would congest area streets with traffic,  
            slowing down access to the University of California, San  
            Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center at Mission Bay, which is  
            located across the street from the proposed arena.  In  
            addition, the plaintiff contends that the basketball arena in  
            Mission Bay is at odds with the cluster of life science  
            research and health care facilities that have been built in  
            the neighborhood.  On July 18, 2016, a trial court ruled in  
            favor of the project sponsor, the Warriors; the decision has  
            been appealed.

          The above lawsuit is one of two legal challenges filed by the  
            Mission Bay Alliance in regards to the Warriors arena; the  
            second of which is not CEQA-related.  In the other lawsuit,  
            filed in Alameda County, the plaintiffs seek to invalidate an  
            agreement between UCSF and the Warriors, which included a $10  
            million Mission Bay Transportation Improvement Fund for  
            controlling traffic flow in the area.  The plaintiffs contend  
            that the UCSF chancellor went beyond his authority in reaching  
            this agreement without University of California Regents  
            approval.  This second lawsuit has yet to be decided.  

          The Warriors team has stated that the lawsuits have delayed the  
            opening of the arena by a year, to 2019.  One lawsuit has  
            special, fast-tracking CEQA-related litigation privileges and  
            the other does not.  Although AB 900 may speed up the  
            litigation process for the CEQA case, the second lawsuit  
            demonstrates that CEQA is not the only body of law for which  
            there is to sue; rather, there is a cavalry of  
            non-CEQA-related causes of action from which a plaintiff may  
            choose and that are subject to standard civil procedure rules.  
             AB 900 cannot expedite or insulate a project from  
            non-CEQA-related litigation and does not guarantee that a  
            project will be completed faster.  

          3)Should we expect more from AB 900 projects?  SB 743  


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            (Steinberg) required the Kings arena to be certified  
            Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold, as  
            well as minimize traffic and air quality impacts through  
            project design or mitigation measures, including reducing to  
            at least zero the net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from  
            private automobile trips to the arena, achieve reductions in  
            GHG emissions from automobiles and light trucks that will  
            exceed the GHG emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2035  
            adopted for the Sacramento region pursuant to SB 375  
            (Steinberg, Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008), and achieve a 15%  
            reduction in vehicle-miles traveled per attendee.  

          In contrast to SB 743, AB 900 requires lower LEED Silver  
            certification, a 10% improvement in transportation efficiency  
            over comparable projects, and zero net GHG emissions, with no  
            requirement that the GHG emission reductions be from local  

          In comparing the requirements of SB 743 and AB 900, a question  
            arises as to whether it would be more environmentally  
            beneficial to the state to require AB 900 projects to meet  
            similar standards as required in SB 743.
          4)Equal justice for all?  Court calendar preference and  
            guaranteed time frames.  Current law requires the courts to  
            give CEQA-related cases preference over "all other civil  
            actions? so that the action or proceeding shall be quickly  
            heard and determined."  (PRC §21167.1).  In addition to this  
            existing mandate, SB 734 provides that the courts must  
            complete the judicial review process in a given time frame for  
            certain CEQA-related actions or proceedings when specified  
            criteria are met.  

          As a consequence, such mandates on a court delay access for  
            other cases as well as potentially exacerbating a court's  
            backlog on civil documents such as filing a new civil  
            complaint, processing answers and cross complaints, or  
            processing a demurrer or summary judgment.  As Judicial  
            Council notes, "[S]etting an extremely tight timeline for  


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            deciding these cases has the practical effect of pushing other  
            cases on the courts' dockets to the back of the line.  This  
            means that other cases, including cases that have statutorily  
            mandated calendar preferences, such as juvenile cases,  
            criminal cases, and civil cases in which a party is at risk of  
            dying, will take longer to decide."

          This bill requires a court to make room on its calendar,  
            potentially pushing other cases aside, to ensure that  
            specified time frames are met on certain CEQA cases.  Calendar  
            preferences and guaranteed time frames create additional  
            demands and burden on our courts that have very limited  
            resources and a never-ending supply of cases to hear.  
          5)Projects queuing up.  Although this bill is not specific to  
            any particular projects, proponents of SB 734 have identified  
            four projects that may apply for AB 900 certification if this  
            bill is enacted:

             a)   6701 Sunset/Crossroads in Hollywood - Nine new mixed-use  
               buildings, including residential, hotel, commercial office,  
               retail, and restaurant uses, including up to 308 hotel  
               rooms and 950 residential units, 84 of which will be  
               affordable to low-income households (to replace 84  
               rent-controlled units the project will demolish).

             b)   Yucca-Argyle Project in Hollywood - Mixed-use project  
               with hotel, residential, and commercial uses, including 260  
               hotel rooms and 191 residential units, 39 of which will be  
               affordable to low-income households.

             c)   Barlow Hospital Project in Echo Park - Hospital  
               replacement and residential development on a 25-acre site  
               near Dodgers Stadium, including 400 new single-family  
               homes, with no commitments to affordable housing to date.

             d)   Hollywood Central Park - A 38-acre regional street level  
               park created by capping US 101 between Hollywood and Santa  
               Monica Boulevards.


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

          According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, absorbable  
          state costs.

          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/10/16)

          State Building and Construction Trades Council (source)
          California Chamber of Commerce

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/10/16)

          Air Conditioning Trade Association
          American Fire Sprinkler Association
          Associated Builders and Contractors - San Diego Chapter
          California League of Conservation Voters
          Judicial Council of California
          Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California
          Sierra Club California  
           Western Electrical Contractors Association

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  61-10, 8/4/16
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Arambula, Atkins, Baker, Bigelow,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau,  
            Chiu, Chu, Cooper, Dababneh, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier,  
            Gallagher, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gordon, Gray,  
            Hadley, Holden, Irwin, Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Lackey, Levine,  
            Linder, Lopez, Low, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Mullin,  
            Nazarian, O'Donnell, Olsen, Quirk, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez,  
            Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Weber,  
            Wilk, Williams, Wood, Rendon
          NOES:  Travis Allen, Brough, Dahle, Beth Gaines, Grove, Harper,  
            Melendez, Obernolte, Patterson, Mark Stone
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Bloom, Chávez, Cooley, Cristina Garcia,  
            Gonzalez, Roger Hernández, Kim, Maienschein, Waldron


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          Prepared by:Joanne Roy / E.Q. / (916) 651-4108
          8/10/16 16:16:52

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