State Legislation: Sustenance for Plan Bay Area 2040

Plan Bay Area Action Plan

“Two upcoming endeavors will improve the region’s ability to address its chronic housing affordability challenges. The integration of MTC and ABAG staff will lead to more effective long-range planning and increase the region’s housing policy capacities. The newly created CASA initiative will bring together diverse interests to develop a bold new strategy for housing preservation and production. This work will likely evaluate and recommend a range of legislative, regulatory, financial, and market-related measures needed to provide for the region’s housing needs at all income levels.”

Plan Bay Area 2040 is rich with "bold" ideas, most of which should raise some concerned eyebrows.  The Action Plan paragraph quoted above tells us that the situation is “chronic” (unlikely of cure); action necessitates long-range planning (for the next 20 years regardless of any changing circumstances); growth of policy capacities is dependent on multi-level new legislation, regulation, and funding sources (once in place, here for good); funding will be multi-county (your county is in, whether its residents like it or not).

Sacramento has been producing enabling legislation purportedly to fight climate change for a while, starting way back in 2006 with AB 32, California Global Warming Solutions.  However, Plan Bay Area 2040 acknowledges the Plan’s shift of emphasis from fighting climate change to producing housing at all income levels within the Bay Area's transit corridors.  

                 Mandated allocation of housing at all income levels

                 Mandated allocation of housing at all income levels

Mandates and money are essential to the continued existence of Plan Bay Area, and Sacramento has been obliging.  Here, for the record, is a list of a few state proposals pending as of today taken from the California Legislative Index.  This list reads like a package of similar legislation with one objective:  remove the ability of cities and counties to determine how much and what kind of housing they will or will not build, and implement an allocation process that must be followed under threat of penalties.  

Pending State Legislative Proposals

AB 72 Act to amend Section 65585 of the Government Code, relating to housing.
Introduced by Assembly Members Santiago and Chiu 12/16/2016.  
In Committee process.

Gives the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) authority to find a city's, county's, or city's and county's housing element out of substantial compliance if it determines that the city, county, or city and county acts or fails to act in compliance with its housing element, and requires HCD to refer violations of law to the Attorney General (AG).

SB 2 Building Homes and Jobs Act
Introduced by Senate Member Atkins 12/05/16.  
In Floor process.

Establishes the Building Homes and Jobs Act and imposes a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents, excluding commercial and residential real estate sales, to provide funding for affordable housing.

AB-1423 An act to amend Section 65700 of the Government Code, relating to housing.
Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu 02/17/17.  
In Committee process.

Existing law requires the planning agency of a city or county to provide by April 1 of each year an annual report to the legislative body, the Office of Planning and Research, and the Department of Housing and Community Development that includes, among other things, the status of the plan and progress in its implementation and the progress in meeting its share of regional housing needs, as specified, and local efforts to remove governmental constraints to the maintenance, improvement, and development of housing, as specified. Existing law excludes a charter city from these investigation, recommendation, and report requirements. This bill would apply the above report requirement to charter cities.

AB 678 An act to amend Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, relating to housing.
Introduced by Assembly Member Bocanegra 02/15/17
In Committee process

This bill makes a number of changes to the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), including increasing the burden on local jurisdictions to prove they are not out of compliance regarding building their fair share of affordable housing, and expands attorney’s fees and costs when jurisdictions do not succeed in proving they are in compliance.  

Authors’ comment is worth noting:  "One of the most significant barriers to the construction of new housing is unjustified local resistance from NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) groups. In a recent report, the Legislative Analyst's Office confirmed that new housing construction faces community opposition, 'because it often is perceived as bringing negative changes to a community's quality or character.”

SB-35 Planning and zoning: affordable housing: streamlined approval process
Introduced by Senate Member Wiener 12/05/17.
In Committee process

By imposing new duties upon local agencies with respect to the streamlined approval process and reporting requirement described above, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. (Click "Articles" to see separate post on this bill.)

AB 1585 Planning and zoning: affordable housing: single application
Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom 02/17/17
In Committee process

Establishes an affordable housing zoning board in each city and county to process a comprehensive permit for specified housing developments that include affordable housing units…Adds, to the list of reforms and incentives that facilitate and expedite the construction of affordable housing contained in existing law, the establishment of a streamlined process for the approval of affordable housing units, pursuant to the bill’s provisions

AB 1350 An Act to add Section 65584.08 to the Government Code, relating to land use, and making an appropriation therefor
Introduced by Assembly Members Friedman 02/17/17
In Committee Process

Places a financial penalty on noncompliant cities and counties who do not meet specified regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) obligations, and creates a program to fund grants to compliant cities and counties with those penalties.

AB 1086 An act to amend Section 65584.01 Sections 65584, 65584.01, and 65584.05 of the Government Code, relating to housing.
Introduced by Assembly Member Daly 02/16/17
In Committee process

This bill makes changes to the process for determining the population projections for the regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) allocation… This bill would require the council of governments to include data on the percentage of renters’ households that are overcrowded… For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “overcrowded” means more than one resident per room in each room.

SB 166 An act to amend Section 65863 of the Government Code, relating to land use.
Introduced by Senate Member Skinner 01/23/17
In Committee process

This bill, among other things, would prohibit a city, county, or city and county from permitting or causing its inventory of sites identified in the housing element to be insufficient to meet its remaining unmet share of the regional housing need for lower and moderate-income households. The bill also would expand the definition of “lower residential density” if the local jurisdiction has not adopted a housing element for the current planning period or the adopted housing element is not in substantial compliance.