City of LB Mum As
|Related coverage: LBREPORT.com has separately reported a proposed state constitutional amendment draft text advanced by former LB Mayor Bob Foster that would (among other things) ratify state laws that facilitate or mandate increased housing density if CA taxpayers pay for broadly defined infrastructure to support the increased density. Details are in LBREPORT.com coverage here.
(August 18, 2019, 5:30 p.m.) -- Despite a City Council policy-setting vote in November 2018 reciting that in 2019 the City of LB would "Oppose legislation that would reduce the City's local land use authority" and "Oppose legislation that preempts the City's existing control over local matters," City of LB management and Mayor Robert Garcia as citywide elected haven't communicated written (or to our knowledge verbal) opposition to SB 330, a hot button locally preemptive bill that would further restrict local decisionmaking on housing-related zoning, land use planning and housing development approvals.
The advancing measure by state Senator Nancy Skinner (D, Berkeley) (who titled it the "Housing Crisis Act of 2019") passed the state Senate in May with the "yes" vote of SE LB-area state Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB-west OC) and could reach the Assembly floor for possible near-final passage in the coming weeks. If it isn't withheld by the Assembly Appropriations Committee (effectively a decision by Assembly Dem leadership), SB 330 will proceed to the Assembly floor; the Assembly has a Sept. 13 deadline for voted action (with the same deadline for concurrence in amendments by the state Senate.) It would then go to Gov. Gavin Newsom who could veto it or sign it into law.
To jump to a list of SB 330's polarized supporters and opponents as of a July Assembly Committee hearing, click here.
SB 330 would (among other things) do the following [source: Legislative Counsel's digest summarized by us]
Until Jan. 1, 2025, the bill "would prohibit a county or city, including the electorate exercising its local initiative or referendum power...from enacting a development policy, standard, or condition, as defined, that would have the effect of:
[Scroll down for further.]
SB 330 would "require a project that requires demolition of housing to comply with specified requirements, including the provision of relocation assistance and a right of first refusal in the new housing to displaced occupants."
It would allow local ordinances that put greater restrictions on demolishing residential units or require greater relocation assistance to displaced households. It would also let a city or county prohibit commercial use of land currently zoned for residential use.
It includes a litigation-invitation provision that authorizes a project applicant, or a person eligible to apply for residency in such a development or emergency shelter, or a housing organization "to bring an action to enforce existing state law" and if a court finds that a local agency failed to satisfy the requirement to make the specified findings, the court must "issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with the act within 60 days."
Parts of SB 330 require faster City Hall approval of housing projects and at an early stage in the application process freeze fees payable to City Hall by housing developers. The League of CA Cities (in which the City of LB is a dues paying member) has labeled SB 330 a "hot" bill and has opposed it based on its fee provisions. A July 2019 opposition letter states in pertinent part: "The League of California Cities strongly questions the effectiveness of restricting essential housing related fees. SB 330 does not require any of the cost savings associated with these limitations to be passed on to the renter or purchaser of the housing unit. Developers would most likely pocket the savings and enhance their profits, while not producing affordable housing."
SB 330 "would prohibit a city or county from conducting more than 5 hearings on a proposed housing development if it "complies with the applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards in effect at the time an application is deemed complete" and would require a city or county "to consider and either approve or disapprove the housing development project at any of the 5 hearings consistent with the applicable timelines under the "Permit Streamlining Act" [CA Gov't Code § 65920 et seq enacted in 1977)] It would reduce the time period in which a lead agency must approve or disapprove a housing development project from 120 days to 90 days for most housing projects and from 90 to 60 days for those that meet certain "affordability" conditions.
The bill states that its prohibitions "would prevail over any conflicting provision of the Planning and Zoning Law or other law regulating housing development in this state, except as specifically provided." It would "require that any exception to these provisions, including an exception for the health and safety of occupants of a housing development project, be construed narrowly."
SB 330 include also includes verbiage stating that it proposes "address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities."
A Legislative Analysis for a July 10, 2019 Assembly Local Gov't Committee hearing listed supporters/opponents as follows:
In November 2018, the City Council voted to adopt a City of LB 2019 "State Legislative Agenda" -- City policies toward Sacramento legislation -- that devotes an entire separate section to "Local Control." It states the following "Objectives":
Its 2019 Local Control "Focus Statements" are:
Its "Local Control" section includes over two pages of detailed policies which include:
The 2019 "State Legislative Agenda" also includes various policies related to housing (including "support policies, legislation and grants that promote the development and enhancement of affordable and/or accessible housing within the City [cites funding items]" but none say that they should override or contradict City stated policies on local control.
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