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City of LB Mum As SB 330 Advances That Would Further Restrict Local Control On Housing-Related Zoning, Land Use And Developer-Desired Projects; Others Grasped Bill's Importance And Took Positions Pro/Con; See List Of Supporters/Opponents


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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, 2015, 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:

  • (A) changing the land use designation or zoning of a parcel or parcels of property to a less intensive use or reducing the intensity of land use within an existing zoning district below what was allowed under the general plan or specific plan land use designation and zoning ordinances of the county or city as in effect on January 1, 2018; [Note: Long Beach is currently in the process of finalizing a new Land Use Element with new zoning standards to follow.]

  • (B) imposing or enforcing a moratorium on housing development within all or a portion of the jurisdiction of the county or city, except as provided;

  • (C) imposing or enforcing new design standards established on or after January 1, 2020, that are not objective design standards, as it defines them.

[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."

Sponsor

Sponsor

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."

Sponsor

Sponsor

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."

Sponsor


A Legislative Analysis for a July 10, 2019 Assembly Local Gov't Committee hearing listed supporters/opponents as follows:

Support

Bay Area Council
Bridge Housing Corporation
Building Industry Association - Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter
Building Industry Association of Orange County
Building Industry Association of San Diego
Building Industry Association of Southern California, Baldy View Chapter
Building Industry Association of the Bay Area
California Apartment Association
California Association of Realtors
California Building Industry Association
California Business Roundtable
California Chamber of Commerce
California Community Builders
California Council for Affordable Housing
California Hawaii State Conference of The NAACP
Central City Association
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Eden Housing Equality
California Leading Builders of America
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center
Mayor Inga Miller, City of Orinda
Midpen Housing Corporation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
North Bay Leadership Council Planning And Conservation League
Related California
Salesforce.Com
Save The Bay
Silicon Valley At Home (Sv@Home)
SPUR (in concept)
Technet Tmg Partners
Up For Growth
Western Center on Law & Poverty, Inc.
Working Partnerships USA

Opposition

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Boyle Heights Community Partners
California State Association of Counties (unless amended)
Cities of: Beaumont, Camarillo, Beverly Hills, Burbank,
Chino Hills, Colma, Cupertino Cypress, Del Mar, El Centro,
Glendora, La Habra, La Mirada, Lafayette, Laguna Hills,
Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Moorpark, Morgan Hill, Murrieta,
Orinda, Pasadena, Pinole, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas,
Santa Barbara, Sunnyvale, Thousand Oaks, Tulare, Ventura,
Vista, West Hollywood
Coalition for Economic Survival
Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods (CSFN)
Coalition to Preserve LA
Corbett Heights Neighbors
Cow Hollow Association
East Mission Improvement Association
Endangered Habitats League (unless amended)
Environmental Defense Center
Grayburn Avenue Block Club
Keep Sunnyvale Beautiful
League of California Cities
Livable California
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz
Los Angeles County Division, League of California Cities
Marin County Council of Mayors and Council Members
Mayor Robert Whalen
City of Laguna Beach
Mission Economic Development Agency
Raise The Balloon
San Francisco Tenants Union
San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
San Mateo County -City/County Association of Governments
Save Our Heritage Organization
SF Ocean Edge
Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association
Spaulding Square Neighborhood Association
Sunset-Parkside Education and Action Committee (SPEAK)
Sustainable Tamalmonte
Urban Counties of California (unless amended)
Ventura Council of Governments
127 Individuals

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":

  • 1) Oppose legislation that preempts the City's existing control over local matters.
  • 2) Support increased flexible State funding for local initiatives.
  • 3) Oppose unfunded State mandates.
  • 4) Monitor legislation related to City revenues

Its 2019 Local Control "Focus Statements" are:

  • Oppose legislation that would reduce the City's local land use authority.
  • Support legislation that would provide funding for the implementation of programs that promote community wellness at the neighborhood level, including the City's adopted Safe Long Beach, and My Brother's Keeper Local Action Plans.
  • Support implementation of the City Council adopted planning documents

Its "Local Control" section includes over two pages of detailed policies which include:

  • 1. Oppose legislation that preempts the City's existing control over local matters.
  • a) Support policies and legislation that protect and/or expands the City’s authority and rights over its affairs.
  • b) Oppose policies and legislation that preempt the current authority possessed by the City and delegates that authority to the State or other governmental jurisdiction
  • ...f) Oppose policies and legislation that diminish the City's local control over land use, planning, zoning and development decisions, and oppose legislation in conflict with the City's adopted General Plan or other Council adopted land use policies.

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.


The Long Beach City Council's State Legislation Committee (chair Austin, Richardson and now-former Councilwoman/state Senator Lena Gonzalez), which can recommend that the full City Council take positions on specific pending state bills, last met on Oct. 23, 2018; it has held no meetings to date during the 2019 state legislative session. Any Councilmember(s) or the Mayor can agendize SB 330 for a City Council voted position; to date, they haven't.
Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.


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