CSAC Bulletin Article

Feedback Needed on Housing Legislation

April 18, 2019

CSAC’s Housing, Land Use and Transportation team is closely analyzing several housing-related bills that impact counties, including one which would streamline agricultural employee housing and three other bills which would increase reporting requirements for local agencies. CSAC is seeking feedback from counties on these proposals. Please send any comments or input on these bills to Marina Espinoza.

Bill Streamlining Agricultural Employee Housing

Assembly Member Robert Rivas has introduced AB 1783, which would prohibit the use of state funds to plan, develop, or operate housing for farmworkers holding H-2A visas. This bill would also create a streamlined, ministerial approval process that is not subject to a conditional use permit for agricultural employee housing if the:

  • Development is located on land zoned for agricultural uses.
  • Agricultural employee housing will be maintained and operated by a qualified affordable housing organization that has been certified by the Department of Housing and Community Development and has been issued a permit to operate the agricultural employee housing.
  • Housing is not dormitory style housing.
  • Housing is affordable and for agricultural employees for at least 55 years.
  • Housing is eligible for state funding.
  • Land is not located in environmentally unsafe or sensitive areas, including a coastal zone, wetlands, a high or very fire severity zone, a hazardous waste site, an earthquake fault zone, a flood plain or floodway, lands identified for conservation in an adopted natural community conservation plan, and lands under conservation easement.

Surplus Property and New Reporting Requirements  

Three Assembly Members have proposed legislation that would require local governments to report additional information to the state. This would include information related to housing production, fees or taxes, zoning and planning standards, and surplus property.

AB 1483 (Grayson): Would authorize the Department of Housing and Community Development to require a planning agency to provide additional information in its annual progress report, including housing production data, if requested by a metropolitan planning organization. This bill would also require a local agency to:

  • Compile a list of fees imposed under the Mitigation Fee Act, special taxes, and assessments applicable to housing development projects in the jurisdiction.
  • Make all zoning and planning standards available online and to maintain and annually update an archive of those standards.
  • Annually submit, and post online, information regarding:
    • Pending housing development projects with completed applications within the city or county.
    • The number of applications deemed complete, and the number of discretionary permits, building permits, and certificates of occupancy issued by the city or county.
    • Each housing development project for which the city or county deemed an application to be complete or issued a building permit or certificate of occupancy to the department and any applicable metropolitan planning organization.

AB 1255 (Rivas): Would require a housing element to include an inventory of surplus land owned by a city or county and to separately identify surplus land sites that qualify as infill or high density and report those sites to the Department of General Services (DGS) annually. This bill would also require DGS to create and post a searchable database with this information to its website. 

AB 1486 (Ting): Would expand surplus property requirements for state and local agencies under the Surplus Land Act by: 

  • Specifying that the definition of “surplus” refers to land not needed for the agency’s own governmental operations.
  • Setting various exemptions on what is considered “exempt surplus land.”
  • Modifying procedures for notification of surplus lands, and how the local agency can negotiate with the interested party or parties on that land.
  • Allowing any surplus land disposed of by a public agency to be permitted for residential use, regardless of local zoning designations, if 100% of the units are sold or rented at an affordable housing cost or affordable rent.  

This bill would also require local agencies to create an inventory of all surplus lands they hold, own, or control and to report this information to HCD each year.

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