CSAC Bulletin Article

Feedback Needed on Housing Proposals   

March 14, 2019

California legislators have introduced several new bills that impact local governments. CSAC is continuing conversations with Legislators on their proposals and is interested in receiving feedback from counties on the following bills.    

Regional Housing Need for Above Moderate-Income Housing

Assembly Member Buffy Wicks has introduced AB 725, which prohibits a jurisdiction from allocating more than 20 percent of its’ share of regional housing need for above moderate-income housing to sites with zoning restricted to single-family development. This means that at least 80 percent of the land zoned to meet a jurisdiction’s regional housing need for above-moderate income households would have to be zoned for multi-family housing.


Restricting Local Discretion for Housing Development

Senator Skinner has introduced SB 330, which would prohibit local governments from amending a general plan or adopting or amending a zoning ordinance in areas where housing is an allowable use to:

  • Change the zoning classification 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 land use designation and zoning ordinances of the county or city as in effect on January 1, 2018,
  • Impose a moratorium on housing development within all or a portion of the jurisdiction of the county or city,
  • Impose design standards that are more costly than those in effect on January 1, 2019, or
  • Establish a maximum number of conditional use or other discretionary permits that the county or city will issue for the development of housing within all or a portion of the county or city, or otherwise imposing a cap on the number of housing units within or the population of the county or city.

It is the author’s intention to apply these requirements to jurisdictions in which the housing crisis is the worst. However, as the bill is currently drafted, it is unclear how many cities and counties it will apply to. The provisions of this bill would be in effect until January 2030.


Developer Exemptions for Housing in Transit-Rich Areas

Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50 would require local governments to grant developers exemptions from local zoning restrictions if they build housing in job-rich or transit-rich areas. While the bill takes a slightly different approach in disadvantaged communities, it is very similar to last year’s SB 827, which did not pass out of its first policy committee and which CSAC opposed.

Recent amendments to the bill:

  • Define the term “jobs-rich area”
  • Establish minimum requirements for low-income housing
  • Add mobile home park residents to the definition of “tenant”
  • Change the definition of a “major transit stop” to include a rail station or a ferry terminal


Building Standards on Manufactured Housing Units

Assembly Member Grayson’s AB 1006 would prohibit local governments from imposing additional local building standards on projects built with prefabricated or manufactured units. Under this bill, only standards set by the California Building Standards Code would apply to these units.


Subdivision Map Act Requirements

Assembly Member Todd Gloria has introduced AB 1250, which makes changes to the Subdivision Map Act. Current law requires that when local ordinances require improvements for a subdivision of four or fewer lots, the regulations be limited to the dedication of rights-of-way, easements, and construction of reasonable offsite and onsite improvements of the parcels created. This bill would require that these provisions apply to a local ordinance requiring improvements for a subdivision consisting of 10 or fewer lots, rather than four.

Please send comments or feedback on these bills to Marina Espinoza and Chris Lee at your earliest convenience.

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