CSAC Bulletin Article

Feedback Requested on Housing and Transportation Bills

March 4, 2021

The Legislature is back in session, and the deadline for members to introduce bills during the current legislative session was February 19. Several members have proposed housing, land use, and transportation measures, and various bills that failed to pass during the last legislative session have been reintroduced. While several of the recently introduced bills include substantive language that clearly indicates what the contents of the bills will be moving forward, the direction of dozens of others remains unclear, as they simply include intent language or make nonsubstantive changes to existing law. CSAC will monitor these bills closely and will keep counties updated on these measures.

CSAC is seeking initial feedback from counties on the bills that were reintroduced as well as the bills listed below. A comparison of the previous versions of the reintroduced bills with current versions of these bills is available here. Please send your feedback to Marina Espinoza at mespinoza@counties.org.

Housing and Land Use Bills

AB 1401 (Friedman) – Prohibiting Minimum Parking Requirements: Would prohibit a local government from imposing a minimum parking requirement, or enforcing a minimum parking requirement, on residential, commercial, or other development if the development is located on a parcel that is within one-half mile walking distance of public transit or located within a low-vehicle miles traveled area.

SB 32 (Cortese) – General Plan: Building Decarbonization Requirements: Would require counties to adopt amendments to “appropriate elements” of their General Plan by January 2023 to include goals, policies, objectives, targets, and feasible implementation strategies to “decarbonize” newly constructed commercial and residential buildings. The bill requires the local goals, policies, and objectives to consider the assessment from the AB 3232 (Friedman, 2018) building decarbonization report, although a draft of that report is still forthcoming.

SB 478 (Wiener) – Minimum Standards on Floor Area Ratios and Lot Sizes: Would prohibit a local agency from imposing specified standards, including a minimum lot size that exceeds an unspecified number of square feet on parcels zoned for at least two, but not more than four, units or a minimum lot size that exceeds an unspecified number of square feet on parcels zoned for at least five, but not more than 10 units. The bill would also require HCD to identify violations by a local government of these provisions.

Housing Element Annual Report

SB 477 (Wiener): Would, commencing January 1, 2023, require local agencies to include specified information on costs, standards, and applications for proposed housing projects and specified information on housing projects within the jurisdiction.  A description from the bill proponents of the specified additions to the report is available here.

SB 581 (Atkins): Would require planning agencies to include information in their annual reports on whether the city or county is a party to a court action related to a violation of state housing law, as specified, and the disposition of that action.

Transportation and Public Works Bills

Pavement Specifications

AB 1035 (Salas) – Recycled Materials Standards: In order to maintain eligibility for SB 1 funding, AB 1035 would require cities and counties to adopt the following specifications from the most recent Caltrans specifications (currently the 2018 Standard  Specifications Book):

  • Section 25-1.02, recycled base and subbase materials (page 368-369)
  • Section 26-1.02, recycled base and subbase materials (page 372-373)
  • Section 39-2.02B, reclaimed asphalt pavement and other materials in asphalt (pages 523-526)
  • Section 90-1.02, reclaimed aggregate, fly ash, returned plastic concrete, and other materials in concrete (pages 1188-1204)
  • Section 90-2.02, reclaimed aggregate, fly ash, returned plastic concrete, and other materials in concrete (pages 1208-1209)
  • Section 90-9, returned plastic concrete (pages 1225-1226)

SB 580 (Hueso) – Recycled Plastics Study and Specifications: Would authorize Caltrans to conduct a study assessing the feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and life-cycle environmental benefits of including recycled plastics in asphalt used as a paving material in the construction, maintenance, or rehabilitation of a highway or road. The bill would authorize Caltrans to establish these specifications if Caltrans determines that the use of recycled plastics is feasible and that recycled plastics can be included in asphalt in a cost-effective manner that and if it provides life-cycle environmental benefits. It would also require local agencies to either adopt the specifications established by Caltrans or discuss at a public hearing why the specifications are not being adopted.

Transportation and Public Works Contracts

AB 712 (Calderon) – Local Agency Public Construction Act: Would amend the Local Agency Public Construction Act and require that existing caps on the extra costs of change orders be adjusted annually to reflect the percentage change in the California Consumer Price Index and would modify the cap to applicable contracts between $250,000 — $25 million and also adjust the caps set for contracts exceeding $25 million and $50 million. This bill is sponsored by Los Angeles County.

SB 674 (Durazo) – Transportation-Related Public Contracts: Among other provisions, the bill would require public agencies, including counties, to develop a program, known as the California Jobs Plan Program, to meet various objectives, including, as a component of applications for “covered public contracts,” creation of a form stating the minimum numbers of proposed jobs projected to be retained and created if the applicant wins the “covered public contract,” and proposed wages, benefits, and investment in training. A “covered public contract” refers to any transportation-related contract of $5 million or more to which a California state or local agency is a party or a transportation-related subsidy, grant, or loan of $5 million or more that is provided, granted, or guaranteed by a state or local agency. These contracts include, but are no limited to, contracts funded in whole or in part by various programs, including the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account, the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, and any relevant federal funding received by California or local agencies.

Weight Limits

AB 584 (R. Rivas) – Pilot Program for Dairy Trucks: Would, by July 1, 2022, require Caltrans to develop a pilot program intended to issue a special permit to the operator of a vehicle, a combination of vehicles, or mobile equipment permitting the hauling of raw milk greater than 80,000 pounds if it meets specified criteria, including that it complies with Low-Carbon Fuel Standard regulations. The author’s fact sheet for this bill is available here.

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