CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation 04/01/2011

Housing

AB 208 (Fuentes) – Pending
As Introduced on January 31, 2011

AB 208, by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes, would extend by another 24 months the expiration date of any approved tentative map or vesting tentative map that has not expired as of the effective date of the bill, and will expire prior to January 1, 2014. The bill also includes the truncated language that reduces from five years to three years, the period of time during which cities and counties are prohibited from placing conditions on the issuance of any building permit, and authorizes permit fees. This language does attempt to mitigate the impacts of the continual subdivision and parcel map extensions on cities and counties.

CSAC supports the 24-month map extensions for more recently approved maps. However, some unexpired tentative maps may be up to 15 and 16 years old. Another two years of extensions on such old maps could prevent cities and counties from meeting goals and priorities established after original map approval, as well as comply with many new mandates that local agencies must now consider in approving a map. In 15 or 16 years, local housing elements have been updated two or three times, adding further complications for jurisdictions with a number of old maps trying to meet newer RHNA numbers and density minimums. Since a 16-year-old map was initially approved, the Legislature has also passed a number of new requirements on local governments that should be reassessed on these old maps, including AB 32 climate change impacts, the SB 375 emphasis on infill versus greenfield development, flood and fire hazards, and water supply availability. 

CSAC, along with the American Planning Association, met with the sponsor, the California Building Association, and we believe we have agreement that the bill does not extend to the older maps, thus we intend to support the bill pending amendments forthcoming.

AB 208 is set for hearing in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on April 6.

Land Use

AB 129 (Beall) – Support
As Introduced on January 11, 2011

AB 129, by Assembly Member Jim Beall, would authorize a city or county to specially assess any fines or penalties not paid after demand by the city or county against the owner of real property whom owes fines or penalties. The fines and penalties may be collected at the same time and in the same manner as regular county taxes thereby avoiding additional time consuming and costly new procedures. Finally, the measure would also authorize a local agency to appoint a hearing officer to hear and decide issues regarding ordinance violations and the imposition of administrative fines and penalties.

Local agencies can have code enforcement violation cases drag on for years. The changes proposed by AB 129 would provide cities and counties an additional tool for recouping fines and penalties owed to the local agency, and also streamlines the existing code enforcement process.

AB 129 is set for hearing in the Assembly Local Government Committee on April 6.

Transportation 

AB 105 (Committee on Budget) – Support
Chapter No. 6, Statutes of 2011

AB 105, by the Committee on Budget, is the transportation budget trailer bill that CSAC supported for several reasons. First, it validated the “gas tax swap” legislation initially passed by the Legislature in March 2010. Recall that the swap repealed the sales tax on gasoline (Prop 42 and spillover) and replaced it with a 17.3-cent increase in the gasoline excise tax (HUTA) and a 1.75 percent increase in the sales tax on diesel, which corresponded to the amount of revenue the sales tax on gasoline was generating at the time the legislation was passed. Due to the passage of Proposition 22 and Proposition 26 this validation was necessary to preserve the state general fund savings agreed to under the swap and continue $1.5 billion of annual investment for funding state highways, local streets and roads and transit.

AB 105 also included the two technical changes requested by CSAC. The first technical fix extends the use-it-or-lose-it period for expenditure of Prop 1B local streets and roads funds by one year due to previous Highway User Tax Account (HUTA) deferrals. New use-it-or-lose-it deadlines are as follows:

  • For allocations made in FY 2007-08 the use-it-or-lose-it is now June 30, 2012;
  • For allocations made in FY 2008-09 the use-it-or-lose-it is now June 30, 2013; and
  • For allocations made in FY 2009-10 the use-it-or-lose-it is now June 30, 2014.

The second technical fix relates to ensuring that Prop 42 provisions, such as, maintenance of effort, use-it-or-lose-it, and limitations on project eligibility types do not apply to the new HUTA funds under the swap. Therefore, all HUTA or gas tax monies (Sections 2103 – 2106) will be treated equally.

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