Housing, Land Use and Transportation 06/21/2013
AB 325 (Alejo) – Oppose
As Amended on May 29, 2013
AB 325, by Assembly Member Luis Alejo, would expand the statute of limitations to sue a county or city, challenging the adoption of a housing element or a number of related local ordinances.
CSAC opposed previous efforts to expand the statute of limitations as it leaves local agencies, business, and developers unfairly open to uncertainty long after decisions have been made. Working with the American Planning Association, Rural County Representatives of California, and the League of California Cities, we have now offered three different approaches to a compromise that would provide an additional alternative to challenge the adequacy of a housing element rather than open local agencies up to litigation for an unreasonable period of time. We continue to try to work with the author and sponsors to forward one of our suggested compromises
AB 325 is set for hearing before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on June 25.
SB 510 (Jackson) – Support
As Amended on April 30, 2013
SB 510, by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, would clarify existing law governing the conversion of mobile home parks from rental to resident owned. Specifically, the measure would require local agencies to consider the results of surveys of mobile home park residents when deciding to approve, conditionally approve, or disprove a subdivision. Further, it gives counties and cities the authority to disprove a subdivision if at least a majority of the park’s residents do not support the conversion indicated through the survey.
Mobile homes are an important source of affordable housing in California – with approximately 5,000 parks statewide. Many local jurisdictions impose rent controls to ensure mobile homes remain affordable to those on fixed-incomes, such as seniors and working families. The state is still facing a shortage of decent housing affordable to low-income Californians and this measure would provide that mobile home residents have a voice in conversion proposals as well as clarifying the powers of local agencies in the subdivision process.
SB 510 was passed out of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on June 19 by a vote of 5 to 2. The measure now awaits a hearing before the Assembly Local Government Committee.
AB 116 (Bocanegra) – Support
As Amended on May 16, 2013
AB 116, by Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra, would provide an automatic 24-month extension for subdivision maps that were approved on or after January 1, 2000 and have not yet expired. For maps approved before January 1, 2000 (maps over 13 years old), the subdivider will follow the following local process for approval of the extension:
- The subdivider will be required to file an application with the local agency at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the map.
- If the local agency determines that the map is consistent with applicable zoning and general plan requirements in effect when the application is filed, the time at which the map expires will be extended by 24 months.
- If the local agency determines that the map is not consistent with applicable zoning and general plan requirements in effect when the application is filed, the agency may deny or conditionally approve a 24-month extension.
- Upon application, the map will automatically be extended for 60 days or until the application for the extension is approved, conditionally approved, or denied, whichever occurs last.
- If the advisory agency denies a subdivider’s application for an extension, the subdivider would be allowed to appeal to the legislative body within 15 days after the advisory agency has denied the extension.
AB 116 is set for hearing before the Senate Appropriations
Committee on June 24.
SB 33 (Wolk) – Support
As Amended on March 6, 2013
SB 33, by Senator Lois Wolk, would amend state law governing Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs) to provide an improved mechanism to deliver much-needed infrastructure projects and create jobs in California. SB 33 would, among other things, eliminate the two-thirds vote requirement to establish an IFD, remove the two-thirds vote requirement to issue IFD-associated bonds, extend the life of IFDs from thirty to forty years, expand the eligible projects to include transit priority projects consistent with a Sustainable Communities Strategy, and would allow IFDs to locate in former redevelopment areas.
IFDs allow the reallocation of existing tax revenues to improve a designated area and specifically allows local governments to use their property tax increment to pay for public works projects. Current law, which requires a two-thirds voter approval to create an IFD, unnecessarily discourages local governments from using this creative option to fund much needed infrastructure projects. SB 33 still requires approval of every affected taxing jurisdiction including the City Council or Board of Supervisors to approve a plan for the IFD thus making it a public process that allows for community input into the program.
Given the fact that there has been a significant underinvestment in transportation infrastructure across the state over the past few decades and that the major sources of transportation funding are no longer sufficient to maintain our current system, let alone modernize it, SB 33 offers an much-needed solution to allow local governments more flexibility to make transportation investments in their communities.
SB 33 was passed out of the Assembly Local Government Committee on June 12 by a vote of 5 to 2. The measure now awaits a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Public Works Administration
AB 195 (Hall) – Co-Sponsor
As Amended on May 20, 2013
AB 195, by Assembly Member Isadore Hall, would extend the sunset date on existing design-build authority granted to counties until July 1, 2016.
Approximately nine counties have used the design-build method for project delivery for a variety of projects ranging from parking facilities to parks and recreation projects to fire stations. Counties and tax payers in general, benefit from the use of design-build authority due to cost savings produced by this method of project delivery. Furthermore, given the continued difficult economic times across the State, local agencies need maximum flexibility to delivery projects based on their expertise in choosing the right delivery method.
AB 195 is set for hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 24.
SB 328 (Knight) – Support
As Amended on April 9, 2013
SB 328 by Senator Stephen Knight, would, until January 1, 2021, allow a county, with approval of the Board of Supervisors, to use construction manager at-risk construction contracts for erecting, constructing, altering, repairing, or improving buildings owned or leased by the county. Eligible public works projects would cost in excess of $1 million and the measure would allow a county to award the construction manager at-risk construction contract using either the lowest responsible bidder or best value method.
A construction manager at-risk contract is a competitively procured contract with an entity that guarantees the cost of a project and furnishes construction management services, including, but not limited to, preparation and coordination of bid packages, scheduling, cost control, value engineering, evaluation, preconstruction services and construction administration. The construction manager at-risk is a tool afforded other public entities such as cities, the courts, and the university system. It is a well-tested alternative which combines elements of the design-bid-build and design-build methods and allows the owner of a project to retain a construction manager who provides pre-construction services during the design period and becomes the general contractor during the construction process.
Local agencies need maximum flexibility to delivery projects based on their expertise in choosing the right delivery method. This bill would provide counties another tool in the project delivery toolbox and increases the ability for counties to use their expertise and discretion to choose the best method for delivering large public works projects. Counties and tax payers in general benefit from the cost-savings associated with the use of construction manager at-risk procurement method.
SB 328 was passed out of the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee on June by a unanimous vote. The measure now awaits a hearing before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 14 (Lowenthal) – Support
As Amended on May 6, 2013
AB 14, by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, would require the Transportation Agency (Agency) to convene a Freight Advisory Committee to assist with the development of a State Freight Plan that guides the immediate and long-range planning activities and capital investments for the movement of freight.
AB 14 requires the Freight Advisory Committee to consist of a broad group of stakeholders including representatives of ports, shippers, carriers, freight industry associations and workforce, state departments and commissions, environmental, safety, and community organizations, and local governments. As owners and operators of a significant share of the State’s surface transportation network, which the freight industry and the people of California rely on for the movement of goods, CSAC offers our technical expertise, practical experience, and policy support to you, the Agency, and the Freight Advisory Committee in this endeavor.
With every aspect of the State’s transportation network underfunded and in need of new revenues, it is critical that the transportation community develop plans to protect and improve our existing infrastructure and employ new technologies and strategies for the most efficient and effective movement of freight and use of the transportation system.
AB 14 was passed out of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on June 18 by a vote of 10 to 0. The measure now awaits a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee.