CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation 09/20/2010

AB 602 (Feuer)—Oppose
As Proposed to be Amended

AB 602, by Assembly Member Mike Feuer, seeks to change the decision of a Court of Appeal (Urban Habitat v. City of Pleasanton) relating to a statute of limitations for housing elements and other housing related issues. More specifically, we understand the bill will be amended to provide a five-year statute of limitations for challenging a housing element and related statutes, such as growth limitations, density bonus ordinances, and zoning changes.

Further, we also understand that the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) was successful in reaching agreement with the author and sponsors by including an exemption from a court’s use of a development moratorium should a local general plan or general plan element be found out of compliance with existing law. This exemption is intended to apply to tentative and vested maps, as well as development agreements. However, counsel review of the language suggests that the certainty sought by the CBIA may not be accomplished by the language expected to be amended into the bill.

CSAC, the League of California Cities and American Planning Association remain opposed to this lengthy statute of limitations. Further, a five-year statute of limitations would potentially represent the entire housing element period for the 21 counties that are not automatically under the eight-year housing element period pursuant to SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008).

AB 602 has not been amended to date to contain the new language and is currently on the Senate Floor. However, we urge counties to follow this bill and review the new language for potential impacts and exposure to litigation.

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