CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use, and Transportation 10/03/2012

California Environmental Quality Act

AB 890 (Olsen) – Support
Chapter No. 528, Statutes of 2012 

AB 890, by Assembly Member Kristin Olsen, exempts from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) repair, maintenance, and minor alterations of existing roadways, provided the project is initiated by a city or county to improve public safety, does not cross a waterway, and involves negligible or no expansion of an existing use. The exemption applies to a city or county with a population of less than 100,000 persons and will sunset January 1, 2016.

AB 890 was signed by the Governor on September 25, 2012. 

SB 984 (Simitian) – Pending
Failed Passage 

SB 984, by Senator Joe Simitian, would have, under the California Environmental Quality Act, required the lead agency, at the request of a project applicant, to prepare a record of proceedings concurrently with the preparation and certification of an EIR. The lead agency would have been required to certify the record of proceedings within five days of its approval of the project.

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

Housing

AB 542 (Allen) – Support if Amended
Failed Passage

AB 542, by Assembly Member Michael Allen, would have replace existing housing element law that allows a county or city to use densities less than the statutorily defined default densities to accommodate lower-income households in order to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need. The measure would have replaced existing law with two different options/requirements in order to use less than the default densities. The new analysis would have be based on substantial evidence and include one or both of the following: 1) an analysis demonstrating the financial feasibility of newly constructing unsubsidized, market-rate housing that is affordable to low-income and very low-income households at the adopted densities, 2) an analysis demonstrating that the total development cost per unit of newly constructing housing affordable to lower-income households at the adopted densities does not exceed the total development cost per unit of newly constructing housing affordable to lower-income households at the default densities and that the adopted densities do not reduce the ability of housing developments affordable to lower-income households to obtain subsidies to meet all anticipated funding gaps. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

AB 2314 (Carter) – Support
Chapter No. 201, Statutes of 2012

AB 2314, by Wilmer Amina Carter, provides local governments additional tools to fight neighborhood blight. Specifically, the measure eliminates the sunset date on existing statutory authority that allows counties to impose civil penalties of up to $1,000 for failure to maintain vacant residential property. The measure also provides new owners of blighted property a sixty-day grace period in which enforcement actions are prohibited as long as repairs are being made to the property. The measure further requires banks to notify local agencies when they release liens on foreclosed properties so that demolition of blighted properties can proceed. Finally, the measure provides that a property owner is liable for all unrecovered costs associated with a receivership in addition to other remedies provided for in the law. 

The Governor signed AB 2314 on August 27, 2012. 

AB 2447 (Skinner) – Support
Failed Passage

AB 2447, by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, the California Neighborhood Revitalization Partnership Act of 2012, would have created a competitive grant program for financing the purchase of foreclosed homes, the demolition of blighted structures that are foreclosed or abandoned, and the redevelopment of demolished or vacant properties. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

SB 1220 (DeSaulnier) – Pending
Failed Passage

SB 1220, by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, would have imposed a fee of $75 on the recording of each real-estate related document, except for those documents recorded in connection with a transfer subject to documentary transfer tax, and directed the money to the Housing Opportunity and Market Stabilization (HOMeS) Trust Fund. The HOMeS fund would have been used for the development, acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of homes affordable to low- and moderate-income households, including emergency shelters, transitional and permanent rental housing, foreclosure mitigation, and homeownership opportunities. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

Land Use/Planning

AB 1549 (Gatto) – Watch
Failed Passage

AB 1549, by Assembly Member Mike Gatto, would have required the Office of Permit Assistance (Office) to provide information to developers explaining the permit approval process at the state and local levels, or assist them in meeting statutory environmental quality requirements. This bill would have also require the Office to develop guidelines providing technical assistance to local agencies for the establishment and operation of an expedited development permit process and provided grants and technical assistance to cities and counties for the establishment of an expedited development permit process. Finally, the bill would have required a city or county with a population of 100,000 or more, upon the request of an applicant, to designate an administrative entity to serve as the applicant’s single point of contact with the local agency with respect to all applications and permits required by the local agency for the applicant’s commercial or industrial development project. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

AB 1627 (Dickinson) – Pending
Failed Passage

AB 1627, by Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, would have enacted the Healthy Neighborhoods Act of 2012 and would have: 1) required the California Energy Commission (CEC) to prescribe, by regulation, standards for reducing vehicle miles traveled by occupants of a building that would be applicable to new residential and nonresidential buildings and modification of existing residential and nonresidential buildings, 2) required the CEC to publish the standards, upon adoption, in the energy conservation manual, 3) prohibited a local building department from issuing a building permit for a residential or nonresidential building unless the department confirmed that the building plan complies with the standards, 4) authorized a city, county, or city and county to prescribe, by ordinance or resolution, a schedule of fees sufficient to cover the costs incurred in the enforcement of these standards, and 5) prohibited a local building department from issuing a building permit for a residential or nonresidential building unless the department confirms that the building plan complies with the CEC’s building design and construction standards and energy and water conservation design standards for new residential and nonresidential buildings.

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

AB 1897 (Campos) – Neutral
Failed Passage

AB 1897, by Assembly Member Nora Campos, would have required the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to prepare and amend the General Plan Guidelines to contain advice, developed in consultation with the Department of Food and Agriculture, for improving the health of Californians by increasing access to healthy affordable food.

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

SB 214 (Wolk) – Support 
Vetoed

SB 214, by Senator Lois Wolk, would have updated state law governing Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs) to provide an improved mechanism to deliver much-needed infrastructure projects and create jobs in California. Specifically, the measure would have eliminated the two-thirds vote requirement to establish an IFD, removed the two-thirds vote requirement to issue IFD-associated bonds, extended the life of IFDs from thirty to forty years, expanded the eligible projects to include transit priority projects consistent with a Sustainable Communities Strategy, and would have allowed IFDs to locate in former redevelopment areas.

The Governor vetoed the measure on September 29, 2012. 

Public Work Administration

AB 1901 (Jones) – Support
Failed Passage

AB 1901, by Assembly Member Brian Jones, would have reduced the project cost threshold in order for counties and cities to use the design-build method from $2.5 million to $1 million. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

AB 2231 (Fuentes) – Oppose
Failed Passage

AB 2231, by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes, would have required voter approval before cities and counties could implement state law that states that property owners adjacent to sidewalks are responsible for sidewalk repair. Further, the bill would have prohibited cities and counties that have an ordinance in place that requires that local entity to repair sidewalks, from imposing a fee, charge, or assessment, except a voluntary contractual assessment, for sidewalk repairs against an owner of private property fronting on any portion of a sidewalk, unless a repeal of that local entity’s sidewalk repair ordinance was approved by the voters.

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

SB 1516 (Leno) – Oppose
Failed Passage

SB 1516, by Senator Mark Leno, would have effectively eliminated a local agency’s right to require substitution requests from bidders prior to the submission of bids unless they first establish a specific procedure for doing so. SB 1516 would also have allowed a bidder whose proposed “or equal” item is rejected to issue a court challenge.

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

Transportation

AB 1706 (Eng) – Neutral 
Chapter No. 771, Statutes of 2012

AB 1706, by Assembly Member Mike Eng, permanently allows the operation of overweight transit buses on non-interstate highways that were procured before January 1, 2013. The measure also authorizes transit operators to purchase new overweight transit buses to replace existing buses of equal or lesser weight, or to incorporate a new fleet class under specified conditions, until 2015. 

The Governor signed AB 1706 on September 29, 2012.

AB 1780 (Bonilla) – Support
Failed Passage

AB 1780, by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, would have directed the Department of Transportation to pay for the oversight of planning documents that are paid for by local agencies and make improvements to the State Highway System. Specifically, the measure sought to statutorily direct Caltrans’ transportation planning review department to pay for their own staff cost of reviewing planning documents (referred to as PIDs) from the State Highway Account. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

AB 1915 (Alejo) – Neutral 
Chapter No. 640, Statutes of 2012

AB 1915, by Assembly Member Luis Alejo, permits up to 10% of the state’s Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program funds to be used to assist eligible recipients in making infrastructure improvements (other than school bus shelters) that create safe routes to school bus stops that are located outside the vicinity of schools. 

The Governor signed AB 1915 on September 27, 2012.

ACA 23 (Perea) – Support
Failed Passage

ACA 23, by Assembly Member Henry Perea, would have allowed for the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax, by a local government for the purpose of providing funding for local transportation projects upon the approval of 55% of its voters from the current two-thirds voter requirement. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

SB 878 (DeSaulnier) – Concerns
Vetoed

SB 878, by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, would have established an independent Office of Transportation Inspector General (OTIG) to ensure that transportation funds were operating efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. The OTIG would have reviewed policies, practices, and procedures, and conducted audits and investigations of all activities involving state transportation funds, in consultation with all affected agencies. Further, the measure would have stipulated that funding for OTIG would come from federal transportation funds to the extent possible, with any shortfall in federal funding to come proportionately from the Highway Users Tax Account and an account funding high-speed rail.

The Governor vetoed the measure on September 30, 2012.

SB 907 (Evans) – Support if Amended
Failed Passage

SB 907, by Senator Noreen Evans, would have created the Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission and would have required the Commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California by December 1, 2013. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

SB 1149 (DeSaulnier) – Neutral
Failed Passage

SB 1149, by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, would have reformed the regional governance process in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The bill would have created the Bay Area Regional Commission (BARC) to coordinate regional planning and policy decisions dealing with transportation, housing, air quality, sustainable community strategies, economic development, and other regional issues. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

SB 1396 (Dutton) – Oppose
Failed Passage

SB 1396, by Senator Robert Dutton, would have caped the state excise tax on gasoline at 35.7-cents and limited the sales tax to the first $4.00 per gallon of gasoline. Diesel taxes would have also been capped at current rates. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

Tribal Gaming

AB 2515 (Hall) – Support
Chapter No. 704, Statutes of 2012

AB 2515, by Assembly Member Isadore Hall, appropriates $9.1 million from the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund (SDF) for the purpose of local community mitigation grants to help off-set the impacts on infrastructure and public services from tribal gaming.

The Governor signed the measure on September 28, 2012.

SB 162 (Anderson) – Oppose
Failed Passage

SB 162, by Senator Joel Anderson, would have prohibited a state agency from opposing fee-to-trust land acquisition applications if the land is intended for housing, environmental protection, or cultural preservation. 

The measure failed passage during the 2012 legislative session. 

AB 517 (Hall) – Support
Chapter No. 12, Statutes of 2012

AB 517, by Assembly Member Isadore Hall, ratifies the Tribal-State Gaming Compact executed on March 27, 2012 between the State of California and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

The Governor signed the measure on May 17, 2012.

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