CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation

Land Use/Planning

AB 325 (Woods) – Request for Comment 
As amended on April 16, 2015

Assembly Bill 325, by Assembly Member Jim Wood, would make changes to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program application process for non-entitlement counties. Specifically, the bill would require that no later than 60 days after the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) notifies an applicant that their CDBG application has been approved, HCD must enter into a grant agreement with the applicant. It would also require HCD, when it enters into a grant agreement with an applicant, to provide the applicant with a complete and final list of all of the activities the applicant must complete in order to receive a disbursement of funds pursuant to the agreement. Finally, within 30 days after the receipt of a request for the disbursement of funds from a grantee, HCD must either notify the grantee that HCD has approved disbursement of the funds, or provide the applicant with a complete and final list of all of the remaining activities the applicant must complete in order for HCD to approve disbursement of the funds.

CSAC would appreciate comments from non-entitlement counties regarding this measure. AB 325 was passed by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on April 29 and referred to the Appropriations Committee.

AB 514 (Williams) – Support
As amended on April 21, 2015

Assembly Bill 514, by Assembly Member Das Williams, would provide that a city or county could impose fines for violators of land use codes who did not obtain a permanent that are proportional to the magnitude of the violation. The bill would still retain the current maximum penalty amounts in statute but provide local agencies the discretion to impose appropriate fines within those bounds to deter land use violations.

AB 514 was passed by the Assembly Local Government Committee on April 30 and referred to the Appropriations Committee.

SB 313 (Galgiani) – Request for Comment 
As amended on April 29, 2015

Senate Bill 313, by Senator Cathleen Galgiani, would expand the requirements that must be met by a school board in order to declare a local zoning ordinance inapplicable to a proposed use by the school district. Specifically, the bill would require the school board to comply with specified Education Code provisions regarding the acquisition of agricultural land; require that the vote of the board be taken at least 90 days after notifying the city or county, in writing, of its reasons for intending to take such action; and allow a court, in a review of a board’s action, to consider whether the board’s decision was based upon “substantial evidence” in the record to determine whether the action was arbitrary and capricious.

CSAC is interested in comments from counties on this measure. SB 313 was passed by the Senate Education Committee and will be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on May 6.

Transportation

SB 321 (Beall) – Support

Senate Bill 321, by Senator Jim Beall, would make a technical adjustment to the gas tax swap to reduce revenue volatility. The Board of Equalization is charged with setting the rate of the gasoline excise tax to ensure that it generates the same amount of revenue of the former sales tax. The current process for setting the rate is susceptible to rapid changes due to fluctuations in the price of gasoline. CSAC supports SB 321 because it will incorporate historical prices during the rate-setting process, which will smooth out revenues while maintaining revenue neutrality with the former sales tax. The bill would also allow a mid-year adjustment if prices differ drastically from prior estimates. Finally, SB 321 would reduce the anticipated $885 million cut to transportation funding in 2015-16 by $270 million dollars.

SB 321 was passed by a unanimous vote of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on April 15 and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 564 (Cannella) – Support 
As introduced on February 26, 2015 


Senate Bill 564, by Senator Anthony Cannella, would impose an additional $35 dollar fine on specific specified traffic violations within a posted school zone when children are present. The revenues would be returned to local governments in the form of grants for safe routes to school projects under the auspices of the Active Transportation Program. 

SB 564 is on the Senate floor.

Housing

AB 35 (Chiu) – Support 
As amended on April 16, 2015

Assembly Bill 35, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would increase the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million. The LIHTC program is used for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing units across the state. The increase in the state investment would leverage an additional $600 million in federal tax credits and federal tax-exempt bonds.

AB 35 was passed by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee by a unanimous vote and will be heard in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on May 11.

AB 1335 (Atkins) – Support if Amended
As amended on April 30, 2015

Assembly Bill 1335, by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, would create a permanent funding source for the development, acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of rental housing affordable to extremely low to moderate-income households, as well as to program for affordable homeownership activities, by imposing a recorded document fee of $75 per each single transaction per each single parcel of real property, not to exceed $225.

The fee is estimated to raise approximately $700 million for affordable housing each year. Counties with housing trust funds could have direct access to revenues. An advisory board led by the Department of Housing and Community Development would create a five-year investment plan for the revenues.

CSAC’s Executive Committee recently voted to support the bill if it was amended to ensure that CSAC has a representative on the advisory board charged with developing the five-year investment plan, to address the County Clerk Recorders Association’s technical concerns to ensure the bill’s requirements are workable, and to include language ensuring that funds are spent in a geographically equitable manner. On the first issue, the bill was amended to include two local government representatives on the advisory body; one from Northern California and one from Southern California.

AB 1335 was passed by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on April 29 and referred to the Appropriations Committee.

Public Works Administration

AB 1119 (Rendon) – Support
As introduced on February 27, 2015

Assembly Bill 1119, by Assembly Member Anthony Rendon, would provide counties with the same rights as cities when it comes to the ability to challenge a utility project by another public entity in or over a street or highway located in the unincorporated territory.

Counties need this parity in law so that the interests of local public entities to build utility projects using streets and highways, including those located within other jurisdictions, are balanced with the interest of residents and business that may be impacted by projects initiated by other jurisdiction with elected officials that do not represent them.

AB 1119 was passed by the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee on April 13 and will be heard in the Assembly Local Government Committee on May 6.

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