CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation Policy Committee Recap

December 8, 2016

Supervisors David Rabbitt (Sonoma County) and Bob Williams (Tehama County) presided over the CSAC Housing, Land Use and Transportation Policy Committee meeting at CSAC’s Annual Meeting in Riverside County last week. Housing and transportation funding, widely regarded as two of the most significant unfinished agenda items from the 2015-16 legislative session, dominated the discussion.

On the housing front, the HLT Policy Committee agenda kicked off with a presentation from CA FWD’s Fred Silva, who discussed their “One Million More Homes Challenge” for California as part of CA FWD’s Economic Summit. Mr. Silva’s presentation focused on fiscal incentives, streamlined regulations and a package of reforms that would require new partnerships and relationships between local governments at the regional level and with the state. Slides from Mr. Silva’s presentation are available online here. The presentation generated lively discussion, which will continue next week at CA FWD’s Economic Summit in Sacramento.

Conference attendees also learned about solutions that counties can implement without statewide action in a CSAC workshop entitled “Innovations and Opportunities in Affordable Housing.” The panel started off with a presentation from McKinsey & Company on research that sought to define the scope of California’s housing shortage, quantify its economic impacts, and provide a toolkit of solutions—going as far as identifying potential sites to accommodate increases in housing supply. Subsequent panelist provided their perspectives on what counties could do to encourage housing production through form-based codes, incentives and streamlining, and broader reforms and changes to local practices related to the development of housing.

The HLT Policy Committee reviewed its sections of CSAC’s California Counties Platform, which will go to the Board of Directors for approval in early 2017, and heard updates on federal tribal lands policies and the status of tribal-state gaming compacts here in California. Securing a comprehensive fee-to-trust reform bill and ensuring that tribal-state gaming compacts continue to provide for mitigation of gaming impacts on local government services will be policy priorities in 2017.

Transportation funding and project delivery reforms will continue to top the priority list, as local governments collectively face a ten-year $73 billion shortfall to maintain California’s local streets and roads. While news from the special session was disappointing, county supervisors from around the state are already taking action to encourage legislative leadership and the Governor to keep their promise to take up a transportation funding and reform bill in early 2017. Housing affordability, including revenue to construct below market housing, funding to update local plans, and discussions of regulatory streamlining, will also continue to be a major priority in 2017. Finally, the draft AB 32 Scoping Plan will touch on transportation and land use issues important to counties and require significant attention in 2017.

Meeting materials and agendas for the Housing, Land Use and Transportation Policy Committee are available online here.

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