By Paul Clark, AICP, Vice Director – Policy
Throughout this year of 2016 I have been focusing attention on four planning related bills progressing in the state legislature:

AB 2501 (Housing: density bonuses): This bill and the next are by the same Assemblyman, Richard Bloom (D: Santa Monica, District 50). AB 2501 addressed density bonus requests buy development applicants. The California Chapter requested amendments which were at least partial enough for the APA to ultimately recommend “neutral as amended”. The final bill has been signed by the Governor and will become law.

AB 2522 (Land use: attached housing developments) reflected a major effort sponsored by the APA Cal Chapter to address the density bonus issue. Unfortunately, this bill along with others addressing similar housing issues did not pass. The final status of this bill is “dead”.

AB 2788 (“Small Cell” wireless facilities): This largely industry sponsored bill failed to pass the legislature; additional bills addressing this issue are expected next year. The final status of this bill is “dead”.

SB 1000 (Environmental Justice general plan element): This bill which requires all county and local general plans to address environmental justice for designated and identified communities did pass the legislature. The California Chapter requested amendments which were adopted and allowed the APA to recommend “support as amended”. The final bill has been signed by the Governor and will be law; OPR is working on guidelines.

By John Terell, AICP, Vice President Policy and Legislation
Sande George, APA California Lobbyist
Lauren De Valencia y Sanchez, APA California Lobbyist

The 2016 Legislative Session Comes to an End
The 2016 Legislative Session came to an end on August 31st. This year’s session started with hundreds of planning-related bills, keeping APA California very busy on issues dealing with affordable housing, the density bonus law, and environmental justice, just to name just a few. However many of those bills didn’t make it to the end.

Bye Bye By Right
While APA California introduced sponsored by right housing legislation with the goal to make it easier to get affordable and workforce housing built, the by right housing approval issue was elevated when the Governor submitted his own budget trailer bill language proposing a much broader by right process. Unfortunately the Governor’s proposal generated strong opposition, including that from labor unions and environmental groups. APA worked with the Governor’s staff, HCD and budget committee staff in the hopes of developing a more focused proposal closer to APA’s concept in our proposed legislation (an update on that legislation is below). However, after many attempts to put forward a workable proposal, a consensus could not be reached and the proposal didn’t go forward.

Hot Bills
Attached below is a list of key planning bills that APA California actively lobbied this session. To view the full list of hot planning bills, copies of the measures, up-to-the minute status and APA California letters and positions, please continue to visit the legislative page on APA California’s website at www.apacalifornia.org.

Hot Bills Directory (PDF)
AB 1934 Development Bonus for Commercial Development
AB 2002 FPPC Requirements for Communication with the Coastal Commission
AB 2208 Housing Above Local Government Buildings and Underutilized Sites
AB 2299 Accessory Dwelling Units Ordinances and Reduced Parking Requirements
AB 2501 New Density Bonus Requirements
AB 2502 Inclusionary Housing Programs
AB 2522 By Right Housing
AB 2734 Local Control Housing Funding Act
AB 2788 By Right Approval of “Small Cell” Wireless Infrastructure
SB 1000 Mandatory Environmental Justice Element in the General Plan
SB 1069 Accessory Dwelling Units Ordinances and Reduced Parking Requirements