End of September, MCAR 2017 Legislative update

Source: California Association of REALTORS® (CAR)

The Legislature has passed and forwarded a package of bills to Governor Jerry Brown. The legislation is designed to attempt to streamline the construction of new housing in the state. The bills are:

AB 72 (Santiago and Chiu) Enforcement of California Housing Laws – The Housing Accountability Act (HAA) only permits a local government to deny a proposed housing development that complies with general plan and zoning standards if the project would adversely impact public health or safety.

AB 73 (Chiu) Housing Sustainability Districts – AB 73 would permit developers to voluntarily use an alternate project approval process in a housing sustainability district.

AB 678 (Bocanegra) and SB 167 (Skinner) Housing Accountability Act (HAA) Expansion and Enforcement – These bills would ensure that local agencies cannot disapprove housing projects without a preponderance of evidence proving that the project adversely impacts public health or safety.

AB 879 (Grayson) Housing Element: Developers – The Planning and Zoning Law requires a city or county to adopt a general plan for land use development within its boundaries that includes, among other things, a housing element.

SB 2 (Atkins) Recording Tax – SB 2 seeks to fund affordable housing by imposing a flat $75 per document recording fee on every real estate instrument not part of a sales transaction.

SB 35 (Wiener) Streamlining Affordable Housing Production – SB 35 would create a streamlined “by-right” approval process for infill projects with two or more residential units or Accessory Dwelling Units in localities that have failed to produce sufficient housing to meet their Regional Housing Needs Assessment goals

SB 540 (Roth) Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones – This bill would authorize local governments to establish Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones by preparing an Environmental Impact Report pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. SB 540 would prohibit local governments from denying developments proposed within that zone for 5 years.

SB 173 (Dodd) This bill reestablishes the Department of Real Estate as a separate entity. Last week the bill moved forward as the C.A.R.-sponsored legislation passed the legislature with unanimous floor votes in both houses (in 2012, the Department of Real Estate was moved to the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency in an attempt to save money).