CEQA AB 271 (Canciamilla). Exempts from CEQA review infill developments of up to 5 acres within an urbanized, unincorporated area. AB 1086 (Calderon). Requires a lead agency to adopt a negative declaration for infill residential projects in an urbanized area of an incorporated city of at least 100,000 people, provided the project meets certain requirements. AB 1365 (Ashburn). States that agencies that transport or dispose of sewage sludge outside their boundaries are the lead agencies for purposes of CEQA. Some Central Valley counties have blocked land application of sewage sludge imported from Southern California, setting off a flurry of CEQA-related legal activity. SB 439 (Monteith). Requires consideration of a project's effects on homeownership, employment and educational opportunities. SB 1087 (Alarcon). Allows cities and counties to consider regional environmental benefits in an environmental study in order to facilitate infill development. SB 1141 (Poochigian). Repeals an existing exemption that allows the attorney general to file a CEQA suit without raising the grounds for the suit during the administrative process. Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed several CEQA suits regarding proposed dairies in Poochigian's district. Also: AB 1283 (Florez) allows agencies to submit dairy EIRs to the attorney general's office for review, and establishes a rebuttable presumption of the EIR's legal validity if the attorney general finds the that the document complies with CEQA. Construction Defects AB 267 (Steinberg) and SB 355 (Escutia). Both bills overturn the state Supreme Court's recent decision in Aas v. Superior Court (see CP&DR Legal Digest January 2001). The court ruled that homeowners cannot sue builders for construction defects until the damages manifest themselves. AB 1010 (Dutra). Calls for creation of alternative means to solving construction defect claims. Also, AB 600 (Dutra) creates a voluntary home warranty program. Housing AB 8 (Cedillo). Increases the amount of per-unit assistance available under HCD's Downtown Rebound Program. AB 369 (Dutra). Strengthens the anti-NIMBY law regarding affordable housing development. AB 381 (Papan). Requires an undefined percentage of the Jobs-Housing Balance Improvement Account be used as incentives to local governments, transit providers, private developers and lenders for housing construction within one-quarter mile of an existing or planned transit station. AB 490 (Diaz). Creates a program to make matching grants to local agencies that establish affordable housing trust funds. AB 905 (Cohn). Provides forgivable home loans of up to $7,500 to public safety employees in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Long Beach. AB 1170 (Firebaugh). Creates a new program, and provides $100 million, for down payment assistance for homebuyers in cities and counties that have "removed barriers" toward developing affordable housing. AB 1359 (Lowenthal) requires the California Housing Finance Administration to establish a down payment assistance program to help people buying new homes in high-density areas near transit stations. AB 1436 (Correa). Requires all existing housing on closed military bases to be preserved and maintained as affordable housing. AB 1611 (Keeley). Creates a $250 million program to fund construction of student housing near University of California and California State University campuses. Also AB 1063 (Aroner) authorizes the state Public Works Board to finance student, faculty and staff housing for public colleges. AB 1284 (Lowenthal). Authorizes a locality with a serious jobs-housing imbalance to create a "housing opportunity district," from which the local government receives a larger portion of the property tax increment. AB 1606 (Bates). Grants a city two units of credit toward meeting its regional housing need for every one unit of housing on a decommissioned military base that is converted to low-income housing. SB 372 (Dunn). Creates a revolving loan fund to preserve affordability of Section 8 units that will lose their federal subsidies during the next five years. Funds would be made available to entities that purchase the units and agree to new affordability covenants. SB 503 (Vasconcellos). Requires Santa Clara and San Diego counties to establish "attainable housing zones" near major transportation corridors. Development of homes within those zones that cost 75% of the county average would be eligible for infrastructure grants. SB 784 (Torlakson). Allows local jurisdictions to use Jobs-Housing Balance Program funds for any purpose. SB 1098 (Alarcon). Requires a city or county to make findings of significant health and safety concerns before imposing a multi-family housing construction moratorium. Gov. Davis vetoed a similar bill last year. Housing Elements/General Plans AB 858 (Wiggins). Expressly requires an opportunity for public involvement during the preparation and amendment of general plan elements. AB 924 (Wayne). Requires the Office of Planning and Research to implement a pilot program in which local governments would receive grants or loans to develop general plan elements with "smart growth principles." AB 932 (McPherson). Extends the deadline for housing element revisions in the Fresno, Kern, Monterey and Sacramento regions by six months to December 31, 2002. AB 938 (Daucher). Establishes an HCD program to provide grants to localities that, in turn, assist people who buy or rent homes near their job sites. AB 1367 (Wiggins). Mandates that general plans designate adequate sites for new schools. The bill also limits the ability of school districts to override local zoning. AB 1514 (Canciamilla). Requires land use elements to contain 20-year urban growth boundaries that are consistent with the State Comprehensive Plan. Jurisdictions that comply by July 1, 2002 would get priority for Infrastructure Bank funding. SB 213 (Perata). Requires the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments to evaluate whether their member cities and counties are implementing their fair share of housing starts and participating in regional congestion reduction plans. SB 520 (Chesbro). Requires housing elements to identify adequate sites for homes for disabled people. SB 714 (McClintock). Requires local jurisdictions to zone sufficient land for 20 years of projected housing needs. Also requires the Department of Housing and Community Development and councils to government to identify 20-year housing needs. SB 910 (Dunn). Creates the legal presumption that a housing element rejected by HCD is invalid. Requires courts to fine non-complying jurisdictions up to $1,000 per unit of total projected housing identified in the Regional Housing Needs Assessment. Also allows the state to withhold other undefined funds. Money AB 52 (Wiggins). The Farmland Protection and Infill Housing Bond. No amount yet. AB 73 (Lowenthal). Creates a $30 million tax credit for donations to community development corporations. AB 404 (Diaz). Creates a $200 million grant program for local infrastructure serving multi-family infill developments of at least 100 acres. AB 1526 (Florez). Farmworker Housing and Family Wellness Bond Act. $250 million. SB 73 (Dunn). Increases low-income housing tax credit by $20 million to $70 million. SB 423 (Torlakson). Returns ERAF dollars to jurisdictions that have valid housing elements, have "livable communities" principles in their general plans, increase building permit over the previous year, and do not provide incentives to retailers. Natural Resources AB 104 (Nation). Adds $1 to $4 to vehicle registration fees in the Bay Area to fund open space purchases, improve water quality and restore wetlands. AB 597 (Aanestad). Exempts from the Forest Practices Act the cutting of trees to reduce the threat of wildfire. AB 1256 (Harman). Appropriates an unspecified amount to help purchase the Bolsa Chica mesa in Huntington Beach, the site of a decades-long development fight. AB 1414 (Dickerson). Prohibits the Department of Fish and Game and the Resources Agency from acquiring additional land for ecosystem restoration or habitat preservation until those agencies complete management plans for all properties they already own. AB 1540 (Strickland). Requires two-thirds voter approval for a city or county to designate or dedicate open space or related easements. SB 221 (Kuehl). Prohibits approval of a subdivision map or development agreement for more than 200 units unless the local government finds that sufficient water is available. Similar to a bill that failed last year. Also, SB 610 (Costa) closes loopholes in the existing process for determining adequate water supplies for new housing. SB 984 (Costa). Establishes the Grazing Land Conservation Program Fund. Redevelopment AB 166 (Cedillo). Provides a 25% income tax credit for rehabilitation of certified historic structures in redevelopment areas. AB 212 (Correa). Requires the City of Tustin to give at least 100 acres of the former Tustin Marine Corps base to the Santa Ana Unified and Rancho Santiago Community College school districts. Tustin has offered the schools about 20 acres. A similar bill died last year. AB 237 (Papan). Makes a number of changes to the eminent domain process, including a requirement that compensation for a business's loss of goodwill be included in a public agency's final offer. AB 247 (Maddox). Prohibits use of eminent domain to acquire tax-exempt property used for religious purposes. The bill is in response to a conflict between the City of Cypress and the Cottonwood Christian Center over the future of a prime, 18-acre site owned by the church, which wants to build a sanctuary, school and conference center. The city wants to see retail development on the site. AB 368 (Cedillo). Authorizes redevelopment agencies to use Mello-Roos financing for capital facilities. AB 406 (Diaz). Increases the redevelopment agency set aside for housing from 20% to 25%. AB 637 (Lowenthal). Extends for two years (until January 2004) the requirement that redevelopment agencies replace low- and moderate-income housing units that are removed from the market by a redevelopment project. AB 750 (Cedillo). Requires redevelopment agencies to fund replacement units when affordability guarantees expire on agency-assisted, owner-occupied units. AB 1567 (Runner). Allows a redevelopment agency to meet inclusionary housing requirements by purchasing long-term affordability covenants on mobilehomes. AB 1653 (Pacheco). Loosens the standards for creation of a redevelopment area. The bill specifically overturns the definition of "true blight" adopted in Riverside v. City of Murrieta, (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 616 (see CP&DR Legal Digest, August 1998). SB 211 (Torlakson) and SB 1137 (Ortiz). Both extend the life spans of redevelopment projects. SB 411 (Perata). Allows the City of Oakland to extend the life of its Central District Urban Renewal Plan. SB 600 (Torlakson). States that lack of housing and commercial development at specific densities within a one-quarter mile of a transit station constitutes "blight" for the purpose of establishing a redevelopment area, if the intent is to develop a transit village. Others AB 545 (Steinberg). Requires the state, when siting office space, to consider mixed-use sites and proximity to affordable housing. AB 640 (Jackson). Modifies the way the Coastal Commission reviews certified Local Coastal Plans. AB 680 (Steinberg). Encourages a regional approach to planning in the Sacramento area. AB 857 (Wiggins). Requires OPR to complete by June 30, 2003 a "State Comprehensive Plan" that articulates a 20-year vision. The OPR would complete this plan in lieu of updating the State Environmental Goals and Policies Report, which is nearly 20 years out of date. AB 1114 (Pescetti). Establishes incentives for cleaning up and redeveloping brownfields, and establishes liability and insurance limits. SB 660 (Hayes). Requires the Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency to designate 25 "California Renewal Communities" to be linked with various government and private funding sources.