Even with the preoccupation over the state budget--and especially the fate of redevelopment--Sacramento lawmakers have managed to advance a typically broad array of bills related to land use. 

Several of those bills focus on redevelopment reform, most notably Sen. Alan Lowenthal's SB 450, which seeks to preserve funds for affordable housing, and Sen. Rod Wright's SB 286, aimed at comprehensive reform -- but not elimination -- of the state's redevelopment system. Both bills have the support of the League of California Cities and the California Redevelopment Association. 

But that's not all. Those and dozens more bills relating to everything from climate change to transportation to local planning issues remain on the table in Sacramento, where June 3 is the deadline for each house to pass bills introduced in that house. Bills that do not pass out by then are effectively dead for the remainder of the year. 

Herewith is CP&DR's roundup of pending legislation: 

CEQA & Climate Change

AB 320 (Hill). Makes clarifying amendments to CEQA to ensure that all parties with a direct interest in a case brought pursuant the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) are aware of the pending litigation. It seeks to ensure that lawsuits and litigation from being thrown out in the event a "recipient of approval" emerges after the statute of limitations time period has passed. 

AB 605 (Dickinson). Directs the Office of Planning and Research to set standards for vehicle-miles traveled reductions and CEQA exemptions. The Act would adopt guidelines establishing a percentage reduction of vehicle miles traveled for a proposed project, in comparison to the average VMT of a project, that would assist a region in meeting the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets established by the California Air Resources Board for the vehicles of that region.

AB 752 (Brownley). Requires cities, counties and harbor districts to have a plan in pace by 2013 to deal with floods resulting from rising sea levels. Passed Assembly. 

AB 931 (Dickinson). Extends the current criteria for the preparation of a community-level environmental review from 5 to 20 years. It would also lower the density requirement for exemption from 20 to 15 units per acre.

AB 1285 (Fuentes). Creates community greenhouse gas emission reduction program. Would provide state oversight over local government and nonprofit investments relating to greenhouse gasses.

SB 241 (Cannella). Enacts the CEQA Litigation Protection Pilot Program of 2011 and would require the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to select projects that meet specified requirements from specified regions for each calendar year between 2012 and 2016. 

SB 246 (DeLeon). This bill would require the state board to meet specified requirements relating to verification and oversight of compliance offsets, as defined, if the state board allows the use of compliance offsets as part of a regulation adopted pursuant to AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.


AB 483 (Torres). This bill would modify the definition of the term "target population" under the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act and make several changes to the information a borrower may include in his or her annual report.

AB 542 (Allen). Requires, under housing element law, densities less than those specified in the housing element, to be deemed appropriate to accommodate housing for lower income households, if the site is owned by a city or county planning agency and set aside for affordable housing development, or if the planning agency has offered to provide subsidies per unit for affordable housing construction.

AB 826 (Atkins). Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to include in its annual report specified cumulative totals for each program funded under the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Acts of 2002 and 2006. 

AB 1103 (Huffman). Allows localities to count foreclosed homes and second units converted into deed-restricted homes toward their regional housing needs assessment requirement. 

AB 1198 (Norby). This bill would repeal the requirement that the Department of Housing and Community Development determine the existing and projected need for housing for each region, as specified, and other specified provisions relating to the assessment or allocation of regional housing need. 

AB 1220 (Alejo/Steinberg). Allows a five-year statute of limitations to challenge the adequacy of a housing element. Responds to ruling in Urban Habitat Program v. City of Pleasanton

Local Planning & Land Use

AB 46 (J. Perez). This bill would provide that every city with a population of less than 150 people (i.e. the City of Vernon) as of January 1, 2010, would be disincorporated into that cityÂ''s respective county as of 91 days after the effective date of the bill, unless a county board of supervisors determines that continuing such a city within that countyÂ''s boundaries would serve a public purpose if the board of supervisors determines that the city is in an isolated rural location that makes it impractical for the residents of the community to organize in another form of local governance. 

AB 147 (Dickinson). Expands the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impact fees to transit, bike and pedestrian facilities under the Subdivision Map Act.

AB 208 (Fuentes). This bill would extends by 24 months the expiration date of any approved tentative map or vesting tentative map that has not expired as of the effective date of this act and will expire prior to January 1, 2014.

AB 485 (Ma). Eliminates the requirement of voter approval for the adoption of an infrastructure financing plan, the creation of an infrastructure financing district, and the issuance of bonds with respect to a transit village development district. 

AB 502 (Bonilla). Authorizes the County of Monterey, and specified cities within that county to establish the Fort Ord Reuse Authority to, among other things, plan for, finance, and manage the transition of the property known as Fort Ord from military to civilian use. Authorizes Contra Costa County and the City of Concord to establish the Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Authority to plan for, finance, and manage the transition of the property formerly known as the Concord Naval Weapons Station from military to civilian use.

AB 579 (Monning). This bill would permit the award of attorney's fees and, in some cases, other litigation expenses, to a local governmental entity in an action brought by the owner of a mobile home park to challenge the validity or application of a local ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure that regulates space rent or is intended to benefit or protect residents in a mobile home park, if the local governmental entity is determined to be the prevailing party.

AB 710 (Skinner). Eliminates minimum parking requirements for infill and transit-oriented development. Prohibits city or county from requiring more than one parking space per residential unit and prohibits requirement of more than one parking space per 1,000 sq. ft of commercial units for residential or mixed-use project in a transit intensive area. Also modifies definition of sustainable communities to include communities that incentivize infill development.

AB 995 (Cedillo). Requires the Office of Planning and Research, not later than July 1, 2012, to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report containing recommendations for expedited environmental review for transit-oriented development.

AB 1072 (Fuentes). This bill would establish the California Promise Neighborhoods Initiative in the Office of Economic Development. It would require the office to establish 40 promise neighborhoods throughout the state, according to specified criteria, to maximize collective efforts within a community to improve the health, safety, education, and economic development of each neighborhood.

AB 1170 (Alejo). This bill would authorize the planning commission or city council of the City of Watsonville to amend a specified preliminary plan and redevelopment plan, respectively, to add described territory, known as the Manabe-Bergstrom Site, currently referred to as the Manabe-Ow site. 

AB 1220 (Alejo). Changes the decision of a Court of Appeal (Urban Habitat v. city of Pleasanton). The bill would create a five-year statute of limitations to challenge land use planning decisions.

SB 132 (Lowenthal). Requires State Allocation Board to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policies for the acquisition of school sites and the construction of school facilities to reflect the state planning. This bill would also require that advice, standards, surveys, or information regarding the acquisition of school sites or the construction of school facilities provided by the State Department of Education pursuant to this requirement reflect the state planning priorities.

SB 184 (Leno). In response to Palmer/Sixth Street Properties L.P. v. city of Los Angeles, seeks to clarify that the Costa-Hawkins Act does not apply to inclusionary housing programs. This would make clear that inclusionary zoning is a permissible land use power. This bill would additionally authorize the legislative body of any city or county to adopt ordinances to establish, as a condition of development, inclusionary housing requirements, as specified, and would declare the intent of the Legislature in adding this provision.

SB 244 (Wolk). Requires, prior to January 1, 2014, and thereafter upon each revision of its housing element, a city or county to review and update one or more elements of its general plan, as necessary to address the presence of island, fringe, or legacy unincorporated communities, inside or near its boundaries, and would require the updated general plan to include an identification of unincorporated island, fringe, or legacy communities within or near the city or county, a quantification and analysis of specific infrastructure deficiencies, an analysis of current programs for addressing conditions and deficiencies within these communities, a statement of goals for addressing these issues, and finally a set of implementation measures designed to achieve these goals. 

SB 310 (Hancock). Eliminate the requirement of voter approval and authorize the legislative body to create the an infrastructure financing district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions.

SB 444 (Evans). Allows an application to convert a mobile home park from rental to resident-owned to be subject to all requirements of the Subdivision Map Act.

SB 469 (Vargas).  Requires a city or county prior to approving or disapproving a "superstore retailer" to require, at applicant expense, a private consultant to prepare an exhaustive economic impact report examining 17 different detailed conditions. A "superstore" is defined as more than 90,000 square feet, selling a wide range of consumer goods, and where 10 percent of the total floor area is devoted to selling non-taxable food items. 

SB 552 (Huff). The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act prohibits offering a voter or landowner, and would prohibit a voter or landowner from accepting or receiving, consideration to forgo the filing of a protest.


AB 14 (Wieckowski). Authorizes the Fremont Redevelopment Agency to adopt a redevelopment plan for a project area encompassing or surrounding the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) automobile manufacturing plant and the Warm Springs Bay Area Rapid Transit station. 

AB 101. Eliminates state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly "wind down" of their responsibilities and assets.

AB 330 (Norby). This bill establishes a specified procedure by which the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Attorney General, and the courts would handle major audit violations committed by redevelopment agencies.

AB 343 (Atkins). Encourages redevelopment plans and subsequent projects to be in alignment with climate, air quality and energy conservation goals of Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008.

AB 445 (Carter). This bill would require, notwithstanding anticipated proposed legislation, that a redevelopment agency shall continue in full force and effect with respect to a military base reuse project under the jurisdiction of that agency, as specified. 

AB 936 (Hueso). Requires that, with regard to matters considered by a local legislative body, any matter on a meeting agenda to forgive a loan, advance, or indebtedness of a redevelopment agency be made public at a public meeting at least two weeks prior to the adoption of any action relating to that matter.

AB 1234 (Norby). Prohibits redevelopment agencies from using specified revenue for the promotion, recruitment, or retention of any professional sports team, or any related activity, as defined or for the development, planning, design, site acquisition, subdivision, financing, leasing, construction, operation, or maintenance of infrastructure, as defined, related to the occupancy, recruitment, or retention of any professional sports team.

AB 1250 (Alejo). Amends definition of blight; prohibits agencies from collecting the school share of local property tax or tax increment in new project areas starting in 2012; limits the percentage of total land area of a jurisdiction which may be included in redevelopment project areas; prohibits use of tax increment for specific purposes such as golf courses and race tracks; strengthens agency reporting and accountability requirements; focuses redevelopment activities on priorities such as job creation, cleaning up contaminated property basic infrastructure needs, and affordable housing.

AB 1317 (Norby). Requires, in addition to consistency with the general plan, that a redevelopment plan be consistent with any specific plan for which the community has adopted for the same territory. 

SB 77 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review). Eliminates state redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and an orderly "wind down" of their responsibilities and assets. 

SB 191 (Sen. Governance and Finance Cmte). Validating Acts. Included provision that would have aided in the elimination of redevelopment. Senate refused to approve. 

SB 214 (Wolk).  This bill would eliminate the requirement of voter approval and authorize the legislative body to create an infrastructure financing district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. 

SB 286 (Wright). Adds specificity to the types of information needed for making findings of blight; limits the percentage of total land area of a jurisdiction which may be included in project areas; exclude the schools share of property taxes in new project areas formed after January 1, 2012; prohibits uses of tax increment for specific purposes such as golf courses and professional sports facilities without voter approval; adds new requirements to five-year implementation plans and require agencies to focus activities on state priorities such as job creation, cleaning up contaminated property, basic infrastructure needs, and affordable housing; provide for more public oversight; require development of performance indicators to measure agency success; require performance audits of agencies by the State Auditor and provide funds for those reviews. Failed to pass Senate.

SB 450 (Lowenthal). Restricts how redevelopment agencies spend their low- and moderate-income housing funds. Passed Senate.

Transportation & Infrastructure

AB 31 (Beall). Establishes the High-Speed Rail Authority to develop and implement an intercity high-speed rail system in the state, exclusively grants to the authority the responsibility for planning, construction, and operation of that system, and confers upon the authority specified powers and duties relating to that system. This bill would establish the High-Speed Rail Local Master Plan Pilot Program, applicable to specified cities and counties, and would authorize each of those jurisdictions to prepare and adopt, by ordinance, a master plan for development in the areas surrounding the high-speed rail system in each jurisdiction.

AB 345 (Atkins). Requires Caltrans to convene an advisory committee of representatives from groups representing bicycle and pedestrian users of streets, roads and highways and consult with this group regarding the installation of traffic control barriers and/or devices.

AB 441 (Monning). Requires the California Transportation Commission to include health issues in regional transportation plans. The Office of Planning and Research would develop guidelines for local government and regional agencies to incorporate health (improvement) issues into general plans.

AB 539 (Williams). Authorizes local government to double fines for speeding in a school zones.

AB 650 (Blumenfield). Convenes "blue ribbon" task force to be comprised of twelve transportation subject matter experts to prepare a written report which would include findings and recommendations regarding the current state of CA’s transit system, costs of creating the needed system, and potential funding sources.

AB 676 (Torres). Existing transportation expenditures are currently legally obligated for transportation related administration, operation, maintenance, local assistance, safety and rehabilitation projects. This bill would allocate remaining funds for the study of, and development and implementation of capital improvement projects to be programmed in the state transportation improvement program.

AB 696 (Hueso). In conjunction with the existing Bergeson-Peace Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Act, This bill would require the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank to consult, and authorize it to coordinate implementation of its revolving loan program, with local and regional revolving loan funds and networks of revolving loan funds, for specified purposes.

AB 700 (Blumenfield). The act provides that California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank is governed and its corporate powers are exercised by a board of directors of which the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing or his or her designee shall serve as chair.

AB 819 (Wieckowski). Augments existing Dept. of Transportation responsibility for safety guidelines to include class IV bikeways, in addition to class I, II and III bikeways. 

AB 893 (Manuel Perez). Incorporates a requirement into the State General Obligation Bond Law that a bond act include a provision that includes a plan on how the bond will be administered, including outreach and oversight, to ensure that the objectives of the bond act will be adhered to.

AB 910 (Torres). In addition to public capital facilities, requires an infrastructure financing district to finance affordable housing facilities and economic development projects.

SB 214 (Wolk). Eliminates requirement of voter approval to create and authorize an infrastructure financing district. This bill would authorize a legislative body to create an infrastructure finance district, adopt an infrastructure financing plan, and issue bonds by resolutions by resolution, not requiring voter approval.

SB 310 (Hancock). Eliminates requirement of voter approval for the creation of an infrastructure financing district and would authorize the appropriate legislative body to create the district, adopt the plan, and issue the bonds by resolutions. Creates streamlined permit process for development that met certain criteria and it would create a program to reimburse developer fees if a project was located within an Infrastructure Finance District.

SB 446 (Dutton). Establishes the Ontario International Airport Authority as a local entity of regional government. Authorizes the authority to enter into an agreement with the City of Los Angeles to facilitate the sale of, or the transfer of management and operational control of, the Ontario International Airport to the authority. 

SB 468 (Kehoe). This bill would impose additional requirements on Caltrans with respect to proposed capacity-increasing state highway projects in the coastal zone, including requiring the department to collaborate with local agencies, the California Coastal Commission, and countywide or regional transportation planning agencies to develop traffic congestion reduction goals. Passed Senate.

SB 517 (Lowenthal). Reorders the High-Speed Rail Authority and places the Authority within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and require the members of the authority appointed by the Governor to be appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. Passed Senate.

SB 535 (De Leon). Requires minimum of 10% of revenues generated from fees collected by the Air Resources Board from sources of greenhouse gas emissions would be deposited into a trust operated by the CA Treasury Dept. Funds would be in used in communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to mitigate health or environmental impacts of climate change. Passed Senate.

SB 907 (Evans and Perez). Creates Master Plan for Infrastructure Financing and Development Commission, consisting of specified members, and would require the commission to prepare and submit a strategy and plan for infrastructure development in California that meets certain criteria to the Legislature and the Governor by December 1, 2013.

SB 910 (Lowenthal). Requires the driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction to pass at a safe distance, at a minimum clearance of 3 feet, or at a speed not exceeding 15 miles per hour faster than the bicycle, without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle.

AB 1308 (Miller). In any year in which the Budget Act has not been enacted by July 1, provides that all moneys in the Highway Users Tax Account in the Transportation Tax Fund, except as specified, are continuously appropriated and may be encumbered for certain purposes until the Budget Act is enacted.

Environment/Open Space


AB 703 (Gordon). Provides property tax incentives for non-profit ownership and stewardship of open-space and park lands. Lands benefiting from the current exemption complement existing local, state, and federal park lands, and they do so without drawing upon scarce public funds. Passed Assembly. 


SB 436 (Kehoe). Until January 1, 2022, authorizes a state or local public agency to provide funds to a nonprofit organization to acquire land or easements that satisfy the agency's mitigation obligations, including funds that have been set aside for the long-term management of any lands or easements conveyed to a nonprofit organization if the nonprofit organization meets certain requirements. 

SB 580 (Kehoe and Wolk). This bill would prohibit land acquired for the state park system, through public funds or gifts, from being disposed of or used for other purposes incompatible with park purposes without the substitution of other land. Passed Senate.

SB 618 (Wolk). Creates a solar easement program for siting solar on marginally productive agricultural lands. Easements would look similar to Williamson Act contracts, with a term of no less than 10 years, and an automatic annual renewal, and termination only by a process of non-renewal.

SB 668 (Evans). Until January 1, 2016, authorizes a nonprofit land-trust organization, a nonprofit entity, or a public agency to enter into a contract with a landowner who has also entered into a Williamson Act contract, upon approval of the city or county that holds the Williamson Act contract, to keep that landowner's land in contract under the Williamson Act, for a period of up to 10 years in exchange for the open-space district's, land-trust organization's, or nonprofit entity's payment of all or a portion of the foregone property tax revenue to the county, where the state has failed to reimburse, or reduced the subvention to, the city or county for property tax revenues not received as a result of Williamson Act contracts.

SB 833 (Vargas). Prohibits a person from constructing or operating a solid waste landfill disposal facility located in the County of San Diego if that disposal facility is located within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River or an aquifer that is hydrologically connected to that river and is within 1,000 feet of a site that is considered sacred or of spiritual or cultural importance to a tribe and is listed in the California Native American Heritage Commission Sacred Lands Inventory.

Building & Development

AB 49 (Gatto).  The Permit Streamlining Act requires each state agency and local agency to compile one or more lists that specify in detail the information that will be required from any applicant for a development project, and requires a public agency that is the lead agency for a development project,  or a public agency which is a responsible agency for a development project that has been approved by the lead agency, to approve or disapprove the project within applicable periods of time.

AB 482 (Williams). This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to encourage innovation in green building design and natural building that meets or exceeds all existing health and safety requirements. 

AB 1338 (Hernandez). Requires that on and after January 1, 2012, all real property purchased or otherwise acquired in exchange for financial remuneration by an agency pursuant to the above provisions be subject to an appraisal by a qualified independent appraiser to determine the fair market value of that property.


AB 331 (Brownley). States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would create the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2012, a state general obligation bond act that would provide funds to construct and modernize education facilities, to become operative only if approved by the voters at the next statewide general election, and to provide for the submission of the bond act to the voters at that election. 

SB 194 (Senate Committee on Governance). Establishes the Shasta County Regional Library Facilities and Services Commission, and authorizes the commission to, among other things, issue bonds, levy a special tax pursuant to the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982, levy a special tax pursuant to Section 4 of Article XIII A of the Constitution, levy a retail transactions and use tax, and levy service charges and fines, as specified. This bill would repeal this act. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

SB 653 (Steinberg). Allows local government (county, city, or even a school district) to impose a number of taxes which currently can only be levied by the state, upon voter approval.