The following bills are the major land use measures that state lawmakers introduced during 2005. Bills that did not pass this year may be revived when the Legislature reconvenes in January.


AB 237 (Arambula). Authorizes the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to forgive farmworker housing loans under certain circumstances. Never received a hearing.

AB 350 (Matthews). Authorizes local governments in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties to create infrastructure finance districts in jobs-housing opportunity zones. Stalled in Senate committee.

AB 549 (Salinas). Creates a pilot program in which a local government may self-certify its housing element based on production criteria. Never received a hearing.

AB 712 (Canciamilla). Strengthens the “no let loss” law that limits density reductions. The bill tightens the standards for findings necessary for density reductions and extends similar limitations to residentially zoned sites not identified in a housing element as required for meeting a jurisdiction’s fair-share housing mandate. Passed.

AB 906 (Houston). Provides tax credits for brownfield and mixed-use developments, and projects near transit stations. Held in Assembly committee.

AB 1192 (Villines). Exempts nonprofit housing construction from prevailing wage requirements. Failed in Assembly committee.

AB 1203 (Mullin). Authorizes local governments to create “greyfield housing and investment zones,” in areas where job growth and high-density housing is desired. Never received a hearing.

AB 1233 (Jones). Requires a city’s or county’s unmet housing need to be carried forward to the subsequent round of housing element updates, and requires local governments to zone for housing to satisfy the previously unmet need. Passed.

AB 1259 (Daucher). Allocates additional tax revenue to cities and counties that produce housing equal to at least 80% of the jurisdiction’s regional housing need allocation over 5 years. Stalled in Assembly committee.

AB 1367 (Evans). Requires the state to respect local growth control initiatives when calculating fair-share housing requirements. Stalled in Assembly committee.

AB 1387 (Jones). Carves a loophole in CEQA for urban infill projects that comply with the transportation policies in a general plan or zoning ordinance. Stalled in Assembly committee.

SB 223 (Torlakson). Establishes a new program in which the Department of Housing and Community Development would offer forgivable loans to cities and counties for the preparation of specific plans that provide for additional infill housing. Stalled in Assembly committee.

SB 253 (Torlakson). Among other things, clarifies what fees may be charged to cover the cost of the regional housing needs allocation process. Passed.

SB 326 (Dunn). Amends a two-year-old law permitting by-right development of multi-family housing projects to also include duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes. Passed.

SB 435 (Hollingsworth). Originally an amorphous bill concerning density bonuses and local government incentives for developers, the bill was watered down to clarify recently approved laws regarding density bonuses for projects that have an affordable or senior citizen component. Passed.

SB 575 (Torlakson). Strengthens anti-NIMBY law relating to affordable housing projects and prevents cities and counties from rejecting or conditionally approving a project unless the jurisdiction has met its fair-share housing needs for the planning period. Passed.

SB 832 (Perata/Torlakson/Lowenthal). Expands the CEQA exemption for urban infill housing projects in cities of at least 200,000 people. Stalled in Assembly.

SB 948 (Murray). Requires a local government to prepare a “short form environmental impact report” for certain residential developments that are consistent with local land use requirements. Never received a hearing.

SB 950 (Torlakson). Increases the types of housing that are considered “at risk” for the purpose of awarding tax credits. Passed.

SB 1087 (Florez). Requires water providers to reserve capacity for affordable housing projects, and reinforces existing law prohibiting water suppliers from denying service to affordable housing developments. Passed.

General Plans

SB 44 (Kehoe). Requires all jurisdictions to adopt air quality elements that account for development patterns. Failed in Assembly.

SB 409 (Kehoe). Requires cities and counties to correlate the water supply portion of their general plan conservation elements with their land use elements. Failed in Assembly committee.

SB 655 (Ortiz). Requires cities and counties to map areas with naturally occurring asbestos, identify the areas in the general plan, and disclose to buyers if asbestos is present. The bill stems from controversy in El Dorado and other Sierra foothill counties, where development has stirred up natural asbestos fibers. The building industry opposed the bill. Failed in Assembly.

SB 968 (Torlakson). Originally a bill addressing local requirements for residential zoning, the bill was amended to change the name of the circulation element to the transportation element. Stalled in Assembly.

SB 1059 (Escutia). Requires cities and counties to amend their general plans to show the electric transmission corridor designated by the California Energy Commission. Stalled in Assembly.

Natural Resources

AB 365 (Salinas). Permits construction of greenhouses on lands protected by the Williamson Act. Passed.

AB 797 (Wolk). Beefs up the role of the Delta Protection Commission and prohibits the expansion of urban services into the Delta’s “primary zone.” The bill appeared to get bogged down because of a controversy over a proposed Sacramento riverfront development in Clarksburg. Held in Senate committee.

AB 1747 (Wolk). Permits the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians to become a member of a joint powers authority that would purchase the 17,000-acre Conaway Ranch, possibly by eminent domain. Passed.


AB 517 (Hancock). Extends the life of the Berkeley Redevelopment Agency exclusively for the purpose of carrying out affordable housing projects. Never received a hearing.

AB 590, AB 1162, ACA 15, ACA 22, SB 53, SB 1099, SCA 12, SCA 15. All bills dealing with eminent domain authority in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the use of eminent domain for economic development. None of the bills made it out of committee. At least some of the bills, and possibly more, are likely to return in 2006. In the meantime, lawmakers have scheduled hearings for October 26 in San Diego and November 17 in Sacramento.

AB 691 (Hancock). Allows local governments to designate existing specific plans or redevelopment plans as “transit village plans.” Passed.

AB 921 (Daucher). Authorizes redevelopment agencies to extend the life of project areas by 25 years without a finding of blight. Never received a hearing.

AB 939 (Mullin). Expands the area where pooled redevelopment housing set-aside funds may be expended to include sites near BART stations and along El Camino Real on the Peninsula. Stalled in Assembly committee.

AB 1352 (Baugh). Permits redevelopment agencies to transfer housing funds to other agencies within the same council of governments region. Stalled in Assembly committee.

AB 1390 (Jones). Expands enforcement of a redevelopment agency’s low- and moderate-income housing requirements, and amends certain replacement and rehabilitation housing requirements. Specifically, the legislation establishes a 10-year statute of limitations for suing redevelopment agencies for violating housing mandates. Passed.

AB 1491 (Calderon). Gives the City of Industry control over half of its redevelopment housing set-aside funds. Los Angeles County now has control over the money. Never received a hearing.

SB 521 (Torlakson). Permits redevelopment agencies to use tax increment financing to develop high-density projects near transit stations. Stalled in Assembly committee.

SB 588 (Runner). Originally a bill permitting redevelopment agencies to spend “surplus” housing funds for purposes other than housing, SB 588 was amended to address an unrelated matter.


AB 1335 (Vargas). Expands the potential scope of property and business improvement districts. Also changes the procedures for forming districts. Stalled in Senate committee.

AB 1746 (Assembly Local Government Committee). Extends the deadline for Local Agency Formation Commissions to update their spheres of influence to January 1, 2008, and makes other changes to the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act. Passed.

SB 1026 (Kuehl). A bill that addressed a number of subjects during the year, SB 1026 on the final day of the session became a measure authorizing the use of the design-build method for constructing a carpool lane on the San Diego Freeway. Stalled in Senate.

SB 1060 (Campbell). Authorizes cities and county to exchange property tax and sales tax revenues voluntarily. Held in Assembly committee.