California Environmental Quality Act
o AB 1108 (Pavley). Says that, for projects of statewide, regional or areawide significance, a scoping meeting under the National Environmental Quality Act qualifies as a scoping meeting for CEQA purposes. Also requires the lead agency to notify the military if a low-level flight path or impact zone could be affected. Signed by governor.
o SB 1828 (Burton). Modifies CEQA to provide American Indians with greater control over sacred sites threatened by development. Vetoed by governor.
o SB 1925 (Sher). Clarifies exemptions to CEQA for infill and farmworker housing projects. The bill makes no major changes to CEQA. Signed by governor.
o AB 2175. Requires the Governor's Office of Planning and Research to include "human service matters" in general plan guidelines. Vetoed by governor.
o AB 2954 (Simitian). Requires land use elements to address the distribution of child care facilities. Vetoed by governor.
o AB 3057 (Matthews). Recasts the open space element as the "agriculture and open space element," and requires county governments to amend general plans to minimize land use conflicts with long-term agricultural viability. Vetoed by governor.
o SB 1468 (Knight). Requires general plans to account for military bases and training facilities. Signed by governor.
o AB 1866 (Wright). Makes second unit permits a ministerial review at the local level, and prevents cities and counties from applying development standards that make affordable housing density bonuses impossible to receive. Signed by governor.
o AB 2292 (Dutra). Requires cities and counties to abide by the zoned density used in certified housing elements. If a local government approves a downzone, it must transfer the density elsewhere to prevent a net loss. Signed by governor.
o AB 2867 (Kehoe). Authorizes creation of a joint powers authority among numerous public entities to pursue development of a new school and replacement housing in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood. Signed by governor.
o SB 800 (Burton). Revises consumer law to give builders a right to fix construction defects before an owner may pursue a lawsuit. The bill was the result of last-minute negotiations between consumer attorneys and developers. They consider it a first step toward encouraging more condominium construction. Signed by governor.
o SB 972 (Costa). Exempts self-help housing, owner rehabilitation projects and developments with below market-rate financing from prevailing wage requirements. The bill is a follow up to last year's SB 975, which mandated that nearly any project receiving a government subsidy be built with prevailing wage labor. Signed by governor.
o SB 1636 (Figueroa). Allows cities and counties to designate "Infill Opportunity Zones" where development may occur without having to meet transportation level-of-service standards. The sites must be near transit stations and have zoning that requires at least three different types of land use. Signed by governor.
o AB 858 (Wiggins). Prohibits the Water Resources Control Board from approving a private company's proposal to collect water at the mouths of the Albion and Gualala rivers in giant plastic bags for export to Southern California until the state completes detailed fish habitat studies. Signed by governor.
o AB 1414 (Dickerson). Requires the Department of Fish and Game to prepare within 18 months of acquisition management plans for lands wholly within DFG jurisdiction. The measure applies to lands the state acquires on or after January 1, 2002, and is subject to budget constraints. Signed by governor.
o AB 1997 (Thomson). Prohibits the subdivision of land that is subject to agricultural or open space easements. Signed by governor.
o AB 2156 (Kehoe). Establishes the San Diego River Conservancy. Signed by governor.
o AB 2370 (Thomson). Prohibits a local agency formation commission from approving annexation of land protected by a Williamson Act contract to a city. Signed by governor.
o SB 482 (Kuehl). Suspends protections for "fully protected species" in the Salton Sea area to allow the Imperial Irrigation District to complete a water transfer to the San Diego County Water Authority. Signed by governor.
o SB 483 (Sher). Amends the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act to prevent open pit mines within one mile of a site deemed sacred by American Indians. The bill is aimed specifically at blocking the proposed Glamis Gold Ltd. mine in Imperial County. Signed by governor.
o SB 550 (Costa). Permits the "take" of endangered, threatened or candidate species if the killing occurs as part of routine farming activity. Signed by governor.
o SB 984 (Costa). Provides for the protection of range, grazing land and grassland via conservation easements, and earmarks $19 million from Proposition 40 for easement purchase. Signed by governor.
o SB 1515 (Machado). Prohibits local governments from putting land restricted to agricultural or open space uses into a Mello-Roos Community Facilities District. Signed by governor.
o SB 1714 (Poochigian). Requires the controller to report annually on property tax lost because of state agency acquisition of land or easements. Vetoed by governor.
o SB 1962 (Polanco). Requires the State Coastal Conservancy to accept outstanding offers to dedicate coastal access easements within 90 days of the offer's expiration if no local government or nonprofit organization has accepted the easement. Signed by governor.
o AB 1823 (Papan). Requires San Francisco to adopt a capital improvement program for the Hetch Hetchy water system, totaling about $2.9 billion. The bill also requires the Department of Health Services to monitor the progress of these projects. Signed by governor..
o AB 1939 (Daucher). Directs the Legislative Analyst's Office to study a proposal that encourages voluntary tax sharing among cities, counties and special districts and increases the amount of tax increment devoted to affordable housing. Vetoed by the governor.
o AB 2058 (Papan). Provides for the formation of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency by at least 15 public agencies that receive water from the Hetch Hetchy system. The new agency is intended to interact with San Francisco regarding operation of Hetch Hetchy, which San Francisco owns. Signed by governor.
o SB 1703 (Peace). Consolidates San Diego regional transportation planning and transit project delivery with the San Diego Association of Governments. Signed by governor.
o SB 1731 (Polanco). Establishes the California and Mexico Border Economic Infrastructure Finance Authority to issue revenue bonds to fund infrastructure, environmental improvements and economic development on both sides of the border. Vetoed by governor.
o SB 1870 (Speier). Creates the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Water System Financing Authority to fund improvements to Hetch Hetchy. Signed by governor.
o AB 1010 (Correa) Provides the Orange County Transportation Authority the legal ability to purchase 10 miles of privately owned toll lanes on Highway 91. Signed by governor.
o SB 1799 (Poochigian). Doubles Central Valley representation from one to two members on the nine-member California High-Speed Rail Authority. Vetoed by governor.
o SB 1856 (Costa). Places on the March 2004 ballot a $9.9 billion bond measure to fund the first phase of a proposed high-speed rail line. Signed by governor.
o AB 857 (Wiggins). Requires state agencies to adopt consistent planning and capital spending priorities based on promoting infill, protecting environmental and agricultural resources, and encouraging efficient development patterns. Also adds those three priorities to the State Environmental Goals and Policy Report. Signed by governor.
o AB 2561 (Vargas). Makes it easier for property owners to form a property and business improvement district that spends at least 25% of its money promoting mass transit and that has a mass transit station in the district. Vetoed by governor.
o AB 2936 (Aroner). Allows cities and counties to include planning costs as part of permit processing fees. Signed by governor.
o SB 1460 (Ortiz). Expands the Capitol area redevelopment plan by 12 blocks along R Street, where the city has struggled to attract private investment. The state and the City of Sacramento jointly run the redevelopment agency. Signed by governor.
o SB 1480 (Speier). Requires local approval of billboards near freeways and increases fines for illegal billboards. Signed by governor.
o SB 1684 (Polanco). Eliminates the sunset provision in the Polanco Act, which provides immunity from liability to developers who reuse brownfields and who were not responsible for the pollution. Signed by governor.
o SB 1717 (Machado). Prohibits cities from leasing noncontiguous land that is owned by the city for use as a shopping center or hotel. Signed by governor.
In a case that touched on redevelopment law, the California Environmental Quality Act and general plan compatibility, an appellate court has upheld San Francisco's handling of a project on the site of the historic Emporium department store.
The City of Los Angeles was correct to treat as one project a builder's various proposals for 21 new houses on existing parcels on two streets, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled. The court rejected the builder's contention that the city could not demand an environmental impact report on the 21 houses, five of which have already been built.
Opponents of a proposed recycling center were too late in filing a lawsuit regarding a city's failure to prepare an environmental study on the city's sale of land to the recycling company, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled.
When a public agency acquires a property via eminent domain, only a trial court judge -- and not a jury -- can decide whether a business should receive compensation for loss of goodwill, a state appellate court has ruled.
The California Coastal Commission's decision to allow Malibu property owners who are building new houses to exchange existing public view corridors on their property for dedication of an off-site public access to the beach has been upheld by the Second District Court of Appeal.
A city resolution restricting parking on certain residential streets to residents with parking permits was categorically exempt from environmental review, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled.
An exemption to the California Environmental Quality Act for construction of a sea wall below two houses has been upheld by the Fourth District Court of Appeal. The court ruled that the potential collapse of a bluff could threaten public safety and qualified for an emergency exemption under CEQA.