(Ting D) Housing Accountability Act: disapprovals: California Environmental Quality Act.

Current Text: Amended: 4/13/2023 

Status: 10/11/2023-Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 768, Statutes of 2023.
4/17/2023-Re-referred to Com. on NAT. RES.

Summary: Existing law, the Housing Accountability Act, prohibits a local agency from disapproving a housing development project, as described, unless it makes certain written findings based on a preponderance of the evidence in the record. The act defines “disapprove the housing development project” as including any instance in which a local agency either votes and disapproves a proposed housing development project application, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit, or fails to comply with specified time periods. Existing law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that the lead agency proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if the lead agency finds that the project will not have that effect.

This bill would define “disapprove the housing development project” as also including any instance in which a local agency fails to issue a project an exemption from CEQA for which it is eligible, as described, or fails to adopt a negative declaration or addendum for the project, to certify an environmental impact report for the project, or to approve another comparable environmental document, if certain conditions are satisfied. Among other conditions, the bill would require a housing development project subject to these provisions to be located within an urbanized area, as defined, and meet or exceed 15 dwelling units per acre. By imposing additional duties on local officials, the bill would create a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

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