SB 35 and fourteen additional Housing Bills have been passed by the California Legislature, signed by Gov. Brown, and will be effective on January 1, 2018. It’s unconscionable that the Long Beach City Council is considering passing a new Land Use Element Plan at the same time.
The Sacramento Bills have unlocked and opened the doors to the candy store. All of the children are inside selecting candy. If the Land Use Element Plan is passed, the candy shelves will be emptied and the stockroom cleaned out. The candy store will become a ghost of what it formerly was.
The three worst aspects of SB 35 are:
- It eliminates a locality’s (the City of Long Beach’s) ability to examine and conduct public hearings before a proposed development’s permit is issued. SB 35 specifies that if developments meet objective general plan standards, i.e. the Land Use Plan, and objective design standards, the streamlined permit must be approved. Once a permit is issued, it can’t be stopped
- If developers meet these streamlined permit standards and the development is located within one half mile of public transit, which 99% of Long Beach is, then there are no parking requirements.
- No development level EIR which would examine the effects of that development on the surrounding community (traffic, parking, noise, lack of police, fire, schools) will be allowed. No one will be allowed to sue in order to mitigate these concerns.
- If the development is on residentially zoned or mixed use land (per the General Plan and not zoning regulations) and is between two and ten units, there are no additional requirements other than that no rental properties be demolished.
- The Density Bonus Law and Accessory Dwelling Unit Law can be added on top of the allowable density in SB 35. Density Bonus is figured by percentage and is always rounded up so even a very small density bonus can have a major impact.
- The bill inserts the Subdivision Map Act which regulates both subdivisions and lot consolidations which then may be used by the developers.
- The coastal zone is excluded.
- Affordable Housing in SB 35 is defined as households making below 80 percent of the area’s median income.
- The development must be compliant with the maximum density allowed within that land use designation.
- If the development is a public work, it doesn’t need to hire union workers. The legal definition of a public work is: construction, alteration, demolition, installation, or repair work done under contract and paid for in whole or in part out of public funds.
- There are a lot of public funds available to help finance these developments – federal tax credits, state money, and city money. Read the memo regarding “The Mayor’s Affordable and Workforce Housing Study Group.” http://www.longbeach.gov/citymanager/memos-to-the-mayor-and-council/
- Some of these streamlined permits will no longer have an expiration date and others will qualify to have the expiration date extended.