California Climate and Housing Bills 2019

Some bills that PCL reported failed last year ( that might be cannibalized or resurrected:

  • SB 1385 (Oppose unless Amended) and AB 3107 (Support if Amended): Residential allowed as a use on underutilized commercial lands – Failed-PCL strongly supported the intent of these bills and worked to ensure that they would apply to inclusionary, location-efficient housing. They never got there, but similar legislation is likely to return next year.
  • SB 1120 (Oppose Unless Amended): ministerial approval of second units & parcel splits – Failed-PCL also strongly supports breaking up single-family zoning, but again worked to ensure that the bill would apply to location-efficient areas. And again, the bill never got there but similar legislation is likely to return.
  • AB 1279 (Support): Ministerial approval of affordable housing in “High Resource” areas – Failed-An extremely important bill aimed at dismantling a century of housing segregation by streamlining inclusionary development in historically exclusive, high-resourced neighborhoods.
  • AB 2323 (Neutral): existing CEQA exemptions, updating/modification – Failed-PCL worked with the authors and many allies in the development of this bill aimed at providing consistency and alignment of multiple CEQA exemptions with the current climate and equity goals. Many improvements were identified, but we felt more work needed to be done.
  • SB 45 (Support): Wildfire, Drought, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020 – Failed-This bill authorizes a 5.5B bond to be voted on in the November 2020 election that would go towards increasing climate resiliency, such as improving wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, drought preparation, and flood protection. Introduced last year, this bill passed through the Senate but was never assigned to a committee in the Assembly.

Here are bills that failed in 2019 (see , current status unknown:

  • SB 50: Planning and zoning, permit streamlining and incentives: among many details, SB 50 proposes maximizing housing densities in all applicable “transit-rich” and “jobs-rich” areas statewide.
  • SB 5: Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program: the furthest a proposal has gotten to reinstate (something like) Redevelopment in California. The governor vetoed it, but we suspect it will not be the last proposal along these lines.
  • SB 526: State Mobility Action Plan for Healthy Communities, (Support): proposes a new level of inter-agency transportation planning that would be more accountable to California’s climate and equity goals, and provide greater discretion to the California Transportation Commission to prioritize VMT-reducing projects in jurisdictions that are not meeting their GHG reduction targets.

Livable California does have a list of bills under consideration on 2021 at  They oppose the following bills, but you might support them with or without amendment:

  • SB 9 (Atkins) Ends single-family zoning. Identical to SB 1120, the false “duplex” bill. The facts: where 1 house now sits, developers can buy it and build 6-units to 8 units. Impacts 21M homeowners. Strongly Oppose. The public must try to bring numerous inaccurate journalists up to speed.
  • SB 10 (Wiener) This SB 902 lookalike bill lets cities ignore CEQA to allow 10-unit pricey market-rate apartments almost anywhere, Wiener’s obsession for three years. And it allows a City Council to override voter-approved initiatives, an attack on our 108-year-old right to initiative. Strongly Oppose.
  • SB 7 (Atkins) Lets developers ignore CEQA if they include a very, very small number of affordable units within a $15 million project. Nearly the same as the failed SB 995 developer giveaway. Strongly Oppose.
  • SB 8 (Skinner) Changes Sacramento’s failing Density Bonus Law. Current law lets developers build big unaffordable projects, if about 20% of units are priced for low- to moderate-income renters. The state says 60% of all housing must be affordable, but its failing Density Bonus Law doesn’t come close! Unless Skinner requires a MUCH HIGHER percent of affordable units than now exists, Oppose.

Liveable California supports or may support the following bills:

Good Bills are Back as Well. But Not Very Many!

• SB 15 (Portantino) brings back SB 1299. REWARDS not PUNISHES cities. Gives cities grants for 7 years if they voluntarily rezone idled shopping sites for workforce housing. Repays cities for lost retail taxes. Doesn’t pave over neighborhoods! Strongly Support Portantino’s bill.

SB 6 (Caballero) brings back SB 1385. This complex bill is the SB 1385 lookalike. It allows developers to convert underutilized areas with stores and businesses to mixed-use housing and affordable housing. It retains some local input. If local control is meaningful and the percent of affordable units required of developers is high enough, Possibly Support.

New Efforts: Good, Bad and “Maybe” Bills

SCA 2 (Allen) proposes removing a barrier from a throwback era that stymies affordable housing by repealing Article 34 of the State Constitution that prohibits cities and counties from building or buying low-rent housing projects — unless local voters approve the project in an election. Strongly Support.

AB 68 (Salas) Implement State Auditor recommendations on affordable housing. The Auditor’s slam in November on the state’s loss of $2.7B in unspent affordable housing funds, and its failure to ID the cities most in need, made big headlines. But the State Auditor at the same time wrongly attacked the cities. Analyze and Decide.

AB 59 (Gabriel) Changes the way developers review and legally challenge local sewer, water, planning, building permits and other local fees and charges. As we have seen repeatedly, local regulation is NOT why affordable housing isn’t being built. Likely Oppose.

Funding Affordable Housing – What a Concept!

• SB 5 (Atkins) “Spot bill” to allow an Affordable Housing Bond on the November, 2022 ballot. Voters, should we put back part of the money that Gov. Jerry Brown took away in 2010 when he defunded affordable housing in California? Very Likely Support.

• ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry) Lowers voter threshold from 2/3rds to 55% for local government general obligation bonds, sales taxes or transactions. New taxes would fund construction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing. Lookalike bill killed in 2018 because it was over-broad. Analyze and Decide.

• AB 71 (Rivas/Chiu) Create a comprehensive, statewide homelessness solutions program with ongoing funding, to be paid for by increasing taxes and closing loopholes on higher income individuals and corporations. Analyze, Likely Support