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 it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.
Existing law authorizes the court, upon the motion of a party, to award attorney's fees to a prevailing party in an action that has resulted in the
enforcement of an important right affecting the public interest if 3 conditions are met.
This bill would require the lead agency to prepare concurrently the record of proceeding for a No Place Like Home project, as defined, with the performance of the environmental review of the project. Because the bill would impose additional duties on the lead agency, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the lead agency to file and post a notice of determination within 2 working days of the approval of the project. The bill would require a person filing an action or proceeding challenging the lead agency's action on the grounds of noncompliance with CEQA to file the action or proceeding within 10 days of the filing of the notice of determination. The bill would require a person bringing an action or proceeding to file a copy of the pleading with the Attorney General concurrent with the filing of the action or
proceeding with the court. The bill would require the lead agency to file a copy the record of proceeding with the Attorney General concurrent with the filing of the record with the court. The bill would require the Attorney General, within 45 days of the receipt of the record of proceedings, to determine whether the action or proceeding is brought in the public interest. The bill would prohibit the court, if the Attorney General finds that the action or proceeding is not brought in the public interest or fails to make a determination, from awarding attorney's fees to a prevailing petitioner. The bill would apply the Rules of Court, which require an action or proceeding brought against certain projects or the granting of any approval for those projects, including any potential appeals therefrom, to be resolved, to the extent feasible, within 270 days of the filing of the certified record of proceedings with the court, to actions and proceedings against a No Place Like Home project.
The Planning and Zoning Law requires the legislative body of each county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city that includes, among other mandatory elements, a housing element. Under that law, supportive housing, as defined, is a use by right in zones where multifamily and mixed uses are permitted if the proposed housing development meets specified criteria and the developer provides the planning agency with a plan for providing supportive services, as specified.
Existing law, known as the No Place Like Home Program, requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to award $2,000,000,000 among counties to finance capital costs, including, but not limited to, acquisition, design, construction, rehabilitation, or preservation, and to capitalize operating reserves, of permanent supportive housing for the target population, as
specified. Existing law requires that $1,800,000,000 of the moneys available under the program be awarded, in at least 4 rounds, by a competitive program based on specified criteria, including that the county has developed a county plan to combat homelessness. Existing law requires that, before the disbursement of any funds for loans made pursuant to the competitive component of the No Place Like Home Program, the department and the development sponsor, as defined, enter into a regulatory agreement that includes specified provisions.
This bill would require that permanent supportive housing, be a use by right, as defined, in zones where multifamily and mixed uses are permitted, including nonresidential zones permitting multifamily uses, if the proposed housing development meets specified criteria, including that the housing is either (1) included in a county's application for competitive funds under the No Place Like Home Program or (2) subject
to a regulatory agreement between the developer and the Department of Housing and Community Development, as described above. The bill would require a local government to approve permanent supportive housing that complies with these requirements, but would authorize the local government to engage in design review, subject to specified requirements. The bill would specify that its provisions do not prohibit a local government from imposing fees and other exactions, as specified, but would prohibit a local government from adopting any requirement, including increased fees, that applies to a project solely or partially on the basis that the housing project constitutes a permanent supportive housing development or based on the development's eligibility for ministerial approval pursuant to these provisions. The bill would include findings that the changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities.
This bill, by authorizing supportive housing as a use by right under certain circumstances, would expand the exemption for the ministerial approval of projects under CEQA. Because this bill would add additional duties on local planning officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would specify that a decision of a public agency to seek funding from, or the department's awarding of funds pursuant to, the program is not a project for purposes of CEQA.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.