Part 2: 2018 New Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

From the Public Agency Law Department: Part 2 Of a Four-Part Series:
2018 Newly Introduced California Legislation Impacting Public Agencies

The following is a summary of newly introduced and pending Legislation that will impact California cities, counties, special districts, and water districts, if passed, and/or accepted by the electorate. To read more about bills or propositions, follow the links below and contact SBEMP for assistance or more details.

2018 Proposed Legislation (Part Two) SB 827 – Planning and Zoning: Transit-Rich Housing Bonus

This newly introduced bill would exempt certain housing projects from locally developed and adopted height limitations, densities, parking requirements, and design review standards. This bill is opposed by the League of California Cities, as the bill would undermine locally adopted General Plans, Housing Elements, and Sustainable Community Strategies.

The measure would allow private-for-profit housing developers and transit agencies to determine housing densities, parking requirements, and design review standards within one-half mile of a “major transit stop,” or along a “high-quality transit corridor,” which could be miles away from an actual bus stop.

Under SB 827, local governments would lose their ability to enforce well balanced land use policies that reflect the needs and desires of the communities within these designated areas.

Additionally, SB 827 would give developers and transit agencies, who are accountable at the local level, the power to exempt themselves from locally developed and adopted building height limitations, densities, parking requirements, and design review standards. Under the measure, developers would be given the means to generate additional profits without any requirement to construct affordable housing units.

Proposition 68 – California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018, a.k.a. SB 5 (de Leon – 2017)

Proposition 68 is a $4.1 billion general obligation bond – approved by Governor Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature (SB 5) that will appear on the June 2018 statewide ballot and will provide funding for some of the state’s most important water, park, and natural resource needs. The bill contains funding in three main areas:

(1) park funding ($1.283 billion);
(2) water funding ($1.19 billion); and
(3) climate and environmental programs funding (1.547 billion).

If voters approve Proposition 68, local governments will be eligible for at least $1.69 billion to invest in park improvements, water infrastructure and projects, and climate programs. Every city in the state will benefit from the passage of this bond through a per capita allocation of at least $200,000.00 for their parks. Cities will also be eligible to apply for many other grants to fund water, local parks, and coastal and climate resiliency projects.