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SB-592 Housing development: Housing Accountability Act: permit streamlining.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/09/2019 03:20 PM
SB592:v92#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  September 09, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 06, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 26, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 12, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 03, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 13, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  March 27, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 592


Introduced by Senator Wiener

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections Section 65589.5 and 65913.4 of the Government Code, relating to housing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 592, as amended, Wiener. Housing development: Housing Accountability Act: permit streamlining.
(1) The Housing Accountability Act (the HAA), among other things, requires a local agency that proposes to disapprove or impose specified conditions on a housing development project that complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria in effect at the time the application for the project is deemed complete, within the meaning of the Permit Streamlining Act, to make specified written findings based on a preponderance of the evidence in the record.
This bill would additionally require a local agency to make those findings if it proposes to disapprove or impose specified conditions on a housing development project that is determined to be complete, as provided, and would make other related conforming changes. The bill would provide that the HAA applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is subject to a local agency’s discretionary review and, except as specified, any application submitted pursuant to specified law or another review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval, as provided. For purposes of an application that is not subject to the Permit Streamlining Act, the bill would specify that an application is deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency. The bill would specify that the HAA does not prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of the HAA. By increasing the duties on local agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law provides that disapproving a housing development project for purposes of the HAA includes, among other things, any instance in which a local agency votes on the proposed housing development project application, or the local agency fails to comply with the time periods specified in the Permit Streamlining Act.
This bill would instead provide that disapproving a housing development project for purposes of the act includes any instance in which a local agency takes action on the proposed housing development project application and disapproves the project.
(3) The HAA requires a local agency that considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with applicable law to provide the applicant with a written document, within a specified amount of time, identifying the provisions the application is not in compliance with and an explanation of the reasons for the decision.
This bill would require a local agency that determines an application that was revised after the agency’s initial denial is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with applicable law to provide a similar written document within 30 days providing an explanation of the reasons for the decision. By requiring local agencies to provide additional specified written documents and explanations, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) The HAA defines “housing development project” to mean a use consisting of residential units only, specified mixed-use developments, and transitional housing or supportive housing.
The bill would define “housing development project” for purposes of the HAA to also include an accessory dwelling unit.
(5) The HAA requires a local agency that proposes to impose a condition on a housing development project that the project be developed at a lower density to base its decision upon specified findings. The act defines “lower density” to mean any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing.
The bill would specify that lower density includes a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses, and would clarify that project means a housing development project.
(6) Existing law authorizes a court to issue a writ of mandate, known as a “traditional writ of mandate,” to compel the performance of an act which the law specially enjoins or to compel the admission of a party to the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which the party is entitled, and from which the party is unlawfully precluded, as provided. Existing law also provides for the issuance of a writ, known as a “writ of administrative mandate,” for the purpose of inquiring into the validity of any final administrative order or decision made as the result of a proceeding in which by law a hearing is required to be given, evidence is required to be taken, and discretion in the determination of facts is vested in an inferior tribunal, corporation, board, or officer, as provided.
Existing law authorizes the applicant to bring an action to enforce the HAA, and authorizes a court to issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter and, if the local agency fails to comply with such an order within 60 days, impose fines, as specified. Existing law requires the court to award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, unless an exception applies. Existing law requires that an action brought to enforce the HAA be brought by seeking a writ of administrative mandate.
This bill would instead require that an action brought to enforce the HAA be brought by seeking either a writ of traditional mandate or a writ of administrative mandate, as applicable. In an action brought seeking a traditional writ of mandate, the bill would authorize a court to award remedies under the HAA, as described above, if it finds that the local agency improperly disapproved or imposed a condition on an application necessary for a housing development project subject to the HAA.

(7)Existing law, until January 1, 2026, authorizes a development proponent to submit an application for a multifamily housing development project that is subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process, as provided, and not subject to a conditional use permit, if that development satisfies specified objective planning standards. If a local government determines that the development conflicts with any of these planning standards, existing law requires the local government to provide the development proponent written documentation of the conflicts within specified time periods. If the local government fails to provide this documentation, existing law provides that the development is deemed to satisfy these objective planning standards.

This bill would allow a development proponent to request a modification to a development approved pursuant to this process before the issuance of the final building permit required for construction of the building within the development for which a modification is proposed. The bill would require a local government to grant that request if it determines that the modification is consistent with the objective planning standards that were adopted and in effect at the time the application for the development was submitted, as provided, but would authorize a local government to apply objective planning standards adopted after the application was submitted to the requested modification if any one of 3 specified conditions apply.

(8)

(7) This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by AB 1743 and SB 330 to be operative only if this bill and either or both AB 1743 and SB 330 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.

(9)

(8) 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) This section does not prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(D) Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(6) “Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the application is deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record.
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If an applicant submits a written revision to the application and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.
(C) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.
(k) (1) (A) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) (1) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(2) Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) (1) (A) This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(B) The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act. Nothing in the amendments made to this section by the act adding this subdivision shall be construed to create any inference with respect to whether this section applies to other types of permits, approvals, and entitlements associated with a housing development project, such as a plumbing or electrical permit, which are not functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(C) In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.
(D) For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.
(p) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 1.1.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety:
(A) Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation.
(B) The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) This section does not prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(D) Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(6) “Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the application is deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d) and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record.
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If an applicant submits a written revision to the application and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.
(C) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.
(k) (1) (A) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that either (i) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, or (ii) the local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) (1) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(2) Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) (1) (A) This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(B) The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act. Nothing in the amendments made to this section by the act adding this subdivision shall be construed to create any inference with respect to whether this section applies to other types of permits, approvals, and entitlements associated with a housing development project, such as a plumbing or electrical permit, which are not functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(C) In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.
(D) For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.
(p) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 1.2.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(D) Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “deemed complete” means that the applicant has submitted a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1.
(6) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(7) “Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.
(8) Until January 1, 2025, “objective” means involving no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and being uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official.
(9) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “determined to be complete” means that the applicant has submitted a complete application pursuant to Section 65943.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d), and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record, and with the requirements of subdivision (o).
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the application was deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If an applicant submits a written revision to the application and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.
(C) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.
(k) (1) (A) (i) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that any of the following are met, the court shall issue an order pursuant to clause (ii):
(I) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
(II) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
(III) (ia) Subject to sub-subclause (ib), the local agency, in violation of subdivision (o), required or attempted to require a housing development project to comply with an ordinance, policy, or standard not adopted and in effect when a preliminary application was submitted.
(ib) This subclause shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.
(ii) If the court finds that one of the conditions in clause (i) is met, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) (1) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(2) Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (6), and (7), and subdivision (d) of Section 65941.1, a housing development project shall be subject only to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when a preliminary application including all of the information required by subdivision (a) of Section 65941.1 was submitted.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not prohibit a housing development project from being subject to ordinances, policies, and standards adopted after the preliminary application was submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 in the following circumstances:
(A) In the case of a fee, charge, or other monetary exaction, to an increase resulting from an automatic annual adjustment based on an independently published cost index that is referenced in the ordinance or resolution establishing the fee or other monetary exaction.
(B) A preponderance of the evidence in the record establishes that subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, or standard beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to mitigate or avoid a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), and there is no feasible alternative method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact.
(C) Subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, standard, or any other measure, beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to avoid or substantially lessen an impact of the project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(D) The housing development project has not commenced construction within two and one-half years following the date that the project received final approval. For purposes of this subparagraph, “final approval” means that the housing development project has received all necessary approvals to be eligible to apply for, and obtain, a building permit or permits and either of the following is met:
(i) The expiration of all applicable appeal periods, petition periods, reconsideration periods, or statute of limitations for challenging that final approval without an appeal, petition, request for reconsideration, or legal challenge having been filed.
(ii) If a challenge is filed, that challenge is fully resolved or settled in favor of the housing development project.
(E) The housing development project is revised following submittal of a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1 such that the number of residential units or square footage of construction changes by 20 percent or more, exclusive of any increase resulting from the receipt of a density bonus, incentive, concession, waiver, or similar provision. For purposes of this subdivision, “square footage of construction” means the building area, as defined by the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations).
(3) This subdivision does not prevent a local agency from subjecting the additional units or square footage of construction that result from project revisions occurring after a preliminary application is submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when the preliminary application was submitted.
(4) For purposes of this subdivision, “ordinances, policies, and standards” includes general plan, community plan, specific plan, zoning, design review standards and criteria, subdivision standards and criteria, and any other rules, regulations, requirements, and policies of a local agency, as defined in Section 66000, including those relating to development impact fees, capacity or connection fees or charges, permit or processing fees, and other exactions.
(5) This subdivision shall not be construed in a manner that would lessen the restrictions imposed on a local agency, or lessen the protections afforded to a housing development project, that are established by any other law, including any other part of this section.
(6) This subdivision shall not restrict the authority of a public agency or local agency to require mitigation measures to lessen the impacts of a housing development project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(7) With respect to completed residential units for which the project approval process is complete and a certificate of occupancy has been issued, nothing in this subdivision shall limit the application of later enacted ordinances, policies, and standards that regulate the use and occupancy of those residential units, such as ordinances relating to rental housing inspection, rent stabilization, restrictions on short-term renting, and business licensing requirements for owners of rental housing.
(8) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.
(p) (1) (A) This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(B) The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act. Nothing in the amendments made to this section by the act adding this subdivision shall be construed to create any inference with respect to whether this section applies to other types of permits, approvals, and entitlements associated with a housing development project, such as a plumbing or electrical permit, which are not functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(C) In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.
(D) For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.
(q) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 1.3.

 Section 65589.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65589.5.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California.
(B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing.
(C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration.
(D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects.
(2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following:
(A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives.
(B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor.
(C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability.
(D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025.
(E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions.
(F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians.
(G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
(H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees.
(I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences.
(J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section.
(K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled.
(L) It is the policy of the state that this section be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently.
(b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d).
(c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas.
(d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
(1) The jurisdiction has adopted a housing element pursuant to this article that has been revised in accordance with Section 65588, is in substantial compliance with this article, and the jurisdiction has met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584 for the planning period for the income category proposed for the housing development project, provided that any disapproval or conditional approval shall not be based on any of the reasons prohibited by Section 65008. If the housing development project includes a mix of income categories, and the jurisdiction has not met or exceeded its share of the regional housing need for one or more of those categories, then this paragraph shall not be used to disapprove or conditionally approve the housing development project. The share of the regional housing need met by the jurisdiction shall be calculated consistently with the forms and definitions that may be adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 65400. In the case of an emergency shelter, the jurisdiction shall have met or exceeded the need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. Any disapproval or conditional approval pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with applicable law, rule, or standards.
(2) The housing development project or emergency shelter as proposed would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete. The following shall not constitute a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety:
(A) Inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation.
(B) The eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under subdivision (g) of Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(3) The denial of the housing development project or imposition of conditions is required in order to comply with specific state or federal law, and there is no feasible method to comply without rendering the development unaffordable to low- and moderate-income households or rendering the development of the emergency shelter financially infeasible.
(4) The housing development project or emergency shelter is proposed on land zoned for agriculture or resource preservation that is surrounded on at least two sides by land being used for agricultural or resource preservation purposes, or which does not have adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
(5) The housing development project or emergency shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as specified in any element of the general plan as it existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete, and the jurisdiction has adopted a revised housing element in accordance with Section 65588 that is in substantial compliance with this article. For purposes of this section, a change to the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation subsequent to the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete shall not constitute a valid basis to disapprove or condition approval of the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(A) This paragraph cannot be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project if the housing development project is proposed on a site that is identified as suitable or available for very low, low-, or moderate-income households in the jurisdiction’s housing element, and consistent with the density specified in the housing element, even though it is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction’s zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation.
(B) If the local agency has failed to identify in the inventory of land in its housing element sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels pursuant to Section 65584, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve a housing development project proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for residential uses or designated in any element of the general plan for commercial uses if residential uses are permitted or conditionally permitted within commercial designations. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning and development standards and with services and facilities to accommodate the local agency’s share of the regional housing need for the very low, low-, and moderate-income categories.
(C) If the local agency has failed to identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit, has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter identified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, or has failed to demonstrate that the identified zone or zones can accommodate at least one emergency shelter, as required by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, then this paragraph shall not be utilized to disapprove or conditionally approve an emergency shelter proposed for a site designated in any element of the general plan for industrial, commercial, or multifamily residential uses. In any action in court, the burden of proof shall be on the local agency to show that its housing element does satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from complying with the congestion management program required by Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division 1 of Title 7 or the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code). Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the local agency from making one or more of the findings required pursuant to Section 21081 of the Public Resources Code or otherwise complying with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(f) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring the housing development project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density permitted on the site and proposed by the development.
(2) Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from requiring an emergency shelter project to comply with objective, quantifiable, written development standards, conditions, and policies that are consistent with paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 and appropriate to, and consistent with, meeting the jurisdiction’s need for emergency shelter, as identified pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583. However, the development standards, conditions, and policies shall be applied by the local agency to facilitate and accommodate the development of the emergency shelter project.
(3) Except as provided in subdivision (o), nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a local agency from imposing fees and other exactions otherwise authorized by law that are essential to provide necessary public services and facilities to the housing development project or emergency shelter.
(4) For purposes of this section, a housing development project or emergency shelter shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is substantial evidence that would allow a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent, compliant, or in conformity.
(g) This section shall be applicable to charter cities because the Legislature finds that the lack of housing, including emergency shelter, is a critical statewide problem.
(h) The following definitions apply for the purposes of this section:
(1) “Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(2) “Housing development project” means a use consisting of any of the following:
(A) Residential units only.
(B) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and nonresidential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage designated for residential use.
(C) Transitional housing or supportive housing.
(D) Accessory dwelling units, as defined in Section 65852.2.
(3) “Housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households” means that either (A) at least 20 percent of the total units shall be sold or rented to lower income households, as defined in Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code, or (B) 100 percent of the units shall be sold or rented to persons and families of moderate income as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008 of this code. Housing units targeted for lower income households shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the lower income eligibility limits are based. Housing units targeted for persons and families of moderate income shall be made available at a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30 percent of 100 percent of area median income with adjustments for household size made in accordance with the adjustment factors on which the moderate-income eligibility limits are based.
(4) “Area median income” means area median income as periodically established by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low or low-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision for 30 years.
(5) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “deemed complete” means that the applicant has submitted a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1.
(6) “Disapprove the housing development project” includes any instance in which a local agency does either of the following:
(A) Takes action on a proposed housing development project application and the application is disapproved, including any required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.
(B) Fails to comply with the time periods specified in subdivision (a) of Section 65950. An extension of time pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 65950) shall be deemed or determined to be an extension of time pursuant to this paragraph.
(7) “Lower density” includes any conditions that have the same effect or impact on the ability of the project to provide housing, including a condition requiring a reduction in the number of bedrooms, but does not include any conditions that ensure that residential uses of the housing development project are used for residential and not commercial uses.
(8) Until January 1, 2025, “objective” means involving no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and being uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official.
(9) Notwithstanding any other law, until January 1, 2025, “determined to be complete” means that the applicant has submitted a complete application pursuant to Section 65943.
(i) If any city, county, or city and county denies approval or imposes conditions, including design changes, lower density, or a reduction of the percentage of a lot that may be occupied by a building or structure under the applicable planning and zoning in force at the time the housing development project’s application is deemed or determined to be complete, that have a substantial adverse effect on the viability or affordability of a housing development for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, and the denial of the development or the imposition of conditions on the development is the subject of a court action which challenges the denial or the imposition of conditions, then the burden of proof shall be on the local legislative body to show that its decision is consistent with the findings as described in subdivision (d), and that the findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record, and with the requirements of subdivision (o).
(j) (1) When a proposed housing development project complies with applicable, objective general plan, zoning, and subdivision standards and criteria, including design review standards, in effect at the time that the application was deemed or determined to be complete, but the local agency proposes to disapprove the project or to impose a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, the local agency shall base its decision regarding the proposed housing development project upon written findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence on the record that both of the following conditions exist:
(A) The housing development project would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety unless the project is disapproved or approved upon the condition that the project be developed at a lower density. As used in this paragraph, a “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete.
(B) There is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact identified pursuant to paragraph (1), other than the disapproval of the housing development project or the approval of the project upon the condition that it be developed at a lower density.
(2) (A) If the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, it shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity as follows:
(i) Within 30 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains 150 or fewer housing units.
(ii) Within 60 days of the date that the application for the housing development project is deemed or determined to be complete, if the housing development project contains more than 150 units.
(B) If an applicant submits a written revision to the application, and the local agency considers a proposed housing development project to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision as specified in this subdivision, the local agency shall provide the applicant with written documentation identifying the provision or provisions, and an explanation of the reason or reasons it considers the housing development to be inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity within 30 days of the date that the revisions are submitted.
(C) If the local agency fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B), the housing development project shall be deemed consistent, compliant, and in conformity with the applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision.
(3) For purposes of this section, the receipt of a density bonus, concession, incentive, parking reduction, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915 or a local density bonus ordinance shall not constitute a valid basis on which to find a proposed housing development project is inconsistent, not in compliance, or not in conformity with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision specified in this subdivision.
(4) For purposes of this section, a proposed housing development project is not inconsistent with the applicable zoning standards and criteria, and shall not require a rezoning, if the housing development project is consistent with the objective general plan standards and criteria but the zoning for the project site is inconsistent with the general plan. If the local agency has complied with paragraph (2), the local agency may require the proposed housing development project to comply with the objective standards and criteria of the zoning which is consistent with the general plan, however, the standards and criteria shall be applied to facilitate and accommodate development at the density allowed on the site by the general plan and proposed by the proposed housing development project.
(k) (1) (A) (i) The applicant, a person who would be eligible to apply for residency in the housing development project or emergency shelter, or a housing organization may bring an action to enforce this section. If, in any action brought to enforce this section, a court finds that any of the following are met, the court shall issue an order pursuant to clause (ii):
(I) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (d), disapproved a housing development project or conditioned its approval in a manner rendering it infeasible for the development of an emergency shelter, or housing for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, including farmworker housing, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
(II) The local agency, in violation of subdivision (j), disapproved a housing development project complying with applicable, objective general plan and zoning standards and criteria, or imposed a condition that the project be developed at a lower density, without making the findings required by this section or without making findings supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
(III) (ia) Subject to sub-subclause (ib), the local agency, in violation of subdivision (o), required or attempted to require a housing development project to comply with an ordinance, policy, or standard not adopted and in effect when a preliminary application was submitted.
(ib) This subclause shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.
(ii) If the court finds that one of the conditions in clause (i) is met, the court shall issue an order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days, including, but not limited to, an order that the local agency take action on the housing development project or emergency shelter. The court may issue an order or judgment directing the local agency to approve the housing development project or emergency shelter, including approval of all necessary entitlements for construction thereof, if the court finds that the local agency acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development project or emergency shelter in violation of this section. The court shall retain jurisdiction to ensure that its order or judgment is carried out and shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to the plaintiff or petitioner, except under extraordinary circumstances in which the court finds that awarding fees would not further the purposes of this section.
(B) (i) Upon a determination that the local agency has failed to comply with the order or judgment compelling compliance with this section within 60 days issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the court shall impose fines on a local agency that has violated this section and require the local agency to deposit any fine levied pursuant to this subdivision into a local housing trust fund. The local agency may elect to instead deposit the fine into the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund. The fine shall be in a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed or determined to be complete pursuant to Section 65943. In determining the amount of fine to impose, the court shall consider the local agency’s progress in attaining its target allocation of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584 and any prior violations of this section. Fines shall not be paid out of funds already dedicated to affordable housing, including, but not limited to, Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Funds, funds dedicated to housing for very low, low-, and moderate-income households, and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grant Program funds. The local agency shall commit and expend the money in the local housing trust fund within five years for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households. After five years, if the funds have not been expended, the money shall revert to the state and be deposited in the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2017–18 Regular Session is enacted, or otherwise in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, for the sole purpose of financing newly constructed housing units affordable to extremely low, very low, or low-income households.
(ii) If any money derived from a fine imposed pursuant to this subparagraph is deposited in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund, then, notwithstanding Section 50661 of the Health and Safety Code, that money shall be available only upon appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) If the court determines that its order or judgment has not been carried out within 60 days, the court may issue further orders as provided by law to ensure that the purposes and policies of this section are fulfilled, including, but not limited to, an order to vacate the decision of the local agency and to approve the housing development project, in which case the application for the housing development project, as proposed by the applicant at the time the local agency took the initial action determined to be in violation of this section, along with any standard conditions determined by the court to be generally imposed by the local agency on similar projects, shall be deemed to be approved unless the applicant consents to a different decision or action by the local agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “housing organization” means a trade or industry group whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or management of housing units or a nonprofit organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for increased access to housing for low-income households and have filed written or oral comments with the local agency prior to action on the housing development project. A housing organization may only file an action pursuant to this section to challenge the disapproval or reduction in density of a housing development project by a local agency. A housing organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if it is the prevailing party in an action to enforce this section. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the application of Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(l) If the court finds that the local agency (1) acted in bad faith when it disapproved or conditionally approved the housing development or emergency shelter in violation of this section and (2) failed to carry out the court’s order or judgment within 60 days as described in subdivision (k), the court, in addition to any other remedies provided by this section, shall multiply the fine determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k) by a factor of five. For purposes of this section, “bad faith” includes, but is not limited to, an action that is frivolous or otherwise entirely without merit.
(m) (1) Any action brought to enforce the provisions of this section shall be brought pursuant to Section 1085 or 1094.5, as applicable, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the local agency shall prepare and certify the record of proceedings in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure no later than 30 days after the petition is served, provided that the cost of preparation of the record shall be borne by the local agency, unless the petitioner elects to prepare the record as provided in subdivision (n) of this section. A petition to enforce the provisions of this section shall be filed and served no later than 90 days from the later of (1) the effective date of a decision of the local agency imposing conditions on, disapproving, or any other final action on a housing development project or (2) the expiration of the time periods specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h). Upon entry of the trial court’s order, a party may, in order to obtain appellate review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon it of a written notice of the entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow, or may appeal the judgment or order of the trial court under Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the local agency appeals the judgment of the trial court, the local agency shall post a bond, in an amount to be determined by the court, to the benefit of the plaintiff if the plaintiff is the project applicant.
(2) Following an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if a court finds that any application associated with a housing development project was improperly disapproved or improperly conditioned, the court may order remedies consistent with subdivision (k).
(n) In any action, the record of the proceedings before the local agency shall be filed as expeditiously as possible and, notwithstanding Section 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure or subdivision (m) of this section, all or part of the record may be prepared (1) by the petitioner with the petition or petitioner’s points and authorities, (2) by the respondent with respondent’s points and authorities, (3) after payment of costs by the petitioner, or (4) as otherwise directed by the court. If the expense of preparing the record has been borne by the petitioner and the petitioner is the prevailing party, the expense shall be taxable as costs.
(o) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (6), and (7), and subdivision (d) of Section 65941.1, a housing development project shall be subject only to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when a preliminary application including all of the information required by subdivision (a) of Section 65941.1 was submitted.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not prohibit a housing development project from being subject to ordinances, policies, and standards adopted after the preliminary application was submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 in the following circumstances:
(A) In the case of a fee, charge, or other monetary exaction, to an increase resulting from an automatic annual adjustment based on an independently published cost index that is referenced in the ordinance or resolution establishing the fee or other monetary exaction.
(B) A preponderance of the evidence in the record establishes that subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, or standard beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to mitigate or avoid a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), and there is no feasible alternative method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact.
(C) Subjecting the housing development project to an ordinance, policy, standard, or any other measure, beyond those in effect when a preliminary application was submitted is necessary to avoid or substantially lessen an impact of the project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(D) The housing development project has not commenced construction within two and one-half years following the date that the project received final approval. For purposes of this subparagraph, “final approval” means that the housing development project has received all necessary approvals to be eligible to apply for, and obtain, a building permit or permits and either of the following is met:
(i) The expiration of all applicable appeal periods, petition periods, reconsideration periods, or statute of limitations for challenging that final approval without an appeal, petition, request for reconsideration, or legal challenge having been filed.
(ii) If a challenge is filed, that challenge is fully resolved or settled in favor of the housing development project.
(E) The housing development project is revised following submittal of a preliminary application pursuant to Section 65941.1 such that the number of residential units or square footage of construction changes by 20 percent or more, exclusive of any increase resulting from the receipt of a density bonus, incentive, concession, waiver, or similar provision. For purposes of this subdivision, “square footage of construction” means the building area, as defined by the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations).
(3) This subdivision does not prevent a local agency from subjecting the additional units or square footage of construction that result from project revisions occurring after a preliminary application is submitted pursuant to Section 65941.1 to the ordinances, policies, and standards adopted and in effect when the preliminary application was submitted.
(4) For purposes of this subdivision, “ordinances, policies, and standards” includes general plan, community plan, specific plan, zoning, design review standards and criteria, subdivision standards and criteria, and any other rules, regulations, requirements, and policies of a local agency, as defined in Section 66000, including those relating to development impact fees, capacity or connection fees or charges, permit or processing fees, and other exactions.
(5) This subdivision shall not be construed in a manner that would lessen the restrictions imposed on a local agency, or lessen the protections afforded to a housing development project, that are established by any other law, including any other part of this section.
(6) This subdivision shall not restrict the authority of a public agency or local agency to require mitigation measures to lessen the impacts of a housing development project under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(7) With respect to completed residential units for which the project approval process is complete and a certificate of occupancy has been issued, nothing in this subdivision shall limit the application of later enacted ordinances, policies, and standards that regulate the use and occupancy of those residential units, such as ordinances relating to rental housing inspection, rent stabilization, restrictions on short-term renting, and business licensing requirements for owners of rental housing.
(8) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2025.
(p) (1) (A) This section applies, in its entirety, to any application associated with a housing development project that is submitted pursuant to the local agency’s discretionary permitting processes, and also applies, in its entirety, except for paragraph (2) of subdivision (j), to any application that is submitted pursuant to Section 65913.4, subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 65852.2, subdivision (c) of Section 65583, subdivisions (h) and (i) of Section 65583.2, Article 12 (commencing with Section 65660), or another similar review and approval process that is functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(B) The amendments to this section made by the act adding this subdivision are intended to clarify existing law, and nothing in that act invalidates, or requires a modification to, any application for a housing development project submitted prior to the effective date of that act. Nothing in the amendments made to this section by the act adding this subdivision shall be construed to create any inference with respect to whether this section applies to other types of permits, approvals and entitlements associated with a housing development project, such as a plumbing or electrical permit, which are not functionally the equivalent of a planning or entitlement approval for the housing development project.
(C) In instances where the deadlines for a local agency to act pursuant to Section 65913.4 apply and occur earlier than the applicable deadlines specified in this section, the deadlines specified in Section 65913.4 shall apply.
(D) For purposes of this section, an application that is not subject to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) shall be deemed or determined to be complete at the time the application is submitted to the local agency.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit a local government from requiring a conditional use permit for a housing development project to the extent the conditional use permit meets the requirements of this section.
(q) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Housing Accountability Act.

SEC. 2.Section 65913.4 of the Government Code, as amended by Section 8 of Chapter 159 of the Statutes of 2019, is amended to read:
65913.4.

(a)A development proponent may submit an application for a development that is subject to the streamlined, ministerial approval process provided by subdivision (b) and is not subject to a conditional use permit if the development satisfies all of the following objective planning standards:

(1)The development is a multifamily housing development that contains two or more residential units.

(2)The development is located on a site that satisfies all of the following:

(A)A site that is a legal parcel or parcels located in a city if, and only if, the city boundaries include some portion of either an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau, or, for unincorporated areas, a legal parcel or parcels wholly within the boundaries of an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau.

(B)A site in which at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the site adjoins parcels that are developed with urban uses. For the purposes of this section, parcels that are only separated by a street or highway shall be considered to be adjoined.

(C)A site that is zoned for residential use or residential mixed-use development, or has a general plan designation that allows residential use or a mix of residential and nonresidential uses, with at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development designated for residential use. Additional density, floor area, and units, and any other concession, incentive, or waiver of development standards granted pursuant to the Density Bonus Law in Section 65915 shall be included in the square footage calculation.

(3)(A)The development proponent has committed to record, prior to the issuance of the first building permit, a land use restriction or covenant providing that any lower income housing units required pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) shall remain available at affordable housing costs or rent to persons and families of lower income for no less than the following periods of time:

(i)Fifty-five years for units that are rented.

(ii)Forty-five years for units that are owned.

(B)The city or county shall require the recording of covenants or restrictions implementing this paragraph for each parcel or unit of real property included in the development.

(4)The development satisfies both of the following:

(A)Is located in a locality that the department has determined is subject to this subparagraph on the basis that the number of units that have been issued building permits is less than the locality’s share of the regional housing needs, by income category, for that reporting period. A locality shall remain eligible under this subparagraph until the department’s determination for the next reporting period.

(B)The development is subject to a requirement mandating a minimum percentage of below market rate housing based on one of the following:

(i)The locality did not submit its latest production report to the department by the time period required by Section 65400, or that production report reflects that there were fewer units of above moderate-income housing issued building permits than were required for the regional housing needs assessment cycle for that reporting period. In addition, if the project contains more than 10 units of housing, the project seeking approval dedicates a minimum of 10 percent of the total number of units to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income. If the locality has adopted a local ordinance that requires that greater than 10 percent of the units be dedicated to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income, that local ordinance applies.

(ii)The locality’s latest production report reflects that there were fewer units of housing issued building permits affordable to either very low income or low-income households by income category than were required for the regional housing needs assessment cycle for that reporting period, and the project seeking approval dedicates 50 percent of the total number of units to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income, unless the locality has adopted a local ordinance that requires that greater than 50 percent of the units be dedicated to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income, in which case that local ordinance applies.

(iii)The locality did not submit its latest production report to the department by the time period required by Section 65400, or if the production report reflects that there were fewer units of housing affordable to both income levels described in clauses (i) and (ii) that were issued building permits than were required for the regional housing needs assessment cycle for that reporting period, the project seeking approval may choose between utilizing clause (i) or (ii).

(5)The development, excluding any additional density or any other concessions, incentives, or waivers of development standards granted pursuant to the Density Bonus Law in Section 65915, is consistent with objective zoning standards, objective subdivision standards, and objective design review standards in effect at the time that the development is submitted to the local government pursuant to this section. For purposes of this paragraph, “objective zoning standards,” “objective subdivision standards,” and “objective design review standards” mean standards that involve no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and are uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark or criterion available and knowable by both the development applicant or proponent and the public official before submittal. These standards may be embodied in alternative objective land use specifications adopted by a city or county, and may include, but are not limited to, housing overlay zones, specific plans, inclusionary zoning ordinances, and density bonus ordinances, subject to the following:

(A)A development shall be deemed consistent with the objective zoning standards related to housing density, as applicable, if the density proposed is compliant with the maximum density allowed within that land use designation, notwithstanding any specified maximum unit allocation that may result in fewer units of housing being permitted.

(B)In the event that objective zoning, general plan, subdivision, or design review standards are mutually inconsistent, a development shall be deemed consistent with the objective zoning and subdivision standards pursuant to this subdivision if the development is consistent with the standards set forth in the general plan.

(C)The amendments to this subdivision made by the act adding this subparagraph do not constitute a change in, but are declaratory of, existing law.

(6)The development is not located on a site that is any of the following:

(A)A coastal zone, as defined in Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code.

(B)Either prime farmland or farmland of statewide importance, as defined pursuant to United States Department of Agriculture land inventory and monitoring criteria, as modified for California, and designated on the maps prepared by the Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program of the Department of Conservation, or land zoned or designated for agricultural protection or preservation by a local ballot measure that was approved by the voters of that jurisdiction.

(C)Wetlands, as defined in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Manual, Part 660 FW 2 (June 21, 1993).

(D)Within a very high fire hazard severity zone, as determined by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Section 51178, or within a high or very high fire hazard severity zone as indicated on maps adopted by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Section 4202 of the Public Resources Code. This subparagraph does not apply to sites excluded from the specified hazard zones by a local agency, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 51179, or sites that have adopted fire hazard mitigation measures pursuant to existing building standards or state fire mitigation measures applicable to the development.

(E)A hazardous waste site that is listed pursuant to Section 65962.5 or a hazardous waste site designated by the Department of Toxic Substances Control pursuant to Section 25356 of the Health and Safety Code, unless the State Department of Public Health, State Water Resources Control Board, or Department of Toxic Substances Control has cleared the site for residential use or residential mixed uses.

(F)Within a delineated earthquake fault zone as determined by the State Geologist in any official maps published by the State Geologist, unless the development complies with applicable seismic protection building code standards adopted by the California Building Standards Commission under the California Building Standards Law (Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code), and by any local building department under Chapter 12.2 (commencing with Section 8875) of Division 1 of Title 2.

(G)Within a special flood hazard area subject to inundation by the 1 percent annual chance flood (100-year flood) as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in any official maps published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If a development proponent is able to satisfy all applicable federal qualifying criteria in order to provide that the site satisfies this subparagraph and is otherwise eligible for streamlined approval under this section, a local government shall not deny the application on the basis that the development proponent did not comply with any additional permit requirement, standard, or action adopted by that local government that is applicable to that site. A development may be located on a site described in this subparagraph if either of the following are met:

(i)The site has been subject to a Letter of Map Revision prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and issued to the local jurisdiction.

(ii)The site meets Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements necessary to meet minimum flood plain management criteria of the National Flood Insurance Program pursuant to Part 59 (commencing with Section 59.1) and Part 60 (commencing with Section 60.1) of Subchapter B of Chapter I of Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(H)Within a regulatory floodway as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in any official maps published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, unless the development has received a no-rise certification in accordance with Section 60.3(d)(3) of Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations. If a development proponent is able to satisfy all applicable federal qualifying criteria in order to provide that the site satisfies this subparagraph and is otherwise eligible for streamlined approval under this section, a local government shall not deny the application on the basis that the development proponent did not comply with any additional permit requirement, standard, or action adopted by that local government that is applicable to that site.

(I)Lands identified for conservation in an adopted natural community conservation plan pursuant to the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 2800) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code), habitat conservation plan pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.), or other adopted natural resource protection plan.

(J)Habitat for protected species identified as candidate, sensitive, or species of special status by state or federal agencies, fully protected species, or species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.), the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code), or the Native Plant Protection Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1900) of Division 2 of the Fish and Game Code).

(K)Lands under conservation easement.

(7)The development is not located on a site where any of the following apply:

(A)The development would require the demolition of the following types of housing:

(i)Housing that is subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law that restricts rents to levels affordable to persons and families of moderate, low, or very low income.

(ii)Housing that is subject to any form of rent or price control through a public entity’s valid exercise of its police power.

(iii)Housing that has been occupied by tenants within the past 10 years.

(B)The site was previously used for housing that was occupied by tenants that was demolished within 10 years before the development proponent submits an application under this section.

(C)The development would require the demolition of a historic structure that was placed on a national, state, or local historic register.

(D)The property contains housing units that are occupied by tenants, and units at the property are, or were, subsequently offered for sale to the general public by the subdivider or subsequent owner of the property.

(8)The development proponent has done both of the following, as applicable:

(A)Certified to the locality that either of the following is true, as applicable:

(i)The entirety of the development is a public work for purposes of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1720) of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code.

(ii)If the development is not in its entirety a public work, that all construction workers employed in the execution of the development will be paid at least the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for the type of work and geographic area, as determined by the Director of Industrial Relations pursuant to Sections 1773 and 1773.9 of the Labor Code, except that apprentices registered in programs approved by the Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards may be paid at least the applicable apprentice prevailing rate. If the development is subject to this subparagraph, then for those portions of the development that are not a public work all of the following shall apply:

(I)The development proponent shall ensure that the prevailing wage requirement is included in all contracts for the performance of the work.

(II)All contractors and subcontractors shall pay to all construction workers employed in the execution of the work at least the general prevailing rate of per diem wages, except that apprentices registered in programs approved by the Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards may be paid at least the applicable apprentice prevailing rate.

(III)Except as provided in subclause (V), all contractors and subcontractors shall maintain and verify payroll records pursuant to Section 1776 of the Labor Code and make those records available for inspection and copying as provided therein.

(IV)Except as provided in subclause (V), the obligation of the contractors and subcontractors to pay prevailing wages may be enforced by the Labor Commissioner through the issuance of a civil wage and penalty assessment pursuant to Section 1741 of the Labor Code, which may be reviewed pursuant to Section 1742 of the Labor Code, within 18 months after the completion of the development, by an underpaid worker through an administrative complaint or civil action, or by a joint labor-management committee though a civil action under Section 1771.2 of the Labor Code. If a civil wage and penalty assessment is issued, the contractor, subcontractor, and surety on a bond or bonds issued to secure the payment of wages covered by the assessment shall be liable for liquidated damages pursuant to Section 1742.1 of the Labor Code.

(V)Subclauses (III) and (IV) shall not apply if all contractors and subcontractors performing work on the development are subject to a project labor agreement that requires the payment of prevailing wages to all construction workers employed in the execution of the development and provides for enforcement of that obligation through an arbitration procedure. For purposes of this clause, “project labor agreement” has the same meaning as set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 2500 of the Public Contract Code.

(VI)Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 1773.1 of the Labor Code, the requirement that employer payments not reduce the obligation to pay the hourly straight time or overtime wages found to be prevailing shall not apply if otherwise provided in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement covering the worker. The requirement to pay at least the general prevailing rate of per diem wages does not preclude use of an alternative workweek schedule adopted pursuant to Section 511 or 514 of the Labor Code.

(B)(i)For developments for which any of the following conditions apply, certified that a skilled and trained workforce shall be used to complete the development if the application is approved:

(I)On and after January 1, 2018, until December 31, 2021, the development consists of 75 or more units with a residential component that is not 100 percent subsidized affordable housing and will be located within a jurisdiction located in a coastal or bay county with a population of 225,000 or more.

(II)On and after January 1, 2022, until December 31, 2025, the development consists of 50 or more units with a residential component that is not 100 percent subsidized affordable housing and will be located within a jurisdiction located in a coastal or bay county with a population of 225,000 or more.

(III)On and after January 1, 2018, until December 31, 2019, the development consists of 75 or more units with a residential component that is not 100 percent subsidized affordable housing and will be located within a jurisdiction with a population of fewer than 550,000 and that is not located in a coastal or bay county.

(IV)On and after January 1, 2020, until December 31, 2021, the development consists of more than 50 units with a residential component that is not 100 percent subsidized affordable housing and will be located within a jurisdiction with a population of fewer than 550,000 and that is not located in a coastal or bay county.

(V)On and after January 1, 2022, until December 31, 2025, the development consists of more than 25 units with a residential component that is not 100 percent subsidized affordable housing and will be located within a jurisdiction with a population of fewer than 550,000 and that is not located in a coastal or bay county.

(ii)For purposes of this section, “skilled and trained workforce” has the same meaning as provided in Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 2600) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.

(iii)If the development proponent has certified that a skilled and trained workforce will be used to complete the development and the application is approved, the following shall apply:

(I)The applicant shall require in all contracts for the performance of work that every contractor and subcontractor at every tier will individually use a skilled and trained workforce to complete the development.

(II)Every contractor and subcontractor shall use a skilled and trained workforce to complete the development.

(III)Except as provided in subclause (IV), the applicant shall provide to the locality, on a monthly basis while the development or contract is being performed, a report demonstrating compliance with Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 2600) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code. A monthly report provided to the locality pursuant to this subclause shall be a public record under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1) and shall be open to public inspection. An applicant that fails to provide a monthly report demonstrating compliance with Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 2600) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code shall be subject to a civil penalty of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per month for each month for which the report has not been provided. Any contractor or subcontractor that fails to use a skilled and trained workforce shall be subject to a civil penalty of two hundred dollars ($200) per day for each worker employed in contravention of the skilled and trained workforce requirement. Penalties may be assessed by the Labor Commissioner within 18 months of completion of the development using the same procedures for issuance of civil wage and penalty assessments pursuant to Section 1741 of the Labor Code, and may be reviewed pursuant to the same procedures in Section 1742 of the Labor Code. Penalties shall be paid to the State Public Works Enforcement Fund.

(IV)Subclause (III) shall not apply if all contractors and subcontractors performing work on the development are subject to a project labor agreement that requires compliance with the skilled and trained workforce requirement and provides for enforcement of that obligation through an arbitration procedure. For purposes of this subparagraph, “project labor agreement” has the same meaning as set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 2500 of the Public Contract Code.

(C)Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) and (B), a development that is subject to approval pursuant to this section is exempt from any requirement to pay prevailing wages or use a skilled and trained workforce if it meets both of the following:

(i)The project includes 10 or fewer units.

(ii)The project is not a public work for purposes of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1720) of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code.

(9)The development did not or does not involve a subdivision of a parcel that is, or, notwithstanding this section, would otherwise be, subject to the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410)) or any other applicable law authorizing the subdivision of land, unless the development is consistent with all objective subdivision standards in the local subdivision ordinance, and either of the following apply:

(A)The development has received or will receive financing or funding by means of a low-income housing tax credit and is subject to the requirement that prevailing wages be paid pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (8).

(B)The development is subject to the requirement that prevailing wages be paid, and a skilled and trained workforce used, pursuant to paragraph (8).

(10)The development shall not be upon an existing parcel of land or site that is governed under the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), the Recreational Vehicle Park Occupancy Law (Chapter 2.6 (commencing with Section 799.20) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), the Mobilehome Parks Act (Part 2.1 (commencing with Section 18200) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code), or the Special Occupancy Parks Act (Part 2.3 (commencing with Section 18860) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code).

(b)(1)If a local government determines that a development submitted pursuant to this section is in conflict with any of the objective planning standards specified in subdivision (a), it shall provide the development proponent written documentation of which standard or standards the development conflicts with, and an explanation for the reason or reasons the development conflicts with that standard or standards, as follows:

(A)Within 60 days of submittal of the development to the local government pursuant to this section if the development contains 150 or fewer housing units.

(B)Within 90 days of submittal of the development to the local government pursuant to this section if the development contains more than 150 housing units.

(2)If the local government fails to provide the required documentation pursuant to paragraph (1), the development shall be deemed to satisfy the objective planning standards specified in subdivision (a).

(c)(1)Any design review or public oversight of the development may be conducted by the local government’s planning commission or any equivalent board or commission responsible for review and approval of development projects, or the city council or board of supervisors, as appropriate. That design review or public oversight shall be objective and be strictly focused on assessing compliance with criteria required for streamlined projects, as well as any reasonable objective design standards published and adopted by ordinance or resolution by a local jurisdiction before submission of a development application, and shall be broadly applicable to development within the jurisdiction. That design review or public oversight shall be completed as follows and shall not in any way inhibit, chill, or preclude the ministerial approval provided by this section or its effect, as applicable:

(A)Within 90 days of submittal of the development to the local government pursuant to this section if the development contains 150 or fewer housing units.

(B)Within 180 days of submittal of the development to the local government pursuant to this section if the development contains more than 150 housing units.

(2)If the development is consistent with the requirements of subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (9) of subdivision (a) and is consistent with all objective subdivision standards in the local subdivision ordinance, an application for a subdivision pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410)) shall be exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) and shall be subject to the public oversight timelines set forth in paragraph (1).

(d)(1)Notwithstanding any other law, a local government, whether or not it has adopted an ordinance governing automobile parking requirements in multifamily developments, shall not impose automobile parking standards for a streamlined development that was approved pursuant to this section in any of the following instances:

(A)The development is located within one-half mile of public transit.

(B)The development is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.

(C)When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupants of the development.

(D)When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the development.

(2)If the development does not fall within any of the categories described in paragraph (1), the local government shall not impose automobile parking requirements for streamlined developments approved pursuant to this section that exceed one parking space per unit.

(e)(1)If a local government approves a development pursuant to this section, then, notwithstanding any other law, that approval shall not expire if the project includes public investment in housing affordability, beyond tax credits, where 50 percent of the units are affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income.

(2)If a local government approves a development pursuant to this section and the project does not include 50 percent of the units affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income, that approval shall automatically expire after three years except that a project may receive a one-time, one-year extension if the project proponent can provide documentation that there has been significant progress toward getting the development construction ready, such as filing a building permit application.

(3)If a local government approves a development pursuant to this section, that approval shall remain valid for three years from the date of the final action establishing that approval and shall remain valid thereafter for a project so long as vertical construction of the development has begun and is in progress. Additionally, the development proponent may request, and the local government shall have discretion to grant, an additional one-year extension to the original three-year period. The local government’s action and discretion in determining whether to grant the foregoing extension shall be limited to considerations and process set forth in this section.

(f)(1)A development proponent may request a modification to a development that has been approved under the streamlined, ministerial approval process provided by subdivision (b), if that request is submitted to the applicable local government before the issuance of the final building permit required for construction of the building within the development for which the modification is proposed. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3), the local government shall approve a modification if it determines that the modification is consistent with the objective planning standards specified in subdivision (a) that were in effect when the original development application was first submitted. The local government shall evaluate modification requested pursuant to this subdivision for consistency with the applicable objective planning standards using the same assumptions and analytical methodology that the local government originally used to assess consistency for the development that was approved for streamlined, ministerial approval pursuant to subdivision (b). Guidelines adopted or amended by the department pursuant to subdivision (k) after a development has been approved through the streamlined ministerial process that would change how objective planning standards are applied to a development shall not apply to proposed modifications.

(2)Upon receipt of the development proponent’s written application requesting a modification, the local government shall determine if the requested modification is consistent with the applicable objective planning standards and either approve or deny the modification request within 60 days after submittal of the modification, or 90 days if design review is required.

(3)Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the local government may apply objective planning standards adopted after the applicable development application was first submitted to the requested modification in the following instances:

(A)The development is revised such that the total number of residential units or total square footage of construction changes by 15 percent or more.

(B)The development is revised such that the total number of residential units or total square footage of construction changes by 5 percent or more and subjecting the modified development to a planning standard beyond those in effect when a development application was submitted is necessary to mitigate or avoid a specific, adverse impact, as that term is defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (j) of Section 65589.5, upon the public health or safety and there is no feasible alternative method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the adverse impact.

(C)Objective building standards contained in the California Building Standards Code (Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations), including, but not limited to, building, plumbing, electrical, fire, and grading codes, may be applied to all modifications.

(4)The local government’s review of a modification requested pursuant to this subdivision shall be strictly limited to determining whether the modification, including any modifications to density bonus concessions or waivers, modify the development’s consistency with the applicable objective planning standards and shall not reconsider prior determinations not affected by the modification.

(g)A local government shall not adopt any requirement, including, but not limited to, increased fees or inclusionary housing requirements, that applies to a project solely or partially on the basis that the project is eligible to receive ministerial or streamlined approval pursuant to this section.

(h)This section shall not affect a development proponent’s ability to use any alternative streamlined by right permit processing adopted by a local government, including the provisions of subdivision (i) of Section 65583.2.

(i)The California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) does not apply to actions taken by a state agency or local government to lease, convey, or encumber land owned by the local government or to facilitate the lease, conveyance, or encumbrance of land owned by the local government, or to provide financial assistance to a development that receives streamlined approval pursuant to this section that is to be used for housing for persons and families of very low, low, or moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.

(j)For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1)“Affordable housing cost” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(2)“Affordable rent” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 50053 of the Health and Safety Code.

(3)“Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development.

(4)“Development proponent” means the developer who submits an application for streamlined approval pursuant to this section.

(5)“Completed entitlements” means a housing development which has received all the required land use approvals or entitlements necessary for the issuance of a building permit.

(6)“Locality” or “local government” means a city, including a charter city, a county, including a charter county, or a city and county, including a charter city and county.

(7)“Production report” means the information reported pursuant to subparagraph (H) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 65400.

(8)“State agency” includes every state office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, and commission, but does not include the California State University or the University of California.

(9)“Subsidized” means units that are price or rent restricted such that the units are permanently affordable to households meeting the definitions of very low and lower income, as defined in Sections 50079.5 and 50105 of the Health and Safety Code.

(10)“Reporting period” means either of the following:

(A)The first half of the regional housing needs assessment cycle.

(B)The last half of the regional housing needs assessment cycle.

(11)“Urban uses” means any current or former residential, commercial, public institutional, transit or transportation passenger facility, or retail use, or any combination of those uses.

(k)The department may review, adopt, amend, and repeal guidelines to implement uniform standards or criteria that supplement or clarify the terms, references, or standards set forth in this section. Any guidelines or terms adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall not be subject to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(l)The determination of whether an application for a development is subject to the streamlined ministerial approval process provided by subdivision (b) is not a “project” as defined in Section 21065 of the Public Resources Code.

(m)It is the policy of the state that this section be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, increased housing supply.

(n)This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3. SEC. 2.

 (a) Section 1.1 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 1743. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, (3) Senate Bill 330 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1743, in which case Sections 1, 1.2, and 1.3 of this bill shall not become operative.
(b) Section 1.2 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 330. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, (3) Assembly Bill 1743 is not enacted or as enacted does not amend that section, and (4) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 330 in which case Sections 1, 1.1, and 1.3 of this bill shall not become operative.
(c) Section 1.3 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 65589.5 of the Government Code proposed by this bill, Assembly Bill 1743, and Senate Bill 330. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) all three bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) all three bills amend Section 65589.5 of the Government Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1743 and Senate Bill 330, in which case Sections 1, 1.1, and 1.2 of this bill shall not become operative.

SEC. 4. SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.