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Passed in 2017, SB 35 allows projects that meet certain affordability and design requirements to take advantage of a ministerial permitting process. The requirements to qualify are as follows:

  • Affordability requirements:
    1. A project must have a percentage of units set aside as affordable to households making 80% or less of the Area Median Income
    2. For localities that have not met their RHNA allocations for above moderate income households the affordability threshold is 10%. For localities that have not met their RHNA allocations for households making 80% of AMI and lower the affordability threshold is 50%.
  • 2/3rds of the square footage of the project must be designated for residential use, this includes residential parking garages.
  • The project must provide prevailing wage for construction workers.
  • 75% of the adjoining parcels must be urban uses.
  • Must be located within a city.
  • Must consist of two or more units.

A ministerial approval process requires no public hearings and gives decision-making authority on a permitting matter to the agency tasked with evaluating permit applications. A permitting agency may still decline an application but they can only do so if it violates specific objective zoning or design standards.

If a proposed project is found to violate objective standards the permitting agency must inform the applicant within 60 days. If no violations are reported within 60 days the project is deemed to comply with all objective standards.