What is it?
The Housing Crisis Act of 2019 was a sweeping new initiative for housing development at a time where both supply and affordability were at a crisis. In Sen. Skinner’s 2019 press release, she expanded on California’s housing crisis and how we’re ranked 49th in housing units per capita. And as a result, it has propelled urban sprawl as many residents were forced out to “far-flung exurbs” causing folks to “mega-commute” leading to more greenhouse gas emissions and crippling California’s battle against climate change.
Passed in 2019 and signed into law in 2020, SB 330’s goal was to further boost housing development in California for five years up until 2025. SB330 aka The Housing Crisis Act of 2019 was designed to speed up/streamline the process in which cities review and approve new housing. It applies to residential, mixed-use projects with ⅔ of square footage dedicated to residential units and transitional or supportive housing projects. It prohibits cities and counties from denying housing using invalid reasons, regulatory barriers, or enacting new laws. SB 8 has now increased that timeframe by another 5 years, ending in 2030.
Here is an example of a county breaking the law.
- Limits to public hearings to five maximum when reviewing a housing development project
- The definition of hearings include meetings of a board, commission, council, workshops, appeals, etc
- This does not include review of legislative approval
- When a housing development project is received, there is a 30 day period to determine if the application is complete or not.
- If it is deemed incomplete, the agency must provide a list of what is further required
- Cities now have 90 days rather than 120 days to approve or disapprove a housing development project if it fails the environmental impact report.
- Pursuing tax credit and other funding issues must be responded to within 60 days
- Cities now have 30 days for developments with 150 units or fewer and 60 days for developments with 150 units or more to respond to applicants if their project is inconsistent with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or similar provision
- Cities cannot deny housing except on the grounds of:
- (1) a City has already met its Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) requirement
- (2) a negative impact to the public health and safety and cannot be avoided
- (3) the property is agricultural land
- (4) if approval of the project would violate State or Federal law and violation cannot be avoided
- (5) the project violates the zoning and land use designation and is not identified in the General Plan Housing Element RHNA inventory.
- Restricts adoption of land use or zoning amendments that would result in the reduction of allowed residential density or intensity of land uses than what is allowed under the regulations in effect of Jan 1, 2018.
- Prevented from establishing moratoriums and other restrictions on developments. Unable to cap out on the number of land use approvals or permits issued for housing projects.
- Applies to charter cities as well.