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CAPITOL UPDATE #14 April 13, 2023

 April 13, 2023

Golden State Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the GSRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Karen Contreras,
Lou Ann Flaherty and Elaine Freeman, 

AB 1532,  Housing – Office conversion projects

The Planning and Zoning Law requires the legislative body of each county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city that includes, among other mandatory elements, a housing element. Under that law, supportive housing, as defined, is a use by right in zones where multifamily and mixed uses are permitted if the developer provides the planning agency with a plan for providing supportive services and the proposed housing development meets specified criteria.

This bill would make an office conversion project, that meets certain requirements, a use in right in all areas regardless of zoning.  This bill would define “office conversion project” to mean the conversion of a building used for office purposes or a vacant office building into residential dwelling units.  The bill would define “use by right” to mean that the city or county’s review of the office conversion may not require a conditional use permit planned unit development permit, or other discretionary city or county review or approval that would constitute a “project” for purposes of CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) as specified.  By requiring the approval of housing crisis projects as a use by right, the bill would expand the exemption for approval of ministerial projects under CEQA.  In addition, the bill would exempt an office conversion project from impact fees, that are not directly related to the conversion of an office building into residential dwelling units. 

The bill would allow the proponent of an office conversion project to pay applicable impact fees over a 10-year period.  The bill would authorize a local government to adopt an ordinance to implement these provisions and specify the process and requirements applicable to office conversion projects, provided that the ordinance is consistent with, and does not inhibit the objectives of this bill. 


 ACA 10, Fundamental human right to housing.

The California Constitution enumerates various personal rights, including the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

This measure would declare that the state recognizes the fundamental human right to adequate housing for everyone in California. The measure would make it the shared obligation of state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill this right, by all appropriate means.

This requires a 2/3 vote of both houses to pass and then would be on the ballot in 2024.  It appears the goal is to further force local governments to actually construct housing.

SB 469, Housing: publicly funded low-rent housing projects.

The California Constitution prohibits the development, construction, or acquisition in any manner of a low-rent housing project by any state public body, as defined, until a majority of the qualified electors of the city, town, or county in which it is proposed to develop, construct, or acquire the same, voting upon that issue, approve the project by voting in favor at an election.

The California Constitution, for purposes of this prohibition, defines “low-rent housing project” to mean any development composed of urban or rural dwellings, apartments, or other living accommodations for persons of low income, financed in whole or in part by the federal government or a state public body or to which the federal government or a state public body extends assistance by supplying all or part of the labor, by guaranteeing the payment of liens, or otherwise.

Existing law establishes exclusions from this definition of “low-rent housing project,” including a development that consists of the acquisition, rehabilitation, reconstruction, alterations work, or any combination thereof, of lodging facilities or dwelling units using moneys appropriated and disbursed pursuant to specified provisions of the Zenovich-Moscone-Chacon Housing and Home Finance Act relating to affordable housing preservation, rental housing development awarded funds from certain multifamily housing direct loan programs, and housing for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness and who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or other communicable diseases.

This bill would expand that exclusion to include a development that consists of the acquisition, rehabilitation, reconstruction, alterations work, or any combination thereof, of lodging facilities or dwelling units using an allocation of federal or state low-income housing tax credits from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee or moneys appropriated and disbursed pursuant to any provision of the Zenovich-Moscone-Chacon Housing and Home Finance Act, thereby excluding the developments that receive money from the specified funds and programs from the scope of the above-described constitutional provision.

Set for hearing Apr 18 @ 1:30 pm in 1021 O Street, Room 1200

To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121

Legislative Portal links- Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of GSRW)– click here, or the bill’s author- click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”


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