In response to the City Council's goal to "Stabilize, Maintain, and Improve Access to Housing" the City commissioned a White Paper to summarize the community housing needs, constraints, and solutions as a kick-off to the implementation of this goal. The document was prepared by housing consultant Erica Sklar, who was supported by a working group consisting of Vice Mayor Peter White, Council Member Mary Koberstein, and City Manager Mark Prestwich. The document was presented to the City Council on June 26, 2018, and is available for public review at the link below.
In January 2018, the Public Policy Institute of California prepared a Housing analysis summary in response to a Statewide survey they conducted in the Spring and Fall of 2017. The results of this analysis find that housing costs in the San Francisco Bay Area are now above pre-recession levels and continue to increase. This summary document (while focused Statewide) provides helpful information regarding general housing trends affecting communities in California. It is available on the PPIC website at the link below.
About SB 330
On October 9, 2019, Governor Newsom signed into law SB 330, the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. The act amends existing state laws and creates new regulations around the production, preservation, and planning of housing. The bill has been in effect since January 1, 2020, and will sunset on January 1, 2025. SB 330 will affect both project planning procedures and community planning outcomes.
The goal of SB 330 is to create certainty in the development of housing projects, speeding up the review of these projects, preserving affordable housing, and preventing certain zoning actions that reduce the availability of housing. SB 330 does the following (not a comprehensive list):
- Creates a new vesting process for zoning and land use ordinances, policies, and standards in place at the time a preliminary application is submitted (with limitations)
- Requires that the historic status or designation of any site be determined at the time an application for a discretionary action is deemed complete
- Prohibits imposing or enforcing non-objective design review standards established after January 1, 2020
- Limits the number of public hearings to five for housing projects that meet all objective design standards
- Prohibits actions that reduce the total zoned capacity for housing (i.e., down-zoning)
A project that meets any of the following criteria per California Government Code Section 65589.5(h)(2)(B) is subject to the provisions of SB 330:
- The project consists of residential units only
- The project is a mixed-use development consisting of residential and non-residential uses with at least two-thirds of the square footage of the project designated for residential use, including dwelling units and any uses accessory to the residential units
- The project is transitional or supportive housing
New Preliminary Application Form
SB 330 creates a new vesting process for discretionary housing projects during the five-year period of the bill. It achieves this through the creation of a new "preliminary application" process that establishes a new date for the purposes of locking projects into the ordinances, policies, and standards in effect when a preliminary application (including all required information) is submitted and deemed complete. This vesting does not apply to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) determinations, including historic resource determinations pursuant to CEQA.
Once a complete Preliminary Housing Development Application (PDF) is submitted (along with other required applications if applicable), the zoning, design, subdivision, and fee requirements in effect as of that date will remain applicable to the project for the duration of the review and entitlement process, provided that all the following provisions are satisfied:
- Complete discretionary entitlement applications must be submitted and accepted by the Planning Department within 180 days of the Preliminary Housing Development Application being deemed complete
- If the entitlement applications are deemed incomplete after filing, the application must submit all missing or incomplete items to the Planning Department within 90 days of being notified in writing by Planning Department staff
- The project may not increase by more than 20% in the number of units or total square footage indicated in the Preliminary Housing Development Application, except as the project may be revised using the State Density Bonus
- The project must commence construction within 30 months of site permit issuance
Note that the following modifications may be required even when a Preliminary Housing Development Application is on file:
- Development impact fees, application fees, capacity, and connection fees, or other charges may be annually adjusted based on a published cost index
- Requirements necessary to avoid an adverse impact to public health or safety, or to avoid or lessen an impact under CEQA may be applied
- Applicants may submit a new or amended Preliminary Housing Development Application at any time, in which case the requirements in effect at that time shall apply