Recent Housing Legislation

The 2019 California Legislative Session ended with over 30 new bills in response to the state’s worsening housing crisis. Several of these bills are designed to increase housing production by easing development regulations, compelling jurisdictions to make fee and land information readily available to potential developers, and impose new ongoing reporting and inventory requirements for local jurisdictions. The following table displays the bills discussed in the update and includes links to the corresponding bill text:

Category Bill Title
Bills Removing Barriers to Boost Housing Production SB 330 – Housing Crisis Act of 2019 and Changes to Permit Streamlining Act & Housing Accountability Act
AB 1763 – Density Bonuses for Affordable Housing
AB 1743 – Eligibility of Property Welfare Exemptions
AB 116 – Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts
Surplus Land Databases and Reporting Requirements AB 1486 / SB 6 / AB 1255 – Expansion of Surplus Land Act and Reporting
AB 1483 – Housing Data Collection and Reporting
Requirements for Accessory Dwelling Units AB 68 / AB 881 / SB 13 – Modifications to Increase Accessory Dwelling Unit Development
AB 587 – Sale of Accessory Dwelling Units
AB 670 – Construction of Accessory Dwelling Units in Common Interest Developments
AB 671 – Affordable Accessory Dwelling Unit Program Creation
Established "Uses by Right" AB 101 – Housing and Homelessness Budget and Regulations
SB 234 – Keeping Kids Closer to Home Act
Related Housing Element Laws from 2017 Housing Package SB 166 – "No Net Loss" Law

Upcoming Housing Legislation

The following Assembly and/or Senate Bills are currently in committee and have not yet been signed/approved by the Governor. Please be advised, the main actions of each bill may be modified at any time as determined by the California State Legislature. The content provided below is solely meant for informational purposes and to provide an update of the current housing legislation that is currently under consideration by the State. This section will be updated periodically.

Assembly Bill 3107 (AB-3107)

  • A state bill to allow residential development on commercially-zoned land across cleared a vote in the Assembly.
  • AB 3107 would require cities and counties to allow developers to build housing on land designated only for commercial use, subject to certain requirements.
  • AB 3107 was designed as an incentive for municipalities to zone more land for residential development. The state’s Planning, Zoning and Development Law requires that counties and cities zone a certain amount of land for residential development, which is calculated primarily using population and housing needs in that jurisdiction.
  • Last year, the state passed a law tweaking minimum zoning requirements. Jurisdictions must now zone for enough housing to meet existing and future needs, instead of just future needs.
  • Only cities and counties that haven’t zoned enough land for housing would need to open up commercial properties for residential development, and they would be cleared of that obligation once they meet state requirements.
  • At least 20 percent of the units of a residential development built on commercial land would need to be set aside as affordable, under the bill.
  • There are several limitations on site eligibility, and commercial properties near factories would be off limits. A site is also ineligible for residential development if any adjacent property is used for warehousing, manufacturing or another industrial use.
  • A site would also only be eligible if about three quarters of its perimeter “adjoins parcels developed with urban uses.”
  • Developers would also be allowed to apply for density bonuses.

Senate Bill 1385 (SB-1385)

  • Allows residential development on commercially zoned retail and office spaces.
  • Requires housing development to meet or exceed the density deemed appropriate to accommodate affordable housing.
  • Expands the state’s ministerial housing approval process to include commercial properties that have been vacant or less than 50 percent occupied for at least three years,
  • Subjects the development to local zoning, parking and design ordinances.
  • Authorizes local governments to establish a Community Finance District to provide for and maintain public infrastructure.

Senate Bill 902 (SB-902)

  • Allows local governments to pass a zoning ordinance that is not subject to CEQA for projects that allow up to ten units, if they are located in a transit or job rich area or an urban infill site.

Senate Bill 995 (SB-995)

  • Expands the application of streamlining the CEQA process to small housing projects that include at least 15 percent affordable housing.

Senate Bill 1085 (SB-1085)

  • Enhances the existing Density Bonus Law by increasing the number of incentives provided to developers in exchange for providing more affordable housing units.

Senate Bill 1120 (SB-1120)

  • Encourages small-scale neighborhood development by streamlining the process for a homeowner to create a duplex or subdivide an existing lot in all residential areas.