California’s 2019 Housing Laws: What You Need to Know – Another Wave of New Laws Shifts Housing Processing at the Local Government Level

by hollandandknight : jdsupra – excerpt


  • After the California Legislature passed a high-profile package of 15 new housing laws in 2017, it has continued to focus on housing laws in 2018 to address the state’s epic housing shortage.
  • As Gov. Jerry Brown winds down his time in office, he recently signed into law 16 pieces of housing legislation that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Taken as a whole, these laws continue a significant trend towards increasing the expectations on local governments to make progress toward approving sufficient housing to meet the state’s housing crisis…(more)

High-Speed Rail Takes Two More Swipes at CEQA

High-Speed Rail Takes Two More Swipes at CEQA

By Kathy Hamilton : pulbicceo – excerpt

This is the second in a series of articles updating the status of the California high-speed rail project in the wake of the California Supreme Court green-lighting bond funding. The first article covered two earlier attempts by the California High-Speed Rail Authority to get around the California Environmental Quality Act. This article covers two more attempts…

In his 2013 State of the State address, Gov. Jerry Brown quoted “The Little Engine That Could”: “I think I can. I think I can.”

One thing the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which runs the project, thinks it can do is get around the California Environmental Quality Act. As noted in the first article in this series, it started with two attempts:

  • Attempt 1: During the California Legislature’s closing days in August 2012, the CHSRA tried to pass more lenient measures to comply with CEQA. The Legislature didn’t cooperate.
  • Attempt 2: In June 2013, the CHSRA filed a request with the 3rd District Court of Appeal in the city of Atherton’s suit against the project. The CHSRA wanted the court to recognize the federal pre-emption of jurisdiction, getting around state laws, such as CEQA. The court refused.

Attempt 3: De-publication…
Attempt 4: the Surface Transportation Board…

Originally posted at CalWatchdog... (more)


Governor Changes His Mind on CEQA Reform

Governor Changes His Mind on CEQA Reform

jdsupra – excerpt

In published reports, Gov. Jerry Brown discussed that he has had a spiritual conversion, of sorts, on his plans for CEQA reform. He strongly telegraphed that, if he wins a second term, he will not be making a push for CEQA reform. The Contra Costa Times reports:

“Brown said his hopes to [take up CEQA reform] have dimmed significantly. He wouldn’t say CEQA reform is dead, but he compared hurdles in changing the law to revising the Catholic Church’s persistent opposition to birth control.  ‘Once you start to fiddle with the theology of CEQA, you get into difficulties,’ Brown said.”

These statements are in strong contrast to Brown’s August 2012 observation that “CEQA reform is the Lord’s work.”… (more)

Worthy topics for Jerry Brown – but it’s an election year

Worthy topics for Jerry Brown – but it’s an election year

By Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross : sfgate – excerpt

Gov. Jerry Brown pretty much kicked off his re-election campaign the other day with his State of the State address when he told the assembled lawmakers and media, “I used to say, ‘Take the ins and throw them out – take the outs and throw them in.’ I don’t say that anymore.”

So let’s look at some of the issues that may give Brown fits, starting with his two biggest projects – the largely unfunded, $68 billion high-speed rail line and the twin tunnels that would send Northern California water south.

Neither one is exactly a winner with voters these days.

“I certainly wouldn’t vote for them,” said state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who happens to be the front-runner to succeed retiring Rep. George Miller in Washington – which is where much of the money for those projects would have to come from… (more)

CEQA Roundup: A few provisions get applause as governor quietly signs CEQA reform bill

Governor signed a bill that will streamline the CEQA process for a new Sacramento Kings arena, while also making several other changes to how CEQA works for infill developments statewide

by Justin Ewers : – excerpt

There was no fanfare, no big press conference, not even a signing statement (though maybe this should have sufficed). In the end, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s final CEQA reform bill late on a Friday afternoon, a time-honored way to avoid media attention.

The governor left it to a spokesperson to explain his views on a bill that will streamline the CEQA process for a new Sacramento Kings arena, while also making several other changes to how CEQA works for infill developments statewide. “We were pleased to play a part in broadening the impacts of this bill,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor… (more)

Jerry Brown says CEQA reform unlikely this year

Jerry Brown says CEQA reform unlikely this year

By Anthony York : – excerpt

HONG KONG — Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that winning a major overhaul of California’s environmental laws was unlikely this year as he focuses on transforming the state’s public school funding, developing a plan to deal with its overcrowded prisons and upgrading its water system.

As he wrapped up a weeklong trade mission to China, Brown talked to reporters about his trip and what awaits him back in Sacramento. Sipping green tea and sitting on on a long white couch surrounded by top aides, he said that changing the California Environmental Quality Act was unlikely this year.
“This is not something you get done in a year,” Brown said, explaining that “there are very powerful forces that are strong in the party that will resist” changes to the law. “But I believe before I depart this stage, we’ll see reform in CEQA.”
“I’ve got a big agenda,” Brown said, mentioning education, prisons and water. “But I would say the appetite for CEQA reform is bigger outside the state capital than it is inside.
When asked if that meant it might take an initiative to change the law, he said, “That’s always a possibility.”… (more)

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