California bill would expand law to expedite housing

California bill would expand law to expedite housing

PUBLISHED: February 14, 2023

Hoping to build on an effort to get much-needed affordable housing approved across California, Sen. Scott Wiener on Monday announced plans to expand a contentious state law that forces cities to approve certain projects.

Senate Bill 35 — one of Wiener’s signature achievements — shook up the state’s building process when it was passed in 2017, and sparked intense pushback from some city leaders and residents.

SB4 (Wiener) Planning and zoning: housing development: higher education institutions and religious institutions.    

The Planning and Zoning Law requires each county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for its physical development, and the development of certain lands outside its boundaries, that includes, among other mandatory elements, a housing element. That law allows a development proponent to submit an application for a development that is subject to a specified streamlined, ministerial approval process not subject to a conditional use permit, if the development satisfies certain objective planning standards.