Legislative Agenda for 2019 and 2020

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The City of Lafayette’s Legislative Agenda for 2019 and 2020, which was adopted by the City Council on July 22, 2019, is a source for residents, commissions and committees, and staff to understand the goals and policies that guide the City of Lafayette in its legislative strategy. In addition to the Legislative Agenda, this page provides links to the City of Lafayette's letters regarding the various bills being considered by the Legislature.

  

City Council Legislation Committee

Cameron Burks, Council Member, E-mail: cburks@ci.lafayette.ca.us

Steven Bliss, Council Member, E-mail: sbliss@ci.lafayette.ca.us

 

State Representatives

Steve Glazer, State Senator, 7th District, Email via website here

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, State Assembly Member, District 16, Email via website here   

 

City of Lafayette Legislative Agenda for 2019 and 2020 (Amended Nov. 12, 2019)

The City Council’s Legislation Committee and Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. (TPA) have prepared this report for the City of Lafayette outlining potential areas of state legislative interest for 2019 and 2020. The report summarizes the City’s legislative principles and potential policy topics of interest to the City for the current and upcoming legislative years.

 The strategic agenda includes advocating for legislation, regulations, and funding that is consistent with the City’s vision, goals and policies. If the City Council is supportive of the proposals listed below, TPA will continue to research what can be accomplished through legislation, regulations, or direct advocacy with state agencies and other organizations to help address Lafayette’s needs. In addition to this City Legislative Agenda, TPA will also review City Council Resolution 2019-23 and the Contra Costa County Jurisdictions’ Housing and Policy Framework (Framework). When legislation is introduced that impacts any of the items listed below or in the Framework, TPA will immediately alert the City and together assess next steps.

LEGISLATIVE PRINCIPLES

Preserving Local Control

The City deeply values its ability and authority to exercise local control, offer excellent public services, and protect and enhance the quality of life for Lafayette residents and businesses. Advocacy efforts may include:

Local Control

Monitoring and opposing legislation that may reduce municipal authority, particularly in the areas of land use planning, zoning and development review.

Supporting legislation that protects local revenue sources and prevents the imposition of unfunded mandates on cities.

    1. Supporting legislation that rolls back/unwinds existing unfunded mandates or increases funding to cities.
    2. Opposing legislation that reduces funding to cities that do not meet their housing targets.
    3. Monitoring legislation that could impact the City’s ability to regulate the “sharing economy” (platforms such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb) as it develops.
    4. Supporting legislation that creates a permanent source of revenue — or strengthens existing revenue sources — to local governments for the production and preservation of affordable housing.
    5. Supporting legislation that provides funding for local governments to address homelessness.
    6. Monitoring legislation that would expand tenant protections.
    7. Opposing legislation that impacts the ability of local governments to utilize digital communication.
    8. Monitoring legislation that could impact commercial and/or recreational drone usage.
    9. Monitoring legislation that could impact local telecommunications infrastructure.
    10. Other related topics.

     

    Housing

    The City acknowledges that California is currently facing a housing shortage and supports legislation and policies to develop affordable housing that will accommodate local workers' needs. Advocacy efforts may include:

    1. Supporting legislation that facilitates the streamlined construction and production of accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
    2. Supporting legislation that would allow cities to count ADUs towards the fulfillment of their regional housing needs allocations (RHNA).
    3. Supporting legislation that uses a county jobs-housing balance as a basis to allocate RHNA and funding.
    4. Opposing legislation requiring the production of housing away from job centers, which would further burden the region’s strained transportation network and increase vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 
    5. Supporting legislation requiring housing and jobs to be evenly distributed across cities and counties throughout the state. Statewide land use legislation should apply statewide and neither apply to only a small number of communities nor exempt a select set of communities.
    6. Supporting legislation that exempts high fire hazard areas from requirements to build higher density housing.
    7. Other related topics.

     

    Fiscal Matters

    The City supports legislation to fund economic development and to protect and fund essential city services. Advocacy efforts may include:

    1. Continuing repeated interactions with elected representatives to predict fiscal year funding and to assess the City‘s ability to take advantage of political trends and preferences in the state budget.
    2. Protecting local rate payers with regard to state utility mandates.
    3. Supporting legislation and initiatives that would provide funding for libraries, arts and cultural expression in Lafayette.
    4. Supporting legislation and initiatives that would provide funding for open spaces, parks, trails, and other public amenities.
    5. Supporting legislation and initiatives that would provide funding for downtown beautification and revitalization.
    6. Supporting legislation that will return e-commerce/internet sales tax revenue to the point of sale.
    7. Supporting legislation that fully reimburses cities for agreements and loans with former redevelopment agencies.
    8. Monitoring legislation that affects Transient Occupancy Taxes and regulations regarding such.
    9. Monitoring legislation impacting Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts, redevelopment agencies, or tax increment financing districts.
    10. Other related topics.

     

    Environmental Protection

    The City supports legislation and policies that promote sustainable development, improve environmental standards, streamline the regulatory process, provide incentives and funding for preservation of natural resources, and support sustainable energy policies. Advocacy efforts may include:

    1. Supporting legislation that conserves open space and natural resources. 
    2. Supporting legislation to increase funding for climate action planning.
    3. Supporting legislation to increase funding for green buildings, electric vehicle charging stations, and related infrastructure.
    4. Supporting legislation that supports climate adaptation solutions, including sea level rise, flood management practices, and wild fire fuel management solutions.
    5. Monitoring legislation that imposes state mandates on cities to fund climate adaptation solutions.
    6. Monitoring legislation that impacts environmental review policy or CEQA.
    7. Monitoring legislation that impacts a city’s ability to approve or deny projects based on health and safety impacts.
    8. Other related topics.

     

    Transportation

    The City supports legislation and policies that promote investing in the planning and implementation of regional and local transportation and traffic congestion relief projects, the maintenance and rehabilitation of aging transportation infrastructure, and building system capacity expansions where appropriate. Advocacy efforts may include:

    1. Supporting legislation to fund alternative modes of travel including expanding transit services and pedestrian and bicycle pathways.
    2. Supporting new statewide funding opportunities for the ongoing maintenance and repair of local roads and highways. 
    3. Supporting efforts to address regional transportation congestion.
    4. Monitoring legislation for the expansion of ADA facilities and public access.
    5. Other related topics.

     

    Public Health and Safety

    The City supports legislation to access funding and resources to provide high quality police, fire, emergency management, emergency medical and public health services. Advocacy efforts may include:

    1. Supporting funding opportunities to address natural disaster mitigation and evacuation planning.
    2. Supporting legislation to reform public utilities in order to ensure the reliable, safe and sustainable delivery of energy and communications to the community.
    3. Supporting legislation to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
    4. Monitoring legislation on the sale of e-cigarettes.
    5. Monitoring legislation/research on the potential safeguards regarding the purchase, distribution, consumption and cultivation of cannabis.
    6. Other related topics.

     

    Elections

    The City supports legislation to reduce unnecessary and costly procedures for conducting municipal elections, while streamlining voter registration efforts to ensure all eligible residents can vote freely. Advocacy efforts may include:

     

    1. Supporting legislation that encourages and expands civic engagement and voter participation in elections.
    2. Monitoring legislation that lowers the voting requirements for passage of local special purpose agency funding propositions.
    3. Monitoring legislation that affects municipal elections.
    4. Monitoring legislation that affects the California Voting Rights Acts and by-district elections.
    5. Other related topics.

     

    Government Transparency

    The City supports government transparency, public access to records and supports legislation that facilitates these principles while still allowing for necessary municipal operations and services. Advocacy efforts may include:

    1. Monitoring legislation that affects the Brown Act.
    2. Monitoring legislation that affects special districts and joint powers authorities and regulations of such.
    3. Monitoring legislation that affects the Public Records Act.
    4. Monitoring legislation that affects the Political Reform Act.
    5. Other related topics. 

Resolutions concerning the City of Lafayette's Legislative Agenda can be found here and here

 

City of Lafayette's Letters Regarding Pending Bills

AB 1487 (Chiu) Request for Veto Sept 17, 2019

SB 5 (Beall/McGuire/Portantino) Newsom Support Sept 16, 2019

AB 1487 (Chiu) Oppose August 30, 2019 

AB 1487 (Chiu) Request July 17, 2019

SB 592 (Wiener) Oppose July 2, 2019

SB 330 (Skinner) Oppose July 2, 2019

AB 1487 (Chiu) Concern July 2, 2019

SB 5 (Beall/McGuire/Portantino) Support June 19, 2019

AB 1487 (Chiu) Watch May 22, 2019

SB 50 (Wiener) Oppose April 17, 2019

 

Bill Language, Summaries, and Analysis

The State of California's LegInfo website provides a way to look up any individual bill and view the bill language, a summary,  as well as committee analysis. You can access LegInfo here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/

 

Bills of Interest to Lafayette (Updated Oct. 30, 2019)

The Legislature concluded the first year of the 2019-2020 Legislative Session on September 13th, the last day to pass bills in either house. After the Legislature adjourned session, Governor Newsom had one month to act on the measures that were approved by the Legislature. Ultimately, of the 1,042 bills that were sent to the Governor, 870 were signed into law, while 172 were vetoed. Governor Newsom’s veto rate of 16.5% was slightly higher than Governor Brown averaged in his last two terms, but generally in line with the veto rate of previous Governors whose party was in control of the Legislature.

While the Legislature approved 1,042 bills during the legislative session, 2,625 were introduced over the course of the session and those that were not approved are now considered two-year bills. While the Legislature will not advance the majority of the nearly 1,600 two-year bills, it is important to understand what measures may be considered when the Legislature returns in January 2020.

While the 2020 legislative calendar has not yet been released, it is likely that two-year bills that remain in their house of origin will need to be considered by policy committee, fiscal committee, and voted out of their house of origin by the end of January. Those measures that remain in their house of origin after January will be ineligible for additional consideration. That said, legislators will likely have until late-February to introduce new legislation, so it is possible that two-year bills that do not advance may be reintroduced for legislative consideration in 2020.
With that in mind, below is a summary of key bills that were signed into law by the Governor, vetoed by the Governor, and those that are two-year bills eligible for consideration in January 2020.

Legislation Signed Into Law

Below are key bills that were signed into law by Governor Newsom.

AB 68 (Ting) – Accessory Dwelling Units
This measure expands to the types of ADUs that must be permitted, regardless of local regulations, and makes numerous other changes to ADU law. These changes include: allows up to two ADUs on lots with single-family homes and multiple ADUs on lots with multi-family dwellings, changes to ministerial approvals of ADUS, and prohibits local ADU ordinances from imposing minimum lot size requirements, setting maximum ADU dimensions less that outlined in the bill, requiring replacement parking, and requiring certain setbacks.

AB 881 (Bloom) – Accessory Dwelling Units
This measure expands the types of ADUs that a local government must permit and, until January 1, 2025, prohibits local agencies from requiring owner occupancy of ADUs, among other changes. The measure limits the criteria by which local jurisdictions can limit where ADUs are permitted; clarifies that ADUs must be ministerially approved if constructed in existing garages; and eliminates, for five years, the potential for local agencies to place owner-occupancy requirements on the units.

AB 1483 (Grayson) – Housing Data
This measure requires cities and counties to post specified housing-related information on their websites. This information includes a current schedule of mitigation fees, exactions, and affordability requirements imposed by the city, county, or special district applicable to a housing development project, zoning ordinances and development standards, and an archive or impact fee nexus studies conducted after January 1, 2018. The bill also requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish a working group to develop a strategy for state housing data.

AB 1482 (Chiu) – Tenant Protection Act of 2019
This bill limits rent-gouging in California by placing an upper limit on annual rent increases: 5% plus inflation. To prevent landlords from engaging in rent-gouging by evicting tenants, this bill also requires that a landlord have and state a just cause in order to evict tenants who have occupied the premises for a year. Both the rent cap and the just cause provisions are subject to exemptions including, among others: housing built in the past 15 years, single family residences unless owned by a real estate trust or a corporation. This bill sunsets after ten years and does not preempt any local rent control or just cause ordinances.

AB 1485 (Wicks) – Housing Development Streamlining
This bill allows a project to be subject to streamlined ministerial review if the project contains 10 or more units and it dedicates 20% of the total number of units to housing affordable to households making below 120% of the area median income with the average income of the units at or below 100% of the area median income.

AB 1486 (Ting) – Surplus Land
This bill expands the Surplus Land Act requirements for local agencies, requires local governments to include specified information relating to surplus lands in their housing elements and annual progress reports, and requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish a database of surplus land.

AB 1487 (Low) – Bay Area Housing Finance Authority
This measure establishes the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) and sets forth the governing structure and powers of the BAHFA Board, allowable financing activities, and allowable expenditures of the revenues generated.

AB 1763 (Chiu) – Affordable Housing Density Bonus
This measure revises the density bonus law to require a city or county to award a developer additional density, concessions and incentives, and height increases if 100% of the units in a development are restricted to low- and moderate-income households.

SB 6 (Beall) – Residential Development: Available Land This measure requires the Department of General Services, in coordination with the Department of Housing and Community Development, to create a public inventory of locally identified sites suitable for residential development, along with state surplus lands.

SB 13 (Wieckowski) – Accessory Dwelling Units
This measure expands to the types of ADUs that must be permitted, regardless of local regulations, and makes numerous other changes to ADU law. These changes include: allows up to two ADUs on lots with single-family homes and multiple ADUs on lots with multi-family dwellings, changes to ministerial approvals of ADUS, changes to how and when impact fees can be charged for ADUs, and prohibits local ADU ordinances from imposing minimum lot size requirements, setting maximum ADU dimensions less that outlined in the bill, requiring replacement parking, and requiring certain setbacks.

SB 330 (Skinner) – Housing Crisis Act of 2019 This restricts the actions of cities and counties that would reduce the production of housing until January 1, 2025. This bill requires a city or county to approve a housing development project that complies with the minimum local general plan, zoning standards, and criteria that were in effect at the time the application was deemed to be complete. Cities and counties must approve it on the condition that the project be developed at a lower density, and to base its decision upon written findings supported by substantial evidence on the record that specified conditions exist and places the burden of proof on the local agency. The act requires a court to impose a fine on a local agency under certain circumstances and requires that the fine be at least $10,000 per housing unit in the housing development project on the date the application was deemed complete. It would also specify that an application is deemed complete if a preliminary application was submitted.

Legislation that was Vetoed

Below are key bills that were vetoed by Governor Newsom.

AB 344 (Calderon) – New Beginnings California Program
This measure would have established the New Beginnings California Program within the Department of Community Services and Development to provide matching funds of up to $50,000 annually, to up to 50 cities, counties, or continuums of care to implement, expand or continue employment programs for homeless individuals. The Governor’s veto message indicated that the intent of the bill was laudable, but given the impact to the state’s general fund, it should be considered as part of the budget process.

SB 5 (Beall) – Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program
This measure creates the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment program for local agencies to use existing local property taxes for affordable housing and housing related projects. This program would have provided local governments with state funding, gradually increasing to $2 billion annually, to assist with the construction of affordable housing and related infrastructure. The Governor’s veto message indicated that such a significant fiscal impact to the state, as would have resulted from this measure, needs to be considered as part of the budget deliberations, so that it can be considered in light of other state priorities.

SB 268 (Wiener) – Local Tax Ballot Measures
This measure would have allowed the proponents of a local initiative measure, or a local jurisdiction submitting a local ballot measure, that imposes or increases a tax with more than one rate, or authorizes the issuance of bonds, to choose how specific information will appear on the ballot label. The Governor’s veto message indicated that the Governor was concerned that the bill would reduce transparency for local tax and bond measures.

SB 531 (Glazer) – Local agencies: retailers
This measure would prohibit a local agency from entering into any agreement that results in a rebate of local tax revenues to a retailer in exchange for that retailer locating within that agency’s jurisdiction. The Governor’s veto message indicated that he believed removing these tax options from local agencies was the wrong approach, but he did feel there needed to be increased transparency and understanding of the economic outcomes from these types of agreements.

Two-Year Bills

Below are key bills that did not advance out of the Legislature and are eligible for consideration in 2020.

AB 67 (Rivas) – Homeless Integrated Data Warehouse
Last Location: Held on Senate Appropriations Suspense File
This measure would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to crate a statewide homeless integrated data warehouse in coordination with state and local partners. The measure would require specified state agencies to draft and carry out a strategy to integrate available information to provide longitudinal, cost-based studies.

AB 281 (Frazier) – Transmission and Distribution Lines: Undergrounding and Fire Hardening
Last Location: Assembly Utilities and Energy
This bill would require the California Public Utilities Commission to require electrical corporations to develop and administer programs to replace overhead electric facilities along public streets and roads, and on other public or private properties in high fire threat districts, with underground facilities.

AB 516 (Chiu) – Authority to Remove Vehicles
Last Location: Held on Senate Appropriations Suspense File AB 516 modifies existing law that authorizes peace officers to tow vehicles that have been left parked for 72 hours or more. The bill requires officers to first place a notice on the vehicle for a minimum of 5 days prior to being towed and disallows officers from towing a vehicle that has five or more unpaid parking tickets.

AB 1279 (Bloom) – Housing Development: High-Resource Areas
Last Location: Senate Housing Committee
This measure would require certain development sites in high-resource areas to allow for more density and height and make these sites subject to “use by-right” approval. The bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to designate areas in the state as “high-resource areas” based on provisions set forth in the measure.

AB 1286 (Muratsuchi) – Shared Mobility Device Agreements
Last Location: Senate Judiciary Committee
This measure would require shared mobility service providers to enter into an agreement with, or obtain a permit from, the local jurisdiction in which the providers’ devices are used. These agreements and permits must require certain minimum levels of liability insurance and must require a prohibition on contractual provisions between providers and users that limits a user’s legal rights or remedies. The measure also requires cities and counties authorizing providers to establish rules governing the operation, parking, and maintenance of these devices.

AB 1356 (Ting) – Retail Commercial Cannabis Activity
Last Location: Moved to the Inactive File on the Assembly Floor
This measure would require a local jurisdiction, in which more than 50% of the electorate voted in favor of Proposition 64, to issue a minimum number of local licenses that authorize medical cannabis commercial activity equal to one license for every six on-sale general license types for alcoholic beverage sales that are currently active in the jurisdiction.

SB 50 (Wiener) – Housing Development: Streamlined ApprovalLast Location: Held on the Senate Appropriations Suspense File. This measure would require local governments to provide an “equitable communities incentive” to developers that construct residential developments in “jobs-rich” and “transit-rich” areas, which may include certain exemptions to specified requirements for zoning, density, parking, height restrictions, and floor area ratios.

SB 182 (Jackson) – Planning and Zoning: Wildfires
Last Location: Senate Floor for Concurrence Vote
This bill would impose certain fire hazard planning responsibilities on local governments; require a city’s or county’s regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) plan to further the objective of reducing development pressure within very high fire risk areas; and require councils of government to incorporate lower housing allocations to cities and counties in very high fire risk areas into their RHNA methodology.

SB 592 (Wiener) – Housing Accountability Act
Last Location: Assembly Rules Committee
This measure extends provisions of the Housing Accountability Act to accessory dwelling units and certain ministerial decisions, as well as adds new provisions related to enforcement of the Act.