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

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:

  1. Monitoring and opposing legislation that may reduce municipal authority, particularly in the areas of land use planning, zoning and development review.
  2. Supporting legislation that protects local revenue sources and prevents the imposition of unfunded mandates on cities.
  3. Supporting legislation that rolls back/unwinds existing unfunded mandates or increases funding to cities.
  4. Opposing legislation that reduces funding to cities that do not meet their housing targets.
  5. Monitoring legislation that could impact the City’s ability to regulate the “sharing economy” (platforms such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb) as it develops.
  6. 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.

  7. Supporting legislation that provides funding for local governments to address homelessness.
  8. Monitoring legislation that would expand tenant protections.
  9. Opposing legislation that impacts the ability of local governments to utilize digital communication.
  10. Monitoring legislation that could impact commercial and/or recreational drone usage.
  11. Monitoring legislation that could impact local telecommunications infrastructure.
  12. 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 ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
  3. Monitoring legislation on the sale of e-cigarettes.
  4. Monitoring legislation/research on the potential safeguards regarding the purchase, distribution, consumption and cultivation of cannabis.
  5. 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.

Supporting documents for the City of Lafayette's Legislative Agenda can be found here

 

City of Lafayette's Letters Regarding Pending Bills

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

Below is an outline of the bills that advanced out of committee on July 10, 2019:

Legislative Calendar

Below are key upcoming dates on the legislative calendar.

  • August 12th – Legislature reconvenes from Summer Recess
  • August 30th – Last day for fiscal committees to pass bills
  • September 13th – Last day to pass bills, Interim Recess begins upon adjournment
  • October 13th – Last day for the Governor to act on bills

Priority Legislation

AB 68 (Ting) – Accessory Dwelling Units

This bill expands to the types of ADUs that must be permitted, regardless of local regulations, and makes numerous other changes to ADU law.  AB 68 was approved by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee (4-1) and the Senate Governance and Finance Committee (6-0).  The measure is currently scheduled to be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 12th. The bill will need to conform with other similar ADU bills before the end of session; AB 881 (Bloom) and SB 13 (Wieckowski).

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.  AB 881 was approved by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee (7-0).  The measure is currently scheduled to be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 12th. The bill will need to conform with other similar ADU bills before the end of session; AB 68 (Ting) and SB 13 (Wieckowski).

On July 8th, the measure was amended to include, among other provisions, that ministerial approval applies for only one ADU that has sufficient setbacks for fire safety.

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.  SB 13 was approved by the Assembly Local Government Committee (8-0).  The measure is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee awaiting hearing. The bill will need to conform with other similar ADU bills before the end of session; AB 68 (Ting) and AB 881 (Bloom). During the Assembly Local Government Committee hearing, the author committed to amending his bill to align the owner-occupancy provisions with AB 881, include a five-year sunset on the bills’ provisions, and modifying the impact fees for ADUs over 750 square feet so that they are proportionate to the square footage of the primary residence.

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.  SB 5 was approved by the Assembly Local Government Committee (6-0) with bipartisan support.  The measure is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee awaiting hearing. 

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. SB 330 was approved by the Assembly Local Government Committee (7-1).  The measure is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee awaiting hearing.  On July 1st, the bill was amended to reflect the amendments that were agreed to in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.


SB 592 (Wiener) – Housing Accountability Act

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.  SB 592 approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development (6-0) as well as the Assembly Local Government Committee (8-0).  The measure is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee awaiting hearing.  On July 3rd, the bill was amended so that it does not apply to a single unit, to remove language pertaining to economic viability, and make technical changes.  Additionally, in the Assembly Local Government Committee hearing, the author agreed to remove the provisions allowing for a plaintiff to seek compensatory damages for a violation of the Housing Accountability Act. 

AB 1487 (Chiu) – Bay Area Housing Development: Financing

This measure creates the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority to raise, administer, and allocate funding and provide technical assistance at a regional level for tenet protection, affordable housing preservation, and new affordable housing production.  AB 1487 was approved by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee (4-1).  The measure has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee and is awaiting hearing.  During the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, the author agreed to work with Senator McGuire and local stakeholders to ensure that the bills’ provisions were supported locally.  Specifically, MTC and ABAG have convened an ad hoc committee to work out the provisions of the measure and ensure that they are beneficial to large and small cities alike.  Once the ad hoc has developed recommendations, they will be approved by the Boards of MTC and ABAG, after which time the provisions will be amended into AB 1487.  Once the new provisions are amended into the bill (after the Legislature returns from Summer Recess), the bill will be referred back to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, and the Senate Housing Committee, for full committee hearings on the new provisions.