Making Inroads on Ending CEQA Abuse to Block Housing
It was standing room only at the Bay Area Council Housing Committee meeting this week as members met with top lobbyists and UC Davis Professor and housing law scholar Chris Elemendorf to discuss the major developments in the State Legislature this year and key housing bills pending before Governor Newsom. Of particular interest was AB 1633 (Ting), which the Bay Area Council co-sponsored and which creates a new and strong penalty for local governments that attempt to bypass requirements in the state Housing Accountability Act and abuse CEQA to slow down or block new housing proposals. AB 1633 represents a generational shift in how the Legislature thinks about the relationship between housing and CEQA, which has long bedeviled the Bay Area’s ability to build more homes.
Council Vice President Louis Mirante played a leading role in winning passage of AB 1633, which was co-sponsored by CAYimby. During the meeting, Elmendorf gave an overview of the bill, how to use it if the Governor signs it, and what developers and their attorneys should know about the fine print. A spirited discussion with questions and answers gave way to more lighthearted updates about the behind-the-scenes drama and scuttlebutt of how the bill made it all the way to Gov. Newsom’s desk. To engage in the Council’s housing work, please contact VP of Public Policy Louis Mirante.