SB 330 has passed the California Legislature and is on the governor’s desk

The new law will spur development of affordable housing, limit fees on affordable housing, prohibit demolition of affordable and rent-controlled units unless they’re replaced, and give existing tenants first right of return.

The votes were 67-8 in the Assembly and 30-4 in the state Senate. The bill was enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2 pm on September 17th. While Newsom had not yet signed the bill as of September 21, he publicly endorsed SB 330.

The paragraphs below explain the thrust of the new law and are excepted from an August 30 Op-Ed by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), author of the bill and the California Senate majority whip.

The successful approach of “city and county officials [in] the aftermath of the Tubbs fire to expedite the rebuilding of thousands of homes,” wrote Skinner, … inspired me to introduce Senate Bill 330

“The bill accelerates housing construction in the state during the next half-decade by slashing the time it takes for developers to get building permits, limiting fees on housing, and barring local governments from reducing the number of homes that can be built…

“SB 330 is based on the premise that much of the housing we need has already been planned for by our local communities. California cities and counties have approved zoning for 2.8 million new housing units, according to a 2019 report by UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies…

“Recent studies have also pointed out [that] cities and counties often levy burdensome fees that can reach $50,000 per unit on housing projects, and developers can face delays of up to four years after they submit their applications to build housing…

“SB 330 is designed to help California communities swiftly build much of the housing the state needs without altering local zoning rules. Until 2025, cities and counties [will] have to slash the time it takes to process housing applications to no more than 90 days for most market-rate housing projects and to 60 days for affordable ones after a project application is deemed complete and it complies with local zoning rules. The bill also limits the number of public hearings on a project to five. In addition, cities and counties would be barred from hiking fees after the project applicant has submitted all preliminary required information.

“For five years from the time the bill becomes law, urban areas throughout California [will] be prohibited from changing design standards for how housing should look, reducing the number of housing units allowed, establishing a cap on the number of people who can live in a community, or implementing a moratorium on new housing construction.

“The bill also includes anti-displacement measures, including a ban on the demolition of affordable and rent-controlled units unless developers replace all of them and pay to rehouse tenants and offer them first right of return at the same rent.”

You can read the text of the bill here.