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SB 948 (Allen) Would Help Communities Address Their Needs, Including Housing

By April 13, 2018 No Comments

SB 948 will reduce delays in projects that help local governments meet their climate, housing, land use and transportation goals. Read LAEDC’s support letter below.

Take action:  Email letters to Senator Allen’s office ([email protected]), and contact relevant committee chairs depending on bill’s progress and status.

Track the status and progress of this bill here


April 13, 2018

The Honorable Senator Ben Allen
California State Senate, District 26
State Capitol Office, Room 5072
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE:          SUPPORT – Senate Bill 948 (Allen)

Dear Senator Allen:

On behalf of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), an organization dedicated to advancing equitable opportunity and prosperity for LA County’s residents, I am pleased to offer our support for Senate Bill (SB) 948 (Allen), as amended. By specifying that qualified community plans be certified as “environmental leadership development projects” under the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011, thus allowing them to receive expedited judicial review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), SB 948 will reduce delays in projects that help local governments meet their climate, housing, land use and transportation goals.

Across the state, many community plans, while essential to framing and integrating a locality’s long-term land use, climate change, transportation and development priorities, are in desperate need of updating. For example, in the City of Los Angeles, fewer than half a dozen community plans, out of 35, have been updated in the last 10 years, creating an arbitrary, piecemeal and variance-based development process that has led to an intractable affordable housing shortage, rampant speculation and the fiscalization of land, while doing little to reduce traffic, vehicle miles traveled and pollution.

Regrettably, many community plan updates, which require environmental analysis under CEQA, are stalled needlessly by the long and unpredictable duration of CEQA judicial review proceedings; in particular, the protracted period of time it takes to adjudicate legal challenges under CEQA can delay a community plan almost open-endedly.  SB 948 will mitigate this, without jeopardizing the environment,  by allowing qualified plans that meet rigorous environmental standards, including protecting habitat, attaining climate change goals, reducing vehicle miles traveled and promoting transit-oriented development, to be subject to expedited judicial review under CEQA.

In sum, this bill represents important progress for local governments who desperately want to frame their long-term housing, economic, infrastructure and transportation priorities, while adhering to the strict pillars and aspirational intent of CEQA to mitigate the significant environmental effects of proposed plans.  For these reasons, the LAEDC commends your leadership and offers its strong support for SB 948.

Sincerely,

David Flaks, President & COO
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)