SACRAMENTO, CA (September 28, 2022) — California Governor Newsom today signed into law a measure that will speed up California’s lagging housing production by addressing inefficiencies in the permitting process. This common-sense legislation – AB 2234 (Rivas] Planning and zoning: housing: post entitlement phase permits – brings certainty to the building permit acquisition process after local housing developments are approved. In effect, AB 2234 implements a reasonable, transparent process so that good projects don’t have years needlessly added to their timelines.
Authored by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) and Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord), AB 2234 will ensure that jurisdictions clarify local procedures, which can often be next to impossible to decipher. Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) and the Housing Action Coalition (HAC) partnered to cosponsor the legislation, spearheaded the development of the bill’s core principles, and amassed a wide base of support from legislators in both Chambers of the State Legislature.
“Signed into law today by Governor Newsom, AB 2234 signifies a fresh approach to California’s housing crisis, with leading innovation economy businesses working in close partnership with legislative leaders, housing advocates, and developers to identify, develop and promote a commonsense solution to a seemingly intractable problem – the labyrinthine local residential permitting process. SVLG and our members recognize that issues like access to affordable housing are not only vital to strengthening the region’s business competitiveness but also in ensuring a more equitable future for the Valley – and this bill signifies the first example of our new approach to addressing the toughest challenges of our day. We’re proud to have worked alongside Assemblymembers Rivas and Grayson, as well as with our partners at the Housing Action Coalition in this important endeavor,” said Ahmad Thomas, CEO of SVLG.
“The Housing Action Coalition is proud to partner with SVLG and Assemblymembers Rivas and Grayson to simplify and accelerate the post-entitlement home building permitting process, and gratified that AB 2234 was signed into law today.” said Housing Action Coalition Executive Director Corey Smith. “AB 2234 will enhance transparency, accountability, and communication between city governments and home builders and ensure that housing for residents of all income levels moves forward more efficiently.”
The bill requires the permit application process to be moved online and jurisdictions to create detailed lists of permit requirements, and would not be able to add requirements for applications in progress. They would have to provide a set of example permit applications for the most common types of housing developments, and it would all be required to be posted on their website.
AB 2234 passed the State Senate with a vote of 36-1 on August 24 and was approved by the Assembly with a Concurrence vote on August 25.
California’s housing affordability crisis ranks at the top of all public policy and business competitiveness agendas. The state’s median home prices are at all-time highs at over $833,000 in June 2022, which is out of reach for most—only 16% of Californians can afford a median-priced home.
While there are many facets to this problem, if you ask any California home builder, permitting can be a major hurdle and has brought many visionary developments to an acrimonious halt. California’s notorious local regulations and processes have been enough to keep many construction firms out of the state altogether. With an estimated shortage of 3 million homes, the homes that finally do get built are in such demand that prices have risen far out of reach for the average wage earner.
About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group: The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is a business organization of hundreds of Silicon Valley’s most dynamic companies working to shape the innovation economy of California and the nation. Founded by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, for over 40 years SVLG has worked to address issues that affect the region’s economic health and quality of life. Today, SVLG Is focused on economic competitiveness with a special focus on diversity & inclusion, climate change and infrastructure. SVLG members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy. For more information, visit svlg.org.
About the Housing Action Coalition: The Housing Action Coalition (HAC) is a member-supported nonprofit that advocates for building more homes for residents of all income levels to help alleviate the Bay Area and California’s housing shortage, displacement, and affordability crisis. Learn more at housingactioncoalition.org.