Housing Accountability Act Applies to More Than Just Affordable Housing Developments

Last week the 5th District Court of Appeal clarified that certain requirements of the Housing Accountability Act, Government Code Section 65589.5, are triggered by all housing developments, not just those that include affordable housing.

At issue in the case was Section 65589.5(j), which limits a local agency's ability to disapprove a proposed "housing development project" that complies with applicable general plan, zoning, and design review standards. To disapprove such a project, the local agency must first make written findings that the project would have a specific, adverse impact upon public health or safety, and that the impact could not be mitigated or avoided except by disapproving the project. Without making findings under Section 65589.5(j), the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to subdivide 33 acres along the Stanislaus River and develop single family houses.

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