New Law Automatically Extends Subdivision Map Approvals (Again)

New legislation to automatically extend the life of currently existing tentative maps, vesting tentative maps and parcel maps for an additional 24 months has been approved. The new law, AB 208 (Fuentes) was signed by Governor Brown on July 15, 2011, and includes urgency provisions so that it goes into effect immediately. This bill adds new Government Code § 66452.23 to the Subdivision Map Act, and establishes an automatic statutory extension to the life of previously-approved tentative maps and parcel maps that had not expired as of July 15, 2011, and which would otherwise have expired prior to January 1, 2014. This new automatic statutory extension is in addition to any other extension provided by the Subdivision Map Act or local ordinance.

This bill reflects the Legislature's recognition that California housing markets remain depressed, and that development activities on hundreds of previously approved subdivisions have been suspended or have otherwise gone on hiatus. The California Building Industry Association has estimated that such approved but- inactive subdivisions represent more than 300,000 housing units. This bill is similar to other map-extension legislation approved in recent years as a result of the depressed housing economy, including AB 333 (2009) providing a 2-year extension through January 1, 2012, and SB 1185 (2008) providing a one-year extension, and the Legislature has expressly provided that these statutory map extensions are in addition to prior extensions and are cumulative.

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