Governor Signs Bill Extending Most Residential Entitlements for 18 Months

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Yesterday, Governor Newsom signed AB 1561 (Garcia/Greyson) extending most residential entitlements for 18 months. During periods of economic downturn, a blanket extension of tentative tract maps has not been uncommon, but the extension provisions of this bill go far beyond tentative maps.

More specifically, any applicable time frame for expiration of any “housing entitlement” as defined, is extended by 18 months. This extension applies to any such entitlement issued prior to and effective on March 4, 2020, and that will expire prior to December 31, 2021. “Housing entitlement” is defined in the statute to include:

  • A building permit, including extension of any applicable time frame within which an applicant must request issuance of a building permit;
  • “A legislative, adjudicative, administrative, or any other kind of approval, permit, or other entitlement necessary for, or pertaining to, a housing development project issued by a state agency”;
  • “An approval, permit, or other entitlement issued by a local agency for a housing development project that is subject to [the Permit Streamlining Act]”;
  • “A ministerial approval, permit, or entitlement by a local agency required as a prerequisite to issuance of a building permit for a housing development project”;
  • “A requirement to submit an application for a building permit within a specified period of time after the effective date of a housing entitlement described [above]”; and
  • “A vested right associated with an approval, permit, or other entitlement described [above].”

Further, “housing development project” is defined to include:

  • “A tentative map, vesting tentative map, or parcel map for which a tentative map or vesting tentative map, as the case may be, has been approved”;
  • “A residential development”; or
  • “A mixed-use development in which at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development is designated for residential use. Both of the following apply for the purposes of calculating the square footage usage of a development for purposes of this subparagraph:
    • “The square footage of a development shall include any additional density, floor area, and units, and any other concession, incentive, or waiver of development standards pursuant to Section 65915.
    • “The square footage of a development shall not include any underground space, including, but not limited to, a basement or underground parking garage.”

Expressly excluded from the extension provisions are development agreements and tentative tract maps extended for at least 18 months by Government Code Section 66452.6 on or after March 4, 2020.

Additionally, the 18-month extension provided in AB 1561 is tolled during any period under which the subject entitlement is subject to legal challenge. And the law expressly allows for local jurisdictions to adopt their own extensions beyond the 18-month period provided in AB 1561.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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