The State Strikes Back! Recent Development in Housing Law

APA California Chapter


Tuesday, September 26, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. PDT

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

Add to My Log


The California Legislature has enacted a myriad of statutes designed to encourage housing developments: the Housing Accountability Act, the 'no net loss' statute, the 'by right' provisions of Housing Element law, the 'least cost zoning' law, the Density Bonus Act, the Accessory Dwelling Unit law, fair housing provisions, and various statutory exemptions from CEQA. These provisions have become progressively more complex as the Legislature attempts to solve California's critical housing shortage, and additional streamlining provisions were at the heart of the Governor's 2017 budget message. Despite these efforts, housing developments often face fierce local opposition and may be delayed for many years. This program will describe and organize the many existing statutes, and new laws passed in 2017, and discuss how planners may use these provisions effectively when processing housing applications, when a local action may be inconsistent with state law, and how these provisions may help to protect local decision-makers. The program will demonstrate how these statutes have been used and discuss regional collaboration strategies to meet housing demand. 

The presentation will focus on recent changes in state planning and zoning laws and case law with respect to housing developments. As described in the abstract, in an effort to 'solve' the housing shortage, the Legislature almost every year passes new laws affecting local land use and the approvals of housing (while being unwilling to exempt such projects from CEQA). The result is a complex series of intertwined statutes that are difficult to understand and apply. This panel will attempt to bring some organization to these statutes, make them more understandable and useful, and provide case studies.


Justin Bigelow, JD

Justin Bigelow is an attorney at Goldfarb & Lipman LLP who assists clients with a range of issues relating to real estate transactions, affordable housing, and compliance with planning and environmental laws for local government and nonprofit clients. He has a BA from Macalester College, an MCP from UC Berkeley, and ... Read More

Barbara Kautz, FAICP, JD

Barbara Kautz is a partner with Goldfarb & Lipman LLP and an AICP fellow. She practices in the areas of land use, inclusionary and affordable housing, CEQA/NEPA compliance, and economic development. Barbara has over 30 years of land use experience. Immediately prior to joining Goldfarb, she was the Community Development ... Read More

Josh Abrams, AICP

Josh has served as project manager on projects in the areas of housing, land use planning, long-range comprehensive planning, community design, and transportation and has managed the model 21 Elements" subregional housing process since its creation in 2008. He has worked with cities throughout the country on affordable housing planning ... Read More

Eric Phillips, JD

Eric Phillips is an attorney with Goldfarb & Lipman LLP and practices in the areas of real estate, affordable housing, land use, and CEQA compliance. Eric has 15 years of land use experience, first as a planning consultant and then as an attorney focused on all phases of the development process ... Read More

Contact Info

Hanson Hom,