BBK Firm Attorneys at Law logoIn the final part of the 2024 Housing New Law Guidance series from Best Best & Krieger LLP (BBK), we cover important new housing legislation related to fire safety, elections, post-entitlement phase permits, streamlined process and zoning code. Below we provide takeaways and analyses of AB 42SB 789AB 1114AB 1485SB 423SB 684AB 1386AB 1308AB 894.


AB 42

This Bill enacts Health and Safety Code Section 179922.4 to prohibit local agencies from imposing or enforcing a requirement for fire sprinklers in “temporary sleeping cabins.” This only applies to projects of 50 or fewer units that meet specific criteria. Further, design and construction requirements must be met for emergency sleeping cabins under California Building Code Appendix P or California Residential Code Appendix AZ.


SB 789

This Bill addresses two housing-related measures scheduled for the November 2024 election:

  • Senate Constitutional Amendment 2 proposes a repeal of Article 34 of the California Constitution, which requires voters to authorize the construction, development and acquisition of certain low-income affordable housing projects.
  • Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 proposes to authorize local voters, with a 55% vote, to approve an ad valorem property tax to fund bonded indebtedness, a sales and use tax, or a parcel tax to fund affordable housing projects, permanent supportive housing and public infrastructure.


AB 1114

This Bill modifies AB 2234 regarding online permitting systems. More specifically, it adjusts the definition of “post-entitlement phase permits” by broadening the scope to include certain post-entitlement approvals. The definition now applies to both discretionary and nondiscretionary permits, including those issues under the California Building Standards Code or any local building code for the construction, demolition or alteration of buildings.


AB 1485

This Bill adds section 65585.01 to the Government Code providing that the Attorney General shall have an unconditional right to join lawsuits that seek to enforce the state’s housing element law. Therefore, the Attorney General no longer has to seek court permission before joining a lawsuit. This Bill does not require any city to take any action to update its municipal code.

SB 423

This Bill clarifies, extends and expands SB 35 ministerial approval of eligible multifamily housing projects. SB 35 created a streamlined approval process for infill projects with two or more units in jurisdictions that have not issued enough housing permits to meet their RHNA numbers. Among other things, this Bill:

  • Extends SB 35 sunset date from January 1, 2026 to January 1, 2036.
  • Expands SB 35 streamlining to agencies that have not adopted a compliant housing element.
  • Applies, with some limitations, SB 35 to the Coastal Zone starting in 2025. The streamlining applies to sites that are subject to a certified local coastal program (LCP) or land use plan (LUP), are zoned for multifamily and are not environmentally sensitive or hazardous. Additionally, the development must not be located on tidelands, submerged lands, public trust lands or within 300 feet of the seaward face of any costal bluff; and must not be vulnerable to five (5) feet of sea level rise or within a 100-foot radius of a wetland or on prime agricultural land. Developments in the Coastal Zone that are subject to the streamlining must obtain a coastal development permit.
  • Modifies SB 35’s project approval process as follows:
    • a) The project must be presented before the city council within 45 days of the council receiving notice of intent to submit an application if the project is located in a moderate or low-resource area census tract or an area of high segregation and poverty
    • b) The local planning department must check for any conflict with the objective planning standards before approving the development; failure to do so will deem the project’s objective standards satisfactory
    • c) Local government cannot request information not related to determining the development’s consistency with the objective planning standards
    • d) The state’s Department of General Services (DGS) is now authorized to act in place of the local government for development on state’s property
    • e) Certain prevailing wage requirements are modified

Local agencies should work with their attorney’s office to update their SB 35 application materials and checklists to ensure compliance with the new requirements.

SB 684

This Bill amends the Government Code by setting new rules regarding subdivisions for housing projects. Local agencies must now ministerially approve subdivisions resulting in 10 or fewer parcels for housing development projects, and housing development projects consisting of 10 or fewer units on a parcel resulting from a subdivision under SB 684. The Bill adds three Government Code Sections:

  • Section 65852.28: Allows project applications on subdivided lots, permits local agencies to impose certain standards related to housing development, and prohibits certain restrictions precluding specified project details.
  • Section 65913.4.5: Mandates issuance of building permits for up to 10 residential units within housing development projects, authorizes local agencies to condition building permit issuance and allows for the denial of certain building permits.
  • Section 66499.41: Requires review of parcel maps by local agencies, specifies conditions for eligible lots, ensures compliance with the Subdivision Map Act and addresses certain environmental concerns.


AB 1386

This Bill allows entities that refer veterans to certain lower-income affordable housing units to refer veterans at higher income levels if units are not filled within a specific time. The purpose is to address vacancy rates in affordable housing units funded by the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP), projects funded with tax credits or projects funded by private activity bonds.

AB 1386 allows a housing provider to petition HCD and CalVet for authority to refer “secondary tenants” if a qualified tenant is not placed in the unit within 60 days. However, the unit must be re-designated for the income level of the secondary tenant. Also, the Bill allows a VHHP development to have fewer than 50% of the units occupied by qualified tenants.

Furthermore, this Bill sets forth a comprehensive list of “good faith efforts” to match units with eligible tenants in order to maintain a priority for homeless veterans that are qualifying tenants.

AB 1308

This Bill explicitly prohibits charter cities from increasing the minimum parking requirements that apply to a single-family residence as a condition of approval for a remodel, renovation or to add a single-family residence.

AB 894

Under this Bill, cities must approve a shared parking agreement when a site with underutilized parking agrees that a new development can use some of that parking to meet its local parking requirements. There has to be notice and a public meeting, unless the city chooses to adopt an ordinance to implement this statute.

Disclaimer: BBK Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts, facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information herein.

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