Entitlement Extensions and Deadlines to Act on Projects
In the wake of the COVID crisis and economic downturn, issues relating to the duration of land use entitlements and mandatory deadlines for local governments to act on permit applications are increasingly arising. With respect to the extension of the life of housing project approvals, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’ s proposal of a “universal extension of development and construction deadlines” stands out as an exemplary proactive approach that would apply a blanket extension to development and construction permits timelines along with extension of all of fee waivers and reductions that were in place before COVID 19. BIA Bay Area strongly supports this local effort and is also working with CBIA at the state level to create a statewide universal extension to avoid the time, expense, and uncertainty of each California local government deciding for itself whether to extend permits and if so under what conditions.
Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, some Bay Area jurisdictions have seized on the COVID crisis to move in the other direction by creating new hurdles to housing projects. For example, Los Gatos and a few others such as San Pablo and Antioch have enacted urgency ordinances that purport to suspend provisions in state laws such as the Housing Accountability Act and Permit Streamlining Act that require cities to process and make decisions on housing projects within clearly defined time limits and provide for remedies such as the project being deemed approved if the timelines are not met. BIA Bay Area believes these ordinances to be unlawful and has notified the state Department of Housing and Community Development and allied stakeholder organizations. To read Liccardo’ s memo click HERE. To read the BIA letter click HERE. To read the Los Gatos ordinance click HERE.