California YIMBY Statement on Governor Signing of AB 1633
An End to a Common Abuse of Environmental Law
“Our Legislature and Governor continue to lead on pro-housing, pro-environment reform”
SACRAMENTO – Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 1633, a bill authored by Asm Phil Ting (San Francisco) designed to end certain abuses of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and streamline the approval of infill housing in urban areas. Co-sponsored by California YIMBY, AB 1633 will help ensure that environmentally beneficial and legally compliant homes are permitted and built.
“There is consensus among climate and housing experts that we need much more housing in our urban areas – to reduce climate pollution, but also, to make our cities more affordable, accessible, and sustainable,” said Brian Hanlon, CEO of California YIMBY. “AB 1633 will end the common practice in some cities of indefinitely delaying CEQA certification for new homes that are clearly in compliance with all relevant environmental regulations.”
“California YIMBY is grateful to Governor Newsom for signing AB 1633 into law, and to the Legislature for passing this vital reform.”
While AB 1633 will apply statewide, the legislation was a response in part to the gross abuse of CEQA by San Francisco, which had established a pattern of violating the Housing Accountability Act by denying CEQA clearance for new homes in environmentally beneficial infill areas.
Over the objections of the state Department of Housing and Community Development, which helps enforce state housing law, San Francisco city officials ordered additional environmental review on new housing projects, but did not provide objective findings or clear direction on how the projects could be brought into compliance.
In so doing, the Supervisors alerted housing regulators of a possible gap in state housing law related to CEQA clearance. AB 1633 is designed to ensure that any future denials or withholding of a CEQA clearance to housing developments that are legally entitled to such clearance is a violation of the Housing Accountability Act.
To learn more about AB 1633, visit https://cayimby.org/ab-1633/