Gov. Newsom signs legislation to fast-track housing, development projects

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation to extend expedited California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review for key developments and expand the streamlining process to include small-scale housing projects.

Governor Newsom signed SB 7 at the proposed site of Google’s Downtown West project, a mixed-use development in San Jose that the Governor certified for expedited CEQA review in 2019. The project will create 4,000 units of housing, with 25 percent affordable, as well as retail and office space.

SB 7, the Housing + Jobs Expansion & Extension Act, extends through 2025 the provisions of legislation enacted in 2011 (AB 900) that created an expedited judicial review process under CEQA for large, multi-benefit housing, clean energy and manufacturing projects. To allow smaller housing projects to qualify for streamlining, SB 7 lowers the threshold for eligible housing projects to those with investments between $15 million and $100 million that include at least 15 percent affordable housing and are infill projects. In his 2019 State of the State Address, the governor called for expedited CEQA review to include housing, as under the legislation signed today.

“SB 7 will enable San Jose’s transformative Downtown West project to move forward –bringing thousands of units of affordable housing and tens of thousands of jobs to our city – during a time our community needs it the most,” stated San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I am grateful for Governor Newsom’s leadership as we work towards California’s recovery, and to the rest of the legislature for their support of this important legislation.”

AB 900 has resulted in the approval of nearly 20 major new clean energy and infill housing projects, creating over 10,000 new housing units and thousands of high-wage construction and permanent jobs.


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