June 15, 2021

West Coast Webinar Series: A Look at California's Density Bonus Law, Other Legislative Updates

Holland & Knight West Coast Real Estate and Land Use Blog
Chelsea Maclean | Ryan Michael Leaderman | Genna Yarkin | Andrew J. Starrels
Breaking Ground: West Coast Real Estate and Land Use Blog

In a mid-day webinar presented on June 9, 2021, three Holland & Knight attorneys offered an overview and practical tips for the use of two major housing laws in California: the State Density Bonus Law (SDBL) to facilitate expanded housing development, and Senate Bill 35 to further streamline the approval process and combine with the SDBL to promote the production of housing in much needed areas.

Genna Yarkin, a member of the firm's West Coast Land Use and Environmental practice group, outlined four categories of the SDBL program's separate and independent benefits to qualifying residential or mixed-use projects that encourage the creation of affordable housing opportunities. The four categories include the "bonus" itself in the form of additional permit units, concessions and incentives that reduce the expense of housing development, waivers from otherwise applicable development standards, and reduction of parking requirements.

Chelsea Maclean and Ryan Leaderman, members of the West Coast Land Use and Environmental practice group, explained the distinctions and separate requirements for concessions and incentives as opposed to waivers. They also offered helpful and practical tips for navigating the regulatory requirements of this important housing program, which was first enacted in 1979 and has become the subject of recent legislative amendments that emphasize the value of the program to new housing development.

The panelists also described the recently enacted Senate Bill 35 legislation, which on its own or in tandem with the SDBL, affords to qualifying housing developments an expedited, "by-right" approval pathway for the production of affordable housing in both 100 percent affordable and mixed-income projects. The panelists also briefly described several recent judicial decisions upholding the rights and incentives that these legislative programs provide.

If you were unable to attend the webinar, please feel free to view and share the online recording (Access Passcode: #SDBL_SB35).

Upcoming Programs in the Series

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

Holland & Knight is an approved CLE provider in several jurisdictions, including California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. All reasonable efforts to seek CLE credits for this program will be made. In certain instances, some programs may not be awarded CLE credits because of either content or jurisdictional restrictions. For New York attorneys, this program's format qualifies for CLE for transitional (newly admitted) and experienced attorneys.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed may change on a daily basis. Please contact your responsible Holland & Knight lawyer for timely advice.

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