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Warning! This is a not the current version of this legislative bill.
Italicized text includes proposed additions to law or the previous version of the bill.
Struck text includes proposed deletions to law or the previous version of the bill.

(pdf version)
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 10, 2011
AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 12, 2011
AMENDED IN SENATE MARCH 30, 2011

INTRODUCED BY Senator Vargas

FEBRUARY 17, 2011

An act to amend Section 65950 of, and to add Section
65957.3 to , the Government Code, relating to land use.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 469, as amended, Vargas. Land use: development project review:
superstores.
(1) The Permit Streamlining Act requires the lead agency that has
the principal responsibility for approving a development project, as
defined, to approve or disapprove the project within 6
months
from the date of certification of an
environmental impact report or within 3 months
60 days
from the date of adoption of a negative declaration or the
determination by the lead agency that the project is exempt from the
California Environmental Quality Act, unless the project proponent
requests an extension of time.
This bill would , in addition , require a
city, county, or city and county, including a charter city, prior to
approving or disapproving a proposed development project that would
permit the construction of a superstore retailer, as defined, to
cause an economic impact report to be prepared, as specified, to be
paid for by the project applicant, and that includes specified
assessments and projections including, among other things, an
assessment of the effect that the construction and operation of the
proposed superstore retailer will have on retail operations and
employment in the same market area. The bill would also require the
governing body to provide an opportunity for public comment on the
economic impact report. By increasing the duties of local public
officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The bill would also require the lead agency to approve or
disapprove the project within 180 days from the date of certification
of an environmental impact report and approval of an economic impact
report, or within 60 days from the date of adoption of a negative
declaration and approval of an economic impact report or the
determination by the lead agency that the project is exempt from the
California Environmental Quality Act and approval of an economic
impact report.

(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. It is the intent of the Legislature to promote economic
development in all communities of the state and to address the
impact on the state's small businesses from the superstore retail
model. Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
(a) It is in the interest of local governments to promote economic
development in their jurisdictions.
(b) Land use decisions are frequently linked to fiscal policy
because local governments receive a share of sales tax revenues
generated within their borders. California cities thus often seek
large sales tax revenue sources, such as superstores, without taking
into account all of the external economic effects that superstores
bring to communities.
(c) Transformations in the big box retail industry have altered
retail business nationwide. The engine of this change is the retail
format known as the superstore--a big box retail store that also
contains the equivalent of a full-size grocery store, with the total
floor space often three to four times as large as that of a
conventional supermarket.
(d) As a result of the restructuring of retail business,
particularly the grocery sector in California, the following effects
may be seen: local grocers, who yield a greater community return on
investment, are driven out of business; less community access to
viable superstore alternatives; lower wages and benefits paid to
grocery workers by superstore retailers; and a host of complex land
use, traffic, and fiscal impacts.
(e) Superstores typically combine a large variety of discount
general merchandise with full service grocery sales to the general
public under one roof, thereby generating more intense land use and
environmental impacts than other large-scale retailers and wholesale
membership clubs.
(f) Industry and academic studies indicate superstores rarely add
any retail services not currently provided within a community, and
the majority of sales growth at a superstore comes from a direct
shift of dollars from existing retailers within a community,
primarily from grocery stores.
(g) Land use decisions regarding superstores fall to city and
county governments, even if the impacts will be regional as well as
local.
(h) Currently, local governments that desire to perform due
diligence for their constituents by performing an economic analysis
are placed at a disadvantage because a neighboring city or county may
not perform an economic analysis. This a situation may result in the
shifting of sales tax and destruction of the business community in a
city or county that simply wants to study the impacts of the
development project before making a final approval.
SEC. 2. Section 65950 of the Government
Code
is amended to read:
65950. (a) Any public agency that is the lead agency for a
development project shall approve or disapprove the project within
whichever of the following periods is applicable:
(1) One hundred eighty days from the date of certification by the
lead agency of the environmental impact report if an environmental
impact report is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the
Public Resources Code , and approval of any economic impact
report required pursuant to Section 65957.3,
for the
development project.
(2) Ninety days from the date of certification by the lead agency
of the environmental impact report if an environmental impact report
is prepared pursuant to Section 21100 or 21151 of the Public
Resources Code for the development project and all of the following
conditions are met:
(A) At least 49 percent of the units in the development project
are affordable to very low or low-income households, as defined by
Sections 50105 and 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code,
respectively. Rents for the lower income units shall be set at an
affordable rent, as that term is defined in Section 50053 of the
Health and Safety Code, for at least 30 years. Owner-occupied units
shall be available at an affordable housing cost, as that term is
defined in Section 50052.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) Prior to the application being deemed complete for the
development project pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section
65940), the lead agency received written notice from the project
applicant that an application has been made or will be made for an
allocation or commitment of financing, tax credits, bond authority,
or other financial assistance from a public agency or federal agency,
and the notice specifies the financial assistance that has been
applied for or will be applied for and the deadline for application
for that assistance, the requirement that one of the approvals of the
development project by the lead agency is a prerequisite to the
application for or approval of the application for financial
assistance, and that the financial assistance is necessary for the
project to be affordable as required pursuant to subparagraph (A).
(C) There is confirmation that the application has been made to
the public agency or federal agency prior to certification of the
environmental impact report.
(3) Sixty days from the date of adoption by the lead agency of the
negative declaration if a negative declaration is completed and
adopted , and approval of any economic impact report required
pursuant to
Section 65957.3, for the development
project.
(4) Sixty days from the determination by the lead agency that the
project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act
(Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources
Code) , and approval of any economic impact report required
pursuant to Section 65957.3,
if the project is exempt from the
California Environmental Quality Act.
(b) This section does not preclude a project applicant and a
public agency from mutually agreeing in writing to an extension of
any time limit provided by this section pursuant to Section 65957.
(c) For purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), "development
project" means a use consisting of either of the following:
(1) Residential units only.
(2) Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and
nonresidential uses in which the nonresidential uses are less than 50
percent of the total square footage of the development and are
limited to neighborhood commercial uses and to the first floor of
buildings that are two or more stories. As used in this paragraph,
"neighborhood commercial" means small-scale general or specialty
stores that furnish goods and services primarily to residents of the
neighborhood.
(d) For purposes of this section, "lead agency" and "negative
declaration" shall have the same meaning as those terms have in
Sections 21067 and 21064 of the Public Resources Code, respectively.
SEC. 2. SEC. 3. Section 65957.3 is
added to the Government Code, to read:
65957.3. (a) As used in this section, "superstore" means a
business establishment that exceeds 90,000 square feet of gross floor
area, sells a wide range of consumer goods, and devotes 10 percent
of the sales floor area to the sale of items that are exempted from
the Sales and Use Tax Law pursuant to Section 6359 of the Revenue and
Taxation Code. "Superstore" shall include retail establishments with
multiple tenants, and the cumulative sum of related or successive
permits that may be part of a larger project, including piecemeal
additions to a building, so long as consumer goods and nontaxable
items are sold under the same roof with shared checkout stands,
entrances, and exits. This definition excludes discount warehouses
and discount retail stores that sell more than half of their items in
large quantities or bulk, and also require shoppers to pay a
membership or assessment fee.
(b) As used in this section, the term "market area" has the same
meaning as that term is defined in Section 53084.
(c) Prior to approving or disapproving a permit for the
construction or conversion of a superstore retailer, a city, county,
or city and county shall cause to be prepared an economic impact
report.
(1) The city, county, or city and county may prepare the economic
impact report or contract with a private entity, other than the
permit applicant, or with another public agency for the preparation
of the report. The private entity or other public agency shall be
qualified by education, training, and experience to conduct economic
and fiscal impact analyses.
(2) The applicant for the development project shall pay the city,
county, or city and county for the costs of preparing the economic
impact report.
(3) The economic impact report shall include, but is not limited
to, all of the following:
(A) An assessment of the extent to which the proposed superstore
retailer will capture a share of retail sales in the market area.
(B) An assessment of how the construction and operation of the
proposed superstore will affect the supply and demand for retail
space in the market area.
(C) An assessment of how the construction and operation of the
proposed superstore will affect employment in the market area,
including all of the following:
(i) The number of persons employed in existing retail stores in
the market area.
(ii) An estimate of the number of people who will likely be
employed by the proposed superstore.
(iii) An analysis of whether the proposed superstore will result
in a net increase or decrease in employment in the market area.
(iv) The effect on wages and benefits of employees of other retail
businesses, and community income levels in the market area.
(D) A projection of the costs of public services and public
facilities resulting from the construction and operation of the
proposed superstore retailer and the incidence of those costs.
(E) A projection of the public revenues resulting from the
construction and operation of the proposed superstore retailer and
the incidence of those revenues.
(F) An assessment of the effect that the construction and
operation of the proposed superstore retailer will have on retail
operations, including grocery or retail shopping centers, in the same
market area, including the potential for blight resulting from
retail business closures and the nature of any businesses displaced.
(G) An assessment of the effect that the construction and
operation of the proposed superstore will have on the ability of the
city, county, or city and county to implement the goals contained in
its general plan, including, but not limited to, local policies and
standards that apply to land use patterns, traffic circulation,
affordable housing, natural resources, including water supplies,
open-space lands, noise problems, and safety risks.
(H) An assessment of the effect that the construction and
operation of the proposed superstore will have on average total
vehicle miles traveled by retail customers in the same market area.
(I) An assessment of the potential for long-term vacancy of the
property on which the superstore is proposed in the event that the
business vacates the premises, including any restrictions that exist
on the subsequent use of the property on which the superstore is
proposed to be located, including the provisions of any lease that,
in the event the owner or operator of the superstore vacates the
premises, would require the premises to remain vacant for a
significant amount of time.
(J) An assessment of whether the superstore would require the
demolition of housing or any other action or change that would result
in a decrease or negative impact on the creation of extremely low,
very low, low-, or moderate-income housing.
(K) An assessment of whether the superstore would result in the
destruction or demolition of park or other green space, playgrounds,
child care facilities, or community centers.
(L) An assessment of whether the superstore would result in any
other adverse or positive economic impacts or blight.
(M) An assessment of whether any measures are available that may
mitigate any materially adverse economic impacts identified by the
applicant.
(d) This section shall not preclude a city, county, or city and
county from conducting additional studies of the effects of the
construction and operation of a proposed superstore retailer.
(e) At any regularly scheduled meeting or meetings of the city,
county, or city and county governing body, after the completion
and approval
of the economic impact report required by
subdivision (b), and 30 days prior to the issuance of any
entitlement, including, but not limited to, a building permit, a
city, county, or city and county shall provide the opportunity for
public comment on the economic impact report and its findings.
(f) (1) The Legislature finds that the construction and operation
of a superstore retailer has land use, environmental, economic,
fiscal, and social equity effects that extend beyond the boundaries
of the city, county, or city and county in which it is located.
(2) The Legislature finds that it is essential for the statewide
public health, safety, and welfare to require cities, counties, and
cities and counties to understand the potential spillover effects of
approving the construction and operation of superstore retailers.
(3) The Legislature further finds and declares that the review and
regulation of superstore retailers is a matter of statewide concern
and not merely a municipal affair, as that term is used in Section 5
of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, this section
shall apply to charter cities and to charter cities and counties.
SEC. 3. SEC. 4. No reimbursement is
required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the
California Constitution because a local agency or school district has
the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments
sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by
this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.