In San Jose, Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Fast-Track Key Housing, Economic Development Projects in California
SAN JOSE – Alongside state and local leaders in San Jose today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) that extends expedited California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review for key developments and expands the streamlining process to include small-scale housing projects – boosting the state’s economic recovery with the creation of more housing and good jobs.
“California’s recovery from the pandemic must tackle the housing shortage that threatens our economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Governor Newsom. “Cutting red tape to save time and remove barriers to production helps us meet the urgent need for more housing while creating good jobs and preserving important environmental review. I thank Pro Tem Atkins and the Legislature’s leaders on housing for their partnership in taking on this challenge.”
Governor Newsom signed SB 7 today 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.
“This bill is a win for the environment, the economy, and California as a whole,” said Pro Tem Atkins. “It speeds up the costly and time-consuming review process without compromising California’s strict environmental standards. With our economy in recovery mode from the impacts of COVID, high-wage jobs are needed, and this bill meets that demand. Now, shovel-ready, economic development projects will get started sooner, putting people to work and providing transformative change to communities across the state that are in need of jobs and housing. I’m appreciative to Governor Newsom and my Senate and Assembly colleagues for seeing the value of this legislation, and to Speaker Rendon for expediting this legislation – this bill is going to make a real difference for our state and the people who call it home.
“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,” said 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.