AB 890 COULD REDUCE DEVELOPMENT

And in a related measure, we oppose AB 890 (Medina; D-Riverside) a measure that would force local governments to hold costly special elections for all local land use-related initiatives and prohibit local elected officials from adopting planning, zoning and other land use or development

proposals legislatively if they have qualified for the ballot. This prohibition will cost local governments millions of dollars.

AB 890 ignores other important environmental requirements for projects. A housing or commercial development project, for example, passed by initiative, would still be required to undergo extensive environmental permitting and to comply with the full suite of local, state and federal environmental laws including the Clean Air Acts, the Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Acts, Hazardous Waste laws, etc.

Government by initiative can be messy, and the system itself can always be improved. But AB 890 proposes a radical path: removing voters utterly from their historic role in proposing laws as a backstop to the local legislative process. Nothing could be further from California’s political culture.

The bill has not yet been assigned to committee in the Senate, but we will keep you posted on its progress.

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