Bill Update

Assembly Natural Resources Committee

Assembly Natural Resources Committee, the primary CEQA Committee in the Assembly, held a long hearing yesterday afternoon where they voted on several bills we had been tracking.  Here's an update:

AB 2341 (Mathis) - CEQA exemption: aesthetic impacts
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the committee decided to offer substantial amendments to this bill in order to let it out of committee, as opposed to simply voting it down.  After taking those amendments, the bill passed 7-1.  Supporters included Realtors, CBIA, CBPA, and APA once the amends were agreed to.  Sierra Club expressed that they'll be taking a fresh look at the amendments and may take a neutral position.  The amendments will do the following and add Sen. Wiener as a co-author (attached is the exact language):
  1. a) Exclude new structures that substantially exceed the height of the existing structure.
  2. b) Exclude projects that create a new source of substantial light or glare.
  3. c) Technical amendments to avoid establishing a duplicative definition of "project" for purposes of this bill.
AB 2856 (Melendez) - Courts cannot enjoin housing projects in CEQA suits
This bill failed on a party line vote.

AB 2057 (Salas) - slight expansion of the definition of "pipeline" to include biogas in specific counties.
This bill passed from committee, since biogas is a priority for a lot of members.

AB 3027 (Chavez) - Limiting standing for CEQA lawsuits
This bill was pulled by the Author to provide more time for him to negotiate amendments to the bill with the Committee.