Sacramento, January 25, 2012. Today Governor Brown released a package of CEQA reforms designed to simplify and expedite the approval process for key job-creating projects in California. The package of CEQA reforms provide the regulatory changes necessary to implement SB 226 (Simitian), which the Governor signed October.
Upon finalization, these reforms will simplify the approval process for infill projects by eliminating repetitive studies of environmental effects already addressed in other planning documents, such as general plans and zoning codes. This will help reduce the time and cost often associated with infill projects, while also allowing cities to focus on new or unique projects that help create jobs, revitalize cities and promote transit. SB 226 also removes hurdles to harnessing solar energy and growing green-collar jobs by exempting solar projects located on existing rooftops and parking lots.
Earlier this month, Governor Brown issued proposed implementation guidelines for AB 900 (Buchanan), signed last September. AB 900 sends CEQA litigation for certain large projects directly to the Court of Appeal and requires a decision on the merits in a short time frame. The law also offers immediate help to projects that provide California with the most economic and environmental benefit.
The SB 226 guidelines, released today, can be found at http://www.opr.ca.gov/s_sb226.php. The AB 900 guidelines, released last month, can be found at http://opr.ca.gov/s_californiajobs.php.
Written By: Tina Thomas and Ashle Crocker
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