By-Right Housing

In response to a statewide housing shortage, the State has enacted several new laws that enable eligible housing projects to be constructed by-right throughout the State of California.

Projects under review in Santa Rosa:

None (as of June 2021)

What is the Senate Bill 35 Review Process?

Step 1: CONFIRM THE PROJECT IS ELIGIBLE

Projects must meet all the criteria on the SB 35 Eligibility Checklist to qualify for streamlined and ministerial review.

 

Step 2: DEVELOPMENT REVIEW PRE-APPLICATION MEETING. 

Once you have confirmed the project is eligible for SB 35 streamlining, submit an application for a Development Review Pre-Application Meeting. The purpose of this Meeting is to offer applicants an interdepartmental staff review of preliminary or conceptual design applications. These meetings are intended to troubleshoot project issues for potentially complex development proposals. 

 

Step 3: SUBMIT NOTICE OF INTENT (PRELIMINARY APPLICATION). 

Before submitting an application for SB 35 approval, an applicant must submit a Notice of Intent in the form of a Preliminary Application to the City. 

 

Step 4: TIMELINES FOR TRIBAL SCOPING CONSULTATION

Upon receipt of the Notice of Intent, the City will engage with local Native American Tribes (Tribes) and provide an opportunity for consultation. 

  1. Notice. Within 30 days, the City will provide formal notice to the Tribes
  2. Acceptance. The Tribes have 30 days to accept the request for consultation.
  3. Consultation. The City initiates consultation within 30 days of acceptance by the Tribes.    

Step 5SUBMIT A COMPLETE SB 35 APPLICATION PACKET 

Once the Tribal Scoping Consultation has concluded, you may submit the SB 35 Application Packet with each of the required forms, information, and plans required for City staff to review your project. Each of the listed items is required for a complete application.

 

Step 6: TIMELINES FOR STREAMLINED & MINISTERIAL REVIEW 

1. Eligibility Review. The City will issue a determination of eligibility in accordance with the following timelines:

a. Within 60 calendar days of submittal of the application if the development contains 150 or fewer housing units.

b. Within 90 calendar days of submittal of the application if the development contains more than 150 housing units.

2. Action on the Application. City staff must determine if the SB 35 application complies with each of the City’s Objective Standards in accordance with the following timelines:  

a. Within 90 calendar days of submittal of the application if the development contains 150 or fewer housing units.

b. Within 180 calendar days of submittal of the application if the development contains more than 150 housing units.

 

Step 7: SUBMIT FOR BUILDING AND/OR ENGINEERING APPROVALS  

Following a project approval, permits including Building Permits and Encroachment Permits are applied for and reviewed. A building permit must be issued prior to the three-year approval expiration date. A project may receive a one-time, one-year extension if significant progress is demonstrated.  

Approved by-right housing projects:

What does this mean for development in Santa Rosa?

Qualifying residential projects will be reviewed through a streamlined process. This process has specified time frames and allows for a staff-level approval.

What standards do projects need to meet?

The City has numerous development standards, including Objective Design Standards, that apply to all residential developments processed through these streamlined processes. The Objective Design Standards, adopted by the Council in 2019, were developed to ensure superior architecture design, sensitive site planning, and neighborhood compatibility, within the confines of a ministerial review process.

What are the mandatory timelines for project review?

State law defines timelines for these streamlined ministerial review processes. 

  • Senate Bill 35 (as amended by SB 765) - Project review must be completed within 90 days for 150 or fewer units and 180 days for projects with more than 150 units, measured from the date the application is submitted.  
  • Assembly Bill 2162 - Project review must be completed within 60 days for 50 or fewer units and 120 days for projects with more than 50 units, from the date the application is submitted.   

What noticing will be done?

This webpage will serve as the primary source for project information and will be updated regularly.

Will there be public meetings?

Generally speaking, the City will not conduct any public meetings or hearings about these projects.

Is environmental review required?

These residential projects are exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Resources

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  1. Amy Nicholson

    Senior Planner
    Phone: 707-543-3258