Examining Entitlement in California to Inform Policy and Process: Advancing Social Equity in Housing Development Patterns
136 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2021 Last revised: 11 Apr 2022
Date Written: September 18, 2021
This is a copy of the accepted final research report for the California Air Resources Board that details findings and analysis from an ongoing study, the Comprehensive Assessment of Land Use Entitlements Study (CALES). CALES examines how jurisdictions approve dense housing development and details entitlement processes (often the first step to development). CALES analyzes how enforceable climate policies operate in relationship to the approval of new housing in urban cities and exurban areas, and whether new housing development in both contexts faces opposition through lawsuits. All data points to local authority over land and local regulation as the most significant barrier to increasing infill dense housing and affordable housing. Local governments could eliminate obstacles associated with state level environmental regulation (and related litigation) by reforming their own local law. Though community opposition to housing through litigation varies across cities, less than 3% of all approvals in our data faced opposition through litigation—with no noticeable difference between litigation rates for housing in infill or exurban contexts. Both dense infill and exurban subdivision development used similar expedited environmental review pathways intended to promote infill development. This includes exurban development sited in high fire hazard areas.
Keywords: land use, zoning, housing, environmental regulation
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