Down in the trenches of California’s seemingly perpetual clashes over housing, warring factions are employing two decades-old state laws as weapons.
One is the famous — or infamous — California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), signed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1970, that requires authorities to determine whether proposed developments have environmental impacts that must be mitigated.
The other, much less known, is the California Housing Accountability Act (HAA), signed by Reagan’s successor, Jerry Brown, in 1982 to prevent local governments from rejecting housing projects without good reason.
... The dustup over 469 Stevenson had another impact. Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat, introduced legislation that, if enacted, would make it more difficult for opponents of projects to use CEQA and easier for proponents to invoke HAA.