AB 2011, the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022, and SB 6, the Middle Class Housing Act of 2022, are intended to permit residential development on sites currently zoned and designated for commercial or retail uses. Both bills were signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 29, 2022, and will go into effect on July 1, 2023.

AB 2011 creates a CEQA-exempt, ministerial approval process for multifamily housing developments on sites within a zone where office, retail or parking is the principally permitted use. The law provides for slightly different qualifying criteria for (1) 100-percent affordable projects, and (2) mixed-income projects located in “commercial corridors.” AB 2011 projects must pay prevailing wages to construction workers, among other labor standards.

SB 6, on the other hand, does not create any new approval process. A project proposed under SB 6 may be either a 100-percent residential project or a mixed-use project where at least 50 percent of the square footage is dedicated to residential uses. SB 6 projects are not exempt from CEQA but need not provide any affordable housing. SB 6 projects are required to pay prevailing wages and utilized a “skilled and trained workforce.”

Goldfarb & Lipman has prepared a document for ABAG that summarizes the key details of each bill. Click here to read the summary.