Extensions Granted for Housing Entitlements Set to Expire During 2020-2021
AB 1561, which was effective as of September 28, 2020, granted an 18-month extension to many housing entitlements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legislature passed this bill to alleviate the statewide cost that would result from government officials addressing entitlement extensions on a case-by-case basis. The Legislature also sought to aid the housing development industry, which encountered sudden and significant lapses in planning, finance, and construction, due to the pandemic-induced economic recession.
AB 1561 extended entitlements that were effective prior to March 4, 2020, and that were set to expire before December 31, 2021. The following items were included within the scope of this bill:
Legislative, adjudicative, administrative, and any other entitlements issued by a state agency.
Local agency entitlements subject to the Permit Streamlining Act.
Ministerial entitlements required as a prerequisite to the issuance of a building permit.
Requirements to submit an application for a building permit within a specified period of time after the effective date of a housing entitlement.
Vested rights associated with entitlements.
Notably, AB 1561 did not apply to development agreements, certain tentative maps, preliminary applications, and development applications approved pursuant to the SB 35 streamlined ministerial review process. Further, entitlements that were extended by 18 months or more on or after March 4, 2020, but before this bill’s effective date, were not eligible for the AB 1561 extension.