2020 - Senate Bill 182 (Jackson, Hannah-Beth), Local Government Planning and Zoning for Wildfires (Vetoed)
Would have, among other provisions, increased local planning requirements and guidelines for permitting development in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones, and directed local governments to develop retrofit strategies for structures in their communities that need fire hardening. The bill would have also established a grant program for small jurisdictions, as defined, that contain very high fire risk areas. Administered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, this grant program would have funded wildfire risk reduction planning activities. This bill would have required CARB to compile the greenhouse gas quantification data for the grant program if the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund was identified as the funding source for the program.
Governor’s Veto Message
To the Members of the California State Senate:
I am returning Senate Bill 182 without my signature.
This bill would impose certain fire hazard planning responsibilities on local governments and would require cities and counties to make specified findings on fire standards prior to permitting development in the very high fire hazard severity zone.
I strongly support strengthening land use planning requirements in order to better protect our communities from wildfire. The importance of reducing the number and impact of fires in our communities cannot be overstated. However, this bill creates inconsistencies, duplicates existing requirements, creates a loophole for regions to not comply with their housing requirements, fails to account for consequences that could increase sprawl and places significant cost burdens on the state.
New state laws and policies are already directing housing to communities near transit, jobs and urban centers and away from fire risk areas, including integration into the current housing planning cycle. Additionally, the 2019-20 Budget requires the California Department of Housing and Community Development, in collaboration with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, to develop recommendations to improve the regional housing need allocation process to promote and streamline housing development to address California's housing shortage.
Wildfire resilience must become a more consistent part of land use and development decisions. However, it must be done while meeting our housing needs.
For these reasons, I am returning Senate Bill 182 without my signature.