California Legislature Extends Life of Subdivsion Maps

The California Legislature has passed a bill providing an automatic 24-month extension for subdivision maps approved after January 1, 2000. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill on July 11, 2013. The bill is an “urgency” measure and therefore takes effect immediately.

AB 116, introduced by Assemblyman Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), extends by 24 months the expiration date of any tentative map, vesting map, or parcel map approved on or before January 1, 2000 and which has not yet expired. The bill further extends by 24 months all state approvals relating to such subdivision maps.

For maps approved before January 1, 2000, AB 116 allows a subdivider to file an application for an extension at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the subdivision map. AB 116 requires a local agency to grant the extension application, but only after determining that the map is consistent with the applicable zoning and general plan requirements. If the local agency denies the extension application based on inconsistency with the applicable zoning and general plan requirements, the subdivider may appeal to the local agency within 15 days in accordance with local appeals processes.

The bill also contains a number of conditions regarding conditions and fees. First, for maps extended under the bill, the time period during with a local agency may impose conditions on a building permit after a final map is recorded is reduced from five years to three years. Second, local agencies are not prohibited from levying a fee upon the issuance of a building permit in connection with a maps extended under the bill. Third, subdividers are not entitled to reimbursement because, according to the bill, a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments to pay from the services mandated by bill’s provisions.

AB 116 is not the first bill to extend subdivision maps. The Legislature has extended subdivision maps on five occasions between 1993 and 2011, during periods of economic recession. The most recent extension, AB 208, extended by 24 months all subdivision maps that were valid on or before July 14, 2011 and which had not yet expired. Similar to the Legislature’s earlier actions during periods of economic recession, AB 116 allows subdividers to preserve their subdivision maps without beginning the entitlement process anew.

We will continue to provide regular updates regarding land use and environmental legislation as it arises in this legislative session.

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