Automatic Time Extension: A silver-lining amidst COVID

It is well known that there is a housing shortage, often referred to as “the housing crisis”, in San Diego. According to a 2019 study conducted by the San Diego Housing Federation, “San Diego needs 136,631 additional affordable units to meet the county’s needs…” COVID-19 brought uncertainty to many businesses while most of California has been “shut down” in 2020, developers and affordable housing developers continue to provide residential housing as an essential business. A silver lining was granted to projects entitled in California prior to March 2020. Thanks to California lawmakers, an automatic 18-month time extension for approved Tentative Maps was provided by Assembly Bill (AB) 1561. AB 1561 was signed into law last September automatically extending residential development entitlements for 18-months which allowed development to continue without having to apply for a Time Extension. See the language of the Bill here (PDF File).

Assembly Bill 1561, effective January 1, 2021 positively impacted SDE’s project located in Bonita, California through this automatic time extension. The residential project included installation of a stormwater biofiltration system and will use natural processes to treat runoff before reaching the ocean. This system is a cost effective and environmentally conscious addition to the overall project and was made possible because of the implementation of the automatic time extension provided by Assembly Bill 1561.