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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Senate Bill 649 pass out of the Senate in last minute “deal”

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

SB 649 passed out of the Senate after a last minute “deal” was announced to make further amendments on the leasing fees in the bill.  Those amendments have yet to happen but are expected soon. The bill is now preparing to go to both Assembly Local Government Committee and then Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee if it passes Local Government.

Even with the amendments made by the industry in the Senate, APA California still has major concerns, as noted below:

  1. Full discretionary review is eliminated. Discretionary approval of small cell permits are ONLY allowed in the coastal zone and in historic districts. All other areas must process these permits through either a building or encroachment permit

  2. Very limited ability to apply design standards for property in the right of way, however the language is conflicting and difficult to interpret

  3. Mandatory leasing of public property in and outside of the public right of way at prescribed fees

  4. Fees for leasing of public property set at a range of $100-$850 per year, with an agreement to add language on how those fees could be calculated plus an additional $250 for the time to set up the fee structure –  after applying the calculated proposed to be used, those fees would likely barely cover maintenance costs.

APA California also believes SB 649 will set a dangerous precedent for other private industries to seek similar treatment. APA California, along with other local government associations and many cities/counties continue to remain very opposed.

Please send opposition letters/make calls to your local Assembly Members. Letters for the Local Government Committee are due by this Thursday, June 22nd to Assembly Local Government Committee staff: Please also send your letters to:

Author’s staff: APA California:


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