Senate Bill 35 (SB35) - Streamlined Ministerial Approval 

California Senate Bill 35 (SB 35) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 29, 2017 and took effect on January 1, 2018. SB 35 amends Government Code Section 65913.4 to create a streamlined ministerial approval process for urban infill projects that are multifamily or mixed-use where at least two-thirds of the square footage is for residential use subject to certain affordability requirements and are consistent with objective general plan, zoning, subdivision, and design review standards. 

SB 35 applies in cities that are not meeting their Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) goal for construction of above-moderate income housing and/or housing for households below 80% area median income (AMI). Gilroy is on track to meet its above moderate and low-income RHNA but not its moderate or very-low income RHNA, so at least 50% of the units must be affordable to households that make at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). All projects over 10 units that are not a public works project must pay prevailing wages and larger projects must provide skilled and trained labor.

Approval Process

The process starts with a submittal of a Preliminary Residential Application which serves as a notice of intent and initiates a required scoping consultation pursuant to AB 168 with California Native American tribes affiliated with the geographic area. If there is no response to the notice of intent or there is an agreement reached in a scoping consultation and the project is deemed complete and eligible for SB 35 review, the project is eligible to submit a formal application for approval. Submittal of a Formal Architectural and Site Review Permit Application  and an SB 35 Supplemental Application starts the SB 35 application approval process. 

Upon receipt of a formal application, the City has 60 or 90 days (60 days for projects < 150 housing units; or 90 days for > 150 housing units) to determine if the project is consistent with objective standards. 

  • If deemed consistent - The City has 90 or 180 days (90 days for projects < 150 housing units; or 180 days for > 150 housing units) to approve the project. 
  • If deemed inconsistent - The City will provide the applicant with a written list and explanation of how the project does not comply with the required standards.