Developments in Real Property Law
New Laws from the 2023 Legislative Cycle

Net-Zero Claims and Streamlined Approval Process

This year, the legislature brought more scrutiny to the Net-Zero Claims of California Companies and extended and expanded the streamlined approval process for urban housing.

Streamlined Approval Process for “Infill” Multifamily Projects Extended and Expanded

SB 423 extends SB 35 through 2036, which allowed certain urban “infill” multifamily projects to go through a streamlined approval process, and was due to expire in January 2026. Second, it extends the SB 35 streamlined approval process to cities in the coastal zone, which were previously exempt. That means that, in areas where the new, streamlined process applies—in some coastal cities, but not in the areas closest to the water, which are still subject to Coastal Commission appeals—it should be easier to get new housing built.

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More Scrutiny on California Companies’ Net-Zero Claims

AB 1305 aims to bring greater transparency to the voluntary carbon offset market. AB 1305 applies both to entities that sell offsets and companies or entities that buy or use offsets or make claims about achieving net zero, being carbon neutral, or other, similar claims. Sellers of offsets are required to show their math when it comes to how emissions reductions are calculated. Buyers of offsets must disclose details about any offsets they used to get to net zero, how the emissions reductions created by the offsets were calculated, and how they made their ‘net zero’ calculation. Companies making claims about net zero goals, significant emissions reductions, or carbon neutrality must also disclose how they determine the accuracy of such claims.

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