California is in the midst of an enduring housing affordability crisis that is rooted in a lack of housing supply and perpetuated by the high costs of development. This brief focuses on one obstacle in the development process that can contribute to these steep costs and hamper overall housing production: the lack of transparency around development fees and requirements at the local level. This lack of transparency led to the passage of Assembly Bill 1483 in 2019. AB 1483 (Grayson) put in place several fee transparency measures, such as requiring that local policies around fees, housing affordability requirements and zoning be clearly posted online.
In surveying local progress toward meeting the requirements of AB 1483, SPUR noted a widespread lack of compliance with the provisions of the bill. For instance, less than half of the jurisdictions examined appeared to post all of the fees applicable to new housing development on their websites. Based on this analysis, SPUR proposes a set of recommendations to improve the transparency of residential development fees and requirements across the state.