New state law ends appeals for new Navigation Centers
Published by Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle on August 6, 2019
Challenging the construction of new Navigation Centers in California got significantly harder last week, after lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom quietly passed legislation intended to speed up creation of the service-rich homeless shelters statewide.
The new law eliminates the public’s ability to appeal approval of new shelters if they meet the baseline building and zoning requirements. Laws like the California Environmental Quality Act can be exploited by anyone seeking to slow down or block homeless shelters and other types of development. Critics say that forcing environmental reviews on Navigation Centers that meet all other requirements is antithetical to solving the homeless crisis.
“The last thing we wanted was to make this huge investment to try to move the needle on homelessness, and the money can’t be deployed because we’re having a thermonuclear war over every single siting decision,” he said. “I want to make sure the city of San Francisco has all the tools it needs to solve his problem, and this is one of those tools.”