Development Opportunities on City-owned Surplus Land
When the City of Rialto declares a property as “surplus land” pursuant to the State Surplus Land Act, the Rialto City Council will make a declaration of surplus during a public hearing. Following the declaration of surplus, the City must provide a Notice of Availability to eligible entities, including the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), any local public entity within the jurisdiction where the surplus local land is located, and developers who have notified HCD of their interest in developing affordable housing on surplus local land.
Disposition of Public Lands
Following Council direction and City priorities, City-owned land should be prioritized for use as affordable housing; the disposition of such sites should follow a transparent and accountable public process that is inclusive of Santa Rosa’s many diverse communities; and projects should adhere to certain green building standards and local hire requirements.
State Surplus Land Act Notification Requirements
Effective January 1, 2020, Assembly Bill (AB) No.1486 amended the State Surplus Land Act (SLA) by prohibiting local agencies from commencing negotiations over the sale or lease of surplus property prior to sending notices about available, surplus local public land to designated entities (Eligible Entities), including:
Any local public entity within the jurisdiction where the surplus local land is located.
Developers who have notified HCD of their interest in developing affordable housing on surplus local land.
Importantly, AB 1486 now requires a local agency to declare property as “surplus land” before taking any actions to dispose of such property, including issuance of a NOA or request for proposals (RFP). The declaration must be made by the legislative body of the local agency.
Following the declaration of surplus, the City must provide a NOA to the Eligible Entities for specified uses, including affordable housing, parks and recreation, and schools. An Eligible Entity desiring to purchase or lease the surplus land for any of the purposes described above must notify the City in writing of its intent to purchase or lease the land within 60 days after receipt of the City’s notification of intent to dispose of the land.
If the City receives notice of interest from any Eligible Entities, the SLA mandates a 90-day negotiation period with any designated entities that submit timely offers. If no notice of interest is received or negotiations do not result in a disposition, the City may proceed with disposing of the land. The SLA does not require the City to dispose of surplus land at less than fair market value. However, the SLA requires that, at a minimum, any subsequent development of 10 or more residential units on the site must designate at least 15 percent of units as affordable.