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Three Bills by Santa Monica Lawmaker Pass Key Committees


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June 29, 2018 -- Three bills by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom -- tackling fishing, toxic chemicals and affordable housing on the coast -- passed out of key committees this week, his office announced.

AB 2797 -- which passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday -- assures projects are not found to be inconsistent with the California Coastal Act merely because they receive a density increase under state law.

The bill addresses a recent court decision that undermined the application of density bonus law in the coastal zone, Bloom said.

The decision upheld the City of Los Angeles' denial of a project that contained two low-income units on the basis that the increased density made it visually incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

The appellate court upheld the denial, finding that the Coastal Act supersedes Density Bonus Law, Bloom's office said.

“If not corrected, the decision will likely prevent Density Bonus Law from being used in the coastal zone, resulting in fewer affordable housing units,” Bloom said.

Under the Coastal Act, developers must include affordable housing units in new housing projects when feasible and replace them when they are demolished.

"One tool to ensure that the units feasibly can be built is density bonus law, which could be at risk in the coastal zone," Bloom said.

AB 2998 -- a measure to protect children and firefighters from toxic flame retardant chemicals -- passed out of a second Senate Policy Committee.

The bill prohibits the sale of household products -- including fabrics, furniture, and children’s products -- that use the chemicals, which have been linked to lower birth weight, reduced IQ and impaired neurological development in children, Bloom's office said.

“We have come a long way since the creation of California’s original flammability standard over forty years ago," Bloom said in a statement.

"We know now that flame retardants are both unnecessary and toxic," the former Santa Monica mayor said. "It’s time to phase them out for good.”

AB 1573 -- which passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee on a 9-0 vote -- would "facilitate innovation and sustainability in commercial fishing" by authorizing the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish a state-exempted fishing permit program.

The law would "allow anglers and collaborative research partners to obtain limited exemptions from state fishing laws and regulations in order to pursue fishery-related research and experimentation," Bloom's office said.

The bill is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and supported by the Environmental Defense Fund.


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