California’s legislature has passed several laws that intervene in local land-use regulation in order to increase desperately needed housing production—particularly affordable housing production. Some of these new laws expand local reporting requirements concerning zoning and planning laws, and the application of those laws apply to proposed housing development. This emphasis on measurement requires the state to develop a housing data strategy to support both enforcement of existing law and effective policymaking in the future. Our Comprehensive Assessment of Land Use Entitlements Study (CALES) predates, but aligns with and supports, this state-led effort to improve local reporting. For the cities that it covers, CALES provides verified and cleaned data indicating how cities apply local and state law. In this symposium contribution, we use the CALES data to illustrate the importance of collecting a range of precise objective data on how cities apply law, and then offer a simple but sufficiently comprehensive measurement of regulation that can help identify when a local land use regime may be operating to exclude affordable housing.
Eric Biber & Moira O’Neill, Measuring Local Policy to Advance Fair Housing and Climate Goals through a Comprehensive Assessment of Land Use Entitlements Study, 50 Pepperdine Law Review 505–556 (2023).