Attorney General Bonta: Court Orders La Cañada Flintridge to Follow State Housing Law and Process Affordable Housing Project Application

Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement after a court decided that La Cañada Flintridge is required to process the approval of a mixed-use affordable housing project under the Housing Accountability Act’s so-called “builder’s remedy” because the city did not have a compliant housing element in place when the project was proposed. The court determined that the Housing Element Law does not allow cities to certify their own housing element as compliant with the law. The City’s “self-certification” therefore did not allow it to disapprove the development application. Further, the court clarified that cities must promptly provide housing project applicants with an “exhaustive list” of any information that is missing from their applications and addressed how the Housing Accountability Act intersects with a local agency’s environmental review obligations under California Environmental Quality Act.

“We are pleased that the court agrees with us that La Cañada Flintridge must follow state housing laws to facilitate affordable housing and alleviate our housing crisis,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The California Department of Justice is committed to enforcing state laws that increase housing supply and affordability.”

In December 2023, Attorney General Bonta and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) filed a request to intervene and a proposed writ of mandate in Cal. Housing Defense Fund v. City of La Cañada Flintridge. In the filings, Attorney General Bonta and HCD request that the court allow them to intervene in the case to uphold California’s housing laws and reverse the City of La Cañada Flintridge’s denial of a mixed-use affordable housing project that would bring 80 mixed-income residential dwelling units, 14 hotel units, and 7,791 square feet of office space to the community.

A copy of the decision is available here.

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