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Surplus Land   

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(a) The Legislature reaffirms its declaration that housing is of vital statewide importance to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of this state and that provision of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every Californian is a priority of the highest order. The Legislature further declares that there is a shortage of sites available for housing for persons and families of low and moderate income and that surplus government land, prior to disposition, should be made available for that purpose.

(b) The Legislature reaffirms its belief that there is an identifiable deficiency in the amount of land available for recreational purposes and that surplus land, prior to disposition, should be made available for park and recreation purposes or for open-space purposes. This article shall not apply to surplus residential property as defined in Section 54236.

(c) The Legislature reaffirms its declaration of the importance of appropriate planning and development near transit stations, to encourage the clustering of housing and commercial development around such stations. Studies of transit ridership in California indicate that a higher percentage of persons who live or work within walking distance of major transit stations utilize the transit system more than those living elsewhere, and that lower income households are more likely to use transit when living near a major transit station than higher income households. The sale or lease of surplus land at less than fair market value to facilitate the creation of affordable housing near transit is consistent with goals and objectives to achieve optimal transportation use. The Legislature also notes that the Federal Transit Administration gives priority for funding of rail transit proposals to areas that are implementing higher-density, mixed-use, and affordable development near major transit stations.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 677, Sec. 1.)