Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers
Avvo Client's Choice
Avvo 10
Lawyers of Distinction
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Expertise Badge

Surplus Land Act

You’ve run the numbers, and it pencils, but the process is complicated. The purchase of surplus land is much more involved then other development sites. You know that some of the best land is in developed urban areas, and no one is making any more of it. You see that publicly-owned urban land presents a great opportunity, but need advice on how to navigate a process that is more complicated than usual. When the opportunity is there, and you know you need to get it right, Underwood Law Firm, P.C. is there to guide you through it.

In 2019, California passed into law AB 1486 (Ting 2019) to connect developers interested in building affordable housing with surplus local public land that is both available and proper for housing development. Under AB 1486, local agencies (cities, counties, and special districts) must send notices about available surplus land to (a) California’s Housing and Community Development Department, (b) any local public entity within the jurisdiction where the surplus local land is located, and (c) developers who have notified HCD of their interest in developing affordable housing on surplus local land.

In April 2021, the State of California issued the Final Surplus Land Act Guidelines that provide updated definitions of “Surplus Land.”

Generally, “surplus land” means land owned in fee simple for which a local agency’s governing body takes formal action at a regular public meeting declaring land to be surplus and not necessary for a local agency’s use.

Under Government Code section 54230, each city and county must make a central inventory of all surplus land before December 31 of each year, and all land in excess of its foreseeable needs in urbanized areas as identified under Government Code section 50569.

Since the late 1960s, California has required that all local governments plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community, which is generally accomplished by adopting “housing plans” as part of a local government’s general plan.

In 2019, California’s Governor signed Executive Order N-06-19 to make excess state land available for development of affordable housing, AB 1486 strengthened enforcement of the Surplus Land Act, and AB 1255 required cities and counties to inventory and report on excess public lands in a statewide inventory. As a result, developers and builders can access the expanded Surplus Land Inventory here.

As the population of California continues to grow, and the number of necessary housing units grows correspondingly, the value of land can only grow with it. Often, surplus land is located near the center of cities and other developed areas, which only further increases its value. Those developers able to successfully access Surplus Land will have a benefit in the different options available to their businesses.

The Sacramento Real Estate law firm assists developers with the process of acquiring and negotiating the purchase of surplus land throughout the State of California. If you or your firm find that you are interested in acquiring Surplus Land, but need assistance to ensure that it is done properly, contact Underwood Law to be with you every step of the way.

Client Reviews
“We were in need of a real estate attorney. Eli Underwood provided excellent legal advice and services. He explained everything well and followed through with all important issues that needed attention. We found him to be reliable, courteous, patient and extremely professional. We highly recommend Mr. Underwood without any reservations.” I.S.
"Mr. Underwood is a fantastic Lawyer with extraordinary ethics. He responds quickly, which is rare these days, and he is very knowledgeable in his craft. It was a pleasure working with him and we will definitely use his services in the future if needed. Thank you for your help Sir!" M.O.
"Eli helped us set up our partnership and was straight forward and honest about the process and what was needed (so rare these days!). He gave us the expectation strait out and held to them (unlike the last corporate firm). Unfortunately when your new it takes a few to find the good ones. This is your guy!" O.A.
"Eli has been a great help to me. He is thoughtful and tries hard to achieve the best outcome, and is especially interested in avoiding litigation, and helping his client find the best way forward, even if it avoids conflict and makes his job smaller and simpler. I feel very comfortable with what was worked out, and sleep well over it. I give the highest recommendation to Eli!" D.W.
"Marcus and his team are true professionals and their attention to detail is impeccable. He definitely knows the right questions to ask and how to find the facts he needs to win your case. Having someone on your team who’s working hard behind the scenes can give you peace of mind during challenging times and that my friend is invaluable. He has a pretty unique approach that makes him special in what he does and that uniqueness make a huge difference. I highly recommend them!" C.F.