(a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Residential or mixed-use housing project” means a project consisting of multifamily residential uses only or a mix of multifamily residential and nonresidential uses, with at least two-thirds of the square footage of the development designated for residential use.
(2) “Substantially surrounded” means at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the project site adjoins, or is separated only by an improved public right-of-way from, parcels that are developed with qualified urban uses. The remainder of the perimeter of the site adjoins, or is separated only by an improved public right-of-way from, parcels that have been designated for qualified urban uses in a zoning, community plan, or general plan for which an environmental impact report was certified.
(b) Without limiting any other statutory exemption or categorical exemption, this division does not apply to a residential or mixed-use housing project if all of the following conditions described in this section are met:
(1) The project is consistent with the applicable general plan designation and all applicable general plan policies as well as with applicable zoning designation and regulations.
(2) (A) The public agency approving or carrying out the project determines, based upon substantial evidence, that the density of the residential portion of the project is not less than the greater of the following:
(i) The average density of the residential properties that adjoin, or are separated only by an improved public right-of-way from, the perimeter of the project site, if any.
(ii) The average density of the residential properties within 1,500 feet of the project site.
(iii) Six dwelling units per acre.
(B) The residential portion of the project is a multifamily housing development that contains six or more residential units.
(3) The proposed development occurs within an unincorporated area of a county on a project site of no more than five acres substantially surrounded by qualified urban uses.
(4) The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare, or threatened species.
(5) Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to transportation, noise, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, or water quality.
(6) The site can be adequately served by all required utilities and public services.
(7) The project is located on a site that is a legal parcel or parcels wholly within the boundaries of an urbanized area or urban cluster, as designated by the United States Census Bureau.
(c) Subdivision (b) does not apply to a residential or mixed-use housing project if any of the following conditions exist:
(1) The cumulative impact of successive projects of the same type in the same place, over time is significant.
(2) There is a reasonable possibility that the project will have a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances.
(3) The project may result in damage to scenic resources, including, but not limited to, trees, historic buildings, rock outcroppings, or similar resources, within a highway officially designated as a state scenic highway.
(4) The project is located on a site which is included on any list compiled pursuant to Section 65962.5 of the Government Code.
(5) The project may cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical resource.
(d) If the lead agency determines that a project is not subject to this division pursuant to this section and it determines to approve or carry out the project, the lead agency shall file a notice with the Office of Planning and Research and with the county clerk in the county in which the project will be located in the manner specified in subdivisions (b) and
(c) of Section 21152.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.