(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any action brought in the superior court relating to any of the following subjects may be subject to a mediation proceeding conducted pursuant to this chapter:
(1) The approval or denial by a public agency of any development project.
(2) Any act or decision of a public agency made pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(3) The failure of a public agency to meet the time limits specified in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with
Section 65920), commonly known as the Permit Streamlining Act, or in the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410)).
(4) Fees determined pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 17620) of Division 1 of Part 10.5 of the Education Code or Chapter 4.9 (commencing with Section 65995).
(5) Fees determined pursuant to the Mitigation Fee Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 66000), Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 66010), Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 66012), Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 66016), and Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 66020)).
(6) The adequacy of a general plan or specific plan adopted pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 65100).
(7) The validity of any sphere of influence, urban service
area, change of organization or reorganization, or any other decision made pursuant to the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 (Division 3 (commencing with Section 56000) of Title 5).
(8) The adoption or amendment of a redevelopment plan pursuant to the Community Redevelopment Law (Part 1 (commencing with Section 33000) of Division 24 of the Health and Safety Code).
(9) The validity of any zoning decision made pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 65800).
(10) The validity of any decision made pursuant to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 21670) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code.
(b) Within five days after the deadline for the respondent or defendant to file its reply to an
action, the court may invite the parties to consider resolving their dispute by selecting a mutually acceptable person to serve as a mediator, or an organization or agency to provide a mediator.
(c) In selecting a person to serve as a mediator, or an organization or agency to provide a mediator, the parties shall consider the following:
(1) The council of governments having jurisdiction in the county where the dispute arose.
(2) Any subregional or countywide council of governments in the county where the dispute arose.
(3) Any other person with experience or training in mediation including those with experience in land use issues, or any other organization or agency that can provide a person with experience or training in mediation, including those with
experience in land use issues.
(d) If the court invites the parties to consider mediation, the parties shall notify the court within 30 days if they have selected a mutually acceptable person to serve as a mediator. If the parties have not selected a mediator within 30 days, the action shall proceed. The court shall not draw any implication, favorable or otherwise, from the refusal by a party to accept the invitation by the court to consider mediation. Nothing in this section shall preclude the parties from using mediation at any other time while the action is pending.