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  • Archive for September, 2010

    Sep 24


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    The California Air Resources Board also has unanimously adopted the nation’s toughest “green energy” policy – known as the “Renewable Energy Standard” — that requires one-third of electricity sold in California to come from clean, renewable sources by 2020.  In 2009, the Governor signed an Executive Order directing the Board to adopt these rules.  The regulations place the highest priority on renewable resources that will provide the greatest environmental benefits that can be developed quickly and support reliable, efficient and cost-effective electricity system operations including resources and facilities located in California and throughout the Western Interconnection.

    Although our industry has expressed a great concern about the impact of these regulations on the cost of energy, the ARB action is preferable to legislative attempts to put the standard into statute.  Last year a bill was vetoed, and this year one died on the final night of session, that would have not only increased the cost of energy, but would have put rules in place that would have provided a disincentive for importation of such energy from other states, driving the costs even higher.

    Click here for a news story on California’s new energy policy.

    Sep 24


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    As part of implementing the nation’s first law that connects land use to greenhouse gas emissions (SB 375), the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted regional targets strongly supported by environmental groups meant to reduce GHG emissions from vehicle miles traveled (VMT).  The business community expressed concern that the targets were too aggressive and asked the board to adopt more reasonable goals of 2% reduction by 2010 and 5% reduction by 2030, instead of the “stretch” goals recommended in the ARB staff report.

    Final action was unanimous and the following targets were set for the major metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for the years 2020 and 2035:

    + Bay Area (MTC /ABAG) = -7% then -15%

    + Southern California (SCAG) = -8% then -13%

    + San Diego (SANDAG) = -7% then -13%

    + Sacramento (SACOG) = -7% then -16%

    + San Joaquin Valley = -5% then -10%

    We have written extensively about SB 375 in the past, and the bill was signed over our industry’s objections in 2008.  Our friends at the Institute for Local Government have put together a short primer on the law. If you are interested in learning more, click here.

    Sep 24


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    Word leaked out yesterday from the Governor’s office that the state’s longest budget impasse in history may be drawing to a close. “The governor and the leaders have reached a framework of an agreement. We will continue to work through the details over the weekend and hope to come to a final agreement Monday when they reconvene,” said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear.

    Although the lack of a budget has drawn less than a public uproar, it has had a significant impact on the commercial real estate industry. Many building owners that lease to state entities have not been paid for two or three months; and many contractors that service the buildings are expected to continue to work, even though invoices are not being attended to. 

    We hope this “framework” is indeed a path to a quick close on this budget.  And we hope that the budget they adopt will honestly account for income and spending.

    Sep 17


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    New code becomes mandatory January 1, 2011 for all new construction in California.  These comprehensive regulations will apply to all newly constructed residential, commercial, school and hospital buildings.

    In cooperation with the Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development, Green Technology is providing seminars throughout the state to introduce and orient each trade and profession around the new code.

    Upcoming Seminars are being offered in the following cities.  Each has limited seating, so register as soon as possible:

    San Mateo, 21 October

    Salinas, 18 November

    Click here for a full list including Southern California.

    Sep 17


    Posted by CBPA | No Comments

    The First Edition of the “Guide to the Nonresidential CALGreen Code” is now published on the Building Standards Commission (BSC) website at the following link: http://www.bsc.ca.gov/CALGreen/default.htm

    Sep 17


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    The Department of Water Resources (DWR) was authorized via SB 5 (Machado) to develop building standards that “reduces the risk of flood damage and to protect life, safety, and the construction in the Central Valley Flood Plain Management Area.” During the adoption of the 2010 edition of the California Building Code (CBC), DWR was convinced to withdraw their proposed regulations for commercial buildings due to cost concerns and potential conflicts with existing regulations governing disabled accessibility.

    DWR has initiated Phase II of their code development process and conducted two workshops during the month of August. Another workshop is planned for September 28 to discuss how existing accessibility standards could impact flood damage prevention standards. It is anticipated that DWR will want to proceed with the development of regulations related to multi-family buildings, school facilities and those commercial buildings having a “high occupancy” load. A high level of participation will be maintained during this administrative endeavor with emphasis being placed on the approval of no or low-cost compliance alternatives.

    Sep 17


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    We have learned from our friends at ICSC that there may be additional efforts in the U.S. Senate to revive consideration of the carried interest tax increase. Senator Max Baucus (MT-D) introduced a new version of the tax extenders bill, paid for with the carried interest tax increase that he would like to move in the next couple of weeks. This provision would establish a more than 100% permanent tax increase on real estate partnerships.   

    We know that several of our national associations in addition to ICSC, including NAIOP, IREM, and BOMA International, are following this issue closely in D.C.  As they continue to monitor developments related to the carried interest tax, locally we should continue to educate elected officials and candidates about this issue and ask them to oppose efforts to tax commercial real estate as the industry tries to recover from the recession.  More information to follow as events merit.

    Sep 17


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    The California Apartment Association has put together the following alert to help managers of residential properties deal with SB 183 recently signed by the Governor:

    California’s Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010 requires that all residential property be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector when the property has a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage.  All single-family homes (owner or tenant occupied) must be equipped with a detector on or before July 1, 2011.  All other residential units must be equipped with a detector on or before January 1, 2013.

    The carbon monoxide detector must be operable at the time the tenant takes possession. A tenant is responsible for notifying the owner or owner’s agent if the tenant becomes aware of an inoperable or deficient carbon monoxide detector within his or her unit. The owner or owner’s agent must correct any reported deficiencies in the carbon monoxide detector and will not be in violation of this section for a deficient or inoperable carbon monoxide detector when he or she has not received notice of the deficiency or inoperability.

    For more information visit the California Apartment Association.

    Sep 17


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    AB 482 (D-Mendoza) – Employment: Consumer Credit Reports. This measure prohibits employers from using consumer credit reports for employment purposes unless the information is “substantially job related” as defined. Oppose.  Veto Request.

     AB 737 (Chesbro; D – Eureka) Mandates commercial recycling measure on private buildings but not public facilities.  Measure is redundant of the new CalRecycle regulations. Oppose.  Veto requested.

     AB 1680 (Saldana; D – San Diego) Prohibits the enforcement of an arbitration agreement for a civil lawsuit based on discriminatory behavior prohibited under the Ralph Civil Rights Act. Oppose.  Veto requested.

     AB 1693 (Ma; D – San Francisco) Measure will modify the code adoption cycle and extend it to an 18 month process, adding three months to the interim update process. Sponsored bill.  Signed by Governor.

     AB 1881 (Monning; D – Santa Cruz) Doubles the liquidated damages that can be awarded against employers in minimum wage actions in court. Oppose.  Veto Requested.

     AB 1927 (R-Knight) – Common Interest Developments: Rentals. This legislation would provide that the governing documents for a Common Interest Development that is amended, adopted, or recorded on or after January 1, 2011, shall not prohibit the rental or lease of a separate interest in a common interest development unless the provision imposing the prohibition is approved by the owners of separate interests. Support.  Signature Requested.

     AB 2340 (Monning; D – Santa Cruz)  Mandates every employer to provide every employee with up to three days of unpaid bereavement leave per year and creates a private right of action for violations of the bill’s provisions. Oppose; to Governor.  Veto Requested.

     AB 2743 (D-Nava) – Rental Property: Animals. This bill would prohibit a landlord from advertising or establishing rental policies that requires a tenant or a potential tenant with an animal to have that animal debarked or declawed. Support – to Governor.

     AB 2670 (J. Pérez; D – Los Angeles) Mandates certain state buildings be evaluated using a private green building program without recognizing the state’s own green building code, CALGreen. Oppose.  Veto requested.

     SB 183 (D-Lowenthal) – Carbon Monoxide Detectors 183 requires an owner of a dwelling unit intended for human occupancy to install a carbon monoxide device in each existing dwelling unit that has a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage, as follow.   Single family July 1, 2011; All defined dwellings Jan 1, 2013.  Oppose. Signed by the Governor.  SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.

     SB 959 (D-Ducheny) – Expedited Permit Review. This bill proposes to streamline and expedite the current application and permitting process for new development projects. Support.  Signature Requested. 

     SB 1272 (Wolk; D – Davis) Requires repeal of all new tax incentives after seven years. Applies performance metrics to private companies receiving tax funds, but does not apply the same standard to state agencies. Oppose; to Governor.  Veto Requested.

     SB 1427 (D-Price) – Foreclosures: Maintenance. This bill requires a governmental entity, prior to imposing a fine for a property owner’s failure to maintain a vacant property acquired by foreclosure, to provide the owner of the property with notice and an opportunity to correct the violation. Support.  Governor’s Desk.

    Sep 17


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    The State of California made a dubious historical achievement…today marks the longest into the fiscal year the state has gone without passing a budget.  We should all be really proud of this achievement.  We’d like to thank our elected officials for working so hard to make this day come to fruition.  The public scorn and ridicule from other states stings a bit, but we know they are just jealous of our weather and our beaches.