• Established in 1972 · CBPA has over four decades of service to the commercial industrial retail real estate industry
  • Archive for June, 2011

    Jun 29

    ELECTRIC CHARGING STATION BILL SIGNED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Over some concerns of the real estate industry, SB 209 (Corbett; D-San Leandro) was signed into law this week. This bill would provide that any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of any interest in a common interest development, that prohibits or restricts the installation or use of an electrical vehicle charging station is void and unenforceable.  Although he signed the bill, the Governor also expressed some reservations which are included in his Signature Message.

    Jun 24

    ENERGY REGULATORS TO HOLD WORKSHOP THAT WILL IMPACT YOU

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On Wednesday, July 6, the California Energy Commission’s Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee will conduct a workshop jointly with the California Air Resources Board, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Independent System Operator Corporation, and California Public Utilities Commission to discuss updates to the California Clean Energy Future.

    We encourage participation from our members in this meeting that will update the California Clean Energy Future to reflect Governor Brown’s 2020 energy policy goals as well as the recently enacted 33 percent renewable portfolio standard.  If you care about energy prices, this proceeding will directly impact you.

    The agencies are looking for feedback on how to measure progress in meeting the policies identified in the California Clean Energy Future Overview document and on how to execute the policies and track progress in a “transparent and effective” way.

    Click here for more information on this energy proceeding.

    Jun 24

    MANDATORY COMMERCIAL RECYCLING MEETING

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As the state moves forward implementing mandatory statewide commercial recycling regulations, the responsible regulatory agency, CalRecycle, is conducting a workshop to seek stakeholder input.  As part of the state’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the landmark AB 32, the proposed mandatory commercial recycling rules attempt to reduce greenhouse gases by focusing waste reduction within the commercial sector and requiring businesses and multifamily units of 5 units or more that produce more than four cubic yards of solid waste per week to recycle. 

    At the workshop, staff will present the results of additional economic analyses done for the proposed regulation and changes to the regulatory language since January.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. at the CalEPA Building in Sacramento. Participation via webcast will be available.

    Since this regulation may have a major impact on our members, we encourage those interested and knowledgeable in this area to review the regulations and either participate in the workshop or provide us with feedback and concerns to carry to the meeting on your behalf.

    More information can be found on the Mandatory Commercial Recycling regulations by clicking here.

    Jun 24

    ANTI-DEVOLOPMENT BILL MOVES FORWARD

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    A bill that has become known as a “litmus-issue” for labor, advanced from the Assembly Local Government Committee on a party line vote.  SB 469 (Juan Vargas; D-San Diego) would require additional economic and community impact analyses for retail developments that are 90,000 feet or larger and sell groceries.  The open secret in the Capitol is that the purpose of this bill is to allow certain company’s projects to more easily be harassed by activists.

    Although the bill hit a tiny hiccup in committee, a “courtesy” vote at the last minute let the bill move forward.   The author, Senator Juan Vargas from San Diego quickly devolved into union talking points about “living wages” when questioned about policy aspects of the bill.  When questioned as to why the bill had such a convoluted definition of retailer, another policymaker from San Diego Assemblymember Ben Hueso talked about how the bill was going to help “end monopolies” in this nation. 

    Here is an interesting summary about the hearing.

    The bill next moves to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.  We need your continued help to communicate with legislators that this bad bill should be stopped now, in this committee. 

    Click here then go to “get involved” to send a letter.  ICSC members should click here.

    Jun 24

    BUDGET VETOED – SPLIT ROLL NOW ON THE TABLE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Just one week after Governor Brown vetoed a version of the budget sent to him by the Legislature that was deemed “unbalanced,” he has mentioned the specter of a split roll property tax as a way to balance the budget. 

    Yesterday the Governor responded to a question about efforts to change Proposition 13, which provides tax protections to both residential and commercial properties by stating that the “core of Prop. 13” is important to Californians and unlikely to be changed “anytime soon” (i.e. no changes to residential). But he said, “If the taxes are not extended, I believe there will be efforts to accelerate the reassessment of commercial property, or other efforts” (i.e. reach into your businesses pocket for more state revenue).

    This statement is clearly understood to mean that the failed budget talks could lead to an initiative fight that would not just be limited to Brown’s plans to raise sales taxes, vehicle license fees, and income taxes, but provide another opportunity for forces that have long sought to create a split roll to rear up once again.

    The Governor said he expects labor groups to pursue changes to Prop 13 that would make it easier to raise taxes on commercial properties.  Two years ago split roll initiatives were submitted to the Secretary of State, but ultimately abandoned in favor of another measure.  Those proposals, however, remain in the pipeline and could quickly start moving forward again.

    According to several recent studies, a split roll property tax would be devastating for our industry and harm the state’s prospects for economic recovery.  We hope the Governor’s comments were just “off the cuff” and not part of a more organized effort to raise your taxes in this manner.

    Jun 17

    INDUSTRY GROUP ENDORSES BUILDING PERFORMANCE TRACKING HANDBOOK

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our industry has endorsed the Building Performance Tracking Handbook, recently published by the California Commissioning Collaborative. The handbook outlines the steps needed to continually manage building performance, demystifies the complex array of building performance tracking tools available, and provides guidance on selecting the most appropriate tracking strategy. It’s primarily intended for property managers, energy managers, and facility engineers.

    While many tools start out being useful guides, they fail to provide a road map towards clearly demonstrating what is really required and essential with tracking and improving building performance. The Building Performance Tracking Handbook breaks from this format with not only providing the technical aspect of building performance tracking and improvement, but also includes the “human” factor that drives these actions and positive results.” – Carlos Santamaria, Glenborough, LLC.

    Click here for a free download of the Building Performance Tracking Handbook.

    Jun 17

    COASTAL COMMISSION DECISION ADOPTS RADICAL NOTION

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In a follow-up to an item on this last week, the Coastal Commission voted 8-4 on a decision that could establish a policy that would allow the Coastal Commission to merge separate parcels into one “economic” parcel.  Under this novel and unprecedented theory advanced by Coastal Commission staff, an owner of a parcel of land could be denied all use of their property without compensation.  The theory is that separately-owned contiguous parcels may be treated as one ownership if they are “related” for reasons such as cooperation among property owners, common access, common design features, and any type of relationship between the owners (business, personal or otherwise). 

    Alternatively, the decision asserts that the Commission may declare that the various owners be treated as a partnership and their land be treated as property of the partnership, leaving the owners to go to Court and litigate their interests in the government-declared partnership.  If the Commission adopts this approach, it would establish a precedent that would create incredible uncertainty regarding ownership of land. 

    This decision was adopted over the vociferous objection of business groups who tried to warn about the negative consequences this policy will have to property rights and its threat to the stability of land ownership in our state.

    Click here to read a story about the decision, which involves U2 guitarist The Edge’s plan to develop some homes in Malibu.

    Jun 17

    ***ACTION *** TELL LEGISLATORS YOU OPPOSE ANTI-BUSINESS BILL – AB 350!

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 350 (Jose Solorio; D-Santa Ana), backed by SEIU, would create protected classes of building services employees and dictates that they must be hired when changing a service contract. 

    The bill passed the Assembly last week on a vote of 46-31.  Only Democrats supported the measure, while a bipartisan mix of legislators, including four Democrats, opposed it. 

    Should this bill become law, tenants and property managers will not see a change in the staff responsible for day-today services when they hire a new company.  And new companies – union or non-union – will be forced to take on employees that they have not screened and who may not be up to the required tasks.

    AB 350 is extremely unfair to productive workers as it would displace employees who work for a service provider that has successfully competed for a new contract with employees from the previous company that lost the job — even if the reason for losing the contract was poor performance of the now protected employees. 

    The bill must be heard and voted on in the Senate Labor Committee on June 29.  MAKE YOUR VOICE BE HEARD AND SEND A LETTER OPPOSING THIS BILL NOW.

    Click here for an example Letter of Opposition.

    Jun 17

    ***ACTION*** TELL LEGISLATORS YOU OPPOSE ANTI-DEVOLOPMENT BILL – SB 469!

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    SB 469 (Juan Vargas; D-San Diego) would require additional economic and community impact analyses for retail developments that are 90,000 feet or larger and sell groceries, will be heard next Wednesday.  The open secret in the Capitol is that the purpose of this bill is to allow certain company’s projects to more easily be harassed by activists.

    We need your help now to communicate with legislators that this bad bill should be stopped now, in this committee.  Click here, then go to “get involved” to send a letter.  ICSC members should click here.

    Jun 17

    BUDGET PASSED AND VETOED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Those of you who think the Denizens of the Capitol have lost the ability to move quickly, need only look to the budget maneuvers this week to see they still have some spring in their step, when they want.  On Wednesday, both the Senate and Assembly passed a state budget plan and nearly a score of “trailer bills” with only Democratic votes.  On Thursday, Governor Brown vetoed the budget bills, citing the fact that the plan was unbalanced and unfinanceable.

    A cynic might thing the Legislature simply took such quick actions to make sure they didn’t lose their paychecks; a realist might point to the Governor’s veto as proof of that.

    Another interesting quirk is that he only vetoed the main budget and not all the trailer bills.  So bills passed yesterday as part of this exercise on eliminating Redevelopment, passage of e-Fairness, and extended taxes, may (or may not) still be signed into law.

    The Governor’s veto message is very interesting and a good read for anyone that follows politics.  Click here to read the veto.

    Jun 10

    U.S. SENATE REINS IN SWIPE FEES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Good news from the national level: the U.S. Senate voted this week to fix the broken debit market and reform debit card swipe fees.  This was yet another huge victory for merchants and consumers.  This vote protects the reforms scheduled to go into effect next month. Unfortunately, both California Senators (Feinstein and Boxer) voted in the minority against this reasonable measure.

    The issue now moves to the Federal Reserve, which is expected to release final implementation rules.  Click here for more information.

    Jun 10

    COASTAL COMMISSION TO CONSIDER NOVEL THEORY THAT COULD RADICALLY AFFECT OWNERSHIP OF LAND

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On June 16, 2011, the Coastal Commission will be making a decision that could establish a policy that would allow the Coastal Commission to merge separate parcels into one “economic” parcel.  Under this novel and unprecedented theory advanced by Coastal Commission staff, an owner of a parcel of land could be denied all use of their property without compensation.  The theory is that separately-owned contiguous parcels may be treated as one ownership if they are “related” for reasons such as cooperation among property owners, common access, common design features, and any type of relationship between the owners (business, personal or otherwise).  Alternatively, Commission staff asserts that the Commission may declare that the various owners be treated as a partnership and their land be treated as property of the partnership, leaving the owners to go to Court and litigate their interests in the government-declared partnership.  If the Commission adopts this approach, it would establish a precedent that would create incredible uncertainty regarding ownership of land. 

    CBPA urges its members to attend the hearing, provide testimony and submit letters to the Commission opposing this new policy.  It is critical that property owners and business interests throughout California alert the Coastal Commission about the negative consequences this policy will have to property rights and its threat to the stability of land ownership in our state.