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  • Archive for August 19th, 2011

    Aug 19

    ENERGY COMMISSION CALENDAR FOR REG HEARINGS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California Energy Commission will be conducting its final “informal workshop” on Tuesday, August 23, wherein potential changes to California’s energy efficiency building standards will be discussed. 

    The meeting on August 23 will focus on a host of residential issues including items related to solar energy, HVAC systems and required compliance documentation. The CEC staff will then spend most of September developing a draft set of revised regulations which will be made available to the public on September 30th. The CEC will then conduct one or more formal hearings prior to the release of the formal regulatory package on December 2. 

    It is the CEC’s goal to have new standards adopted by March or April of 2012. These updated standards would then need to gain approval from the Building Standards Commission prior to taking effect statewide on January 1, 2014.

    These regulations will impact your company.   We are following the procedures but need experts from our industry to be more involved. Email us to find out what you can do.

    Aug 19

    ACHIEVING ENERGY SAVINGS IN CALIFORNIA BUILDINGS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Here are some recommendations moving forward as part of a regulatory proceeding at the California Energy Commission:

    * Mandate all commercial new construction be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2030. ZNE means that over a year that your building generates as much energy onsite as it pulls from the grid.

    * Have the CEC use fines and penalties to enforce energy code at the state level;

    * Use a “societal value” to calculate cost effectiveness for Zero Net Energy. In other words, change the current objective cost calculations required to pass energy code and add in a “subjective” component that will allow mandates for technology that will not pay for itself.

    * Develop “reach” standards (as opposed to incremental “reachable” standards) for adoption at the local level and be included into CALGreen.

    * Increase Title 24 requirements by jumps of 20-30% each adoption over the next three cycles.

    * Require public building rating disclosures.

    * Require energy efficiency improvements in existing buildings not tied to a scheduled improvement.

    * Mandate a time-of-sale or time period trigger for upgrades and disclosures.

    * Shift responsibility on to building owners and managers for reducing tenant plug-loads.

    Yes, this is actually all happening now in a regulatory process. Some find it hard to believe that policymakers are considering such an aggressive statewide policy. Click below to read the recommendations for yourself:

    Saving Energy in Existing Buildings and Achieving a Zero‐Net‐Energy Future

    Contact us if you have any thoughts or opinions on how this might impact your business or to get more involved in the public process.

    Aug 19

    SUPERSTORE BAN BILL GOES TO SUSPENSE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    SB 469 (Vargas; D-San Diego), a bill that seeks to make the local approval process for certain retail development more difficult, has been moved to the Assembly Appropriation Suspense File. Our industry has been arguing that this bill, sponsored by certain unions as a way to gain bargaining leverage on certain big retailers, would hurt development of new projects, negatively impact tenant improvements on existing stores, and be another drag on the state’s struggling economy.

    Recently the president of the Independent Cities Association wrote an editorial clearly articulating reasons why SB 469 is bad policy that would not only hurt the overall economy, but make it more difficult for local leaders to choose what is best for their communities. Click here to read the full op/ed.

    We are working hard to convince the committee to keep the bill on Suspense.

    Aug 19

    CBPA FILES AMICUS IN SUPPORT OF REDEVELOPMENT

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On behalf of the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry, CBPA has filed with the California Supreme Court a letter requesting Amicus standing to join in the lawsuit with California Redevelopment Association and California League of Cities against action by state. Many other associations expected to follow CBPA’s lead.

    The Supreme Court has outlined an expedited briefing schedule designed to facilitate oral argument as early as possible, and a decision before January 15, 2012, the date when redevelopment agencies are required to make their first payment. Here are the key deadlines as laid out in the court’s order:

    * September 9, 2011: the State must file its brief.

    * September 24, 2011: CRA and the League must file their response to the State’s filing.

    * September 30, 2011: Amicus curiae briefs must be filed with the court.

    * October 7, 2011: Replies to individual amicus briefs must be filed.

    The court states it does not anticipate extending any of these deadlines and intends to set a hearing for oral arguments before the end of the year.

    Aug 19

    GOVERNOR APPOINTS ROSSI TO FOCUS ON ECONOMY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Governor Brown has announced the appointment of Michael Rossi, as his “Senior Jobs Advisor.” Rossi will be the point of contact between California’s business and workforce leaders and the Administration. We applaud the Governor for this appointment and his continued focus on nudging California back to a state with a healthy business climate.

    The role of the Administration in providing proactive movement in the jobs area such as CEQA reform, for example, as well as providing some common sense in response to actions by the legislature such as AB 350 and SB 469 is very critical and will make the difference in our state’s economic future.  We look forward to working with Mr. Rossi and congratulate him on the appointment.

    Click here to read more about the appointment of Michael Rossi.

    Aug 19

    L.A. MAYOR CHALLENGES GOVERNOR TO DISMANTLE PROP 13 – BROWN SAYS NO THANKS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday turned down a challenge from the mayor of Los Angeles to significantly change Proposition 13, saying he would prefer to focus his attention on bringing financial stability to California.

    Brown was responding to comments by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has been pushing the notion of removing tax protections afforded to all Californians in order to implement a split roll property tax to raise taxes on commercial properties.

    We applaud the Governor for understanding the sophistry of such a scheme and staying focused on policies that will help California recover by making our state friendlier to business investment. Click here to read the full story.

    Click here for more coverage of Villaraigosa’s political speech, including some reaction from our very own Rex Hime.

    The forces that want to raise your property taxes are relentless and don’t let fact get in the way. We know this activity is preceding another push for a statewide initiative to undo Proposition 13’s protections and will remain vigilant.

    We need your help in that too by answering false statements about the law and supporting efforts, such as the Californians Against Higher Property Taxes, which fights on your behalf against such attacks.

    Aug 19

    NEWSPAPERS UP AND DOWN THE STATE OPPOSE AB 350!

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    At last count more than 15 newspapers have joined our industry in opposing AB 350 (Solorio; D-Santa Ana). Click here to read why they too oppose this ill-conceived proposal.

    Aug 19

    ***ACTION*** CRITICAL VOTES ON ANTI-BUSINESS AB 350 TAKING PLACE NEXT WEEK

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 350 (Solorio; D-Santa Ana), one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation to impact the commercial property industry in a long time, will be voted on next week in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and possibly the Senate Floor. After that, this terrible bill could be on its way to the governor.

    Under AB 350, any time a service provider gets a new contract, they will be forced to hire the prior contractor’s employees. That’s right, this bill isn’t limited to the sale of the building, it applies to ANY NEW SERVICE CONTRACT.  

    We won’t win this fight without the support of the entire industry. Please join the growing voice of opposition to this bill by signing up here, and please call your Senator to express your opposition to this bill.