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  • Archive for March 27th, 2015

    Mar 27

    WATER PACKAGE PASSES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In a sign that the Legislature can move quickly when it wants to, last week a $1 Billion “Emergency Drought Package,” was proposed, passed, and signed into law by the Governor.

    The legislation includes more than $1 billion for local drought relief and infrastructure projects to make the state’s water infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events.

    The law includes $267 million for water development, including recycling, desalination and drinking water; $131 million for direct drought response, including food assistance, emergency drinking water, protection of fish and wildlife, invasive species protection, and emergency water supply and education; $660 million for urban/rural flood protection, mainly in the Central Valley. The funding comes from the Proposition 1e water bond approved by voters in 2006 that must be spent before 2016.

    We praise the Governor and Legislative leaders for acknowledging the problem that we have been concerned about for years.  For more than a decade we have been speaking with policymakers about the need to address the lack of new storage and conveyance in a generation, and complicated environmental laws that make even the smallest infrastructure extremely difficult and expensive to undertake.

    Click here to read the Governor’s press release.

    Mar 27

    BERMUDA SHORTS FOR THE LEGISLATURE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California State Legislature left yesterday for Spring Break.  Known formally as “Spring Recess” this lull in activity marks the “calm before the storm.”  Once the Legislature comes back in the second week of April, all 2,495 bills introduced this year are eligible for Policy Committee Hearings.  This is one of the busiest times of year and we thank our members who are helping to identify bills of interest, analyze the policy, set  a position, and communicate with legialtors.

    Mar 27

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN CONSIDERED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As we have reported in the past, California Democratic lawmakers, led by Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), are working to find a way to find monies for more affordable housing.  Earlier this year, AB 1335 was introduced which seeks to create permanent funding for affordable housing through a new real estate fee and increasing tax credits to spur new building.

    We are still seeking advice from our members on this measure.  The bill attempts to limit the impact by putting a monetary cap per parcel, and, setting aside the question of whether or not there is nexus for commercial real estate transactions to fund affordable housing, are the mechanisms the bill creates workable?  Is the exclusion of residential properties creating a de facto split roll property tax?

    As an industry we want to play a positive role in helping solve issues related to affordable housing in this state, and are amenable to several ideas that have been floated, but ultimately were unable to come to agreement on the measure last year.  We look forward to working with the Speaker on this issue this year, and hope we can be part of a positive solution that works for all parties.

    Identifying statewide permanent funding sources to backfill the loss of redevelopment is a critical issue, especially because many local jurisdictions are actively pursuing fee and tax hikes on our industry locally to pay for affordable housing.  We hope a fair and comprehensive solution can be found.

    Mar 27

    AED BILLS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Two bills in the California State Legislature are addressing the issue of AEDs (defibrillators) in commercial buildings.

    SB 658 Hill – Addresses onerous training requirements.

    SB 287 Hueso – Mandates installations in New Buildings with 200+ Occupancy

    Feedback that we are getting from members is that one reason AEDs are not more widespread is directly due to the training requirements that addressed in SB 658, that is why we are supporting the measure.

    Mar 27

    LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – INDUSTRYWIDE MEETING

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our industry-wide Legislative Committee Meeting is just TWO WEEKS away on April 2, in Century City.  Thank you to those who have already registered and or provided input on legislation.  Those of you who have yet to register, it’s not too late, simply CLICK HERE to REGISTER!  Meeting materials will be provided upon RSVP.

    PLEASE NOTE:  Even if you can’t attend the meeting, we would like your input on legislation.  Let us know if you want the full list to review.

     

    Mar 27

    CALIFORNIA SUSTAINABLE FREIGHT STRATEGY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    “On January 23, 2014, the Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) adopted Resolution 14-2 which directed staff to engage all interested stakeholders to provide input on the development of a Sustainable Freight Strategy (Strategy) document.  The purpose of the Strategy is to identify and prioritize actions to move California towards a sustainable freight transport system that is characterized by improved efficiency, zero or near-zero emissions, and increased competitiveness of the logistics system.”

    In other words, the state is looking to crank down on regulations that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced through goods movement.   If your company buys or sells any products in California, relies upon ships or trucks to deliver those products, this will have an impact on you.

    Click here to read more about the Sustainable Freight Strategy and let us know if you want to get more engaged.

    Mar 27

    ENERGY CODE UPDATE – CEC APRIL 10 HEARING

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Although the new CA Energy Code – commonly referred to as Title 24 Standards – just came online earlier this year, the state is already about to adopt an updated standard.

    On April 10 the Energy Commission is hosting a public hearing regarding the 2013 Energy Code Standards and we would like your feedback about policy and cost concerns to carry forward to this hearing.

    A number of CBPA members have let us know that the lighting control issue is having a major impact on costs and complexity of Tenant Improvements.  This issue has been discussed at length at several board meetings, and we have used anecdotal information to work with staff and commissioners to get the item on the agenda for review.  However, we still need some actual examples that we can use to advocate changes to the regulation.  These examples can be used sans company name.  If you can provide assistance on this issue please let us know.

    Below is an article on the lighting control issue that can give you some additional background.  Below that is the CEC notice of hearing.

    Businesses Are in the Dark about New Lighting Regulations

    CEC Hearing regarding 2013 Energy Code

    The last update (those you started feeling in January) was the greatest increase in stringency (27%) since the beginning of the California energy code.  The proposed 2016 Standards are following with increase in stringency from significant changes for control requirements.

    Many members have expressed the concern that such large increases in energy code stringency require changes that are not proven construction practices.  We have expressed strong reservations to changes in construction and/or management practice that are not market proven, accepted in the building code, and vetted for their intended use by the building and inspection trades.

    Additionally, we are asking for more specific economic impact analysis on the changes being proposed.  Statute requires agencies proposing changes to building standards for commercial buildings to include the estimated cost of compliance.  We believe that a realistic cost-benefit analysis is essential in helping Commissioners make decisions.

    Mar 27

    CALCHAMBER CELEBRATES 125 YEARS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    We are a proud member of the CalChamber and wish to congratulate and thank them as they celebrate 125 years serving the business community of California.  On a day-to-day basis, the CalChamber provides leadership on a broad range of issues impacting your bottom line and ability to thrive in this state.

    Click here to read more about the CalChambers 125 years of service.

    Mar 27

    ENERGY CODE 45-DAY LANGUAGE REVIEW

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    CBPA has lead an industrywide effort to review and analyze the “45-Day Language” – official proposed changes by the California Energy Commission — to Title 24, Part 6 (CA Energy Code) released last month.

    ICSC, the NAIOP California Council, and BOMA California’s Board of Directors banded together to raise funds and identify industry experts to review the proposal.

    We identified 201 revisions that will have some impact commercial real estate.

    ·  111 of these are considered to have little or no impact.

    ·  59 of the changes are moderate with little or no cost impact.

    ·  29 are considered significant with a moderate cost impact.

    ·  Finally, 2 proposals are considered critical with major cost and operational impacts.

    You can read the CBPA letter submitted on behalf of industry here.

    If you want to help review the entire list of concerns, please contact us ASAP.

    You can real Here are the Notices of Proposed Action for the 2016 revisions to the Title 24 Part 6 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, and separately for the voluntary provisions in Title 24 Part 11, can be found here.

    Mar 27

    EXISTING BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Concurrently with the new Title 24 Part 6 regulations, the California Energy Commission has released a long-awaited report outlining the agencies action plan to bring energy efficiency to the existing building stock. The Governor recently cited the need to significantly increase energy efficiency in existing buildings as one of three energy-related policy priorities in his State of the State address.

    The effort above will drive energy efficiency triggered by new construction (new buildings AND Tenant Improvements).  The AB 758 program is designed to spur energy efficiency within EXISTING buildings, not necessarily undergoing renovations.

    Required by Assembly Bill 758 (Statutes of 2009), the plan, according to the CEC, “provides a 10-year roadmap to dramatically increase energy efficiency in existing residential, commercial, and public buildings, consistent with Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s goal to double efficiency in California’s existing buildings by 2030.”

    The CEC will be conducting hearings across the state to take testimony on this report with the first being scheduled for April 7th. CBPA will be representing the commercial real estate sector at each of these meeting, but need your input on the report.

    If you own an existing building – or lease space in one – this regulation has the potential of impacting you!  Please circulate this to interested individuals that can provide feedback to inform the industry comment.

    The draft Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan has been posted to http://www.energy.ca.gov/ab758/documents/.We need comments by March 31 to comply with the submission deadlines.