• Established in 1972 · CBPA has over four decades of service to the commercial industrial retail real estate industry
  • Archive for May 22nd, 2015

    May 22


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    As you enjoy the long weekend, please take the time to reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice that American women and men have made to allow us to continue to enjoy the freedoms we have on this Memorial Day.

    May 22


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    Steve Glazer, mayor of Orinda and former advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, handily won the special election race in an Oakland Senate district, defeating siting-Assemblymember Susan Bonilla of Concord with 55% of the vote. The campaign pitting two Democratic candidates has been one of the most closely watched and hotly contested state Senate races in California history.

    Glazer’s victory is a major win for the California business community and proponents of education reform who engaged in an independent effort that promoted Glazer’s stances on transit strikes, taxes and teacher dismissal laws.

    With all precincts reporting, the Secretary of State website showed Glazer led Bonilla 54.6% to 45.4%—a margin of 10,255 votes out of the roughly 111,000 cast.

    Click here for a news story about the race.


    May 22


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    Today marks the first major Constitutional hurdle in the legislative process, known as “Policy Deadline.”  Of the 2,584 pieces of legislation introduced this year only 326 failed to pass policy committee.  Whew, that leaves only 2,258 bills left to follow for the rest of the year.


    May 22


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    One bill that made it through policy committees that is strongly supported by the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry, is a bill that seeks to fix some issues related to the states ADA laws which we believe will decrease lawsuits while increasing accessibility.

    SB 251 (Roth; D-Riverside) is a balanced approach between preserving the civil rights of those who are disabled to ensure access to all public accommodations, and limiting the number of frivolous lawsuits threatened or filed against businesses that do not improve accessibility.

    The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Governance and Finance Committee this week with unanimous support.

    SB 251 seeks to incentivize businesses to proactively take steps to become accessible by providing them with 90 days from receiving a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) report to resolve any violations identified without being subject to statutory penalties or litigation costs. This proposal will assist businesses that are trying to ensure they are compliant with the law from being subject to frivolous claims or litigation.

    SB 251 also provides a limited time period for businesses to resolve minor, technical construction-related standards that do not actually impede access to the public accommodation. Specifically, SB 251 provides businesses with 15 days from the service of the summons and complaint to resolve any alleged violation regarding signage, parking lot striping, and truncated domes.

    This limited period will provide a business owner the opportunity to devote financial resources to resolving these minor issues before being subjected to statutory penalties and attorney fees.

    May 22


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    Many of the bills that have moved through policy committee are cause for concern for many of our members and we are working with other groups, such as the California Chamber of Commerce, to oppose these measures.

    SB 287 (Hueso; D-San Diego) mandates installations of AEDs (defibrillators) in all new buildings with a max occupancy of 200 or more.

    AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) is a costly employee retention mandate. It inappropriately alters the employment relationship and increases frivolous litigation by allowing a private right of action and by requiring any successor grocery employer to retain employees of the former grocery employer for 90 days and continue to offer continued employment unless the employees’ performance during the 90-day period was unsatisfactory. This bill is very similar to AB 350 from five years ago, in which the Commercial Real Estate Industry spent a lot of time and effort to defeat.

    AB 567 (Gipson; D-Carson), dealing with change of ownership, specifies that the fact the change of ownership statement has been filed with the Board of Equalization (BOE) or that the BOE has issued a determination on change of ownership is not confidential. There is no valid reason to begin violating the fundamental principle of taxpayer confidentiality. More and more tax information that should remain confidential is indiscriminately made available to the public. The benefits to be derived from such disclosures are speculative at best, and do not warrant taking the risk of inaccuracies or other adverse consequences that may undermine public confidence in the tax system.

    AB 1017 (Campos; D-San Jose) threatens employers with civil and criminal prosecution for failing to set forth in a verbal or written offer the minimum rate of pay for each job position and precludes employers from seeking relevant employment history when interviewing candidates.

    The bill may limit job opportunities for those who are less qualified, will potentially reduce applicant wages, and expose employers to additional litigation.

    SB 379 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), dealing with general plan safety elements, creates an additional parallel process in order to incorporate adaptation and resiliency into the planning process. Because climate change, adaptation and science and policy are rapidly evolving, new terms must be clearly defined so there is no ambiguity about what is required.


    May 22


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    The California Building Standards Commission will meet on May 29th to adopt emergency building standards to significantly reduce the amount of potable water that can be used for outside landscaping irrigation purposes.

    These emergency building standards will apply to new residential and commercial building construction for which the initial permit application is submitted to the local building department on or after June 1, 2015.   This emergency action was prompted by the Governor’s recent Executive Order on the drought emergency and subsequent rules issued by the State Water Resources Control Board.

    Among other things, the emergency building standards will require the calculation of a water budget for the site using a modified version of the Department of Water Resources’ Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO).  This is the water budget calculation tool that has been required in most local jurisdictions for the past five years.

    The modified tool results in a 20%-25% reduction in landscape water consumption.

    Although we are still seeking advice and comment from our membership on detail, we are working with the Governor and BSC and have let it be known that our industry is generally supportive of these changes.

    A copy of the emergency standards can be found by Clicking here.

    May 22


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    The State of California has experienced four consecutive years of below‑average rain and snow, and is currently facing severe drought conditions in all 58 counties.

    The most recent surveys recorded the statewide average snowpack, which is the source for one‑third of the state’s water, at just 2 percent of the normal average.

    Water supplies at the state’s largest reservoirs, as well as groundwater aquifers, are significantly depleted. As a result, drinking water supplies are at risk in some communities, agricultural areas face increased unemployment, dry conditions create higher risks for wildfires, and important environmental habitats have already been degraded.

    The state’s emergency drought response is strategically guided by accelerating several of the key actions in the California Water Action Plan that will provide long‑term benefits for the state.

    Since the Governor first declared a state of emergency in January 2014, the Administration has worked with the Legislature to appropriate approximately $1.9 billion to assist drought‑impacted communities and provide additional resources for critical water infrastructure projects, including:

    • $50 million Cap and Trade funds for the DWR to support state and local water use efficiency projects that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    • $47.3 million General Fund for the Department of Social Services to provide food assistance to those impacted by the drought.

    • $35 million General Fund and special funds for the Water Board to provide grants for emergency drinking water projects

    Click here to read the full May Revise budget proposal for water.

    May 22


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    Good friend Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, offers the following commentary about the insatiable tax appetite by some groups in Sacramento that are pushing split roll property tax:

    There’s a joke about public sector union bosses making the rounds in Sacramento lately:  What happens when the California Legislature hands over a blank check to the California Teachers Association (CTA)?  It’s returned the next day marked “insufficient.”

    No matter that spending on schools is up 36 percent over the last four years, the state budget has increased 25 percent over the last three and the state is running a surplus of nearly $7 billion, it is never enough.  The government employee unions are continuing to press for higher taxes and more spending from which they benefit both in terms of money and political power.

    Since California already imposes the highest taxes in all 50 states in almost every category except taxes on property – we rank 19th highest – the obvious target is Proposition 13 which limits annual increases in property taxes.  To take on Proposition 13, public unions, including the two major teachers unions and the Service Employees International Union, have joined with some rag-tag groups of Bay Area radicals to create a front group, calling itself “Make It Fair.” The stated goal is to strip Proposition 13 protections away from businesses, including small mom-and-pop stores and residential rentals, thereby creating a “split roll” in order to seize another $9 billion in tax revenue annually.”
    Click here to read the rest of this op/ed.

    May 22


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    We are founding member of a coalition of business and taxpayer organizations that has banded together to provide education and information about the problems related with fundamentally changing Proposition 13.

    The group is named Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes.  On behalf of individuals and companies that will be impacted by higher property taxes, the coalition provides a website with lots of good resources for news and information, including academic studies that show the negative impacts a split roll would have on California’s economy.

    Click here to visit the CSHPT website.