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  • Archive for July 22nd, 2015

    Jul 22

    WELCOME TO SACRAMENTO COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUMMIT!

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    Next week we look forward to welcoming almost 100 leaders from the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry to Sacramento for the California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES).  Commonly referred to as “Commercial Real Estate Day in the Capitol,” this event is the one time of year that all sectors of industry converge on California’s Capitol to meet with policymakers about issues impacting your business.

    This year participants are scheduled to meet with two statewide Constitutional Officers (State Treasurer John Chiang and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. As well, our leadership have meeting scheduled with almost half of the Legislature several high-level staff from Governor Brown’s Administration, including Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird.

    The goal of the California Commercial Real Estate Summit is to increase public policy and political awareness of state issues impacting commercial, industrial, and retail real estate, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of California and their representatives in the State Legislature.

    This year we will be advocating in support of a specific range of measures that will impact commercial buildings including measures that increase accessibility while reducing frivolous lawsuits (SB 251), direct additional funds to the California Commission on Disability Access and increase the use of California Certified Access Specialists CASp (AB 1342), reform training and liability protections for properties that install Automated External Defibrillators (SB 658), and increase funds available for energy efficiency upgrades through Property Assessed Clean Energy Reserve Program (AB 450).

    If you know someone that is taking time out of their busy schedule to come to Sacramento to advocate on YOUR behalf, please thank them!

     

    Jul 22

    FIRST HOUSE DEADLINE

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    The CCRES is well timed to coincide with one of the biggest deadlines in the California State Legislature, “First House Deadline.” By next Friday, all bills must be out of the House in which they were introduced in, or they are dead for the year. Hundreds of bills will be acted upon over the following week. Of the 2,584 pieces of legislation introduced this year only 326 failed to pass policy committees.

    Jul 22

    ADA REFORM BILL PASSES FISCAL COMMITTEE

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    An ADA reform bill strongly supported by the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry, has passed two policy committees and made it through Appropriations. It’s 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 bill will be on the floor next week and advocates in town for the Commercial Real Estate Summit will advocate for its passage.

     

    Jul 22

    BUSINESS GROUPS CONCERNED WITH BILLS ON THE FLOOR

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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.

     

    Jul 22

    EMERGENCY WATER-EFFICIENT LANDSCAPING BUILDING CODE

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    The California Building Standards Commission today adopted 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 at the following link: http://www.bsc.ca.gov/Rulemaking/emergency/Emerg.aspx

     

    Jul 22

    CALIFORNIANS TO STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES

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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.

     

    Jul 22

    THE CALIFORNIA WATER FORUM JUNE 24

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    California’s water crisis is dominating the news and our conversations. As new restrictions are announced, as professionals we want accurate, up-to-the-minute, relevant insight. How will this crisis impact residential development homebuilding across the state — today and into the future?

    At the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) – being held in late June in San Diego, our friends at CBIA will host a water forum bringing together public and private sector experts to discuss the current drought, emergency measures being undertaken by California to conserve water, and what steps need to be taken long-term to plan for and accommodate our state’s future needs. Click here for more information and to register.

     

    Jul 22

    CBPA 2015 CALENDAR

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    June 2 – 3, 2015

    California Commercial Real Estate Summit and Annual Meeting
    CalChamber, Sacramento

    November 5 – 6, 2015

    Strategic Issues Conference
    Thunder Valley Resort and Casino, Lincoln, CA

    For more information on any of our events, please contact Melissa Stevens at 916-443-4676 or mstevens@cbpa.com.

     

    Jul 22

    CALIFORNIA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUMMIT; SUCCESS!

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    This week the annual California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) was held in Sacramento and attended by over 80 real estate leaders who converged on California’s Capitol to advocate on behalf of the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry.  Seventeen “teams” of advocates met with almost half of the state Legislature.

    The focus of this year’s CCRES was support for a number of bills that reform our state’s ADA laws as well as support for a measure that would fund energy efficiency PACE programs and a measure to reform the AED statutes.

    However, we also pressed hard to support Proposition 13 and oppose a recent call by public employee unions to move forward with a proposal to create a split roll property tax.

    We were also pleased to present our 2015 Legislators of the Year award to Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Sacramento) and Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).

    Delegates also heard from two statewide Constitutional Officers (State Treasurer John Chiang and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.  As well as Governor Brown’s Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird.

    The goal of the California Commercial Real Estate Summit is to increase public policy and political awareness of state issues impacting commercial, industrial, and retail real estate, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of California and their representatives in the State Legislature.

    We would like to thank all of our Members who took the time to attend the CCRES!

     

    Jul 22

    WHERE ARE THE BILLS?

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    The Legislature met a major deadline yesterday and here is the status of a number of bills we are tracking:

    SB 251 (Roth; D-Riverside) Civil Rights; Disability Access – SUPPORT

    Enacts a tax credit for businesses that make accessibility improvements and requires certain state and local agencies to help businesses make accessibility improvements.

    Location: Passed the Senate Floor.

    AB 450 (McArty; D-Sacramento) Energy Efficiency PACE Program Financing – SUPPORT

    Would authorize the use of the moneys in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to provide funding for the implementation of the PACE Reserve program. This bill contains other existing laws.

    Location: Passed Assembly Floor.

    AB 1342 (Steinorth; R-Rancho Cucamonga) Commission on Disability Access – SUPPORT

    This bill appropriates funds to the California Commission on disability Access (CCDA) and seeks to promote compliance with disability access requirements.

    Location:  Passed the Assembly Floor.

    SB 658 (Hill; D-San Mateo) AED “Defibrillator” Statute Reform – SUPPORT

    This bill repeals or reduces various requirements relating to persons or entities who acquire automated external defibrillators (AEDs), including scaling back requirements that employees complete training, and reducing the inspection requirements from once every 30 days to once every 90 days.

    Location: Passed Senate Floor.

    SB 287 (Hueso; D-San Diego) “Defibrillator” Installation Mandate – OPPOSE

    Mandates new commercial buildings with a max occupancy of 200 (300 for Group A Assembly occupancies) or more install AEDs.

    Location: Passed Senate Floor.

    Jul 22

    POLL: VOTERS STILL SUPPORT PROP. 13

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    The California Business Roundtable recently conducted a poll showing strong support for Proposition 13. Here is information from the press release and a link to the poll:

    “Prop. 13 is one of the few protections homeowners and businesses have left in a state where the special interest groups and the legislature are frequently looking for new sources of increased revenue. Californians clearly understand  that  Prop. 13  provides  an invaluable level of certainty in a very high tax state,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable.

    Key Findings: 1) Nearly 80 percent of likely voters are either very or somewhat familiar with Prop. 13, 2) More than 60 percent of likely voters think Prop. 13 has been good for California, 3) Support for Prop. 13 is bipartisan. 65 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans would support Prop. 13 if it was on the ballot today, 4) Voters prefer fixing loopholes in how Prop. 13 is implemented over enacting a split-roll property tax.

    “Our new data should be a warning call to any group that is looking to raise property taxes. Property values are still very sensitive to Californians and the state currently has an almost six billion dollar budget surplus. Rather than looking to homeowners and businesses for even more tax revenue to fund state government, let’s have a comprehensive debate on tax reform and how to spend what we already have,” Mr. Lapsley continues.

    The poll was conducted April 30-May 12 and surveyed 2,000 likely voters using mobile phones and online polling. A copy of the poll can be found here.

     

    Jul 22

    CALIFORNIANS TO STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES

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    The Business Roundtable is a partner with us and several other groups as part of the 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.