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  • Archive for March 25th, 2016

    Mar 25

    SPRING BREAK IN THE CAPITOL ENDS

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    This week has been a quiet week in the Capitol due to the Legislative Spring Break Recess.  No committee hearings, no Floor sessions, and no Budget negotiations.  However, it’s the “calm before the storm.”  Next week legislators are back in town and the committee hearing process will begin again in earnest.  We expect more than 50 bills of interest will be heard in the next two weeks.  We will keep you posted on the progress of those that have the biggest impact on the commercial real estate industry.

    Mar 25

    SUPPORT FOR SB 1253 REAL ESTATE BROKER LICENSES

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    CBPA is working with Senator Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) and acting as the sponsor for SB 1253 which adds limited liability companies (LLC) to the list of business entities that can act as a licensed real estate broker.

    Since at least 1943, California has regulated real estate broker activities pursuant to the provisions of the Business and Professions Code.  The basic premise is that it is illegal to engage in the business of a real estate broker without a license from the Bureau of Real Estate.  Currently individuals may be licensed as well as a “corporation.”  This bill would add limited liability companies (LLC).

    LLCs did not exist when California began licensing and regulating real estate brokers.  These business entities were introduced in California in the 1970s, gradually evolved in the 1980s and 1990s, and are now the vehicle of choice for a significant proportion of real estate related companies.  Under the Corporations Code, LLCs have “all the powers of a natural person in carrying out its business activities,” but can render services requiring a license under the B&P Code only if expressly authorized.

    LLCs are now a common business entity used in California and we believe it is time to update the statute to recognize and allow LLCs in the real estate industry in the same manner that C-Corporations are used.

    Mar 25

    ENERGY COMMISSION BENCHMARKING WORKSHOP

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     Today, your Sacramento staff is at a California Energy Commission workshop to provide input on staff’s initial proposal to implement the building energy use data access and public disclosure provisions of Assembly Bill 802 (Williams, Chapter 590, Statutes of 2015).

    Click here for the workshop materials laying out the CEC draft benchmarking program including key dates and reporting requirements.  YOUR INPUT is requested!

    As a reminder, the commercial real estate industry supports the state’s benchmarking law and supported the actions taken by the Legislature and the Governor to repeal AB 1103 – a law that was creating significant implementation issues – and replace it with AB 802.

    Here is what has changed statutorily moving from the now repealed AB 1103 to the new AB 802 law:

    -AB 1103 mandated ALL buildings must be benchmarked regardless of size or use; AB 802 states that buildings 50K s.f. and above must be benchmarked and allows the Energy Commission some discretion to exempt certain building types and situations (i.e. the CEC could decide that long-term empty buildings or buildings scheduled for razing need not be benchmarked).

    -AB 1103 was a transaction based program – benchmarking was triggered by a sale/lease of whole building/refinance.  The transaction based approach had many unintended consequences such as requiring actively managed building to be benchmarked more often than buildings that are not; put an unnecessary technical process in the middle of a real estate transaction; and required benchmarking be provided to parties that were not making management decisions (i.e. lenders);  AB 802 allows the CEC to determine the best trigger for benchmarking – that could be transaction based or time certain (i.e. once every two years).

    – Under AB 1103 many building owners were unable to get tenant energy information from local utilities; AB 802 clarifies that utilities are required to provide information; in an aggregated format if there are privacy concerns in multi-tenant buildings.

    – AB 1103 treated income producing properties separately by only focusing on commercial; AB 802 – with the support of the Apartment industry – includes certain multi-family housing properties.

    – AB 1103 provisions will be suspended as of the end of this year (until otherwise notified we recommend you comply with the current provisions of AB 1103 until then).  AB 802 provisions will become operative on January 1, 2017 – the CEC will write regs to implement in 2016.

    There will be no statewide energy use disclosure requirement in 2016. During this time, Energy Commission staff will engage in a public process to develop regulations and establish the reporting infrastructure for the new program. However, we recommend that you continue to benchmark buildings on a regular basis as it makes good business sense.

    Today’s workshop is part of that public process.

    Mar 25

    GREEN CALIFORNIA SUMMIT & EXPO: TEN YEARS AND GROWING

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    The 2016 Green California Summit and Expo comes to the Sacramento Convention Center on April 21-22. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the Summit will highlight strategies, technologies and best practices that are essential to the attainment of California’s green goals. Discover 100 companies with green products and services. Attend keynote presentations, education sessions, leadership awards and an opening reception on April 20.

    Pre-Summit training on April 20, 2016, CALGreen and Energy Code updates and Zero Net Energy buildings. Group discounts available. Expo, keynotes, opening reception and Leadership Awards are free. For more registration information, click here.

    Mar 25

    SUPPORT FOR SB 820 CALIFORNIA LAND REUSE AND REVITALIZATION ACT

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    Our industry is pleased to support SB 820 (Hertzberg; D-Los Angeles) which would extend the successful California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (CLRRA), and important tool which helps local governments clean up properties and get them into productive use.

    The program mirrors federal legislation that was passed to protect parties that want to invest in brownfields sites that they are not responsible for contaminating; thereby, encouraging investment in what are often-times disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods.

    CLRRA give local governments the ability and alternative means of cleaning up properties when the responsible party is will not or cannot so it can be used for a productive benefit.  Under the program state regulators (DTSC) or local water boards to designate what level of clean up the new buyer has to do in order to put the property back into use, and there is ongoing monitoring and accountability to protect the public’s health.

    CLRRA advances infill development and greenhouse gas reduction by reducing VMT because often times these contaminated sites are in urban centers and the program allows jurisdictions to work with new businesses to investment in clean up and remediation.

    SB 820 is also supported by the League of California Cities and is sponsored by our partners at the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).

    Mar 25

    MINIMUM WAGE HIKE TO $15 QUALIFIES FOR BALLOT

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    This week the proposal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 qualified for the November 2016 statewide ballot.

    According to Reuters, the measure would boost the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour in 2017, and increase it by a dollar an hour every year until reaching $15 an hour in 2021. After 2021, the minimum wage would be adjusted annually based on the rate of inflation.

    The California Chamber of Commerce said earlier this month that it would oppose any state-wide ballot initiatives for a $15 minimum wage, arguing that it would create new costs for state and local governments as well as businesses.

    Mar 25

    SUPPORT FOR NET ENERGY METERING (NEM) CAP CALCULATION

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    Our industry is pleased to support AB 2339 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) which would apply a consistent methodology statewide for use by electric utilities when calculating the existing caps on their net energy metering (NEM) programs.

    Net energy metering (NEM) is a billing service that provides credit to electric utility customers for the excess electricity supplied to the electric grid from their on-site solar photovoltaic energy systems. Existing law requires all California utilities to provide NEM up to 5% of the utility’s “aggregate customer peak demand.” In 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a decision interpreting for the first time “aggregate customer peak demand.”

    To date, at least five POUs have exceeded their 5% NEM caps using a methodology that is inconsistent with the large majority of the state, effectively shutting down solar growth in these areas and their contribution towards the state’s clean energy and climate goals. With at least eight more POUs rapidly approaching their caps it is critical the Legislature establish a consistent, statewide methodology so consumers will continue to have the option of choosing cleaner energy.

    AB 2339 establishes the same methodology for use by publicly owned utilities as presently used by investor owned utilities when calculating their 5% caps for their respective NEM programs.

    Mar 25

    OPPOSITION TO SB 876 “RIGHT TO REST ACT”

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    Our industry unfortunately must oppose SB 876 (Liu; La Candada Flitridge) as we believe the measure will make it more difficult to keep public areas safe and clean while not actually addressing the root causes of homelessness.

    SB 876 would create a new right for any homeless person to “sleep or rest” in any “public space” broadly defined as “any property that is owned by a government entity or any property upon which there is an easement for public use and that is held open to the public, including, but not limited to, plazas, courtyards, parking lots, sidewalks, public transportation facilities and services, public buildings, shopping  centers, and parks.”

    By declaring the right to sleep or rest on any property that has a public easement, SB 876 creates a special set of exemptions, privileges and rights for the homeless to occupy public and private property, including sidewalks, without complying with laws that apply to everyone else. Such an approach is inherently unfair and would erode the ability of property owners to operate their properties in safe, clean, and non-threatening manner.

    Homelessness is a pervasive problem that must be dealt with.  However, we do not believe ceding possession of lawfully owned private property to anyone that deems it a suitable place to set up camp, is the right approach.

    Last year, the Sacramento Bee referred to a similar attempt to create such rights as a “nightmare scenario” wherein businesses and their patrons would be powerless to remove homeless individuals from impeding their daily activities.

    Homeless individuals – like every other Californian – already have the protections offered by the U.S. and state constitutions to protect their civil liberties.  This bill would create additional rights for a favored class of citizen at the expense of others’ private property rights and freedom of association.

    Mar 25

    CALIFORNIA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUMMIT

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    Thank you to those who have already registered, for those of you who have yet to register, this is for YOU!

    The California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) will be held at the California Chamber of Commerce Headquarters in Sacramento on June 7-8, 2016.  This event is the one time of year that industry leaders from all sectors of the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry converge on California’s Capitol to meet with policymakers. The summit gives you an opportunity to meet other industry leaders from across the nation, high-level staff from Governor Brown’s Administration, and California State Legislators.

     Click here to register!

    CBPA has reserved a block of rooms at The Hyatt Regency Sacramento.  Please contact the Hyatt Regency directly at 916-443-1234. Ask for the CBPA rate.

    We encourage you to consider one of the sponsorship opportunities and be a part of this exciting industry event.  Click here for more information on becoming a sponsor!

     For more information on California Commercial Real Estate Summit, Click here!

    We look forward to seeing you in June!