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  • Archive for May, 2016

    May 13


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    The Governor has signed SB 269 (Roth; D-Riverside) into law.  Strongly supported by the commercial real estate industry, the bill represents the first significant reform to the State’s disability access laws since 2012.

    In a press release Senator Roth stated, “This is a major victory for all Californians.  SB 269 is a bipartisan, commonsense solution that will guarantee access for disabled Californians by providing small businesses with the tools and resources necessary to comply with state and federal disability access regulations. I am glad the Governor agrees with the critical need for this reform, and I am proud to have delivered this victory for California’s small businesses and disability community.”

    The bill is a carefully crafted provision to provide businesses with much needed disability access education, resources and training, and allows small businesses that have been proactive in identifying access issues a reasonable amount of time to fix certain problems before a lawsuit arises.

    Specifically, this bill does a number of things.  It establishes a presumption that certain “technical violations” are presumed to not cause a person difficulty, discomfort, or embarrassment for the purpose of an award of minimum statutory damages in a construction-related accessibility claim, where the defendant is a small business, and has corrected within 15 days a construction-related accessibility claim.  Technical violations generally include things that do not hamper actual accessibility like signage issues, parking lot striping issues, or chipped faded paint.

    Here is a link to the full text of the bill SB 269. However, we highly recommend that you consult with your legal departments, ADA compliance officers, and/or individuals you work with that have CASp expertise, to fully understand your rights and responsibilities under this law.

    May 13


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    During a press conference at the Capitol today, Governor Brown released his “May Revise” to the 2016-2017 proposed California State Budget.  The Governor noted that the states “surging revenue” has slowed down recently, that debts are seven times larger than surpluses, and that he is prepared to “manage” the state if the Prop. 30 taxes are not extended, while noting how stable property taxes are (ed. “reliable”).

    Rex Hime, President and CEO, California Business Properties Association, stated, “After an initial review of the budget and the Governor’s spending – and spending restraint – priorities seem appropriate and are keeping the state on a continued path of fiscal responsibility.”

    Here is a statement from the Governor’s Press Office:

    As revenues fall short of projections and California stretches into an eighth year of economic recovery, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released a revised state budget that funds core programs while paying down debt, saving money and holding the line on new obligations.

    “The surging tide of revenue has begun to turn,” said Governor Brown. “Quoting Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper: ‘It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.'”

    When Governor Brown took office, the state faced a massive $26.6 billion budget deficit and estimated annual shortfalls of roughly $20 billion. These deficits, built up over a decade, have now been eliminated by a combination of budget cuts, temporary taxes and the recovering economy.

    Barring any significant changes, the budget over the next two years remains in balance. However, in the years that follow, the state’s commitments will exceed expected revenues with annual shortfalls forecasted to exceed $4 billion by 2019 – or worse with an economic slowdown or recession.

    Several legislative leaders have already reacted to the release of the new budget:

    Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) released the following statement on the release of the May budget revision:

    “The Assembly believes we must protect against future economic downturns so we can avoid potential cuts to schools and other critical programs, as well as tax increases on middle class Californians.

     “The Governor’s budget revision makes clear that the rainy day fund first proposed by Assembly Democrats is doing its job and absorbing the ups and downs of revenue forecasts. That means we are able to make necessary improvements to the budget without impacting existing services or using one-time money for ongoing programs.

     “In the coming weeks, the Assembly will work to craft a responsible budget that protects reserves and reflects the values of the people of California: fighting poverty, improving early education, expanding access to higher education, and making progress to increase affordable housing.”

    Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement:

    “California continues to have a responsible budget for a stronger middle class. As we continue to save money in our rainy day fund, education investments remain our top priority. Additionally, more Californians will move into the middle class with the raising of the minimum wage across the state.

     “As we finalize our budget over the next month, we need to develop long term funding strategies for child care, pre-school, and higher education. Infrastructure and housing need investment to keep our people and economy moving forward. We must also continue to lead the fight against climate change.

     “I look forward to working with Governor Brown and my colleagues in the Legislature to enact another on-time budget that broadens opportunity while responsibly saving for the future.”

    Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes, of Yucca Valley, today issued the following statement in response to the release of Governor Brown’s 2016-17 “May Revise” budget proposal:

    “With revenue growth slowing and the potential for a recession looming, we must budget responsibly.  The Governor is already projecting future budget deficits in excess of $4 billion.  The problem will be much worse if the Legislature adopts the billions in new spending demanded by Democrats.

     “Republicans stand with the Governor in his call for fiscal restraint.  Saving for the future and addressing more than $200 billion of existing budgetary debts and unfunded liabilities is the right thing to do. New spending should be used for one-time critical needs that will help all Californians like water, school and transportation infrastructure.”

    And from the Senate Republicans:

    “Californians are counting on the Governor’s call for fiscal restraint to be more than a sound bite. Responsible budgeting that focuses on improving government effectiveness should be the clear choice for California. Senate Republicans are committed to a responsible budget, which means saving more for a rainy day, making California affordable, and fixing broken programs,” said Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).

    “We have more revenue now, but we may not sustain this amount in the future, which is why the Governor has wisely chosen to set aside money in the state’s Rainy Day Fund,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), Vice Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Committee. 

    At the weather in Sacramento heats up, so will the debates over spending priorities.

    Click here to read the full budget summary of the “May Revision – 2015-16.”

    May 13


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    Our industry is pleased to support and happy to report that the State Senate has passed SB 820 (Hertzberg; D-Los Angeles).  This bill extends the successful California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (CLRRA), an 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 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)

    Click here to read a full press release from the bill’s author, Senator Hertzberg.

    May 13


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    The California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) will be held in Sacramento on June 7 and 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.

    Sponsorship opportunities are also available.  Email Melissa Stevens for more information or to register.

    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.  Click here for all the details.

    May 6


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    The latest proposed revisions to the state’s Proposition 65 warning regulations are problematic and unworkable, the California Chamber of Commerce along with the commercial real estate industry and a broad coalition explain in a letter to the agency leading the rule drafting.

    The revisions proposed by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) take several steps backwards by introducing several new and extraordinarily problematic concepts that previous drafts never contemplated, the CalChamber and coalition comment.

    The coalition has been working with OEHHA over nearly three years now and noted that the state of the current proposal, issued on March 25, 2016, “is particularly concerning given the late stage of this regulatory process.” The deadline for OEHHA to finalize the rule is November 27, 2016.  Click here for more information.

    May 6


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    The commercial real estate industry along with a large coalition of business groups is opposing SB 1387 (de Leon; D-Los Angeles) as the bill would substantially and adversely modify the use of market-based incentive programs and would add state-level appointed positions to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board (SCAQMD), effectively shifting local control over critical regional air quality planning to state law-makers in Sacramento.  A large coalition of groups are working to educate policy makers about this bill and oppose it.

    May 6


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    Here are two interesting articles that explore issues related to growth in California and how statewide policies are having an impact on demographics.  The second article explores how California’s strict environmental and development rules are pricing many out of the coastal markets.

    LA DAILY NEWS: “California suburbs are growing, despite lack of housing”

    LA TIMES OP/ED: “Why has there been an exodus of black residents from West Coast liberal hubs?”

    May 6


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    The California Energy Commission voted to allow an optional compliance pathway for Section 141.0(b)2I of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Standards) governing lighting alterations projects. This alternative compliance pathway, or compliance option, went into effect immediately.  This is the action that the industry has been advocating on behalf of in order to fix the overly stringent lighting control standards that have been unnecessarily complicating and driving-up tenant improvement costs to existing spaces.

    Under this optional compliance pathway, a lighting alteration project may demonstrate compliance with Section 141.0(b)2I of the 2013 Standards by:

    1. Achieving either a 50 percent reduction in installed lighting power in hotel, office, and retail occupancies, or a 35 percent reduction in all other occupancies; and
    2. Meeting the lighting control requirements that apply when a project is installing 85 percent or less of its allowed lighting power (Tables 141.0-E and F), excluding the requirement for two level lighting control or compliance with §130.1(b).

    In order to document the use of this optional compliance pathway, form NRCC-LTI-06-E (Revised 04/16) must be used to calculate the Allowed Lighting Power. That value must then be entered into the appropriate field on form NRCC-LTI-01-E (Revised 08/15), Table C, Row 6.

    Sound complicated?  Well, it’s much better than the previous rule that allowed for no flexibility in meeting these standards.  For additional information on this compliance option, the complete staff analysis may be downloaded here.

    May 6


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    Up to this point in the year we have been tracking/working on, more than 350 bills.  Here is an update on many of the bills that have generated the most interest from our member companies.

    Please note, these are very short and quick summaries.  If you want more detail click on the bill number to read the actual language – or please give us a call/email!

     AB 1934 (Santiago D)   Planning and zoning: density bonuses: mixed-use projects.

    Summary: Would, when an applicant for approval for commercial development agrees to partner with an affordable housing developer to construct a mixed-used project for which the housing will be located onsite at the proposed commercial development, require a city, county, or city and county to grant to the commercial developer a density bonus, as specified.

    POSITION/STATUS: Support.  Assembly Appropriations.

    AB 1978 (Gonzalez D)   Employment: property service workers.

    Summary: Would establish specific standards and protections for property service workers, to be known as the Property Service Workers Protection Act, and define terms for its purposes.

    POSITION/STATUS: Oppose. Assembly Appropriations.

    AB 2002 (Stone, Mark D)   Political Reform Act of 1974: California Coastal Commission: communications.

    Summary: Would require a California Coastal Commission member to fully disclose in writing 24 hours before a commission hearing any ex parte communication conducted within 7 days of the commission hearing relating to a matter that will be discussed at the hearing, and would prohibit a commission member or an interested person from conducting such an ex parte communication within 24 hours before the commission hearing.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose.  Assembly Appropriations.

    AB 2093 (Steinorth R)   Disability access.

    Summary: Would require applicants for Certified Access Specialist certification or renewal to additionally provide to the State Architect the name of the city, county, or city and county in which the applicant intends to provide or has provided services, and would require the State Architect to post that information on his or her Internet Web site.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Support.  Passed Assembly, awaiting committee assignment in Senate.

    AB 2538 (Nazarian D)   Business regulation: radius restrictions.

    Summary:  Bans “radius restrictions” as a lease deal point in commercial leasing.  Make it unlawful under the act to, include in any outlet center lease for a retail establishment between a lessor and lessee, a radius restriction prohibiting the lessee from opening or operating the same retail establishment in a separate outlet center located 10 miles or more in distance from the leased retail establishment.

    POSITION/STATUS:  OPPOSE.  The bill has been dropped by the author.

    AB 2557 (Santiago D)   Zoning regulations: interim ordinances.

    Summary: Current law prohibits the extension of an interim ordinance that would have the effect of denying approvals needed for the development of projects with a significant component of multifamily housing, except upon specified findings supported by substantial evidence on the record. This bill would instead prohibit an interim ordinance from having the effect of denying approvals needed for the development of projects with a significant component of multifamily housing.

    POSITION/STATUS: Support.  Assembly Local Government.

    AB 2602 (Gatto D)   Disabled parking placards.

    Summary: This bill would reform the authority of an individual with a disabled parking placard to park for an unlimited period in restricted zones and to park in metered spaces without parking meter fees.

    POSITION/STATUS: Support. Assembly Appropriations.

    AB 2667 (Thurmond D)   Unruh Civil Rights Act: waivers.

    Summary:  Every commercial lease in the state includes some type of waiver for certain State laws and this bill potentially would nullify those provisions.  Would require a waiver of a legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of the Unruh Act, including the right to file and pursue a civil action or complaint with, or otherwise notify, the Attorney General or any other public prosecutor, or law enforcement agency, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or any other governmental entity, to be knowing and voluntary, in writing, and expressly not made as a condition of entering into a contract for goods or services or as a condition of providing or receiving goods and services.

    POSITION/STATUS: Oppose.  Assembly Floor.

    AB 2895 (Hernández, Roger D)   Employee safety: injury prevention programs.

    Summary: The California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 requires every employer to establish, implement, and maintain an effective injury prevention program. This bill would, commencing July 1, 2017, require an employer to keep a complete, updated copy of the written injury prevention program at each worksite and to make it available to any employee upon oral request. The bill would also require an employer to provide a copy of the written injury prevention program, or a summary thereof, to each employee and each new hire.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose. Assembly Appropriations.

    SB 269 (Roth D)   Disability access.

    Summary: Current law specifies that a violation of construction-related accessibility standards personally encountered by a plaintiff may be sufficient to cause a denial of full and equal access if the plaintiff experienced difficulty, discomfort, or embarrassment because of the violation. This bill would, for claims filed on and after its effective date, establish a rebuttable presumption, for the purpose of an award of minimum statutory damages, that certain technical violations do not cause a plaintiff to experience difficulty, discomfort, or embarrassment, if specified conditions are met.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Support.  On Governor’s Desk.

    SB 876 (Liu D)   Homelessness.

    Summary: Would afford persons experiencing homelessness the right to use public spaces without discrimination based on their housing status and describe basic human and civil rights that may be exercised without being subject to criminal or civil sanctions, including the right to use and to move freely in public spaces, the right to rest in public spaces and to protect oneself from the elements, the right to eat in any public space in which having food is not prohibited, and the right to perform religious observances in public spaces, as specified.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose.  Bill defeated in committee 2-7 and is DEAD for the year.

    SB 1093 (Hancock D)   SPLIT ROLL Property taxes: assessment: commercial and industrial property.

    Summary: Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 of the 2015-16 Regular Session, if approved by the voters, commencing on the lien date for the 2018-19 fiscal year, would require the full cash value of commercial and industrial property to be the fair market value of that property as of the lien date, and would require the Legislature to enact legislation to phase in the reassessment of commercial and industrial property as so described in order to ensure a reasonable workload and implementation period for county assessors and taxpayers. This bill, pursuant to that constitutional requirement, for the 2018-19 fiscal year, would require only 50% of those properties that have not been reassessed at fair market value, as specified, to be assessed at fair market value, and by the 2019-20 fiscal year, would require all other properties that have not been brought to fair market value to be assessed at fair market value.

    POSITION/STATUS: Oppose. Missed deadline. Never got a hearing in Senate Government and Finance.

    SB 1138 (Hueso D)   Space Day.

    Summary: Would require the Governor to proclaim the first Friday in May of each year to be Space Day, and designate that date as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions. The bill would require the Governor to encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date. The bill would additionally require the Governor to encourage every resident, business, and public entity to dim or turn off their lights between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Space Day.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Fixed.  Bill has been amended to address concerns and our industry is now “neutral.”  Awaiting assignment in Senate.

    SB 1150 (Leno D)   Mortgages and deeds of trust: mortgage servicers and lenders: successors in interest.

    Summary: Would prohibit a mortgage servicer or lender, as defined, upon notification that a borrower has died, from recording a notice of default until the mortgage servicer or lender does certain things, including requesting reasonable documentation of the death of the borrower from a claimant, which is someone claiming to be a successor in interest, that is not a party to the loan or promissory note and providing a reasonable period of time for the claimant to present the requested documentation.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose.  Senate Floor.

    SB 1166 (Jackson D)   Unlawful employment practice: parental leave.

    Summary: Would prohibit an employer, as defined, from refusing, as specified, to allow an employee with more than 12 months of service with the employer, and who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. The bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes this leave.
    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose.  Senate Appropriations.

    SB 1173 (Hertzberg D)   Water-conserving plumbing fixtures: CalConserve Water Use Efficiency Revolving Fund.
    Existing law includes specified requirements to replace plumbing fixtures that are not water conserving, defined as “noncompliant plumbing fixtures,” to residential and commercial real property built and available for use on or before January 1, 1994, as specified. Existing law defines “commercial real property,” “multifamily residential real property,” and “water-conserving plumbing fixture” for purposes of these provisions. This bill would apply these requirements, as specified, to commercial real property regardless of when it was built.
    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose.  Bill has been dropped by the author.

    SB 1318 (Wolk D)   Local government: drinking water infrastructure or services: wastewater infrastructure or services.
    Current law, except as otherwise provided, prohibits a local agency formation commission from approving an annexation to a city of any territory greater than 10 acres, or as determined by commission policy, where there exists a disadvantaged unincorporated community, as specified, unless an application to annex the disadvantaged unincorporated community to the subject city has been filed with the executive officer. This bill would extend that prohibition to an annexation to a qualified special district.
    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose. Senate Appropriations.

    SB 1387 (De León D)   Nonvehicular air pollution: market-based incentive programs: South Coast Air Quality Management District board.

    Summary: Would require a district board to submit to the State Air Resources Board for review and approval the district’s plan for attainment or a revision to that plan, as specified. The bill also would require a district board to submit to the state board for review and approval the district’s market-based incentive program and any revisions to that program, as specified. The bill would prescribe specified actions for the state board to take if the state board determines that a plan for attainment, a revision of a plan for attainment, a market-based incentive program, or a revision to a market-based incentive program do not comply with law.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose.  Senate Appropriations.

    SB 1414 (Wolk D)   Energy. HVAC tracking.

    Summary: Would require the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to develop a system to track central heating and air cooling equipment sales and installations in the state to verify compliance with permitting, inspection, and equipment testing requirements.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Support.  Senate Appropriations.


    Summary: Would exempt from taxation for each taxpayer an amount up to $500,000 of tangible personal property used for business purposes. This measure would prohibit the Legislature from lowering this exemption amount or from changing its application, but would authorize it to be increased consistent with the authority described above. This measure would provide that this provision shall become operative on January 1, 2019.

    POSITION/STATUS:  Oppose. Bill is still in house of origin and NOT moving.

    May 6


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    Several real estate groups are moving to support the Preserving Access to CRE Capital Act, introduced by Arkansas Rep. French Hill.  ICSC has announced support and several other groups are slated to follow.  The bill would exempt single-asset or single-borrower CMBS from the Dodd-Frank rule and make it far easier for pooled CMBS to get similar exemptions.  Basically it aims to restore the standards for CMBS risk retention to what was passed in Dodd Frank and not the more stringent standards that the regulatory agencies have imposed since enactment.
    Click here for more information on the legislation:  Everything You Need To Know About The Bill That Could Help Save CMBS.

    May 6


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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!