RAY MAGNUSSEN WILL BE MISSED

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The following message was written by BOMA California Chair, Dave Mastro:

It is with a heavy heart that I pass along word of Ray Magnussen’s passing.

In addition to his great successes with Paragon Janitorial and Lechuza Vineyards, Ray was a very active member of BOMA San Diego and BOMA California for many years, leaving an indelible mark on our industry. After joining the BOMA San Diego Board in 2003, Ray was elected President in 2007 – the first Associate member to hold the position. Ray joined the BOMA Cal Board in 2005, was VP in 2010, and President in 2011 (again, the first Associate member to hold the position).

In his many roles with BOMA, Ray was a major force in shaping statewide policy.  He was a great resource on facilities management and labor issues and worked in a low-key and very positive manner to make sure that BOMA Cal was able to help shape policy in a manner that helped workers and employers alike. For his achievements, Ray was awarded the Ernie Hahn Award by the California Business Properties Association.

I met Ray several years ago, when I first joined the BOMA Cal board, and found him to be a magnetic, bigger-than-life personality with a passion and keen sense for the issues that affect our industry. He is the one who guided (dragged?) me into an officer position on the Board, and for that I will always be thankful.

Here is a link to a post on BOMA San Diego’s Facebook page.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with Ray’s family at this difficult time.

INDUSTRYWIDE LEGISLATIVE MEETING

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Yesterday, in a conference room 21 floors above Century City, representatives from all the major commercial, industrial, and retail real estate groups donated a day to slog through and discuss hundreds of bills impacting our industry.  The main purpose of this meeting was to make sure that all the major commercial real estate entities active in Sacramento are all on the same page and to provide direction and prioritization for our advocates in Sacramento.

On behalf of the industry, BOMA Cal would like to thank CBPA for organizing this meeting that brought our BOMA members to the table with folks from other groups including ICSC, NAIOP, IREM, and several law firms and major companies that attended in person, and all the individuals that have been reviewing bills over the past two months and providing guidance. Hundreds of positions were approved. Below you will find a partial list of bills where positions were confirmed.

PROTECT CONSTRUCTION JOBS; STOP PROPOSED PREVAILING WAGE MANDATE

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

 AB 199 (Chu; D-San Jose), a legislative proposal which poses a huge threat to the entire construction industry by mandating the payment of Prevailing Wages for private residential projects in California, this week passed the Assembly Labor and Employment committee on a partisan 5-1 vote.  The bill next moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where we will continue to oppose the bill.

Requiring private construction to pay Prevailing Wage would be financially devastating for new project development, the entire construction industry, and will further drive-up the costs of housing.

Housing costs are being driven by a severe shortage of housing. Our state is only adding 80,000 new housing units annually – 100,000 units short what is needed to meet demand and lower costs.

The average single family home now costs $440,000 – two and a half times the national average.

Rents are also 50 percent higher than the rest of the country, with monthly rents for a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles and San Francisco ranging from $2,600 to $4,550.

We must defeat this proposal as it will hurt our industry and it will skyrocket housing costs.

The commercial real estate industry cares deeply about this issue for several reasons, but importantly if advocates succeed with this measure this year, our projects will be targeted next.

Click here for more information and to learn what you can do to help.

ADA LEGISLATION AT STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The Modesto Bee has been doing a good job following and reporting on issues related to ADA lawsuits in the state.  Although several bills have addressed and reduced the number of frivolous lawsuits over the past two years, the potential for frivolous action is still unacceptably high.  Several bills are moving through at the state and federal (see below) levels to continue to enact sensible reforms that provide access while minimizing legal harassment.

AB 913 (Gray; D-Merced) is one of the state level bills we are supporting.  It deals with Construction-related accessibility claims and extremely high-frequency litigants.  Click here to read the Modesto Bee’s story on the topic which is worth the read for anyone faced with ADA issues.

BILLS BILLS BILLS!

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

As of this point in the 2017 legislative year a collective 2,694 bills have been introduced.

The 80 members of the Assembly have introduced 1,804; while the 40 members of the State Senate have introduced 890 bills, for an average of about 22 per each member of the legislature.

On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, we are currently tracking 426 bills and yesterday in Los Angeles a group of real estate leaders convened that included lawyers and practitioners, gathered to review and set final positions on all the bills.  This meeting provided guidance for your Sacramento staff as we work the bills through the rest of the year.

Below is a sampling of some of the bills we are following that will be discussed as well as our current/recommended position.  We’d like your input on these bills.

BILLS BILLS BILLS – LEAN SUPPORT/SUPPORT!

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Here a few bills the committee approved a support position.

AB 12    (Cooley D)   State government: administrative regulations: review.

Summary:
Would require each state agency to, on or before January 1, 2020, review that agency’s regulations, identify any regulations that are duplicative, overlapping, inconsistent, or out of date, to revise those identified regulations, as provided, and report to the Legislature and Governor, as specified. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2021.

AB 77    (Fong R)   Regulations: effective dates and legislative review.

Summary:
Would require the Office of Administrative Law to submit to each house of the Legislature for review a copy of each major regulation that it submits to the Secretary of State. The bill would add another exception to those currently provided that specifies that a regulation does not become effective if the Legislature enacts a statute to override the regulation.

AB 496    (Fong R)   Transportation funding.

Summary:
Would create the Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Program to address traffic congestion and deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system. The bill would provide for the deposit of various existing sources of revenue in the Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Account, which the bill would create in the State Transportation Fund, including revenues attributable to the sales and use tax on motor vehicles, revenues attributable to automobile and motor vehicle insurance policies from the insurer gross premiums tax, revenues from certain diesel fuel sales and use taxes, revenues from certain vehicle registration fees, and certain miscellaneous State Highway Account revenues.

AB 600    (Cooper D)   Manufacturing incentives.

Summary:
Would express the intent of the Legislature to improve the state’s manufacturing incentives to promote a stronger California economy by securing a greater share of the high-paying, high-skilled jobs in manufacturing and research and development and would make legislative findings in this regard.

AB 913    (Gray D)   Construction-related accessibility claims: extremely high-frequency litigants.

Summary:
Would authorize a court to enter a prefiling order prohibiting an extremely high-frequency litigant, as defined, from filing any new litigation in the courts of this state without first obtaining leave of the presiding justice or presiding judge of the court where the litigation is proposed to be filed. The bill would require the clerk of the court to provide the Judicial Council with a copy of all prefiling orders, and would require the Judicial Council to maintain and annually disseminate a record of extremely high-frequency litigants subject to those prefiling orders, as specified.

AB 943    (Santiago D)   Land use regulations: local initiatives: voter approval.

Summary:
Current law establishes procedures by which city ordinances may be enacted by initiative, including requiring that an ordinance proposed by the voters or submitted by the legislative body of the city be approved by a majority of the votes cast on the ordinance. This bill, in the case of an ordinance that would curb, delay, or deter growth or development within a city, require that an ordinance proposed by the voters or submitted by the legislative body of the city receive 2/3 of the votes cast on the ordinance in order to become effective. The bill would declare that it addresses a matter of statewide concern.

AB 1148    (Steinorth R)   Commercial property: disclosures: disability access.

Summary:
Current law requires the State Architect to establish a program for the voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets criteria as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp). Current law also requires a commercial property owner or lessor to state on every lease form or rental agreement executed on or after January 1, 2017, whether or not the premises have undergone inspection by a CASp. This bill would define commercial property for the purposes of that provision as property that is offered for sale or lease to persons operating, or intending to operate, a place of public accommodation or facility to which the general public is invited at those premises.

AB 1289    (Arambula D)   Real property disclosure requirements.

Summary:
Current law authorizes an open listing to contain an agreement by the owner to pay the listing agent compensation in any amount, at any time, and for any services, other than for selling the property or procuring or finding a buyer, as the agreement may specify. This bill would delete those provisions relating to an open listing and would revise and recast those provisions to make definitions in the Real Estate Law applicable to these provisions.

AB 1326    (Cooper D)   Theft: aggregate valuation.

Summary:
The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (act), created the offense of shoplifting, and applied the $950 limit to that crime and to the crimes of forgery of certain financial instruments, passing a check or certain other instruments knowing there are insufficient funds for payment of the check or instrument, petty theft, and buying or receiving stolen property, as specified. This bill would additionally provide that those offenses may be punishable as a felony if the property involved in the multiple commission of those offenses within a 12-month period has a value in the aggregate exceeding $950, as specified.

AB 1379    (Thurmond D)   Certified access specialist program.

Summary:
Current law requires the State Architect to establish and publicize a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets specified criteria as a certified access specialist, as provided.This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to this provision.

AB 1515    (Daly D)   Planning and zoning: housing.

Summary:
Would specify that a housing development project or emergency shelter is deemed consistent with an applicable plan, program, policy, ordinance, standard, requirement, or other similar provision if there is sufficient evidence that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the housing development project or emergency shelter is consistent. The bill would make additional findings related to the Housing Accountability Act in this regard.

AB 1569    (Caballero D)   Disability rights: reasonable accommodations: animals.

Summary:
Current law entitles individuals with disabilities to full and equal access to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or compensation in this state, as provided, and prohibits a person renting, leasing, or otherwise providing real property for compensation from refusing to make reasonable accommodations for an individual with a disability. This bill, if a prospective or current tenant requests a disability-related reasonable accommodation to keep an animal on the real property and the disability is not readily apparent or the disability-related need for an animal is not apparent, would authorize a person renting, leasing, or otherwise providing real property for compensation to request that a third party provide verification of the disability and disability-related need for the animal from the prospective or current tenant.

SB 1    (Beall D)   Transportation funding.

Summary:
Would create the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program to address deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system. The bill would require the California Transportation Commission to adopt performance criteria, consistent with a specified asset management plan, to ensure efficient use of certain funds available for the program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

SB 600    (Galgiani D)   Sales and use taxes.

Summary:
Would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would improve the state’s sales and use tax incentives to promote a stronger California economy by securing a greater share of the high-paying, high-skilled jobs in manufacturing and research and development. The bill would also make findings and declarations in this regard.

SB 711    (Hill D)   Infrastructure finance: Local-State Sustainable Investment Incentive Program.

Summary:
The Bergeson-Peace Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Act establishes the Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The bank is authorized, among other things, to issue bonds, approve the issuance of certain bonds, invest moneys, and make loans. This bill, until January 1, 2025, would establish in state government the Local-State Sustainable Investment Incentive Program, which would be administered by the Strategic Growth Council.

SB 764    (Moorlach R)   Real estate trust fund accounts: fidelity insurance.

Summary:
Current law authorizes certain persons, including, among others, a real estate salesperson licensed to the broker to withdraw funds from a trust fund account of the broker if specifically authorized in writing. Current law authorizes an unlicensed employee of the broker to withdraw funds from the broker’s trust fund account if the broker has fidelity bond coverage equal to the maximum amount of the trust funds to which the unlicensed employee has access to at any time. This bill would also authorize an unlicensed employee of the broker to withdraw funds if the broker has fidelity insurance coverage equal to the maximum amount of the trust funds to which the unlicensed employee has access to at any time.

BILLS BILLS BILLS – LEAN OPPOSE/OPPOSE!

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Here a few bills were the committee approved an oppose position.

AB 5    (Gonzalez Fletcher D)   Employers: Opportunity to Work Act.

Summary:
Would create the Opportunity to Work Act. The bill would require an employer with 10 or more employees to offer additional hours of work to an existing nonexempt employee before hiring an additional employee or subcontractor, except as specified, would require an employer to post a notice of employee rights, as specified, and would require the employer to maintain certain documentation. The bill would authorize an employee to file a complaint for violation of these provisions with the division and to, in the alternative, bring a civil action for remedies under the act.

AB 199    (Chu D)   Public works: private residential projects.

Summary:
Would require private residential projects built on private property that are built pursuant to an agreement with the state or a political subdivision to meet the requirements for projects that are defined as “public works,” thus expanding the types of projects that must meet these requirements. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

AB 354    (Calderon D)   Rental housing.

Summary:
Would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to address the impacts on the real estate market in California of the investment activities of large-scale buy-to-rent investors in the state and would make various findings and declarations in this regard.

AB 378    (Garcia, Cristina D)   California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: regulations.

Summary:
Would require the State Air Resources Board to consider and account for the social costs of the emissions and greenhouse gases when adopting those rules and regulations. The bill would authorize the state board to adopt or subsequently revise new regulations that establish a market-based compliance mechanism, applicable from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2030, to complement direct emissions reduction measures in ensuring that statewide greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to at least 40% below the 1990 level by 2030.

AB 890    (Medina D)   Local land use initiatives: environmental review.

Summary:
Would require a proponent of an proposed initiative ordinance, at the time he or she files a copy of the proposed initiative ordinance for preparation of a ballot title and summary with the appropriate elections official, to also request that an environmental review of the proposed initiative ordinance be conducted by the appropriate planning department, as specified. The bill would require elections official to notify the proponent of the result of the environmental review.

AB 1239    (Holden D)   Building standards: electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Summary:
The California Building Standards Law law requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to propose mandatory building standards for the installation of future electric vehicle charging infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings. That law also requires the department and the California Building Standards Commission to use specified provisions of the California Green Building Standards Code as a starting point for those mandatory building standards. This bill would instead require the department and the commission to adopt mandatory building standards that include specified mandatory provisions.

AB 1506    (Bloom D)   Residential rent control: Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Summary:
The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act prescribes statewide limits on the application of local rent control with regard to certain properties.This bill would repeal that act.

SB 2    (Atkins D)   Building Homes and Jobs Act.

Summary:
Would enact the Building Homes and Jobs Act. The bill would make legislative findings and declarations relating to the need for establishing permanent, ongoing sources of funding dedicated to affordable housing development. The bill would impose a fee, except as provided, of $75 to be paid at the time of the recording of every real estate instrument, paper, or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded, per each single transaction per single parcel of real property, not to exceed $225.

SB 49    (De León D)   California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017.

Summary:
The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act regulates the discharge of pollutants into the waters of the state. The California Safe Drinking Water Act establishes standards for drinking water and regulates drinking water systems. The California Endangered Species Act requires the Fish and Game Commission to establish a list of endangered species and a list of threatened species and generally prohibits the taking of those species. The Protect California Air Act of 2003 prohibits air quality management districts and air pollution control districts from amending or revising their new source review rules or regulations to be less stringent than those rules or regulations that existed on December 30, 2002. This bill would prohibit state or local agencies from amending or revising their rules and regulations implementing the above state laws to be less stringent than the baseline federal standards, as defined, and would require specified agencies to take prescribed actions to maintain and enforce certain requirements and standards pertaining to air, water, and protected species.

SB 62    (Jackson D)   Unlawful employment: family care and medical leave.

Summary:
Would make various changes to the definitions of the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act as specified, thereby expanding the persons and purposes for which leave is required to be provided under the act. The bill would redefine the term “child” to include a biological, adopted, or foster son or daughter, a stepchild, a legal ward, a son or daughter of a domestic partner, or a person to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, and would remove the restriction on age or dependent status. The bill would expand the definition of leave with regard to caring for persons with a serious health condition to also include leave to care for a grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner who has a serious health condition.

SB 63    (Jackson D)   Unlawful employment practice: parental leave.

Summary:
Would prohibit an employer, as defined, from refusing 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. The bill would provide that it would not apply to an employee who is subject to both specified state law regarding family care and medical leave, and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

SB 71    (Wiener D)   Electricity: solar energy systems.

Summary:
Current regulations on building standards require certain residential and nonresidential buildings to have a solar zone, as defined, on the roof of the building that is designated and reserved for solar electric or solar thermal systems and that meets certain specifications relating to minimum area, orientation, and shading, among other things. This bill would require a solar electric or solar thermal system to be installed in the solar zone of those residential and nonresidential buildings on which construction commences on or after January 1, 2018, during that construction.

SB 150    (Allen D)   Regional transportation plans.

Summary:
Current law requires metropolitan planning organizations to adopt a sustainable communities strategy or alternative planning strategy, subject to specified requirements, as part of a regional transportation plan, which is to be designed to achieve certain targets for 2020 and 2035 established by the State Air Resources Board for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks in the region. This bill would require the state board to update the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, as specified.

SB 224    (Jackson D)   California Environmental Quality Act: baseline conditions.

Summary:
Would prohibit the lead agency, in determining the baseline physical conditions by which a lead agency determines whether a project has a significant effect on the environment, from considering the effects of certain actions on the environment.

SB 584    (De León D)   California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program.

Summary:
The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program additionally requires each local publicly owned electric utility, as defined, to procure a minimum quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources to achieve the procurement requirements established by the program. The Legislature has separately declared that its intent in implementing the program is to attain, among other targets for sale of eligible renewable resources, the target of 50% of total retail sales of electricity by December 31, 2030. This bill would revise those legislative findings and declarations to state that the goal of the program is to achieve that 50% target by December 31, 2025, and for all electricity sold at retail to be generated by eligible renewable energy resources by December 31, 2045.

2017 CASp EXAM REGISTRATION

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Registration is now open for the June 2017 Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination to be held in Sacramento and Riverside on June 28th.   Individuals with CASp certification are in high demand by clients seeking to ensure their facilities comply with applicable construction-related accessibility standards, including the California Building Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obtaining CASp certification and/or encouraging an employee in your company to pursue the certification, provides you with an opportunity to increase your business, enhances the services you provide, helps distinguish you from your peers, and will help protect you from unnecessary lawsuits.

Register through the CASp Account Login site. Registration closes one month prior to the examination date or when the exam reaches the maximum capacity seating, whichever occurs first.  Information for all of the 2017 exams is listed online in the CASp examination schedule.

 

NONRESIDENTIAL HVAC STAKEHOLDER MEETING NEXT WEEK

Posted: March 24, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The second set of Utility-Sponsored Stakeholder Meetings to discuss the 2019 Title 24, Part 6 nonresidential HVAC topics will be held on March 29, 2017 as online webinars.

These meetings are part of the stakeholder outreach process undertaken by the Statewide Utility Codes and Standards Team in support of the development of California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24). Through this process, the team will solicit input from stakeholders on code change options for nonresidential HVAC measures.

We need industry experts to participate.  Please pass this notification on to people in your company responsible for energy efficiency and HVAC systems.

PROTECT CONSTRUCTION JOBS; STOP PROPOSED PREVAILING WAGE MANDATE

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

***ACTION NEEDED***

AB 199 (Chu; D-San Jose) is a legislative proposal which poses a huge threat to the entire construction industry by mandating the payment of Prevailing Wages for private residential projects in California.

Such a requirement would be financially devastating for new project development and the entire construction industry.

Additionally, in California, housing costs are being driven by a severe shortage of housing. California is only adding 80,000 new housing units annually – 100,000 units short of what is needed to meet demand and lower costs.

The average single family home now costs $440,000 – two and a half times the national average.

Rents are also 50 percent higher than the rest of the country, with monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles and San Francisco ranging from $2,600 to $4,550.

We must defeat this proposal as it will hurt our industry and it will skyrocket housing costs.

The commercial real estate industry cares deeply about this issue for several reasons, but importantly if advocates succeed with this measure this year, our projects will be targeted next.

Contact your California State Legislator, today, to encourage that they oppose AB 199 by clicking here.

AB 199 WILL INCREASE COST OF HOUSING

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Our friend and coalition partner Dave Cogdill, a former state senator, and current president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association, has penned the following article to outline the damaging impacts that AB 199 would have on the state’s affordable housing crisis.  Click here to read the article.

COMPANION ANIMAL MEASURE

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

AB 1569 (Caballero; D-Salinas) is a bill that tries to address issues related to “companion animals” in public buildings.  This is an issue that many commercial real estate and residential real estate property managers deal with on an ongoing basis.  Under state and federal ADA laws its not always clear what can and cannot be required or even asked of a tenant or visitor that has such an animal in tow.  We applaud Ms. Caballero for taking on this issue and we are looking for feedback on whether the language of this proposed measure will address the issues your companies face.  We are also trying to clarify that this measure will apply equally to commercial as well as residential properties.  Click here to read the bill.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUIT BILL

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We are also pushing back and opposing SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles) an overbroad bill that includes a private right of action for environmental laws similar to the Private Attorneys General Act provisions that have led to shakedown lawsuits for alleged labor and employment law violations.

According to the CalChamber, which has just tagged this bill as a “Job Killer,” the bill is an attempt to deal with California concerns about the uncertainty at the federal level associated with environmental laws identified in the bill.  SB 49 is a premature, overbroad, and vague response to things that could happen in the future while in the present creating substantial uncertainty for businesses in advance of any such potential changes and correspondingly greatly increasing the potential for costly litigation.

SB 49 requires the state agencies to adopt the baseline federal standards in the federal Clean Air Act, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, the federal Water Pollution Control Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, and “other federal laws” defined as unidentified laws “relating to environmental protection, natural resources, or public health.”

ALL-GENDER SINGLE-USE BATHROOM LAW NOW IN EFFECT

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

A new California law went in to effect on March 1, 2017, that requires facilities with “single use bathrooms” make those facilities gender neutral.  Basically, if you have bathrooms at any of your properties that one person can go in and lock the door, you need to change the door sign to indicate it is an “all-gender” bathroom.

The bill that created this state law was Assembly Bill 1732 (Ting, Chapter 818, Statutes of 2016) which Governor Brown signed into law on September 29, 2016.  It created Health and Safety Code Section 118600, relating to the identification of single-user toilet facilities as all-gender toilet facilities.

Click here to view the compliance guidance from the Division of the State Architect that will give your facilities staff more technical direction.

NON-RESIDENTIAL LIGHTING SURVEY – IMPORTANT!

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

In partnership with the Utility Codes and Standards Team, the California Energy Commission is seeking input from companies that have done nonresidential lighting retrofit projects.  It is very important that property owners and managers provide input to this survey since lighting retrofits have been one of the biggest sources of increased cost per square foot in the past two years.

The survey was developed to better understand the use of the available compliance pathways for nonresidential lighting retrofit projects and the age of lighting systems in existing buildings. The results may be used to inform the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Codes and Standards Enhancement process.

Please complete the survey here before March 22, 2017.

2017 CASp EXAM REGISTRATION

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Registration is now open for the June 2017 Certified Access Specialist (CASp) examination to be held in Sacramento and Riverside on June 28th.   Individuals with CASp certification are in high demand by clients seeking to ensure their facilities comply with applicable construction-related accessibility standards, including the California Building Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obtaining CASp certification and/or encouraging an employee in your company to pursue the certification, provides you with an opportunity to increase your business, enhances the services you provide, helps distinguish you from your peers, and will help protect you from unnecessary lawsuits.

Register through the CASp Account Login site. Registration closes one month prior to the examination date or when the exam reaches the maximum capacity seating, whichever occurs first.  Information for all of the 2017 exams is listed online in the CASp examination schedule.

INDUSTRYWIDE LEGISLATIVE MEETING

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

CBPA’s annual industrywide Legislative Committee meeting is scheduled for March 23, in Los Angeles.  This is the meeting commercial real estate experts from all the major real estate sectors and industry groups come together to review legislation and set positions and priorities for the work that will happen in Sacramento’s Capitol.  More than 400 bills will be discussed at this important meeting.  Please contact your local legislative chair if you are interested in participating.

CALIFORNIA GREEN SUMMIT

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The 2017 Green California Summit will be at the Sacramento Convention Center April 26-27 and “Early Bird” registration is now open.

Concurrent sessions and keynotes will provide insight into innovations in energy efficiency, fleet management, water conservation, purchasing, green codes, funding for projects and more.

Keep your company on the cutting edge of technology and learn more about all the regulations and laws that will impact your operation.  Click here for more information and/or to register.

NON-RESIDENTIAL HVAC STAKEHOLDER MEETING

Posted: March 10, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The second set of Utility-Sponsored Stakeholder Meetings to discuss the 2019 Title 24, Part 6 non-residential HVAC topics will be held on March 15 and March 29, 2017 as online webinars.

These meetings are part of the stakeholder outreach process undertaken by the Statewide Utility Codes and Standards Team in support of the development of California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24). Through this process, the team will solicit input from stakeholders on code change options for nonresidential HVAC measures.

We need industry experts to participate.  Please pass this notification on to people in your company responsible for energy efficiency and HVAC systems.  More information is available here.

SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL ADA REFORM!

Posted: February 11, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

A special thanks to our CA Members of Congress who have signed on to H.R. 620 Representatives Scott Peters (D; CD-52), Den Calvert (R; CD-42), Ami Bera (D; CD-7), and Jackie Speier (D; CD 14).

We have joined a large coalition of stakeholders in Washington D.C. to applaud and support the introduction of H.R. 620, “The ADA Education and Reform Act.”  Recently in California we have seen several major reforms to the statewide implementation of the ADA, which are intended to increase access while reducing unnecessary lawsuits.  This legislation will hopefully mirror some of our state’s reforms.

The commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry strongly supports the intent of the ADA and its goal to ensure that all Americans have equal access and opportunities.  Business and property owners are committed to creating a safe, welcoming environment for everyone and acknowledge the significant impact the ADA has made in achieving that goal.

The letter reads, in part, “Legislation is needed to ensure that resources are focused on improving access and compliance with the law while protecting business from abusive lawsuits. Unfortunately, the ADA is being undermined by a growing “cottage industry” made up of attorneys and plaintiffs who file lawsuits against business and property owners over alleged violations.  The current system creates confusion amongst business and property owners who reasonably believed their property was ADA compliant – typically based on assurances by state and local inspectors.  Oftentimes, business owners find it is less expensive to settle the suits than to defend them, even if the property owner is compliant.   This bill will change that by requiring that business owners have time to fix what is allegedly broken.”

Here’s to hoping we can reform this important law this year!

DROUGHT OVER IN NORTH; SOUTH STILL NEEDS WATER

Posted: February 11, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The U.S. Drought Monitor says that another week of powerful storms has significantly eased the state’s water shortage. Nearly all of Northern California has been classified as out of drought conditions.   Much of Southern California, however, remains in Moderate to Severe Drought conditions.  However, with some traditionally wet days to come, officials are feeling good that the state pulls out of the drought. Click here to check out the state map.

Northern California has been hit so hard, many rivers are nearing flood stage and officials have opened the Delta weirs in Sacramento two times.

GOVERNOR SETS CA PRIORITIES FOR FED INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

Posted: February 11, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

California has released its list of infrastructure priorities for a potential federal funding package.  The list consists mainly of major projects costing $100 million or more including new carpool and toll lanes, an earthquake early warning system, and high speed rail and the Delta tunnels.  Although the Governor did include expansion of San Luis Reservoir in the Central Valley, two water projects are notably absent; Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat Dam, which the Governor says are not to a point where they are ready for such funding.  Click here to read the Governor’s letter and see the full list.

In a related story, rumor is that there is a Democratic agreement between the Governor and legislators to meet an early April deadline for a state transportation funding package, which has been difficult to nail down for over two years now.

BUSINESS SUPPORTED EXPERT NAMED TO CAL/OSHA STANDARDS BOARD

Posted: February 11, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

With the support of the business community and the California Chamber of Commerce, Chris Laszcz-Davis was appointed this week to the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Laszcz-Davis fills a management representative seat on the seven-member Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, the standards-setting agency within the Cal/OSHA program. All members are appointed by the Governor.

The Standards Board’s objective is to adopt reasonable and enforceable workplace safety and health standards at least as effective as federal standards. The Standards Board also has the responsibility to grant or deny applications for variances from adopted standards and respond to petitions for new or revised standards. The part-time, independent board holds monthly meetings throughout California.

Click here to read more about Laszcz-Davis.

NFIB RELEASES ITS “GOOD, BAD, AND THE UGLY”

Posted: February 11, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Our close coalition partners in Sacramento, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), has released its annual list of good, bad, and really really bad bills.  Nationally, NFIB has over 325,000 small business members and is an active force working the all the business groups on legislative and regulatory issues in California.  We are aligned with NFIB on these positions and will actively work with them on many of these bills. Click here to view the list.

STATE PERMITTING HEARING

Posted: February 11, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The Little Hoover Commission will hold a hearing to closely examine the state’s permitting processes.  Set for Thursday, February 23, 2017, the Commission will hold a public hearing on state permitting processes, after hearing reports from local regional and public agencies that permitting requirements are hindering infrastructure project work. Click here for more information and to find out how you can participate.

JOBKILLERS!

Posted: February 11, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Although early in the legislative session, the California Chamber of Commerce has already tagged four bills as “job killers” – the worst of the worst bills that would have a negative impact on California’s economy if they become law. As a CalChamber member and coalition partner in Sacramento we stand with them to help modify or defeat these bills.

AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego/Kalra; D-San Jose) mandates small employers with as few as 10 employees to offer all employees who have the skills and experience to perform additional hours of work that become available before hiring a new employee, temporary employee, or contractor.

SB 33 (Dodd; D-Napa) deals with arbitration agreements. The bill applies to any contract for goods or services that requires the individual to submit all disputes to arbitration, including those arising from claims alleging fraud, identity theft, or wrongful use of personal identifying information.

SB 62 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) will significantly expand the list of individuals for which employees can take leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), creating a lack of conformity with the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and therefore creating an opportunity for California employees to take up to 24 weeks/ 6 months of protected leave in a 12-month period. Governor Brown vetoed a similar proposal in 2015.

SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) requires a California employer who employs as few as 20 employees within a 75-mile radius to provide 12 weeks of protected parental leave. Governor Brown vetoed a similar, but narrower proposal just last year. This proposed mandate comes on top of the current requirement that employers with only 5 employees allow up to 16 weeks of protected pregnancy-related leave.

The CalChamber will release the full list of job killer bills in the spring after seeing all the bills that are introduced and receiving input from coalition partners such as ourselves.

BOMA CAL BOARD KICKS OF 2017

Posted: February 3, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Earlier this week in conjunction with the BOMA International Winter Business Meeting in San Diego, more than forty leaders from California gathered around the table for the first BOMA California board meeting of 2017.

The first order of business was to “thank” Deanna Drake Copelan for her service as President to the board the past two years and welcome incoming President Dave Mastro from BOMA Sacramento.  Here is a full listing of the 2017 Executive Committee:

Dave Mastro, President (Sacramento)

Dave Foley, Vice President (Greater Los Angeles)

Tom Magnussen, Treasurer (San Diego)

Jim Collins, Secretary (SF)

Deanna Drake-Copelan, Immediate Past President (Oakland/East Bay)

Brian Harnetiaux, Executive Committee (Orange County)

Sarahann Shapiro, Executive Committee (Silicon Valley)

Desiree Lavin Glover, Executive Committee (Inland Empire)

The Building Owners and Managers Association of California (BOMA California) is a federation of all eight metropolitan BOMA local associations and serves as the collective membership’s legislative and regulatory advocate.  The mission of BOMA California is to preserve and promote the interests of California commercial real estate professionals through legislative and regulatory advocacy.

Each of the eight California local associations name five members to represent them on the Board.

BOMA is all about advocacy for the commercial real estate industry, whether before board of supervisors, the California State Legislature, state agencies like the State Fire Marshal’s office or the Public Utilities Commission, or the U.S. Congress.

The board held a high level discussions regarding the upcoming legislative session, upcoming regulatory battles, Political Action Committee activity, and heard from former Bush Administration Official, Ruben Barrales (current CEO of GROW Elect) about what the potential impact of California officials aggressively pushing back against the new Administration in D.C.

The Board meets three times a year, maintains a legislative, regulatory, and energy committees, and holds regular conference calls to provide direction on policy and political activity to our advocates in Sacramento.

INDUSTRIAL BUILDING LAWSUIT; OAKLAND GHOSTSHIP FIRE

Posted: February 3, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Fallout from a fire in an industrial building that was being used for unpermitted residences and social functions continues, as the Bay Area News Group has stated it will sue for documents that address the city’s failure to shutter the building and save lives.

“In a four-page letter sent to city officials Thursday, the two-month anniversary of the tragic fire, the news group demanded the release of records detailing police and fire contacts at the Ghost Ship warehouse in the years,” reports the East Bay Times.

The tragedy has shined a light on the importance of following building, and health and safety codes, and the important role that city and county inspectors have in assuring that buildings out of compliance are taken care of.

Read more about the investigation of this tragedy here.

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE IN THE NORTH

Posted: February 3, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

After several wet weeks in Northern California and the Sierra snowpack building ever higher, pumps in the Delta are at full throttle pushing excess rainwater to neighbors in the south.   Although no one is declaring the drought over just yet, out of an abundance of caution, it looks like the cyclical nature of California’s climate is back to a “wet spell.”

With more rain and snow expected, state officials, farmers, and environmentalists – and the people and businesses that have been working so hard to conserve water in that past few years – breathe a sigh of relief.  Click here to get all the numbers and graphs from the SacBee.

CALIFORNIA TOPS POVERTY LIST

Posted: February 3, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Quantifying something that the business community has been warning about for years, California’s strict laws on a variety of issues and regulatory thicket has made our state one of the most expensive states in the nation and has pushed our “supplemental poverty measure” to the dubious first-place in the nation position.

“The US Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure puts California’s poverty rate at 20.6 percent, just above Florida, which sits at 19 percent. By comparison, the state with the lowest poverty rate is New Hampshire at 8.7 percent. The supplemental poverty measure takes into account the cost of living, taxes, house and medical costs. The poverty threshold in California is an average of $30,000 for a two-adult, two-child family depending on the region of the state.”

Everything from grocery staples, to cooling/heating a home, to the almost non-existent availability of affordable housing has pushed lower income Californians in a very difficult situation.

Although stories on this are focusing on the impact to low income individuals, the same affect is happening to our state’s businesses as everything is taxed and regulated to the point that just staying within the law takes a full time vigilance and eats up much of a business’ capital.

Click here to read the full story in Capitol Weekly.

EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL CALIFORNIANS

Posted: February 3, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

And to further break down the poverty numbers in the state – rural vs. urban – and offer business oriented solutions, one of our favorite deep thinkers, Loren Kaye, offers the following:

Nearly one of three Californians receives subsidized health care through Medi-Cal. More than 3.3 million schoolchildren receive subsidized school lunches—about half of total public school enrollment.

 California has the highest percentage of people living in poverty. Even among huge wealth generation and employment gains, millions of California families cannot reach the California dream.

 The new California earthquake has a clear geographical dimension. Grab the 36 counties in rural, mountain and Northern California, and the aggregate unemployment rate is 6.6%. If rural California were a separate state, its unemployment rate would be the highest in the country.

 Increasing opportunity and offering everyone a slice of the pie is within reach of the state leaders. Lawmakers should start with these five goals:

 1. Invest in Transportation and Water Infrastructure.

2. Increase Housing Supply.

3. Make Energy More Affordable.

4. Update Labor Laws and Reduce Litigation.

5. Invest in Education and a Skilled Workforce.

We are working with Loren and the CalChamber and several other partners in Sacramento to develop and push forward such an agenda.  Click here to read the full story.

JOBKILLERS!

Posted: February 3, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Although early in the legislative session, the California Chamber of Commerce has already tagged four bills as “job killers” – the worst of the worst bills that would have a negative impact on California’s economy if they become law. As a CalChamber member and coalition partner in Sacramento we stand with them to help modify or defeat these bills.

AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego/Kalra; D-San Jose) mandates small employers with as few as 10 employees to offer all employees who have the skills and experience to perform additional hours of work that become available before hiring a new employee, temporary employee, or contractor.

SB 33 (Dodd; D-Napa) deals with arbitration agreements. The bill applies to any contract for goods or services that requires the individual to submit all disputes to arbitration, including those arising from claims alleging fraud, identity theft, or wrongful use of personal identifying information.

SB 62 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) will significantly expand the list of individuals for which employees can take leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), creating a lack of conformity with the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and therefore creating an opportunity for California employees to take up to 24 weeks/ 6 months of protected leave in a 12-month period. Governor Brown vetoed a similar proposal in 2015.

SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) requires a California employer who employs as few as 20 employees within a 75-mile radius to provide 12 weeks of protected parental leave. Governor Brown vetoed a similar, but narrower proposal just last year. This proposed mandate comes on top of the current requirement that employers with only 5 employees allow up to 16 weeks of protected pregnancy-related leave.

The CalChamber will release the full list of job killer bills in the spring after seeing all the bills that are introduced and receiving input from coalition partners such as ourselves.

SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL ADA REFORM!

Posted: February 3, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We have joined a large coalition of stakeholders in Washington D.C. to applaud and support the introduction of H.R. 620, “The ADA Education and Reform Act.”  Recently in California we have seen several major reforms to the statewide implementation of the ADA, which are intended to increase access while reducing unnecessary lawsuits.  This legislation will hopefully mirror some of our state’s reforms.

The commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry strongly supports the intent of the ADA and its goal to ensure that all Americans have equal access and opportunities.  Business and property owners are committed to creating a safe, welcoming environment for everyone and acknowledge the significant impact the ADA has made in achieving that goal.

The letter reads, in part, “Legislation is needed to ensure that resources are focused on improving access and compliance with the law while protecting business from abusive lawsuits. Unfortunately, the ADA is being undermined by a growing “cottage industry” made up of attorneys and plaintiffs who file lawsuits against business and property owners over alleged violations.  The current system creates confusion amongst business and property owners who reasonably believed their property was ADA compliant – typically based on assurances by state and local inspectors.  Oftentimes, business owners find it is less expensive to settle the suits than to defend them, even if the property owner is compliant.   This bill will change that by requiring that business owners have time to fix what is allegedly broken.”

Here’s to hoping we can reform this important law this year!

STATE-OF-THE-STATE

Posted: January 27, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Governor Brown delivered his “State of the State” address earlier this week, a speech in which he highlighted sharpened lines between the state and federal governments and implored citizens to “Act as Californian’s first.”

In his remarks he quoted Woody Guthrie, discussed plans for infrastructure, and took some of his time to swear in new California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Click here to read the speech as written, which ends with the defiant line directed to the new Administration in Washington D.C., “California is not turning back. Not now, not ever.”

BILL REQUIRES ALL RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS

Posted: January 27, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

AB 199 (Chu; D-San Jose) introduced this week would require private residential projects built on private property that are built pursuant to an agreement with the state or a political subdivision to meet the requirements for projects that are defined as “public works.”

This bill has many very concerned in that it would make already scarce affordable housing even more difficult to build by unnecessarily increasing costs to build.  Companies that focus on commercial real estate are also concerned in that if the Legislature decides to apply public works requirements on housing projects of this type, it could very easily lead to similar requirements on non-residential.

SOLAR MANDATE COMING?

Posted: January 27, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

SB 71 (Weiner; D-San Francisco) is a “spot bill” that states the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would require the installation of solar photovoltaic systems or solar water heating systems in solar zones provided for pursuant to Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.  According to the author’s office, they are looking into expanding San Francisco’s recently passed solar and green roofs mandate statewide.

Under current law, the Title 24 solar-ready requirement requires a minimum area that is unshaded and free of obstructions.  It can be on the roof or overhang of the building, on the roof or overhang of another structure within 250 feet of the primary building, or it can be on covered parking installed with the building project.  The Standards allow for two methods of calculating the required area.  Method 1 is just 15% of the roof area.  Method 2 is more complicated and allows for a reduced minimum area based on a “potential solar zone” that factors in limited access due to shading.

Our current understanding is that the bill would require that new buildings take the next step and actually install PV.

The solar-ready requirement applies to newly constructed hotel/motel occupancies with 10 stories or fewer, high-rise multifamily buildings with 10 stories or fewer, and all other nonresidential buildings with three stories or fewer.  It is also mandatory for additions where the total roof area is increased by at least 2,000 square feet.

Click here to see a press release from Senator Weiner.

 

We will keep you posted as the bill evolves.

JOBKILLERS!

Posted: January 27, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Although early in the legislative session, the California Chamber of Commerce has already tagged four bills as “job killers” – the worst of the worst bills that would have a negative impact on California’s economy if they become law. As a CalChamber member and coalition partner in Sacramento we stand with them to help modify or defeat these bills.

AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego/Kalra; D-San Jose) mandates small employers with as few as 10 employees to offer all employees who have the skills and experience to perform additional hours of work that become available before hiring a new employee, temporary employee, or contractor.

SB 33 (Dodd; D-Napa) deals with arbitration agreements. The bill applies to any contract for goods or services that requires the individual to submit all disputes to arbitration, including those arising from claims alleging fraud, identity theft, or wrongful use of personal identifying information.

SB 62 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) will significantly expand the list of individuals for which employees can take leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), creating a lack of conformity with the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and therefore creating an opportunity for California employees to take up to 24 weeks/ 6 months of protected leave in a 12-month period. Governor Brown vetoed a similar proposal in 2015.

SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) requires a California employer who employs as few as 20 employees within a 75-mile radius to provide 12 weeks of protected parental leave. Governor Brown vetoed a similar, but narrower proposal just last year. This proposed mandate comes on top of the current requirement that employers with only 5 employees allow up to 16 weeks of protected pregnancy-related leave.

The CalChamber will release the full list of job killer bills in the spring after seeing all the bills that are introduced and receiving input from coalition partners such as ourselves.

SINGLE-USE TOILET FACILITY REGULATIONS

Posted: January 27, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

Recent legislation (Chapter 818, Statutes of 2016 [AB 1732]) requires that single occupancy (single-user) toilet facilities be identified for use by any gender, as opposed to being gender specific. This requirement applies to new facilities and existing facilities, effective March 1, 2017.

The Division of the State Architect (DSA) has issued a regulatory bulleting to further define, clarify, and provide guidance for applicability.

Click here to read the bulletin and make sure you are in compliance with the law.

STATE MOVING AHEAD WITH GHG PLAN FULL STEAM

Posted: January 27, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

The federal government may have removed the “Climate Change” page from the White House’s website, but California is doing no such thing.  In 2006, the Legislature passed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), which created a comprehensive, multi-year program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California.  AB 32 required the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop a Scoping Plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce GHGs to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The Scoping Plan was first approved by the Board in 2008, impact all forms of energy, building codes, and transportation, and must be updated every five years.  ARB is moving forward with a second update to the Scoping Plan to reflect the 2030 targets set by the Legislature and Governor.

Although we are following the proceedings very closely, this is a massive undertaking and we need experts from our industry to pay attention, follow along, and advise us on issues of concern and/or positive aspects of the plan.  Click here to read all the materials.

SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL ADA REFORM!

Posted: January 27, 2017 | Posted by cwhitfield | No Comments

We have joined a large coalition of stakeholders in Washington D.C. to applaud and support the introduction of H.R. 620, “The ADA Education and Reform Act.”  Recently in California we have seen several major reforms to the statewide implementation of the ADA, which are intended to increase access while reducing unnecessary lawsuits.  This legislation will hopefully mirror some of our state’s reforms.

The commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry strongly supports the intent of the ADA and its goal to ensure that all Americans have equal access and opportunities.  Business and property owners are committed to creating a safe, welcoming environment for everyone and acknowledge the significant impact the ADA has made in achieving that goal.

The letter reads, in part, “Legislation is needed to ensure that resources are focused on improving access and compliance with the law while protecting business from abusive lawsuits. Unfortunately, the ADA is being undermined by a growing “cottage industry” made up of attorneys and plaintiffs who file lawsuits against business and property owners over alleged violations.  The current system creates confusion amongst business and property owners who reasonably believed their property was ADA compliant – typically based on assurances by state and local inspectors.  Oftentimes, business owners find it is less expensive to settle the suits than to defend them, even if the property owner is compliant.   This bill will change that by requiring that business owners have time to fix what is allegedly broken.”

Here’s to hoping we can reform this important law this year!

© 2007-2012 Building Owners and Managers Association of California (BOMA Cal)