1:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Thursday, January 27, 2011 San Diego, California
Land Use & Environment Committee Mission Statement: This Committee is a Policy committee. Its mission is to develop C.A.R.'s land use and environmental policy. It has original jurisdiction to evaluate legislation and regulation in the following issue areas as they relate to real estate: Environmental, Land Use and Zoning, Property Rights, Resources, and Subdivision and Development.
Staff Coordinator: Elizabeth Gavric Federal Committee Staff: Matthew Roberts
I. Welcome and Opening Remarks - Greg Haas, Chair
II. Legislative Process and C.A.R. Policy Development Overview – Shari Setser
III. Environmental – Nick Zigic, Issue Chair a. Proposed Wetland Area Protection Policy and Regulations: The State Water Resources Control Board is seeking to prepare a project called the Wetland Area Protection Policy and Dredge and Fill Regulations. This new project will include a definition for the term “wetland” that could have significant effects on how property owners can use and develop their land. C.A.R. is currently waiting for documents in this proceeding to become available for review and public comment.
b. Questions on Reported Item or Other Business?
IV. Land Use and Zoning - Patrick Lieuw, Issue Chair a. AB 49 (Gatto) – Development: Expedited Permit Review – Support. AB 49 would require the Office of Permit Assistance to provide information developers explaining the permit approbal process and to assist them in meeting all state and local agency requirements to get a permit approved. This bill would also require the Office to prepare guidelines, develop a consolidated project information form and provide technical assistance. C.A.R. supports the development of an expedited permit program to help the development approval and permit process.
b. High Speed Rail – As California’s high-speed rail project is being planned to act as a transportation backbone between Sacramento and the Bay Area and Los Angeles, several communities are beginning to voice their concerns about where exactly the 800 miles of rail will be placed and how the high-speed rail may affect their communities. Homeowners, farmers and urban planners are all concerned the potential for high-speed rail to negatively impact their communities. Some property owners are also concerned with how the system will affect their private property rights. While the California Association of REALTORS® has not adopted a position on the placement of the high-speed rail system, local REALTORS® and community activists are getting involved.
c. Questions on Reported Item or Other Business?
V. Property Rights – Kim Boda, Issue Chair a. Vacation Rental Ordinances – Several communities throughout the state are currently battling to maintain their right to rent homes as vacation rentals. b. Questions on Reported Item or Other Business?
VI. Resources - Georgia Richardson, Issue Chair a. California Energy Commission: AB 1103 Implementation - Since the passage of AB 1103 (Saldana, Statutes of 2007), C.A.R. has been actively participating as a key stakeholder in the development of the Commercial Building EnergyStar Benchmarking program which will require building owners to register and benchmark all nonresidential buildings within the US EPA EnergyStar program, and disclose this information to a prospective buyer, lessee, or lender when an entire building is sold, leased, financed, or refinanced. The draft regulations finalized and will be released to the public for review in early 2011. The regulations, which are anticipated to become effective July 1, 2011 will go into effect on a tiered schedule based upon building size.
b. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program - The Property Assessed Clean Energy initiative (PACE) allows property owners to take a 15 to 20 year loan to make energy efficient retrofits to their properties. The loans are funded by local governments which finance the loans through a municipal bond program. To ensure repayment, a special assessment is added to owners’ property-tax bill. PACE has recently come under fire from the Federal Housing Finance Agency for making these loans senior notes like a property tax lien.
c. Smart Meters – Recently, PG&E’s installation of “Smart Meters” was making news across the state for allegedly being at the crux of skyrocketing utility bills. The city of Bakersfield functioned as “ground zero” for overall dissatisfaction and vocal outrage by residents. As a result, Senator Dean Florez held hearings and made PG&E promise to review policy on several issues. Since then, PG&E has proven that the “Smart Meters” were in fact working properly. To assist top-tier energy users, a rate reduction was granted and an information campaign on energy usage was launched.
d. Questions on Reported Items or Other Business?
VII. Subdivision & Development - Theresa Wilson, Issue Chair a. State Water Board: Statewide Septic Regulations - C.A.R. has been working with the State Water Board (SWB) on the development of statewide septic regulations since the process began in 2002. A strong response by the regulated community over past proposed regulations has resulted in a proposed new approach to regulating septic systems. The soon to be released regulations will be risk-based and include three tiers of regulation. Tier 1 will be for systems that meet ideal site conditions, Tier 2 will be for most systems, where ideal conditions do not exist, but where surface and/or groundwater are not impacted by nitrates or bacteria from septic systems, and Tier 3 will be for sites where water quality has been impacted by septic systems. Existing systems in Tier 1 or Tier 2 will not have any new requirements imposed. The SWB anticipates adoption of the new regulations summer 2011. C.A.R.'s Septic Working Group will review the new language as soon as it is released.
b. Appoint 2011 Septic Working Group.
c. Questions on Reported Items or Other Business?
VIII. REALTOR® Committee on Air Quality (RCAQ) Report
"*" indicates that issue briefing materials are included with the reporting committee's agenda materials.