2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Thursday, October 4, 2012 Anaheim, California
Mission Statement: The Land Use & Environmental 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.
Presiding: Shari Setser, Chair Peter Morris, Vice Chair
Issue Chairs: Nick Lymberis, Environmental Barbara Delgleize, Land Use and Zoning Kim Tucker, Property Rights Sandy Darling, Resources Steven Rice, Subdivision and Development
Executive Committee Liaison: Mel Wilson
Legislative Committee Vice Chair: Oronzo "Otto" Catrina Staff Coordinator: Jelisaveta Gavric Federal Issues Coordinator: Matt Roberts
I. Welcome and Opening Remarks - Shari Setser, Chair
II. Action Items A. State (none) B. Federal (none) C. Questions or Motions from Committee Members D. Other
III. Direction Requested A. State (none) B. Federal (none) C. Questions or Motions from Committee Members D. Other
IV. Actions Taken/Update Property Rights - Kim Tucker, Issue Chair SB 162 (Anderson) Economic Development: recognized Indian tribes . Once state lands are annexed to federally recognized California Indian tribes, they are no longer subject to local and state taxes, planning and zoning laws, and environmental reviews. This measure would prohibit a state agency from opposing a fee-to-trust land acquisition application by a federally recognized California Indian tribe to the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. C.A.R adopted an Oppose position on this measure because state agencies are charged with overseeing the environment and should be able to oppose annexations when that change may have a negative effect on communities or the environment. This bill died in Assembly Governmental Organization Committee.
V. Report Items A. Environmental -Nick Lymberis, Issue Chair AB 2179 (Allen) Fish and Game: enforcement and penalties. Currently the Department of Fish and Game is allowed to assess a civil penalty on individuals who perform an illegal taking of wildlife after the Department consults with the District Attorney and Attorney General. This bill would have expanded the Department's authority to issue civil administrative penalties for any violation of the Fish and Game code and put the Department in charge of adjudicating appeals instead of the Attorney General. C.A.R opposed this measure because it would have increased fines and penalties against private property owners for minor infractions, creating a "bounty hunter" incentive for the Department. The bill was amended to only apply to individuals licensed or permitted by the Department of Fish and Game, largely fisheries and game hunters. With the amendments C.A.R. removed its opposition to the bill.
AB 2402 (Huffman) Fish and Game Commission. Currently, the process for listing animals under the California Endangered Species Act is regulated by the Fish and Game Commission and is open to public input. This bill would have removed the Commission from the Endangered Species listing process and put that authority in the hands of the Fish and Game Department staff, who are not accountable to the public. C.A.R opposed this measure because it would have given the Department staff full control over which species are listed, limiting the public's ability to advocate against listings or to raise concerns about their private property rights in connection with Endangered Species listings. Due to opposition, the bill was amended to remove the provision pertaining to the Endangered Species listing process. With these amendments C.A.R. has removed its opposition.
SB 52 (Steinberg) Environmental Quality: jobs and economic. - This bill would have provided CEQA streamlining for projects that use the U.S. Green Building Council's proprietary program called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). California already has its own CALGreen Building Standards. C.A.R. believes that it is important that California not create a monopoly in state statute for private green building standards. C.A.R. along with a coalition of other groups sought amendments to instead provide CEQA streamlining to projects that meet or exceed CALGreen, to no avail. With continued opposition, SB 52 died in Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee.
SB 1148 (Pavley) Fish and Game Commission: Department of Fish and Game. Currently, the Department of Fish and Game can bring a civil action against anyone who performs an illegal taking of wildlife. As introduced, this bill would have, if the department did not take action against someone reported to have performed a taking within 60 days, allowed a private individual to pursue a civil action. C.A.R. opposed this measure because it would have extended the regulatory authority to bring a civil action for an illegal taking from the state to private individuals. Additionally, this measure encouraged individuals to trespass on private property to investigate whether an illegal taking had occurred. Due to opposition, SB 1148 was amended to remove the provision allowing private individuals to bring a civil action on behalf of the state. With these amendments C.A.R. has removed its opposition and moved to a watch position.
Wetland Issues. C.A.R. continues to work with the State Water Resources Control Board on statewide wetlands policy which will affect land use and private property rights throughout the state. Of greatest importance are the wetlands definition and the wetlands delineation method. Also up for consideration are a wetland assessment and monitoring framework and authorization procedures for dredge and fill discharges to waters of the state.
Last year our coalition notified the Governor of our concerns. Again, last month, a letter was sent to the Governor identifying our concern that the State Water Resources Control Board is developing a new and aggressive wetlands regulatory and permitting program that could have significant, negative impacts on public and private projects and activities throughout California.
B. Land Use and Zoning -Barbara Delgleize, Issue Chair 1. State AB 1506 (Jeffries) State Responsibility Areas: fire prevention fees. The State Board of Forestry and Fire Prevention establish regulations instituting a fire prevention fee of $150 with exemptions bringing the average resident’s payment to $115. AB 1506 would have repealed the fire prevention fee. C.A.R. supported this measure but it died in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
2. Federal National Flood Insurance Program. Congress passed a 5-year NFIP re-authorization bill to provide certainty and avoid further disruption to real estate markets.
C. Property Rights - Kim Tucker, Issue Chair No additional items to report.
D. Resources - Sandy Darling, Issue Chair AB 904 (Skinner) Energy Efficiency. This measure originally required the Public Utility Commission to coordinate with the California Energy Commission to ensure that energy efficiency programs evaluated all reasonable alternatives for financing residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning retrofits. C.A.R. supported this measure until it was amended to pertain to State-mandated minimum parking requirements. With the new language, C.A.R. removed its Support and moved to a Not Favor position because the State should not dictate local land use planning.
AB 1124 (Skinner) Energy: Energy Efficiency. This bill originally required the Public Utilities Commission to ensure that the energy efficiency programs use approaches which achieve maximum energy savings for all kinds of customers, increase access to on-bill repayment programs without increasing utility costs, encourage job creation and create a single point of contact for prospective customers to simplify the process for participating in these programs. C.A.R. supported AB 1124 until it was amended to concern the rights of renters to qualify for utility energy savings assistance programs, or any other program assistance, for heating or hot water system repairs or replacement. With these amendments, C.A.R. removed its Support.
AB 2011 (Gatto) CalConserve Water Conservation Retrofit Program. If voters approve the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2012 in the November 2012 election, $250 million will be available for grants and loans to promote water conservation and implement water use efficiency plans and programs. This bill would have allocated $50 million of those funds to the Department of Water Resources to establish a program to provide grants to local water agencies for the implementation of loan programs to fund water use efficiency retrofits. C.A.R. supported this measure because it would have provided a voluntary financing option to homeowners to install water efficiency improvements. This bill died in Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 998 (DeLeon) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy On-Bill Repayment Programs. This bill would have required utilities to create programs to fund energy efficiency retrofits and improvements to real property through an on-bill repayment program. Under these programs, third party organizations would have provided upfront funds for the installation of energy efficiency retrofits which will be repaid through an additional line item added to the property owner’s monthly electrical bill. The obligation to repay these funds would have been attached to the property. The bill specified that the REALTOR® or real estate agent was responsible to disclose the on-bill financing program. C.A.R. successfully negotiated amendments to take the burden of disclosure off REALTORS® and create a new process by which these types of programs would be disclosed in a transaction without adding new duties or liabilities to REALTORS®. This bill died in Senate Appropriations Committee.
Energy Efficiency Working Group. AB 758 (Skinner, 2009) Regulatory Development Update: The California Energy Commission (CEC) anticipates the release of its Scoping Plan this fall, possibly as early as mid-October. At this time the Working Group will review the Scoping Plan and help staff prepare comments to the CEC. Two stakeholder workshops will be held after the plan is released.
E. Subdivision & Development -Steven Rice, Issue Chair AB 1750 (Solario) Rainwater Capture Act of 2012. AB 1750 enacts the Rainwater Capture Act of 2012, which allows private property owners to obtain a permit to install rainwater capture systems. As introduced, this measure would have required the California Building Standards Commission to obtain the agreement of the State Department of Public Health prior to adopting any regulations regarding the capture and use of rainwater. C.A.R. opposed this measure because this requirement allowed the Department of Public Health to supersede the commission's authority for building regulations, setting a dangerous precedent which might be taken advantage of by other state agencies seeking regulatory authority to control building standards. AB 1750 was amended to remove the section allocating authority to the Department of Public Health. With these amendments C.A.R. removed its opposition.
AB 2231 (Fuentes) Sidewalks: repairs. Under existing law, private property owners whose property fronts a damaged sidewalk are responsible for the sidewalk repair as well as any liability from trip-and-fall claims. Some cities, however, have adopted ordinances taking on that responsibility. As introduced, AB 2231 would have required all cities and counties to repair damaged sidewalks they own and/or sidewalks damaged by trees or plants. Additionally, the measure would have prohibited local governments from imposing assessments for sidewalk repairs against private property owners fronting the sidewalk. C.A.R. supported AB 2231 because it assigned responsibility to local governments for sidewalk repair and maintenance protecting property owners from those costs. This measure was amended to require a majority vote by locals to repeal an existing sidewalk repair ordinance placing responsibility on the local government. C.A.R. continued to support AB 2231 as amended because voters should have the ability to approve an ordinance change returning the burden to private property owners. AB 2231 died in Senate Appropriations Committee.
VI. Introduction of 2013 Land Use & Environmental Committee Leadership
CHAIR: Peter Morris, Tahoe Sierra VICE CHAIR: Bob Hart, Santa Barbara ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES CHAIR: Staci Caplan, Santa Barbara LAND USE & ZONING ISSUES CHAIR: Rosemarie McNair, Pajarro Valley PROPERTY RIGHTS ISSUES CHAIR: Jean Tietgen, Orange County RESOURCES ISSUES CHAIR: Chris Anderson, Greater San Diego SUBDIVISION DEVELOPMENT ISSUES CHAIR: Robert Leighton, Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles COMMITTEE LIAISON: (Public Policy) Virginia Butler, Palos Verdes Peninsula