1:10 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. Thursday, May 3, 2012 Sacramento, 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.
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
Liaisons: Mel Wilson, Executive Committee Dennis Mason, NAR Committee Representative
Staff Coordinator: Jelisaveta Gavric
Federal Committee Staff: Matthew Roberts
I. Welcome and Opening Remarks - Shari Setser, Chair
II. Environmental - Nick Lymberis, Issue Chair A. AB 2163 (Knight) - Environmental Quality: California Environmental Quality Act: judicial review. Current law offers a streamlined CEQA review procedure for a handful of big infrastructure and special projects that have been certified by the Governor. AB 2163 will expand the number of projects which fall under the new procedures to include commercial development of 125,000 square feet or more, residential development of more than 50 units and recreational use projects. C.A.R. supports this measure because it would expand the special treatment of a few projects to qualifying commercial and residential projects throughout the state. Position: Support
B. State 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.
C. Federal EPA Carbon Dioxide Ruling - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that they will keep greenhouse gas permitting thresholds at current levels, guaranteeing that only the largest emitters of CO2, such as coal-fired power plants, will be required to obtain permits.
D. Questions on Reported Items or Other Business?
III. Land Use and Zoning - Barbara Delgleize, Issue Chair A. 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 repeal the fire prevention fee. C.A.R. is supporting this measure as many homeowners will be forced to pay twice for fire prevention as they already reside in fire prevention districts and pay fire prevention fees associated with those districts. Position: Support
B. AB 1627 (Dickinson) - Environmental Quality: building standards: vehicle miles traveled. As introduced AB 1627 assigned new authority to the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop transportation-based land use planning standards that would have controlled the issuance of local building permits. C.A.R. opposed this measure, stating that the bill was overreaching and unreasonable. Due to the opposition of C.A.R. and many other interest groups, the author of AB 1627 amended the measure to remove the provisions pertaining to the CEC and has created a bill that would only study traffic reductions. With these amendments C.A.R. has removed its opposition. Position: Watch File
C. National Flood Insurance Program. On Dec. 17, 2011, Congress extended National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) authority through May 31, 2012. C.A.R. and NAR are urging Congress to use the additional time to complete work on a 5-year NFIP re-authorization bill to provide certainty and avoid further disruption to real estate markets.
D. Questions on Reported Items or Other Business?
IV. Property Rights - Kim Tucker, Issue Chair (No Items To Report)
V. Resources - Sandy Darling, Issue Chair A. AB 1711 (Galgiani) - Energy Resources: energy savings program; SPONSORED. Existing law prohibits required energy efficiency retrofits from unreasonably or unnecessarily affecting the home purchase process. This bill will define "unreasonable or unnecessary effects" to include any additional upfront costs, time delays or retrofits where the cost of implementation cannot be recovered over the life of the retrofit.
B. AB 904 (Skinner) - Energy Efficiency. This measure would require the Public Utility Commission to coordinate with the California Energy Commission to ensure that energy efficiency programs evaluate all reasonable alternatives for financing residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning retrofits. C.A.R. supports this measure as it would provide homeowners with a funding alternative for energy efficient retrofits. Position: Support
C. AB 1124 (Skinner) - Energy: Energy Efficiency. This bill requires 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. supports AB 1124 because it provides access to funding alternative for energy efficient retrofits. Position: Support
D. 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. AB 2011 would allocate $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. supports this measure because it would provide a voluntary financing option to homeowners to install water efficiency improvements. Position: Support
E. SB 998 (DeLeon) - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy On-Bill Repayment Programs. This bill will require electrical corporations 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 will provide 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 will be attached to the improved property. Should the property change hands, SB 998 specifies that the realtor or real estate agent is responsible to disclose the properties involvement in the on-bill financing program and provide the buyer with the remaining balance and the amount of the monthly charge. C.A.R. is seeking 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
®. Position: Oppose Unless Amended
F. Questions on Reported Items or Other Business?
VI. Subdivision & Development - Steven Rice, Issue Chair A. AB 2231 (Fuentes) - Sidewalks: repairs. Under existing law, private property owners whose property fronts a damages sidewalk are responsible for the sidewalk repair or any liability from trip-and-fall claims stemming for the sidewalk's condition. AB 2231 would require local governments to repair damaged sidewalks under the local entities jurisdiction. Additionally, the measure prohibits the local agencies from imposing assessments for sidewalk repairs against private property owners fronting the sidewalk. C.A.R. supports AB 2231 as it keeps local governments responsible for these sidewalks and protects property owners from huge repair and legal costs for damages they did not produce. Position: Support
B. State Water Board Septic Policy - Finalized. The State Water Board (SWB) has issued the final draft of the Statewide Septic Policy for public review. The Septic Working Group reviewed the documents and determined that C.A.R. no longer has concerns with the proposed policy. The policy is anticipated to go into effect on July 1, 2012. The Policy is designed to give local agencies a minimum standard for the permitting, monitoring and operation of septic systems throughout the state.
C. Federal Earthquake Insurance - legislation has been introduced to authorize the Federal Treasury to guarantee debt issued by qualified state earthquake insurance programs such as the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). The purpose of this legislation is to allow the CEA to avoid paying the high cost of re-insurance premiums. It has been estimated that if this legislation passes the CEA would be able to reduce their premiums by up to 30 percent or cut their deductible by up to 50 percent. C.A.R. has supported the involvement of the federal government in backstopping the CEA and supports these bills.