Municipal and Special District Law
- Cities and Counties Must Collect Fees to Fund Development of State Building StandardsDecember 12, 2008
Effective January 1, 2009, cities and counties must collect, on behalf of the California Building Standards Commission ("Commission"), a fee from building permit applicants based on building valuation to fund development of statewide building standards.
SB 1473 (Calderon) added Health and Safety Code Sections 18930.5, 18931.6, 18931.7 and 18938.3 to mandate the collection of the fees to ... read more
- New Legislation Limits Local Governments Regulatory Authority of Massage EstablishmentsOctober 14, 2008
Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 731 (Oropeza) which provides for voluntary statewide certification of massage therapists and massage practitioners by the Massage Therapy Organization ("MTO"), a new nonprofit organization comprised of representatives selected from various agencies.
The League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties each have the ... read more
- Important Changes to the Brown Act Effective July 1, 2008July 1, 2008
Effective July 1, 2008, the Ralph M. Brown Act ("Brown Act"), imposes additional requirements on local agencies concerning regular meeting agendas and documents prepared by the agency for regular meetings. (See Government Code Section 54957.5.)
Current law requires that, when the local agency distributes non-confidential documents or writings prepared by the agency to all or a majority ... read more
Climate Change and Green Initiatives
- Air Resources Board Releases Proposed Scoping Plan for AB 32 ImplementationOctober 23, 2008
On October 15, 2008, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Proposed Scoping Document outlining CARB's strategies for meeting the 2020 statewide greenhouse reductions goals mandated by AB 32.
CARB will consider adoption of the Proposed Scoping Plan at its December 11, 2008 meeting. The Proposed Scoping Plan represents CARB's revisions to the previously released Draft ... read more
- SB 375 – Landmark Land Use and Greenhouse Gas State Law AdoptedOctober 2, 2008
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 375, a sweeping change in land use, housing and environmental law. The law aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by discouraging sprawl development and dependence on car travel.
As the Governor's press release states, the law will promote, "more environmentally-friendly communities, more sustainable developments, less time people ... read more
- State Issues Guidance For Addressing Climate Change Under CEQAJune 20, 2008
State law requires the Office of Planning and Research ("OPR") to develop new CEQA Guidelines for the analysis and mitigation of Greenhouse Gas ("GHG") emissions in CEQA documents on or before January 1, 2010. On June 19, OPR, in consultation with the Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Air Resources Board ("ARB"), released interim guidance in ... read more
- Attorney General Announces Workshops to Assist Local Agencies in Addressing Global Warming Impacts in CEQA AnalysisFebruary 26, 2008
On February 19, 2008, Attorney General Brown sent letters to all 58 counties and over 200 cities announcing five workshops statewide in which the AG will discuss the interplay between CEQA and Global Warming impacts.
The workshops will seek to address such questions as:
“How do we prepare an inventory of baseline greenhouse gas emissions?”
“How do we model future ... read more
- Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Design-Build Measure to Expand the Design-Build Method to Cities, Counties, and Special DistrictsOctober 17, 2008
On September 26, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 642. AB 642 expands existing design-build authority of public agencies by adding Public Contract Code Section 20175.2, authorizing all cities to use the design-build method for the construction of buildings for projects exceeding $1 million, and Public Contract Code Sections 20193-20195, authorizing all cities, counties, ... read more
Transportation and Infrastructure
- Full Summary of California Senate Bill 375October 2, 2008
Assembly Bill 32 requires reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California to 1990 levels no later than 2020. Since the transportation sector contributes over 40% of California's GHG emissions, SB 375 seeks to reduce GHGs from vehicle trips by changing growth patterns in a way that reduces overall driving.SB 375 integrates land use, regional transportation plans and housing ... read more
Economic Development, Real Estate and Housing
- SSS_Federal Housing Bill – Resources for Local Government CalHFA Community Stabilization Home Loan ProgramAugust 4, 2008On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 3221, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (the "Act"). This comprehensive bill includes the most far-reaching housing finance reform legislation of the past several decades.
In addition to the widely-reported measures that increase FHA loan limits, provide tax-exempt financing to permit the refinancing of sub-prime mortgages, give ... read more
- State Authorizes Local Governments to Impose $1,000 Fines for Failure to Maintain PropertyJuly 29, 2008
Due to recent legislation, legal owners of vacant residential property purchased at a foreclosure sale, or acquired through foreclosure under a mortgage or deed of trust, must maintain the residential property or face civil fines of up to $1,000 a day.
An owner is "failing to maintain" the property if, for example, the owner permits excessive foliage growth that diminishes the value of ... read more
- Redevelopment Reporting Requirements; New LegislationFebruary 25, 2008This Memorandum describes recent changes in Community Redevelopment Law and summarizes redevelopment agency reporting requirements.
Redevelopment Plan Time Limits Must be Identified in Implementation Plans and Reports to the Legislative Body (SB 437, amending Health and Safety Code Sections 33080.1 and 33490.)
Effective January 1, 2008, redevelopment agency implementation plans ... read more