Government Affairs Committee Update
Monday, August 8, 2016
by:

Section: Committee Corner




INDUSTRY ALERT - YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED! CRITICAL BENCHMARKING REGS TRYING TO BE UNDONE
 
The mandatory California Benchmarking law (referred to as AB 1103) recently went through a significant change, in response to voluminous complaints from all sectors of the commercial real estate industry.  
 
BOMA California has been working closely with the California Energy Commission to provide input on proposed regulations to implement the building energy use data access and public disclosure provisions of Assembly Bill 802 (Williams, Chapter 590, Statutes of 2015).  
 
AB 802 completely repeals and replaces the older statute (AB 1103). The commercial real estate industry supports the state’s benchmarking law and supported the actions taken by the Legislature and the Governor to repeal AB 1103 – a law that was creating significant implementation issues – and replace it with AB 802, which would be a more effective means of achieving bench marking.
 
A proponent of the repealed AB 1103, who benefitted directly from the requirements eliminated by AB 802, has begun an advocacy campaign targeting members within our industry in an attempt to halt industry advancements promoted by BOMA California and its partner the California Business Properties Association. If contacted by any AB 1103 advocates to oppose AB 802, we encourage you to consider the benefits of moving from repealed AB 1103 to the new AB 802 law:
 
  • AB 1103 mandated ALL buildings must be benchmarked regardless of size or use; AB 802 states that buildings 50K sq.ft. and above must be benchmarked and allows the Energy Commission some discretion to exempt certain building types and situations (i.e. the CEC could decide that long-term empty buildings or buildings scheduled for razing need not be benchmarked).
  • AB 1103 was a transaction-based program – benchmarking was triggered by a sale/lease of whole building/refinance.  The transaction based approach had many unintended consequences such as requiring actively managed buildings to be benchmarked more often than buildings that are not; put an unnecessary technical process in the middle of a real estate transaction; and required benchmarking be provided to parties that were not making management decisions (i.e. lenders); AB 802 allows the CEC to determine the best trigger for benchmarking – that could be transaction based or time certain (i.e. once every two years).
  • Under AB 1103, many building owners were unable to get tenant energy information from local utilities. AB 802 clarifies that utilities are required to provide information, in an aggregated format, if there are privacy concerns in multi-tenant buildings.
  • AB 1103 treated income-producing properties separately by only focusing on commercial. AB 802 – with the support of the Apartment industry - includes certain multi-family housing properties.
  • AB 1103 provisions will be suspended as of the end of this year (until otherwise notified we recommend you comply with the current provisions of AB 1103 until then).  AB 802 provisions will become operative on January 1, 2017 – the CEC will write regulations to implement in 2016. There will be no statewide energy use disclosure requirement in 2016. During this time, Energy Commission staff will engage in a public process to develop regulations and establish the reporting infrastructure for the new program. However, we recommend that you continue to benchmark buildings on a regular basis as it makes good business sense. 
 
We appreciate the input our members have provided in guiding the amendments that lead to AB 802. With your continued support, the onerous and costly procedural burdens of AB 1103 will be changed to something that can be implemented in a feasible manner.
 
If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Tom Magnussen, chair of the Government Affairs Committee, at
tmagnussen@paragonsandiego.com.
 
 
San Diego Housing Commission – Article 34 Ballot Measure Proposal
 
At their July meeting the BOMA Government Affairs Committee heard from representatives from the San Diego Housing Commission about a proposal headed for the November ballot.
 
Article 34 of the State Constitution, adopted in 1950, states that any low-rent housing that is developed, constructed, or acquired by a state public agency requires voter approval. In the City of San Diego four past ballot measures have authorized the capacity for up to 10,500 affordable units, of which 7,253 have been utilized leaving only 3,247 units of capacity remaining.
 
When capacity falls below 4,000 units, the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) notifies the City and works with the City Attorney to draft ballot language to approve changing the cap to allow for additional units. Without approval of this additional capacity, housing units constructed with support of government financing or assistance by the City of San Diego could be halted.
 
According to the 2011 SANDAG Regional Housing Assessment the City of San Diego needs 38,680 affordable housing units for low- and very low-income residents by 2020. The San Diego City Council decided to set the cap at this number so as to limit the need to come back to the voters to lift the cap again in the relatively near future.
 
The measure does not include a tax increase or guarantee funding for projects; it very simply raises the capacity threshold, as a procedural requirement under the California Constitution.
 
The BOMA Government Affairs Committee recommended a support position for this proposal to the BOMA, who voted in favor of BOMA’s support. As a part of the coalition who negotiated the linkage fee compromise, BOMA San Diego made a commitment to continue to partner with local organizations and agencies to identify and support affordable housing options and this proposal is consistent with those goals.
 
With representation from BOMA SD in attendance to speak in support, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the placement of this proposal on November’s Ballot. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th.  BOMA’s Board of Directors encourages your support for this measure in November.
 
 
County of San Diego Strategic Plan to Reduce Waste
 
At the direction of the County Board of Supervisors, County of San Diego Public Works Department staff is working on a proposal to achieve specific waste diversion goals. They are drafting a plan for 75% waste diversion by the year 2020, and “Zero Waste” (90% diversion) by 2040 for unincorporated communities in the County of San Diego.
 
Their draft plan will include policies related to their Zero Waste goal and Strategic Plan, improvement of Diversion, Tracking and Oversight of Haulers, and Enhance Construction and Demolition (C&D) diversion by amending their C&D ordinance.
 
Many of you have worked with the City of San Diego on their Zero Waste plan, including the beginning phases of implementation, and County staff would greatly appreciate your input.
 
To take a brief survey, please click or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sandiegoco
 
For more information, dates of future hearings, or to review a copy of the draft plan once it’s complete, click or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
www.sandiegocounty.gov/dpw/recycling/plan/