The California Department of Public Health has issued new guidance on isolation and quarantine protocols. For workspaces 400,000 cubic feet or more, the definition of “close contact” is now defined as exposure to an infected individual within six feet for fifteen minutes. For workspaces under 400,000 cubic feet, “close contact” is defined as being “in the same airspace.” To learn more click HERE.
- The Biden administration has announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency will last through January 11. This comes as daily infections and deaths are in decline. The extended declaration will allow the federal government to administer COVID vaccines and testing for free, should cases spike this winter. To learn more, click HERE.
- Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the COVID-19 State of Emergency declared in California will end on February 28, 2023. According to the Governor’s office, the timeline gives the health care system needed flexibility to handle any potential surge that may occur after the holidays in January and February, in addition to providing state and local partners the time needed to prepare for this phaseout and set themselves up for success afterwards. The Governor noted that notwithstanding the declared end of the emergency, the state’s SMARTER Plan will continue to guide the strategy for protecting people from COVID-19. For more information, please click HERE.
- Federal health officials have approved enhanced COVID-19 boosters for youth as young as 5. The modified boosters, which were made available to Americans 12 and older last month, are specifically formulated to target the most contagious Omicron virus strains. Federal health officials are advising people to get the new booster before holiday get-togethers. Pfizer's version is for children aged 5 to 11; Moderna's version is for children as young as 6. You can learn more HERE.
- Public health officials are encouraging those eligible to get their annual flu shots, noting that with the return to work and changes to mask wearing requirements, this could be a “tough” flu season. In analyzing data from the southern hemisphere, which had an early and significant flu season, public health officials warn that the same situation could occur in the northern hemisphere as we enter fall and winter. The US CDC officially recommends October as the best month to get flu shots. For more information, please click HERE.
NEWSOM VETOES CBPA-OPPOSED AB 2106, WATER PERMITTING BILL
Governor Newsom vetoed California Business Property Association and BOMA CAL opposed AB 2106, which would have mandated new permits for stormwater discharges from commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities. The requirements would have potentially added costly compliance mandates for BOMA member businesses and opened them up to citizen lawsuits. To read the coalition’s veto request letter, click HERE.
CITY OF SAN DIEGO MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE TO $16.30 GOES INTO EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2023
The City’s 2016-approved Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance, which escalates annually, is set to increase the city’s minimum wage from $15 to $16.30 an hour, starting January 1, 2023. The increase applies to employees who perform at least two hours of work in one or more calendar weeks of the year within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Diego. Employers are required to post notices, found HERE, in a conspicuous place at any workplace or job site in the City of San Diego. The City’s media release can be found HERE.
GOVERNOR SIGNS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION RESTRICTION BILL
SB 1439 would dramatically impact local land use and government contracting decisions. The new law would require city councilmembers and members of a county board of supervisors to recuse themselves from voting on real estate projects and government contracting decisions if they have received a contribution over $250 from the property owner or prospective contractors, or their agents, in the prior 12 months. The law also prohibits the aforementioned from making contributions over $250 while the land use entitlement or contract proceeding is pending and for 12 months following. The law is less clear on whether contributions made this year, before the law takes effect, would trigger disqualification if a project comes before a governing body next year. 40 years ago, the California Supreme Court ruled that elected officials are legally permitted to vote on matters impacting their campaign contributors, setting the new law up for legal challenge. BOMA’s legislative advocacy team has been in conversations with the California Business Property Association and other coalition group members on a potential challenge to the law. To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.
CITY OF SAN DIEGO APPROVES DEAL WITH TRASH HAULERS, RATES EXPECTED TO RISE
San Diego and the city's eight private trash haulers came to a new agreement with the goal of boosting recycling rates by implementing new regulations and reducing certain lucrative payments the operators receive. Members of the City Council said the new agreements, which received unanimous approval, will assist San Diego in achieving its Climate Action Plan's waste reduction objectives. While the City does not set the rates, haulers who manage garbage and recycling for businesses and residents of apartments and condominiums, are anticipated to increase prices to pay for new machinery and other adjustments necessary to comply with the new regulations. The updated agreements were spurred by a new state law requiring the recycling of yard and food waste. To learn more, click HERE.
SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL INCREASES WATER RATES
The San Diego City Council passed a water rate increase, the second time it’s passed an increase in a year. The 3% increase became necessary after the San Diego County Water Authority raised its price by 5% for treated water delivered to its customers, including the City, and 4% for untreated water. For more information, please click HERE.
COUNTY CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer said she will retire after 25 years of service to the County of San Diego. To give the County time to choose her replacement and guarantee a smooth transition, the precise date of her departure was kept up in the air. In the coming weeks, the Board of Supervisors will develop a process to find the next Chief Administrative Officer; though, the process is expected to last into 2023. You can read the County’s official statement HERE.
CITY OF SAN DIEGO APPROVES CONSULTANT TO STUDY “MUNIPALIZING” ENERGY UTILITY
When the City agreed to a new franchise agreement with SDG&E, one stipulation allowed the City to look at the feasibility of developing its own publicly funded utility. The San Diego City Council approved a contract with NewGen Strategies and Solutions to investigate if municipalizing the utility makes sense from a financial, legal, and practical standpoint. The three-year contract will assist the city in determining whether or not it wants to spend billions to purchase power lines, pipelines, and other electric and natural gas infrastructure from SDG&E. To learn more, click HERE.
CITY OF SAN DIEGO’S NO-FAULT EVICTION BAN EXPIRES, COUNCIL PRESIDENT WORKING TO BRING NEW TENANT PROTECTION PROPOSAL FORWARD
The residential no-fault eviction moratorium in San Diego has ended, allowing residential landlords to use more justifications to terminate tenancies or remove tenants. The COVID-19 pandemic-related moratorium, which took effect on May 22, limited landlords' ability to pursue evictions, permitting them only in circumstances where a tenant failed to pay rent or violated a rental agreement. If a landlord wished to remove a home from the rental market or perform extensive renovations, they were prohibited from terminating tenancies. Council President Elo-Rivera has said he is working with the City Attorney’s Office to draft a new tenant protection ordinance, which he wants to present to city council in the coming months. He’s announced a city council workshop on the subject on October 31st. To learn more, click HERE.
CITY OF SAN DIEGO DEVELOPMENT SERVICES NOTES START OF RAINY SEASON
The City of San Diego’s Development Services Department has noticed all those with active construction activities that the rainy season starts October 1st and concludes April 30th of next year. They are reminding all owners, developers and contractors to prepare construction sites by following the requirements of the stormwater regulations and permits and taking the necessary actions. For more information, please click HERE.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO UNVEILS LABOR STANDARDS AND ENFORCEMENT WEBSITE
San Diego County’s new office of Labor Standards and Enforcement unveiled a new website where employers and employees can answer labor law questions on minimum wage, meal and rest breaks, sick leave, overtime, COVID-19 vaccination requirements, workers’ compensation requirement and more. For more information, please go to the website by clicking HERE.
NEW STATE OF CALIFORNIA TITLE 24 ENERGY CODE GOES INTO EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2023
Part of the state’s triannual update to their building codes, the newly adopted 2022 California Building Standards Code will go into effect January 1, 2023. This includes Title 24, the state’s energy code standards. As a result, all construction projects in the City of San Diego who have applications submitted on or after that date MUST conform to the new regulations. The city notes that, given heavy project volumes, they will honor the current 2019 code standards for project applications submitted before January 1, 2023 as long as staff determines they substantially conform to submittal requirements. For more information, please click HERE.