Category Archives: New Rules and Legislation

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California Commercial Building Owners Must Comply With New Energy Use Disclosure Rules Commencing July 1, 2013

[The requirements for AB 1103 have been modified. See updated information here.] What you need to know: The long-awaited energy use disclosure requirements, first enacted as AB 1103 (Saldana) in 2007 (codified as California Public Resources Code, §25402.10), are finally effective. Commencing July 1, 2013, owners of commercial, non-residential buildings in excess of 50,000 square … Continue Reading

New Disability Access Law Imposes Notification Requirements For Commercial Leases

What you need to know: On July 1, 2013, pursuant to newly enacted California Civil Code Section 1938, owners of commercial real property must state on every lease form or rental agreement whether the property leased has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (commonly referred to as a “CASp”) and, if so, whether the … Continue Reading

Bill Introduced to Restore Cities’ Ability to Require Affordable Housing

By Michael Hansen  On February 22, California State Assembly Member Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, introduced a bill, AB 1229, to restore the ability of California cities and counties to require affordable housing as part of market-rate housing developments. The bill would override a notable 2009 court decision, Palmer/Sixth Street Properties, L.P. v. City of Los … Continue Reading

ARB Initiates Potentially Controversial Agricultural Equipment Regulation

By Olivier Theard and Whitney Hodges I. Background The California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) recently commenced development of a new regulation targeting emissions from “off-road” agricultural equipment, such as tractors and combines. The “In-Use Self-Propelled Off-Road Mobile Agricultural Equipment Regulation” is intended to help the State attain federal air quality standards. ARB officials claim the … Continue Reading

Redevelopment Law Unconstitutional Because of Impairment of Contract?

By Geoffrey Willis Largely lost in the noise and furor surrounding the decision by the California Supreme Court upholding AB 1X 26 (California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos (2011) 53 Cal.4th 231, which terminated the functions of local redevelopment agencies, is that there are strong arguments the new law violates state and federal constitutional provisions prohibiting … Continue Reading

New And Revised Nationwide Permits For Dredge And Fill Activities

By Robert Uram, Keith Garner, James Rusk, and Alex Merritt The Army Corps of Engineers last week released new and revised Nationwide Permits for certain activities that require authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Nationwide Permits provide streamlined authorization for dredge and fill … Continue Reading

California Adopts Revolutionary New Clean Car Standards

By Whitney Hodges On January 27, 2012, the California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) notched a potential victory in the battle against greenhouse gas (“GhG”) emissions. In a unanimous vote, ARB adopted the Advanced Clean Cars (“ACC”) regulatory package, which is a program designed to deliver cleaner air, reduce GhG emissions, and help build the market … Continue Reading

OPR Releases Proposed Guidelines for Streamlining CEQA Review of Infill Projects

By Alex Merritt Last week, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research released proposed guidelines for streamlining CEQA review of infill projects. The proposed guidelines will implement SB 226 (Simitian)—one of several bills passed in the 2011 legislative session that streamline the CEQA process for certain green projects. The proposed guidelines contain eligibility requirements that … Continue Reading

CEQA Amendments from the 2011 Legislative Session

By Judy V. Davdoff & Alex Merritt In the 2011 session, the California Legislature and the Governor passed several bills to amend CEQA. As summarized below, these bills streamline the review process for green projects, environmental leadership projects, and a proposed football stadium; relax water supply assessment requirements for photovoltaic and wind energy projects; and … Continue Reading

ARB Passes Final Regulations for Cap-And-Trade Program

By Whitney Hodges & Olivier Theard After months of CEQA litigation and political lobbying, including an appeal to the California Supreme Court (previous article can be found here), California’s landmark climate change bill, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB 32”), has been modified and appears ready to be implemented starting in January 2012.… Continue Reading

California AB 32’s Cap-And-Trade Program Developments

By Randolph Visser, Olivier Theard, & Whitney Hodges This article is the latest in a series chronicling the first litigation challenge to AB 32 (the Global Warming Solutions Act) and the cap-and-trade program in Association of Irritated Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, Case No. CPF-09-509562, (“Ass’n of Irritated Residents v. CARB“).  Though environmental justice groups continue … Continue Reading

Governor Brown Signs Two Bills Intended to Protect Children From Toxic Exposures

By Olivier Theard In an effort to protect children (and, to a lesser extent, adults) from toxic exposure, California has banned the use of the controversial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups, and has eliminated certain loopholes in the existing ban on lead and cadmium in jewelry. These laws follow earlier … Continue Reading

Update On Redevelopment Law: Litigation Proceeds – Uncertainty Continues

This is the fourth in a series of blog entries monitoring the proposed elimination of redevelopment agencies. By Michael Kiely and Phillip Tate True to their promise, the California Redevelopment Association, or CRA, and the California League of Cities, or CLC, petitioned the California Supreme Court on July 15, 2011 for a writ of mandate … Continue Reading

California Legislature Passes Bills to Expedite Judicial Review of CEQA Challenges for Selected Projects

By James Rusk The California Legislature last week passed two bills that would expedite judicial review of challenges to certain large development projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The first, SB 292 (Simitian), applies only to the proposed development of a new NFL football stadium and convention center in Los Angeles. The second, … Continue Reading

Update On Redevelopment Law: Governor Signs Trailer Bills To End Redevelopment Agencies Unless They Make Payments – Uncertainty Continues

This is the third in a series of blog entries monitoring the proposed elimination of redevelopment agencies. By Michael Kiely Governor Jerry Brown has approved the "all cuts" 2011-2012 budget for the State of California, in the process signing the two trailer bills, ABX1 26, providing for elimination of California redevelopment agencies, called RDAs, effective … Continue Reading

Update On Redevelopment Law: Legislative Two Step To Cut Redevelopment Agency Funding Goes Down With Governor’s Budget Veto

This is the second in a series of blog entries monitoring the proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies. By Michael Kiely Yesterday, after heated and reportedly almost violent debate, both houses of the California State Legislature voted to pass ABX1 26, which would eliminate California redevelopment agencies, called RDAs, effective October 1, 2011, and ABX1 27, … Continue Reading

Update on Redevelopment Law: No News Is…No News

This is the first in a series of blog entries monitoring the proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies and describing alternative public funding sources for redevelopment projects. By Michael Kiely After much discussion, debate and lobbying in the last three months, the fate of California’s redevelopment agencies is still uncertain. Legislative bills to eliminate the agencies, … Continue Reading

Corps Proposes New, Reissued, And Modified Nationwide Permits

By Keith Garner On February 16, 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a notice of its proposal to reissue and modify 48 of the 49 existing Nationwide Permits (“NWPs”) and to issue two new NWPs and two new general conditions. The Corps proposes to let one NWP (47 – Pipeline Safety Program Designated … Continue Reading

Brokers – Thou Shalt Not Accept Payments From More Than One Source In Connection With a Mortgage Loan

By Sherwin F. Root Mortgage lenders and brokers are aware that the new regulations on loan originator compensation (part of Regulation Z) will go into effect on April 1. One aspect of those regulations that has received little attention until just recently is that if the consumer pays the loan originator directly (which may be the … Continue Reading

Proposition 23’s Failure Means Full Speed Ahead On AB 32

By Gregory E. Woodard Proposition 23 would have suspended AB 32, California’s 2006 global warming initiative, until unemployment fell under 5.5% for one year. The campaign was bitter, with both sides claiming doom and gloom whether Prop 23 passed or failed. The electorate spoke loudly and soundly defeated Prop 23, 61%-39%.… Continue Reading

New Construction General Permit Imposes Significant New Requirements for Storm Water Discharges

By Robert Uram & Keith Garner On September 2, 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) adopted a new General Permit for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction Activities (“CGP”) that imposes significant new and potentially burdensome requirements for discharging storm water from construction sites. The CGP would apply to all construction … Continue Reading

Modifications of home loans under government program will not adversely affect REMICs

By Matthew Richardson The IRS recently issued "safe harbor" guidance that home loans modified under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) will not adversely affect real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs). Without this guidance, payments from the US government to lenders and servicers of home loans under HAMP may have resulted in a 100% penalty … Continue Reading

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