Housing Land Use and Transportation 10/11/2013
Public Works Administration
SB 328 (Knight) – Support
Chapter No. 517, Statutes of 2013
SB 328, by Senator Stephen Knight, will, until January 1, 2018, allow a county, with approval of the Board of Supervisors, to use construction manager at-risk construction contracts for erecting, constructing, altering, repairing, or improving buildings owned or leased by the county. Only public works projects costing in excess of $1 million are eligible. The measure allows a county to award the construction manager at-risk construction contract using either the lowest responsible bidder or best value method.
A construction manager at-risk contract is a competitively procured contract with an entity that guarantees the cost of a project and furnishes construction management services, including, but not limited to, preparation and coordination of bid packages, scheduling, cost control, value engineering, evaluation, preconstruction services and construction administration. The construction manager at-risk is a tool afforded other public entities such as cities, the courts, and the university system. It is a well-tested alternative which combines elements of the design-bid-build and design-build methods and allows the owner of a project to retain a construction manager who provides pre-construction services during the design period and becomes the general contractor during the construction process.
This bill provides counties another tool in the project delivery toolbox and increases the ability for counties to use their expertise and discretion to choose the best method for delivering large public works projects. Counties and tax payers in general will benefit from the cost-savings associated with the use of construction manager at-risk procurement method.
SB 328 was signed by the Governor on October 3.
AB 755 (Ammiano) – Opposition Removed
Chapter No. 593, Statutes of 2013
AB 755, by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, will require that project study reports (PSRs) for any new projects involving the construction or reconstruction of a bridge – identified in a regional transportation plan, interregional transportation improvement program, or the state highway operation and protection program – include a document demonstrating that a suicide barrier was a feature considered during the project’s planning process.
As chaptered, AB 755 limits the application of the measure to the construction of new bridges and the replacement of existing bridges with a history of documented suicides. CSAC supported these amendments as we believed it was unnecessary to apply the new mandate to all 24,000 plus bridges in the state in order to achieve the bill’s goal of trying to reduce the incidence of suicide.
The Governor signed AB 755 on October 5.
SB 684 (Hill) – Support
Chapter No. 544, Statutes of 2013
SB 684, by Senator Jerry Hill, authorizes the extension, preservation and retention of existing redevelopment signs with approval of the county or city. The bill does not authorize new signage nor are the existing signs under this proposal billboards.
This measure was necessary in light of the elimination of redevelopment agencies and the unintended consequence that existing sign agreements cannot be extended because there is no longer a redevelopment agency to authorize the extension. Before the elimination of redevelopment agencies, these signs were exempt from the Outdoor Advertising Act. Signage agreements needed authorization from the redevelopment agency and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). SB 684 simply clarifies that existing redevelopment signs can be extended with approval of a county or city, in place of the redevelopment agency, and Caltrans.
The Governor signed SB 684 on October 4.
AB 683 (Mullin) – Support
Vetoed October 5
AB 683, by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, would have authorize a city or county to specially assess any fines or penalties not paid after demand by the city or county against the owner of real property whom owes fines or penalties. The fines and penalties would have been collected at the same time and in the same manner as regularly county taxes thereby avoiding additional time consuming and costly new procedures. Finally, this measure would have authorized a local agency to appoint a hearing officer to hear and decide issues regarding ordinance violations and the imposition of administrative fines and penalties.
Local agencies can have code enforcement violation cases drag on for years. The changes proposed by AB 683 would have provided cities and counties an additional tool for recouping fines and penalties owed to the local agency.
In his veto message, the Governor stated the bill “could hamper efforts on the part of distressed homeowners to refinance or sell their property” and local governments have existing processes to recover their costs in abating ordinance violations.
AB 683 was vetoed on October 5.