CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation

Land Use and Planning

AB 57 (Quirk) – Request for Veto
As enrolled on August 31, 2015

Assembly Bill 57, by Assembly Member Bill Quirk, would deem approved any application for colocation or siting of a new wireless telecommunications facility if a city or county fails to approve or disapprove the application within time periods that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established for colocation and siting applications. Under the FCC rule, local governments were given 90 days to respond to colocation applications and 150 days for siting applications. Unlike AB 57, the FCC’s 90/150-day rule only provided wireless telecommunications carriers with a rebuttable presumption to be used in court if a local agency failed to act in a timely manner.

CSAC opposes AB 57 because it goes beyond the requirements of federal law and regulations, limits the ability of local agencies to review projects, and may perversely result in more permit denials if adequate review cannot be completed within the prescribed timeframes. Moreover, CSAC feels that the wireless industry has failed to demonstrate that delays in siting or co-locating these facilities are primarily due to failure by local agencies to expeditiously process permits, which calls into question the necessity of the bill.

AB 57 was enrolled and presented to the Governor on August 31. CSAC urges counties who oppose AB 57 to write to the Governor and request a veto.
 

AB 1236 (Chiu) – Oppose
As amended on August 27, 2015

AB 1236, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would mandate all 58 counties and 482 cities adopt an ordinance to create a new expedited permitting and inspection process for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Specifically, this bill would require cities and counties with over 200,000 residents to adopt an ordinance by September 30, 2016 that creates an expedited and streamlined permitting process for EV charging stations that also includes a checklist of all requirements with which EV charging stations shall comply to be eligible for expedited review. Smaller jurisdictions would have an additional year to complete the ordinance. Further, AB 1236 would require every city and county to approve the installation of EV charging stations unless the city or county makes written findings, based on substantial evidence in the record, that the proposed installation would have an adverse impact upon the public health or safety and that those impacts cannot be mitigated.

CSAC opposes this overly-broad and prescriptive measure, which would require the costly and time-consuming adoption of a local ordinance. We are concerned that the approach will not allow for consideration of unique local circumstances, nor applications that may be more complicated than the installation of a single charging station. For instance, a station with multiple charging outlets that qualifies as a public accommodation may have accessibility issues and implications related to parking standards or other local ordinances.

AB 1236 is on the Senate third reading file.
 

Transportation

AB 516 (Mullin) – Support
As amended on July 16, 2015

Assembly Bill 516, by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to create a process to issue temporary license plates by January 1, 2018, and requires dealers to attach TLPs to all unplated vehicles when they are sold beginning January 1, 2018. The bill would address an issue in current law that allows thousands of vehicles to drive on our roads with no license plate, creating a public safety hazard and reducing toll revenue by $15 million per year as a result of vehicles without plates using toll roads and bridges without payment.

Electronic toll payment collection systems rely upon a photo of the vehicle’s license plate for enforcement. Without a plate, vehicles are able to use toll lanes and toll bridges without much fear of getting caught. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, for example, estimates that it loses $9 million annually in unpaid tolls, with statewide losses of $15 million. CSAC supports this common sense measure to improve public safety and ensure that toll revenues can be collected.

AB 516 will be heard on August 24 in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
 

SB 321 (Beall) – Support
As amended on August 18, 2015

Senate Bill 321, by Senator Jim Beall, would make a technical adjustment to the gas tax swap to reduce revenue volatility. The Board of Equalization is charged with setting the rate of the gasoline excise tax to ensure that it generates the same amount of revenue of the former sales tax. The current process for setting the rate is susceptible to rapid changes due to fluctuations in the price of gasoline. CSAC supports SB 321 because it will incorporate historical prices during the rate-setting process, which will smooth out revenues while maintaining revenue neutrality with the former sales tax beginning in the 2016-17 fiscal year. The bill would also allow a mid-year adjustment if prices differ drastically from prior estimates.

While this issue would also be addressed by Senator Beall’s SBX1 1 and the Governor’s transportation proposal—both of which would eliminate the adjustment process and instead index the rate to inflation—CSAC and our coalition partners continue to support this regular session bill to ensure that the issue of the volatility of the price-based excise tax revenues is addressed this year.

SB 321 is on the Assembly third reading file.

SCA X1 1 (Huff) – Support in Concept
As introduced on July 16, 2015

SCA X1 1, by Senator Bob Huff, would constitutionally devote certain motor vehicle fees and taxes to transportation purposes. CSAC supports protecting any new revenues raised as part of this year’s special session on transportation infrastructure. However, we want to ensure that placing restrictions on vehicle license fees, which have traditionally funded a broad array of general local government services, do not result in any unintended consequences for counties or the constituents they serve. CSAC therefore, supports SCA X1 1 in concept, and looks forward to continued discussions on this important measure.

SCA X1 1 is set for a third hearing on September 8 before the Senate Special Session Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee.

Housing

AB 35 (Chiu) – Support
As amended on September 3, 2015

Assembly Bill 35, by Assembly Member David Chiu, would increase the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million. The LIHTC program is used for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing units across the state. The increase in the state investment would leverage an additional $600 million in federal tax credits and federal tax-exempt bonds. The bill was most recently amended to require the Treasurer to submit a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2020, regarding the increase in use, if any, of the credit on and after the effective date of this bill.

AB 35 is on the Senate second reading file.

 

AB 1335 (Atkins) – Support if Amended
As amended on June 3, 2015

Assembly Bill 1335, by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, would create a permanent funding source for the development, acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of rental housing affordable to extremely low to moderate-income households, as well as to program for affordable homeownership activities, by imposing a recorded document fee of $75 per each single transaction per each single parcel of real property, not to exceed $225.

The fee is estimated to raise approximately $700 million for affordable housing each year. Counties with housing trust funds could have direct access to revenues. An advisory board led by the Department of Housing and Community Development would create a five-year investment plan for the revenues.

CSAC’s Executive Committee recently voted to support the bill if it was amended to ensure that CSAC has a representative on the advisory board charged with developing the five-year investment plan, to address the County Clerk Recorders Association’s technical concerns to ensure the bill’s requirements are workable, and to include language ensuring that funds are spent in a geographically equitable manner. On the first issue, the bill was amended to include two local government representatives on the advisory body; one from Northern California and one from Southern California.

AB 1335 faces an uncertain future, as it would require a two-thirds vote of the legislature to be approved. The bill is on the Assembly third reading file.
 

Public Works

SB 762 (Wolk) – Support
As amended on August 31, 2015

Senate Bill 762, by Senator Lois Wolk, would create a pilot program allowing 8 counties to select the lowest responsible bidder on the basis of best value, defined as the best combination of price and qualifications, for construction projects in excess of $1,000,000 until 2020. Participating counties would establish a procedure to prequalify bidders, include criteria used to evaluate bids in the solicitation, and divide bid price by bidders qualifications score to develop an objective measure of best value. Further, counties could not make an award to the lowest responsible bidder on the basis of best value unless the county holds a public meeting and makes written findings that doing so would meet one of more of the following objectives: reducing project costs, expediting the completion of the project, or providing features not achievable through awarding the contract on the basis of the lowest bid price. Participating counties would be required to report to submit a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2020, including descriptions of projects awarded using the best value approach, contract award amounts, bid criteria, project outcomes and other information.

SB 762 is on the Assembly third reading file.

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