AB 1289 (Arambula) and AB 2884 (Irwin), C.A.R.’s sponsored real estate law cleanup bill, was signed into law by the Governor. C.A.R. has been involved in a multi-year effort to update the real estate law including updating terminology and clarifying the law to reflect current practice. AB 1289 (Arambula) updated the Civil Code – the changes included (but were not limited to): 1) updating terminology, for example, no longer are buyer’s agents called selling agents, they are simply buyer’s agents, 2) updating and amending agency disclosure form, 3) changing when and how a TDS may be delivered.
AB 2884 (Irwin), among other changes, clarifies the real estate law to more accurately reflect that real estate salespersons and broker associates can be retained by a broker either as an independent contractor or an employee. Specifically, the bill replaced the term “employing broker” with “responsible broker” and the word “employ” with “retain.”
AB 1804 (Berman), a California Environmental Quality Act exemption for urban development bill, was signed into law by the Governor. Currently, infill development is exempt from CEQA if the development occurs within city limits. This bill starting January 1, 2025, would extend the exemption to residential and mixed-use housing developments occurring within the unincorporated areas of a county if the project site is substantially surrounded by urban land uses. C.A.R. supported this measure as it seeks to appropriately expand CEQA exemptions to areas outside of city limits where urban land uses already exist.
AB 2063 (Aguiar-Curry) and SB 1087 (Roth), PACE transparency bills supported by C.A.R., were signed into law by the Governor. In 2017, the Legislature passed AB 1284 (Dababneh) which required the licensing and regulation of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program administrators and the solicitors and solicitor agents. These measures seek to provide more clarity within the PACE program by implementing various substantive and technical changes. C.A.R. supported these measures as they seek to encourage greater oversight of PACE administrators and provide consumers with more protections.
SB 1427 (Hill), a mandatory section 8 bill opposed by C.A.R., was vetoed by the Governor. Under current law, it is illegal to discriminate, for the purposes of renting housing, against anyone due to race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability or genetic information. Under existing law, participation by a rental property owner in federal housing assistance programs, also known as Section 8, is voluntary. This bill would add veteran or military status to the list of protected classes and make landlord participation in the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program mandatory. C.A.R. opposed SB 1427 since it would have required mandatory participation of all rental property owners.
Streamlined Ministerial Approval Process Guidelines – In 2017, the Governor signed SB 35 (Weiner) into law, which seeks to streamline the approval processes for infill projects with two or more residential units and include streamlining for ADU’s in localities that have failed to produce sufficient housing to meet their Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) goals. SB 35 limits its application to projects not located in specified hazard zones (flood, fire, earthquake, etc.) and requires 10% of the units to be available to households making at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). In October 2018 the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) released draft guidelines outlining a local governments responsibility, the streamlined ministerial approval process and project eligibility. C.A.R. submitted comments of concern regarding the exclusion of ADU’s from project eligibility and identified a definitional inconsistency with state statute, which proposes to restrict affordability in perpetuity. State law restricts affordability for 55 years for rental housing and 45 years for owner occupied properties. C.A.R. requested that affordability restrictions within the guideline mirror state law.