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New California Laws for 2015 Impacting Developers, Designers and Contractors

March 3, 2015

Each year, new laws are introduced at both the federal and state level—many of which have a direct impact on real estate development and construction practices. In 2015, the state of California introduced over 900 new laws, ranging from carbon monoxide monitoring for child and senior care facilities, to fruit and vegetable garden in HOAs, to increased OSHA reporting of serious accidents.

Here is an overview of some of the more notable new laws in 2015 impacting California developers, designers, and contractors:

  • Carbon monoxide: All community care facilities, including child care establishments and residential care homes for the elderly, must have at least one carbon monoxide detector installed. (AB 2386)
  • Online reviews: Nondisparagement clauses in consumer contracts for goods or services in the state of California are now unenforceable; therefore, businesses cannot use them for civil lawsuits against Californians offering opinions or reviews on Internet sites such as Yelp. (AB 2365)
  • Allergies: Public schools must stock epinephrine injectors so medicine can be administered quickly to students who suffer serious allergic reactions. (SB 1266)
  • Gardens: Landlords may not prevent residents of condominiums and apartments from growing their own fruits and vegetables in portable containers. (AB 2561)
  • Assisted Living Homes: Fines for violations of state regulations by assisted living facilities for the elderly will increase by a factor of 100. (AB 2236)
  • Pesticide Use at Schools: By amending the Healthy Schools Act of 2000, integrated pest management will become mandated. (SB 1405)
  • Public notices for gas pipeline work: In response to an increasing number of evacuations due to ruptures of natural gas pipelines, the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 2011 was updated to require a minimum of 72 hours notice of any pipeline work within 500 feet of schools and hospitals. (AB 1937)

Here are a few more:

  • AB0026 (Ch. 864) – Update to Section 1720 of Labor code regarding construction prevailing wage on public works projects
  • AB0052 (Ch. 532) – Updates to Native American Historic Resource Protection Act and California Environmental Quality Act
  • AB0148 (Ch. 124) – Updates to Fish and Game laws regarding projects to restore Salton Sea
  • AB0155 (Ch. 865) – Design-Build contract authorization to connect two lakes in San Luis Obispo region
  • AB0225 (Ch. 493) – Funding for mobile home park repairs and accessibility upgrades
  • AB0326 (Ch. 91) – Updated OSHA Reporting requirements for serious injury and death
  • AB0471 (Ch. 1) – Updates to various laws regarding successors to redevelopment agencies
  • AB0523 (Ch. 445) – Authorizes Department of Housing and Community Development to reduce loan interest rates for certain development projects
  • AB0569 (Ch. 661) – Updates to laws regarding homeowners associations and the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act
  • AB0585 (Ch. 641) – Requires Department of Veteran Affairs to evaluate existing real estate holdings on behalf of California veterans
  • AB0759 (Ch. 14) – Exempts certain alarm company employees from having to register as a locksmith when working on electronic locks
  • AB0922 (Ch. 352) – Extends exemption of losses associated with a natural disaster to include May 2014 wildfires in San Diego
  • AB1043 (Ch. 349) – Updates to Prop. 84 regarding responsibilities of a party that has contaminated groundwater resources
  • AB1104 (Ch. 534) – Allows an exemption to California Environmental Quality Act for a biogas pipeline in the Central Valley region
  • AB1130 (Ch. 324) – Modifies the Insurance Code relating to home protection contracts
  • AB1143 (Ch. 325) – Among other things, revises the definition of comparable sales for property tax valuation purposes
  • AB1179 (Ch. 589) – Authorizes public funds for parklets and greenways that utilize recycled tire content
  • AB1447 (Ch. 594) – Authorizes public funds for synchronized traffic signal upgrades for reducing greenhouse gases
  • AB1523 (Ch. 205) – Increases liability insurance requirements for long-term elderly care facilities
  • AB1537 (Ch. 875) – Modifies population densities related to residential housing for certain counties in Northern California
  • AB1581 (Ch. 408) – Modifies contractor prequalification requirements for school facility construction projects

You can download a PDF index of all 900+ bills enacted during the 2014 regular session of California’s legislature at the state’s website.

Bills Enacted in 2014 Regular Session

This article was originally published by Xpera Group which is now part of The Vertex Companies, Inc.

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