News for California Building Departments Issue #35, July - September 2012

In This Issue:

2012 Legislative Update

2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle Update

New Solar Permitting Guidebook

Plan Checking Delay Solution

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Important Dates

July 19 and October 17, 2012: California Building Standards Commission Hearing. An agenda will be available on the CBSC website. This meeting may be webcast.

September 10-13, 2012: CALBO Education Week South: details.

October 15-18, 2012: CALBO Education Week North: details.

Other News & Things to Remember

Senate Bill 1186 proposes to prohibit an attorney or other person from issuing a demand for money to a building owner or tenant, or an agent or employee of a building owner or tenant, or from receiving any payment, settlement, compensation, or other remuneration pursuant to a demand for money that is provided or issued without or prior to the filing of a complaint in a state or federal court alleging of construction-related accessibility violations.

You can sign up to receive bulletins, a newsletter and other announcements from the California Building Standards Commission. Go to the Commission website, look for Database under the Featured Links at the left side of the page, and download the Word form, or use this link.

What's Up with the State?

  • 2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle Update: The California Building Standards Commission set June 30, 2012, as the due date for state agencies to submit their proposed building standards to form the 2013 California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations. Prior to the due date many of the state agencies held public workshops on proposed code language. The proposed code language is available on websites of DSA, HCD, SFM and others, and will soon be available on the CBSC website. These activities are all part of the 2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle that will incorporate the 2012 editions of the International Building, Residential, Fire, and Existing Building Codes, 2012 editions of the Uniform Plumbing and Mechanical Codes, and the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code into Title 24.

    The next major step will be the Code Advisory Committee meetings to occur during July, August and September 2012. The Code Advisory Committee meeting dates are available on their Adoption Cycle page (or look under the Codes tab for 2012 Code Adoption Cycle.) A timeline of events is also available there: see current. Watch the CBSC website for further developments. To learn more about how the code adoption process operates, read Processes (under Code tab on the CBSC website).
  • The Division of the State Architect (DSA) continues to work on the language that will be considered during the 2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle and proposes adoption of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards while retaining current California Building Code provisions that are more restrictive than the ADA Standards. The next public meeting to consider code language is scheduled for July 10, 2012, in San Diego. The meeting details, agenda and draft code language is available at the DSA news page.
  • Solar Permitting Guidebook coverA new California Solar Permitting Guidebook dated June 2012 has been created through a cooperative effort between the California Building Standards Commission, Office of the State Fire Marshal, Department of Housing and Community Development and the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. It is available on the websites of these state offices, and is intended to help remove barriers to the installation of small solar photovoltaic systems. Download.
  • The Building Standards Commission recently issued its summer 2012 edition of CALCode Quarterly, an online newsletter. Sign up for future issues , or check their publications page.
  • The California Energy Commission recently adopted the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards that will be Part 6 of 2013 Title 24, California Code of Regulations, effective January 1, 2014. The CEC press release stated that the new standards will result in residential buildings that are 25 percent more efficient than by the previous standards and 30 percent better for nonresidential construction. The code and details are available at

Did You KnowDid You Know?
Contract Plan Examiners Required if "Excessive Delay"

Did you know there is state law requiring the use of contract plan examiners? It is true under specified conditions. There are two state laws to be aware of.

The first is Health and Safety Code Section 17960.1(d) that requires a local building department to use private entities or persons to perform plan checking when there is an excessive delay in plan checking. This law is from a portion of the Health and Safety Code known as the State Housing Law. So, the requirements of Section 17960.1 apply to residential occupancies only, including hotels, motels, apartments, lodginghouses, condominiums, and dwellings. An excessive delay is defined as being 30 or more days for plan checking a complete set of plans and specifications when submitted to a local building department.

The second law is in Health and Safety Code Section 19837, which is from a portion of the Health and Safety Code regarding local government permits for construction. This law allows a local building department to contract for plan checking services when an excessive delay in plan checking exists. Section 18937 applies to all occupancies other than residential occupancies. It does not however, define “excessive delay”.

In both laws, it is left to the permit applicant who has submitted a complete set of plans and specifications to request plan checking by a contract entity when an excessive delay exists.

To read these laws and learn all the details, find the Health and Safety Code at the California Law website.

state capitol

Legislation of Interest to Building Departments

At this point in the 2011/2012 legislative session, some bills tracked previously have become inactive, or have failed to advance, while others are moving ahead and nearing the end of the process before going on to the Governor. Listed below are bills that would impact local building departments. At this time, all bills are still proposals.

AB 1750 proposes to enact the Rainwater Capture Act of 2012, which would authorize residential, commercial, and governmental landowners to install, maintain, and operate rain barrel systems, as defined, and rainwater capture systems, as defined, for specified purposes, provided that the systems comply with specified requirements.

AB 2114 proposes to amend existing Health and Safety Code provisions known as the Swimming Pool Safety Act, to require additional measures regarding the required number of suction inlets and their separation.

SB 1222 proposes to establish fee limitations on permits issued by any city or county for the installation of a residential or commercial rooftop solar energy system.

SB 1394 proposes numerous amendments to existing law requiring smoke detectors in sleeping rooms of dwellings. New listing and installation requirements and installation dates are proposed. It further proposes to require carbon dioxide detectors in hotel and motel rooms by January 1, 2016.

There are numerous bills worthy of watching including: AB 1870, AB 1878, AB 1879, AB 1959, AB 1994, AB 2030, AB 2135, AB 2282, AB 2325, AB 2525, AB 2644, SB 1163, and SB 1186.

See all legislative bills at the state legislature's website.

Useful Websites

Department of Housing and Community Development

State Fire Marshal

Building Standards Commission

Division of the State Architect

California Energy Commission

Plumas Lakes CSU MB Chapman LECEF generator Woodland Tesoro March Air Force base
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