News for California Building Departments Issue #36, October - December 2012

In This Issue:

2012 Legislation

2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle Update

Preconstruction Conference Requirement

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Important Dates

October 10, 2012: Certified Access Specialist program examinations. See DSA website for details.

October 10, 2012: California Energy Commission hearing on proposed 2013 Building Standards for the Green Code. See the CEC webpage for details.

October 15, 2012: CALBO Education Week- North, in San Ramon: details.

October 21 – 28, 2012: International Code Council 2012 Annual Conference and Final Action Hearings, Portland, Oregon: details.

December 12, 2012: Building Standards Commission hearing on proposed 2013 Title 24: details.

Useful Websites

State Laws

Legislative Bills

Building Standards Commission

What's Up with the State?

The 2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle is keeping all the state agencies that are involved with building standards busy. The last of all six Code Advisory Committee meetings was completed in September with a three-day meeting of the Accessibility Committee. The need for three days of discussion was due to the proposal to replace the current accessibility standards in Chapter 11B of the California Building Code with the federal ADA standards. Some of the more restrictive requirements of Chapter 11B are being carried over in the proposal.

Now the state agencies that developed the proposed building standards to become the 2013 edition of the California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations, are considering the recommendations of the Code Advisory Committees.

The next step in the code adoption process will be the 45-day public comment periods conducted by each of the state agencies. Some have already entered this stage. During the comment periods you may view the proposed code language in a document named “Express Terms” that will be available through this CBSC web page. Select the desired comment period, then click on the state agency with with a proposal of interest, to view all the relevant rulemaking documents. Following the public comment periods will be the Building Standards Commission hearings to take public comment and consider adoption or other action.

The first Building Standards Commission hearing will be held on December 12, 2012. This entire process is to result in a 2013 edition of Title 24 in all new binders to be effective on January 1, 2014.

Some state agencies, such as the California Energy Commission, have authority in state law to conduct separate public hearings. Resulting adoptions must be approved and published in Title 24 by the California Building Standards Commission. All the information regarding code proposals, public comment periods, and hearings is available at the CBSC website.

Did You KnowDid You Know?
Preconstruction Conference Requirement

Did you know a local building department may require a preconstruction conference prior to completing review of construction plans and specifications?

Additionally, a preconstruction conference may be a condition of issuing the permit to construct. The authority for a building department to impose these requirements is found in Health and Safety Code Section 19872.
The referenced state law states the purpose of a preconstruction conference is to review the plans to ensure consistency of building code interpretation and adequacy of the plans. The state law also authorizes the building department to require the permittee to maintain at the construction site a set of plans and specifications that reflects any understandings and agreements derived from the preconstruction conference.

conference building plansNearby Health and Safety Code Section 19870 sets the parameters for requiring compliance with new or amended building standards for a project based on inspection findings. In most cases, however, the plans and construction must be governed by current building standards.

Health and Safety Code Section 18938.5 establishes that only the "building standards approved by the commission, and that are effective at the local level at the time an application for a building permit is submitted, shall apply to the plans and specifications for, and to the construction performed under, that building permit."

Other News & Things to Remember

SB 183 (Chapter 19 of the 2010 Statutes) enacted requirements in Health and Safety Code Section 17926 for carbon monoxide devices in all existing single-family dwelling units on or before July 1, 2011. All other existing dwelling units for human occupancy must have such devices on or before January 1, 2013. These are State Housing Law provisions required to be enforced by the local building department. SB 1394 discussed herein adds the requirement for hotels and motels on or before January 1, 2016.

SB 1186 (Chapter 383 of the 2012 Statutes) becomes effective on January 1, 2013, and makes substantial changes affecting building owners. This bill makes it unlawful to demand cash in lieu of filing a law suit alleging a violation of the laws and building standards regarding accessibility. Attorneys writing letters in regard to an alleged accessibility violation must provide a copy to the California Bar. The bill makes other related changes regarding conflicts between building owners and lessees and persons alleging violation of accessibility laws and building standards.

The ICC will write and send a letter to your employer, supervisor, elected official or other individuals who may authorize your attendance at the ICC Annual Conference and/or your participation in your local ICC Chapter. Request such a letter at ICC'S Support Letter form. ICC will develop a letter with the information you provide and send it as you request.

On October 10, 2012, DSA will administer another Certified Access Specialist program examination. Those taking the examination must have applied on or before September 17, 2012. If you missed this examination, watch the DSA page for announcements of future application periods and examination dates, and download a Candidate Handbook and Application.

state capitol

Legislation of Interest to Building Departments

The two-year 2011/2012 legislative session has come to a close. During the 2012 portion there were several legislative bills with potential impact on local building departments or the state laws regarding building construction. The following bills made it through both houses of the legislature and were signed by the Governor to become law on January 1, 2013.

AB 1750 (Chapter 537 of the Statutes of 2012) enacts the Rainwater Capture Act of 2012, with new provisions in the Business and Professions Code and the Water Code. The Act allows residential, commercial, and governmental landowner installed and operated rain barrel systems, as defined, and rainwater capture systems, as defined, for specified purposes, provided that the systems comply with specified requirements.

AB 2030 (Chapter 370 of the Statutes of 2012) adds provisions to the Health and Safety Code requiring the California Building Standards Commission to adopt building standards for the 2016 edition of the California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations, requiring press boxes at stadiums to be located on an accessible route of travel. Some exceptions are allowed.

AB 2114 (Chapter 679 of the Statutes of 2012) amended 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 (Chapter 614 of the Statutes of 2012) amends the Government Code to place fee limitations on permits issued by a city or county for the installation of a residential or commercial rooftop solar energy system.

SB 1394 (Chapter 420 of the Statutes of 2012) amends Health and Safety Code provisions requiring smoke detectors in dwellings. It requires inspection of smoke detectors when a permit is issued for alterations, repairs and additions exceeding $1,000 in valuation. New device listing, installation, and labeling requirements are established. If a smoke alarm is battery operated it must be a non-replaceable, non-removable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for a minimum of 10 years. These requirements are effective on and after January 1, 2014. It further requires carbon monoxide detectors in hotel and motel rooms by January 1, 2016.

Find these bills at the state legislative website. A new two-year 2013/2014 session will begin in January 2013. 

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