News for California Building Departments Issue #37, January - March 2013

In This Issue:

2012 State Legislative Bulletins

2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle Update

Required Building Plan Retention

DSA Examination Schedule for 2013

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Important Dates

January 1, 2013: Most 2012 legislative changes become effective.

January 23 and 24, 2013: California Building Standards Commission public hearing regarding proposed provisions for the 2013 edition of the California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations. An agenda is generally posted at the Commission’s website.

February, 13, 2013: First of three DSA CASp examinations to be conducted during 2013. See other CASp information herein.

February 18-23, 2013: CALBO Annual Business Meeting: details.

Useful Websites

State Laws

Legislative Bills

Building Standards Commission

Dept. of Housing and Community Development

What's Up with the State?

The 2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle continues, with most of the state agencies involved in the creation of Title 24 busy with the public comment periods and hearings regarding the proposed adoptions that will form the 2013 California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations. The proposals were the subject of the public hearings conducted by the Building Standards Commission on December 11 and 12, 2012. Further work is planned for hearings scheduled for January 23 and 24, 2013. You may access all the proposed code text at the Building Standards Commission website. The plan is for the 2013 edition of Title 24 to be effective on January 1, 2014.

The Department of Housing and Community Development has issued Information Bulletin #2012-07, dated December 17, 2012, highlighting 2012 legislative changes relating to housing codes and housing construction issues.

The Building Standards Commission has issued Building Standards Bulletin #12-03, dated December 17, 2012, listing 2012 legislative changes relating to buildings and building codes.

On December 10, 2012, Governor Brown appointed Kent Sasaki, of Walnut Creek, to the seat designated for a Structural Engineer on the California Building Standards Commission. Mr. Sasaki is with the firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. of Emeryville and has served on the Commission previously.

On December 10, 2012, Governor Brown appointed Steve Winkel, of Berkeley, to the seat designated for an Architect on the California Building Standards Commission. Mr. Winkel served on the Commission from 1999 to 2011 and is a partner at The Preview Group, Inc. in Berkeley.

Did You KnowDid You Know?
Required Building Plan Retention

Did you know the building department is required to maintain a copy of the plans for every building — for the life of the building? It is true, with a few exceptions. The requirements and exemptions are found in Health and Safety Code Sections 19850 through 19853.

The law allows the use of microfilm or other photographic means in place of the original plans on paper. It exempts the plans for farm or ranch buildings; buildings including a bank, financial institution, or public utility; and single or multiple dwellings of not more than two stories and a basement, or a garage or other structure that is an accessory to such a single or multiple dwelling, and any one-story building with no span exceeding 25 feet unless such building is of steel frame or concrete.

plans rolledHSC Section 19851 provides that the plans required to be maintained on file by the building department shall be a public record available for public inspection on the premises of the building department. This section establishes how the building department must administer the process of receiving a request to duplicate a plan and obtain written permission from the design professional and building owner prior to allowing duplication. The building department must provide a form to collect information from the person requesting plan duplication. The form must disclose specified information and provide for an affidavit stipulating that the copied plan will be used for the maintenance, operation, and use of the building. Fees may be established to recover the cost of plan storage and for the duplication of plans.

Read all the details of the cited HSC sections at the California Law website.

Other News & Things to Remember

  • The Division of the State Architect has established the following schedule for applications and examinations for the Certified Access Specialist program during 2013. Application details are available at the DSA website.
    • January 18, 2013, application due date for an examination on February 13, 2013
    • May 17, 2013, application due date for an examination on June 12, 2013
    • September 20, 2013, application due date for an examination on October 16, 2013
  • Watch the DSA website for the 2013 Construction Cost Valuation to be used with Section 1134B of the California Building Code when alterations, additions and structural repairs are made to existing buildings. The 2012 valuation threshold was $136,060.00.
  • Section 17926 of the Health and Safety Code required an owner of an existing single-family dwelling to install a State Fire Marshal approved carbon monoxide device on or before July 1, 2011, if the dwelling had a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage. This section requires the same for all other existing dwelling units intended for human occupancy on or before January 1, 2013. Section 17926 is located within the State Housing Law portion of the Health and Safety Code, which is required to be enforced by local building departments.
state capitol

Legislation of Interest to Building Departments

Our recent issue of The Willdan Letter for October to December 2012 listed several bills that contain new and or amended state laws relating to buildings and building codes effective on January 1, 2013. As said herein our What's Up with the State, the Department of Housing and Community Development and the California Building Standards Commission have issued bulletins detailing 2012 legislation. Website links are provided herein.

The 2013-2014 Legislative session will convene on January 7, 2013. The last date for bills to be introduced in the 2013 portion of the 2013-2014 session is February 22, 2013. As we approach the 2013-2014 legislative session, here are a few things to remember about legislation.

  • Legislative bills are proposals until they pass by affirmative vote in the assembly and the senate, are signed by the Governor, and are filed with the Secretary of State.
  • A bill vetoed by the Governor may become law with an override vote, which is an affirmative vote by 2/3 of the assembly and 2/3 of the senate.
  • AB is an abbreviation for Assembly Bill. An AB was introduced by a member of the Assembly. SB is an abbreviation for Senate Bill. An SB was introduced by a member of the Senate.
  • Senate Bills and Assembly Bills have the same weight. One has no more importance than the other.
  • A bill identification number is assigned as a bill is introduced. The numbers are reused in each two-year session. Consequently, in each two-year session there is a repeat of some bill numbers. When citing a legislative bill that is still a proposal, it is best to include the year the bill was introduced. Once a bill becomes law, it is best to cite the bill by the chapter number issued by the Secretary of State, and the year it passed. To eliminate the possibility of confusion when writing about a bill that has become law, provide the bill number with the chapter number and the year in parenthesis. For example, a complete and proper citation for AB 100 that passed in 2011 would be AB 100 (Chapter 5 of the 2011 Statutes).
  • The California Legislature website provides considerable information. In addition, you may access any bill of the current, or past sessions, back to 1993.
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