News for California Building Departments Issue #38, April - June 2013

In This Issue:

2013 Legislation

2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle Update

Appeals to the Commission

DSA CASp Examination Changes


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Important Dates

April 24, 2013: California Building Standards Commission public hearing regarding last remaining proposal to be included in 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.

July 1, 2013: Planned publication date of the 2013 edition of the California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations. The publication date is the date when the new code is available for purchase by the public and it sets the effective date. The effective date can be no sooner than 180 days after the publication date. Thus, the planned effective date is January 1, 2014.

@Useful Websites

State Laws

Legislative Bills

Building Standards Commission

Dept. of Housing and Community Development

Legislation of Interest to Building Departments

The 2013-2014 Legislative session is in full swing and there are several bills proposing amendments and new requirements relating to buildings that are of interest to local building departments. Here is a brief summary of the proposals at this time.

AB 56 proposes to require any private or public school building used for educational purposes for kindergarten through grade 12, that is built or modernized on or after January 1, 2014, and that has a furnace located inside the school building, to have a carbon monoxide device as specified.

AB 151 proposes to authorize a city or county to grant financial assistance, relief, and support to disabled veterans by reducing or waiving building inspection or permit fees for the modification of a dwelling owned by a disabled veteran for the purpose of making the dwelling more accessible.

AB 462 proposes to require a residential care facility for the elderly or adult residential facility, as defined, that has a valid license as of January 1, 2014, to have installed and maintained on and after January 1, 2016, an operable automatic fire sprinkler system approved by the State Fire Marshal. Other related requirements are proposed.

AB 645 proposes to extend the date to January 1, 2015, adding one more year before smoke alarms must display the date of manufacture, provide a place where the date of installation can be written, incorporate a hush feature, incorporate an end-of-life feature that provides notice to replace the device, and if battery operated, contain a nonreplaceable, nonremovable battery that is capable of powering the smoke alarm for a minimum of 10 years, to gain State Fire Marshal approval for sale in California.

AB 967 proposes to authorize a local enforcement agency, including an environmental agency, housing department, or building department, to make determinations as to whether a housing structure is substandard due to the infestation of insects, vermin, or rodents, when there is no health officer to make the determination.

SB 550 proposes to create the Accessible Multifamily Housing Act of 2013, which would require new and substantially rehabilitated assisted multifamily housing projects, as defined, for which building permits are issued on and after July 1, 2014, to be designed and constructed to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with mobility, vision, and hearing impairments.

Other bills worthy of watching include AB127 regarding the use of fire retardants in foam insulation; AB 221 regarding the use of recycled concrete; AB 341 proposing restructuring of the green building code; AB 980 regarding primary care clinic standards; and SB 750 requiring water meters for each individual unit of a multiunit residential structure. Remember, amendments can change the impact.

Access these bills at the legislature’s website.

Did You KnowDid You Know?
Appeals to the Commission

Did you know the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) has authority to administer appeals regarding the application of the California Building Standards Code, in Title 24, California Code of Regulations? An appeal process is established in Health and Safety Code (HSC) Sections 18945 through 18949, with implementing regulations by the CBSC in Title 24, Part 1, Chapter 1, commencing with Section 1-301.

The CBSC may receive an appeal regarding the application of Title 24 by a state agency, or when the ruling is by a local enforcement agency such as a building department and both the adversely affected party and the local enforcement agency appeal jointly to the CBSC for resolution. However, in the latter case, the subject of the appeal must have statewide significance.

The referenced regulations by the CBSC have established that an appeal must be written and include information necessary to administer the appeal. A $450 filing fee is required in order to cover the CBSC’s cost of administering an appeal and rendering a decision. Additional charges may be assessed if the CBSC incurs costs not covered by the initial filing fee. The CBSC is not authorized in law to enforce any decision reached on an appeal. The decision becomes merely advisory.

Read all the details of the cited HSC sections at the California Law website. The referenced CBSC regulations are in Title 24, Part 1.

Other News & Things to Remember

  • The DSA website shows the 2013 Construction Cost Valuation to be used with Section 1134B 2.1 Exception 1, of the 2010 California Building Code (Part 2 of Title 24) when alterations, additions and structural repairs are made to existing buildings to be $139,934.00. The 2012 valuation threshold was $136,060.00. The valuation is adjusted each January.
  • The Division of Codes and Standards within the Department of Housing and Community Development provides a free booklet on housing accessibility standards. It is based on the current requirements of Chapter 11A of the 2010 California Building Code (Part 2 of Title 24, California Code of Regulations). The 53 page booklet provides explanations, illustrations and checklists for various building features such as a parking lot, bathrooms, kitchens and much more. Find this booklet here and at the HCD website under the Division of Codes and Standards, State Housing Law program.
state capitol

What's Up with the State?

The 2012 Triennial Code Adoption Cycle continues with all but the April 24, 2013, hearing to consider the last remaining issues. Most of the proposals were adopted during the December 11 and 12, 2012, and January 23 and 24, 2013, hearings and are now in the publication process to form the 2013 California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations. The 2013 code should be available for purchase before July and will be effective on January 1, 2014.

The Building Standards Commission’s 2013 Winter newsletter, known as the CAL Code Quarterly, includes a description of the most noteworthy changes coming in the 2013 to the California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations. There is a preview of the cover design, too. If you are not receiving notice of the CBSC newsletter, you can sign up to receive an e-mail notification. At the CBSC's website, click on Mailing List Request on the left side of the page, and download the sign up form, also linked here.

Cheryl Roberts, a Battalion Chief with the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District, was appointed by the Governor Brown to the Local Fire Official seat on the California Building Standards Commission effective January 17, 2013.

Steve Jensen, who served on the California Building Standards Commission in the seat designated for an electrical, mechanical, or fire protective engineer, has retired. The seat is currently vacant. Steve's career included serving as the Building Official in the City of Napa and County of Marin.

The Division of the State Architect has cancelled the examination for the Certified Access Specialist program scheduled for June 12, 2013, because of the substantial changes coming in the 2013 edition of the California Building Code (CBC) regarding accessibility. The next examination will be administered on October 16, 2013, and will be based on the new 2013 CBC. Applications for the October examination must be made by September 20, 2013. Application details are available at this DSA web page.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has issued its annual report on their program activities, achievements, projects, and statistics, named the 2012 Year in Review. Read this interesting report here.

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