logo The Willdan Letter
News for California Building Departments Issue #41, January - March 2014

In This Issue:

2013 Legislative bills and 2014 session dates

Postponement of some 2013 Title 24 provisions

Consultation fee authority

Information Bulletins

Important Dates

Jan 1, 2014: Chaptered 2013 legislative bill provisions become effective.

Jan 1, 2014: Most provisions of the 2013 edition of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, California Code of Regulations) become effective. See the discussion in What's up with the State for information about provisions postponed to July 1, 2014.

Jan 22, 2014: California Building Standards Commission public meeting. Meetings are generally webcasted so you may watch from your desk. Watch the CBSC website for the agenda and webcast information.

Feb 12, 2014: Deadline to apply for the DSA-administered Certified Access Specialist program examination. Two other examinations will be administered during 2014. Apply

Mar 3-8, 2014: CALBO Annual Business Meeting, Anaheim, CA: details.

Mar 12, 2014: DSA- administered Certified Access Specialist program examination. Applications must have been submitted on or before February 12, 2014, and accepted by DSA. Examinations sites are Rancho Cordova and Hawthorne.

@Useful Websites

Other News & Things to Remember

The construction value threshold during 2013 when applying California Building Code Section 1134B.2.1 Exception 1, to existing building projects was $139,934.00. Now, those provisions are located in Section 11B-202.4, Exception 8, of the 2013 California Building Code that becomes effective on January 1, 2014. Watch this DSA page for the posting of the 2014 threshold value after January 1, 2014.

CALBO and ICC have developed two handbooks: The Significant Changes to the California Residential Code 2013 Edition and the Significant Changes to the California Building Code, 2013 Edition. These handbooks provide explanationsof the structural and non structural changes in the 2013 codes and are available from the ICC.

happy birthdayThe Willdan Letter is 10 Years Old!

NEW! The past 10 years have seen many changes in Buildng and Safety and in our Letter. But the detailed discussions of issues in "Did You Know?", ranging from "Is it a a mobile home and manufactured home?" to "Contract plan examiners required if excessive delay", are still useful. So, in response to requests for an index to back issues, now the complete text for these columns are posted directly on the Index page.

Do you know anyone who would like to receive our e-mail notice about our latest issue of The Willdan Letter? Tell them to sign up or the web­master.

What's Up with the State?


On December 11, 2013, the California Energy Commission (CEC) held a public hearing and adopted a new effective date, July 1, 2014, for the California Energy Code in Part 6 of Title 24, California Code of Regulations, instead of the original effective date pf January 1, 2014. Chapter 10 within Part 1 of Title 24 was also postponed to July 1, 2014. This action required approval by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC). On December 18, 2013, the CBSC approved the CEC postponements, along with a postponement of Part 11, the California Green Building Standards Code, 2013 Title 24, because of the relationship with Part 6. Be sure to read the details and implications as explained in CBSC's Information Bulletin #13-07.

The CBSC is now administering the 2013 Intervening Code Adoption Cycle. Any of the state agencies proposing new or amended building standards, or the repeal of building standards, must have submitted their proposals to the CBSC no later than December 31, 2013. See the timeline for this cycle at the CBSC website.Proposed additions and amendments to the 2013 edition of Title 24 will be the subject of CBSC public meetings during 2014.

The CBSC recently issued the following information bulletins, found here.

  • Information Bulletin #13-04, dated Nov. 22, 2013, regarding the repeal of OSHPD 3 and 3SE building standards from the 2013 edition of Title 24.
  • Information Bulletin #13-05, dated Nov. 22, 2013, regarding 2013 California Building Code, Chapter 19, Concrete.
  • Information Bulletin #13-08, dated Dec. 9, 2013, regarding legislative changes.
  • Information Bulletin #13-07, dated Dec. 18, 2013, regarding changes to the effective dates of Parts 6 and 11, and Chapter 10 in Part 1, of the 2013 Title 24.
  • Information Bulletin #13-06, dated December 30, 2013, regarding the Civil Code requirement to replace plumbing fixtures in specific commercial buildings.

The CBSC has updated the Guide to Title 24 to be based on the 2013 edition of Title 24. Available at no charge at this CBSC page, it may be printed for office reference and training.

The Department of Housing and Community Development has issued Information Bulletin, #2013-07, dated Dec. 3, 2013, regarding the required replacement of plumbing fixtures.

The Division of the State Architect will administer three Certified Access Specialist examinations during 2014. The first will be on March 12, 2014, for those who applied before February 12, 2014. The examinations will have a 40-question open book part and a 60-question closed book part. Future dates and application details are available at the DSA website.


The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has issued Information Bulletin #13-009, dated December 30, 2013, regarding antifreeze use in residential fire sprinkler systems. Also regarding residential fire sprinkler systems, OSFM has issued Code Interpretation #13-001, dated December 30, 2013, addressing backflow requirements in the 2013 California Residential Code.


Did You Know?
A Building Department May Charge for Consultation

buildingDid you know state law allows a local building department to charge an hourly fee for consultation with a permit applicant, or member of the public, regarding accessibility requirements in a place of public accommodation? The authority is provided in California Civil Code Section 55.53 (d)(2), enacted by SB 1608 in 2008 (Chapter 549). A place of public accommodation is defined in federal and state law, but Section 202 of the 2013 California Building Code is the most expansive. A place of public accommodation includes almost every building use except for covered multifamily dwellings.

CC55.53 also requires a local building department to employ or retain CASp inspectors to perform plan checking and inspections of construction for access compliance. The requirement began in 2010 requiring each agency to employ at least one CASp inspector. As of January 1, 2014, the requirement is for a building department to employ a "sufficient number of building inspectors" who hold the CASp certification. If you have not read CC55.53 recently, here is the part that becomes operative with the new year:

Commencing January 1, 2014, a local agency shall employ or retain a sufficient number of building inspectors who are certified access specialists to conduct permitting and plan check services to review for compliance with state construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public accommodation with respect to new construction, including, but not limited to, projects relating to tenant improvements that may impact access. If a local agency employs or retains two or more certified access specialists to comply with this subdivision, at least one-half of the certified access specialists shall be building inspectors who are certified access specialists.

CC 55.53 also authorizes local government to establish fees necessary to carry out the requirements:

A local government may additionally charge or increase permittingDid You Know, plan check, or inspection fees to the extent necessary to offset the costs of complying with this subdivision. Any revenues generated from an hourly or other charge or fee increase under this subdivision shall be used solely to offset the costs incurred to comply with this subdivision.

Read more about this section of state law at the state website.

Legislation of Interest to Building Departments

With the new year comes the second year of the 2013/2014 California Legislative session. The legislature's published schedule has some important dates to consider, including:

  • Jan 6, 2014: the legislature reconvened.
  • Jan 31, 2014: Last day for bills introduced in 2013 to pass out of their house of origin. This applies to 2013 bills that did not pass in 2013 and are still active in their respective house of origin (Senate for Senate Bills, Assembly for Assembly Bills). Any such bills must move on to the other house or die.
  • Feb 21, 2014: Last day to introduce new bills for 2014 passage.

The following bills were on the Governor's desk as we issued our last newsletter. They were later signed by the Governor, filed with the Secretary of State, and will become effective law on January 1, 2014.

  • AB 56 (Chapter 475 of the 2013 Statutes), requires the State Fire Marshal to propose building standards by July 1, 2015, for the installation of carbon monoxide devices in public and private schools with specific equipment and conditions.
  • AB 341 (Chapter 585 of the 2013 Statutes) requires cross referencing in the various parts of Title 24, to the existence of green building standards in Part 11 of Title 24, the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen). The bill includes other administrative requirements relating to green standards.
  • AB 980 (Chapter 663 of the 2013 Statutes) requires the repeal of specific provisions in the 2013 California Building Standards Code in Title 24, California Code of Regulations that pertain to licensed clinics. This bill was the impetus for the action by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) Energy Commission and CBSC to repeal building standards relating to specific clinics. The matter is explained in CBSC Information Bulletin #13-04, dated November 22, 2013.
  • AB 1092 (Chapter 410 of the 2013 Statutes) requires the California Building Standard Commission and Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt mandatory building standards for the installation of future electric vehicle charging infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings and nonresidential developments. Such standards are to be included in the 2016 Triennial edition of Title 24.

The following bills were passed in October 2013 and were discussed in our last newsletter. The provisions are effective January 1, 2014.

  • AB 221 (Chapter 154, Statutes of 2013): The definition of recycled concrete is revised for consistency among various codes and standards, including Title 24 Part 2, the California Building Code, and Part 11, the California Green Building Standards Code.
  • AB 433 (Chapter 377, Statutes of 2013): Existing law provides that the installation of a fire protection system may be performed only by a contractor holding a fire protection contractor classification, or by an owner-builder of an owner-occupied, single-family dwelling. This bill adds that until January 1, 2017, the installation of a residential fire protection system in a one or two-family dwelling may also be performed by a licensed plumbing contractors. This bill contains other related provisions.
  • SB 745 (Chapter 183, Statutes of 2013): Existing law in Civil Code Section 1101.5(d) required the replacement of all noncompliant plumbing fixtures in multifamily residential real property and commercial residential real property on and after January 1, 2014, under specified conditions. This requirement is modified by changing “commercial residential real property” to “commercial real property. The requirements applies to only those residential and commercial real property buildings built and available for use on or before January 1, 1994.
  • SB 816 (Chapter 289, Statutes of 2013): This bill requires the Office of the State Fire Marshal to develop and adopt building standards for hospice facilities in consultation with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and prohibits any local standards to be enforced that are inconsistent with the adopted building standards relating to fire and panic safety.

Our descriptions are abbreviated, so access the bills at the Legislature's website.

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