In part two of the New Law Guidance series from Best Best & Krieger LLP (BBK), we cover important new legislation for 2024 related to redistricting, public works, advertising, fire safety and planning and zoning. Below, we provide takeaways and analyses of AB 764, AB 400, AB 1121, AB 587, AB 1175, AB 42, SB 272 and AB 821. To see all our 2024 Guidance for New Laws, click here.
AB 764 (Bill) requires counties, county boards of education, cities, school districts, community college districts and special districts (if the governing body of these local governments is elected by districts) to comply with uniform requirements related to redistricting.
- Redistricting requirements: Local governments to adopt district boundaries, using specified criteria, following the decision to establish district-based elections and following each federal decennial census.
- The Bill defines the term “destructing body” and clarifies the requirements applicable to advisory or hybrid redistricting commissions. It also requires an advisory or hybrid redistricting commission to comply with specified requirements when recommending changes to the legislative body’s district boundaries.
- Local government to hold at least one public workshop and a specified number of public hearings, with the number of hearings determined by the type and size of the local government, before adopting new district boundaries.
- All public hearings held by an advisory or hybrid redistricting commission to comply with the same requirements applicable to hearings held by the destructing body.
- The Bill imposes requirements relating to workshops and public hearings upon local jurisdictions, destructing bodies and advisory and hybrid redistricting commissions.
- Local government to adopt a redistricting public education and outreach plan before March 1 of every year ending in the number one .
- Local jurisdiction, not the hybrid redistricting commission, to adopt the public education and outreach plan if a local jurisdiction establishes a hybrid redistricting commission to recommend changes to the legislative body’s district boundaries.
- Local government to establish and maintain an accessible internet web page dedicated to redistricting to provide specified information to the public.
- Secretary of State to develop templates for such web pages, to provide a redistricting training for local governments, and to make available to the public a free electronic mapping tool.
- District boundaries to be adopted no later than 204 days before the local government’s next regular election occurring after January 1 in each year ending in the number two for redistricting occurring in 2031 and thereafter. If the responsible body misses that deadline, the body must immediately petition a superior court in a county in which the local jurisdiction is located for an order adopting election district boundaries.
- The Bill authorizes any interested person to bring an action in superior court alleging a violation of the Bill’s requirements.
- The Bill authorizes the adoption of new district boundaries before the next federal decennial census if the number of supervisors or city council members elected by districts changes, or if an independent redistricting commission is established to adopt new districts before the next census.
- The Bill provides that a member of the governing body of a local government continues to represent the constituents residing in the district boundaries from which the member was elected for the duration of that term of office.
- Local government may assign a public official to provide constituent services to residents of an area that is temporarily not represented by a member of the governing body of the local government due to redistricting.
- The Bill creates a state-mandated local program by increasing the duties of local officials with respect to redistricting.
- The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. The Bill provides that if the Commission on State Mandates determines the Bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
AB 400 (Bill) is an act to amend Public Contract Code Sections 22161 and 22169 relating to design-build projects and the definition of “Local Agency.”
Existing law includes in the definition of “Local Agency” any joint powers authority formed to provide transit services. The Bill would expand the definition of “Local Agency” to include any joint powers authority responsible for the construction of transit projects rather than only those formed specifically to provide transit services. The repeal date has also been extended from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2031.
By expanding the definition of “Local Agency” and by extending the repeal date, the Bill will expand the crime of perjury and require a state-mandated local program.
AB 1121 (Bill) amends Section 1771.1 of the Labor Code. Under existing law, contractors and subcontractors are required to register with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) as a condition precedent to being included in a bid or proposal for (or being awarded a) contract for a public works project. Additionally, DIR is statutorily mandated to maintain a list on its website of registered contractors and subcontractors.
- The Bill adds subsection (o) in addition to minor, non-substantive word changes in subdivisions (e), (g), (i) and (j)(2)(B)(i)-(i).
- Subsection (o) now requires awarding authorities (those agencies or parties awarding a public works contract) to annually submit to DIR a list of contractors that are deemed ineligible to bid on or be awarded a public works contract pursuant to the entity’s debarment or suspension rules, either as a prime contractor or working as a subcontractor.
- The DIR must maintain the list, update it annually, make it available to awarding authorities through its project registration database, and include: (1) the contractor (or subcontractor); (2) the California State Licensing Board license number; and (3) the jurisdiction where the debarment/suspension is effective, and the duration of such a debarment/suspension.
AB 587 amends Section 1776 of the Labor Code by adding subsections (1) and (2) to subdivision (e). Existing law requires that the Labor Commissioner investigate contractors’ and subcontractors’ failure to comply with their obligations under the Labor Code regarding “public works” projects. Existing law also requires contractors and subcontractors to maintain accurate payroll records (showing the name, address, social security number, work classification, straight time and overtime hours worked each day and week) and the actual per diem wages paid to each journeyman, apprentice, worker or other employee employed by the contractor or subcontractor in connection with the public work.
- Subdivision (e) of Section 1776 of the Labor Code presently requires that the Labor Commissioner ensure that an individual’s name, address and social security number are not visible when making copies of payroll records maintained by the Labor Commissioner available to the public.
- An exception to this is rule is that the Labor Commissioner need only ensure that the individual’s full social security number is not visible and to provide the last four digits of that number when producing such records to Taft-Hartley trust funds and joint labor-management committees.
- The Bill would put the current language in subdivision (e) into a subsection (1) and adds subsection (2). This new language provides that the copies of the records must be on forms provided by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Division) or contain the same information provided by the Division when making copies of payroll records to provide to Taft-Hartley trust funds and joint labor-management committees.
- The above subsection also provides that copy of electronic certified payroll records cannot satisfy any payroll records request.
AB 1175 (Bill), passed on October 11, 2023, is an act to amend Section 5273 of the Business and Professions Code relating to outdoor advertising displays.
The Outdoor Advertising Act (Act) provides for the regulation by the Department of Transportation (Department) of an advertising display within view of public highways. The Act regulates the placement of an off-premises advertising display along highways that generally advertises business conducted, services rendered or goods produced or sold at a location other than the property where the display is located.
- The Act does not apply to an on-premises advertising display, which generally advertises business conducted, services rendered or goods produced or sold at the location where the display is located.
- The Act treats an off-premises advertising display developed as part of and within the boundary limits of a redevelopment agency project (as those boundaries existed on December 29, 2011) as an on-premises advertising display until January 1, 2023, if it meets certain criteria for good cause (which includes, among others, that there has been no violation of certain provisions by the owner or operator of the advertising display).
- The Bill alters the “good cause” criteria to instead require that the Department has not made a final determination of a violation of the same provisions (whether by a final administrative decision or by operation of law) by the owner or operator of the advertising display.
- The Bill allows the applicable city, county or city and county to request from the Department a two-year extension from January 1, 2024 to January 1, 2025, for treating a display in a redevelopment agency project as an on-premises display if the following conditions are met: (1) the display meets the criteria for a finding of good cause; (2) the display was in use on December 31, 2022; and (3) the display complies with specified provisions of the Act including, but not limited to, the Act’s licensing and zoning requirements.
- The Bill also authorizes the Department to provide the extension upon a finding of good cause.
AB 42 (Bill) prohibits the enforcement of laws requiring local agencies to provide fire sprinklers at sites with 50 or fewer Temporary Sleeping Cabins if Alternative Fire Life and Safety Standards are met effective from January 1, 2024 through January 1, 2027.
- The Bill applies to all California cities, including charter cities. It is effective from January 1, 2024 through January 1, 2027, at which point it is repealed.
- Temporary Sleeping Cabins are nonpermanent structures intended to provide temporary housing to people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, have a total floor area of less than 250 square feet, and which do not include plumbing.
- Alternative Fire and Life Safety Standards are the minimum requirements for Temporary Sleeping Cabins that do not provide fire sprinklers. They are:
- One smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm in each unit, installed in accordance with the California Residential Code (Part 2.5 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations)
- One fire extinguisher in each unit
- Ingress and egress of Temporary Sleeping Cabins shall facilitate rapid exit
- Emergency evacuation signage and emergency egress lighting
- Egresses shall be free from storage and other obstructions
- Open flames and combustibles are prohibited
- Smoking at the site is prohibited
- 24-hour active fire watch at the site
- Temporary Sleeping Cabins shall be separated to the side and rear by at least six feet, and be made of noncombustible material
- Except for the requirement that fire sprinklers be equipped, Temporary Sleeping Cabins shall meet the design and construction requirements for emergency sleeping cabins prescribed in California Building Code Appendix P or California Residential Code Appendix AZ or their successors
- Fire code inspections shall occur in regular intervals, as determined by the local agency
- Violations of the Alternative Fire and Life Safety Standards above are handled according to Article 2.3 regarding Inspection of Homeless Shelters (Health and Standards §§ 17974-17974.6).
- This Bill pertains only to Alternative Fire and Life Safety Standards for Temporary Sleeping Cabins. It does not supersede any other applicable local or state approval process or health and safety standards pertaining to the use of or siting of Temporary Sleeping Cabins.
Local agencies will not be reimbursed for costs associated with this Bill (Government Code § 17556).
Planning and Zoning
SB 272 (Bill) provides that the California Coastal Commission (CCC) and the San Francisco Bay Conservation Development Commission (BCDC) must establish guidelines for the preparation of Sea Level Rise Plans by December 31, 2024.
- All local governments lying (in whole or in part) within the Coastal Zone and within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Development shall comply with their respective Sea Level Rise Plan by no later than January 1, 2034.
- Sea Level Rise Plans shall be part of either a local coastal program or a sub-regional San Francisco Bay shoreline resiliency plan, as applicable.
- Guidelines shall recognize and build upon baseline policies described in the CCC-published work, “Sea Level Rise Working Group: 2021 Work Products”; or in the BCDC-published work, “Bay Adapt Regional Strategy for a Rising Bay Joint Platform,” depending on whether a Sea Level Rise Plan is established under CCC or BCDC jurisdiction.
- The CCC guidelines shall be established in close coordination with the Ocean Protection Council and the California Sea Level Rise State and Regional Support Collaborative.
- The BCDC shall establish its guidelines in close coordination with the CCC, the Ocean Protection Council and the California Sea Level Rise State and Regional Support Collaborative.
- Each Sea Level Rise Plan is subject to approval by the CCC or by BCDC as applicable, and shall include, at a minimum:
- The use of the best available science
- A vulnerability assessment that includes efforts to ensure equity for at-risk communities
- Sea level rise adaptation strategies and recommended projects
- Identification of lead planning and implementation agencies
- A timeline for updates, as needed, based on conditions and projections and as determined by the local government in agreement with the CCC or BCDC as applicable. The Sea Level Rise Plan timeline shall include: (a) economic impact analyses of, at a minimum, costs to critical public infrastructure (which includes but is not limited to transit, roads, airports, ports, water storage, conveyance, wastewater treatment facilities, landfills, power plants and railroads); and (b) recommended approaches for implementing the sea level rise adaptation strategies and recommended projects.
- Local governments with CCC or BCDC approved Sea Level Rise Plans shall be prioritized for funding (upon appropriation by the Legislature) for implementing the sea level rise adaptation strategies and recommended projects in the local government’s approved Sea Level Rise Plan.
AB 821 (Bill) amends Government Code section 65860 regarding zoning ordinances effective January 1, 2024.
- Planning and Zoning Law currently requires county or city zoning ordinances to be consistent with a General Plan. Current law also requires that inconsistent zoning ordinances be amended to be consistent with the General Plan within a “reasonable time.”
- The Bill sets a firm deadline for amending or processing inconsistent development applications. Specifically, when a local agency receives a development application for a project that is consistent with the General Plan but which is inconsistent with a zoning ordinance, local agencies must either:
- Amend the zoning ordinance to be consistent with the General Plan within 180 days of receiving a development application or Process the development application in accordance with all applicable laws, while also applying the objective General Plan standards.
- If substantial evidence would allow a reasonable person to conclude that a proposed development is consistent with objective General Plan standards and criteria, a proposed development should not be found inconsistent and shall not require rezoning to accommodate the proposed development. Failure to amend a zoning ordinance within 180 days from receipt of a development application shall result in the local agency processing the application.
- The Bill also expands resident and property owners’ ability to bring an action or proceeding in the superior court to enforce compliance with Government Code section 65860. A resident or property owner may now bring action within 90 days of the enactment of any new zoning ordinance, the amendment of any existing zoning ordinance, or the failure of local agencies to comply with Government Code section 65860.
- The Bill applies to all cities, including charter cities. The amendments made by this Bill do not apply to development projects under Government Code Section 65589.5.
Disclaimer: BBK Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts, facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information herein.
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