BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2533
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 2533 (Salinas)
          As Amended July 7, 2004
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |57-19|(May 20, 2004)  |SENATE: |21-10|(August 23,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2004)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    B. & P.  

           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes civil penalties and a right of private  
          action against owners of certain unreinforced masonry (URM)  
          buildings that have not been retrofitted and fail to comply with  
          existing seismic safety warning notice requirements.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires owners of URM buildings in seismic safety zone 4 that  
            have not been retrofitted and are not in compliance with  
            existing seismic safety warning notice requirements as of  
            December 31, 2004, to conspicuously post a different and  
            larger warning notice, as specified.

          2)Requires every rental or lease agreement involving URM  
            buildings in seismic safety zone 4 that are neither  
            retrofitted nor in compliance with warning notice requirements  
            to include a written statement alerting the new owner to the  
            dangers of URM buildings and the notice requirements under  
            existing law, as specified.

          3)Authorizes local building departments (LBDs) to levy an  
            administrative fine of $250 on building owners who do not  
            comply with the requirements of this bill no sooner than 15  
            days after the LBD notifies the owner that they are subject to  
            an administrative fine.

          4)Authorizes LBDs to levy an additional administrative fine of  
            $1,000 on an owner if they do not comply with seismic safety  
            warning notice requirements within 30 days of the first  
            administrative fine.   

          5)Authorizes a private party to seek injunctive relief, as  
            specified, against a noncompliant building owner if all of the  
            following conditions are met:








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             a)   He or she has made a request to an appropriate authority  
               for enforcement at least 90 days prior to the action;

             b)   An administrative fine has not been levied since the  
               request for enforcement was made;

             c)   At least 15 days prior to filing of the action, the  
               person has served on each proposed defendant a notice of  
               noncompliance, as specified; and, 

             d)   The owner has failed to post a sign in compliance with  
               the law within 15 days of receipt of the notice of  
               noncompliance. 
              
          6)Declares that the prohibitions and sanctions imposed by this  
            bill are cumulative, and that any civil action for injunctive  
            relief shall be independent of any other rights or remedies. 

           

          The Senate amendments  :
           
           1)Revise the enforcement mechanism for this bill so that a  
            private party may pursue injunctive relief in civil court  
            (instead of equitable relief) provided that they first request  
            that the LBD enforce the law, if no fines had been recently  
            levied, and if the private party notices the owner, as  
            specified, 15 days before filing and the owner still fails to  
            comply. 

          2)Increase the size of the required warning notice for  
            unretrofitted URMs that are not in compliance with existing  
            warning notice requirements as of December 31, 2004. 

          3)Exempt unretrofitted URM buildings that are in compliance with  
            existing warning notice requirements from the new signage  
            requirements created by this bill.

          4)Require the LBD to notify building owners of exposure to  
            administrative fines under this bill and wait at least 15 days  
            before levying an administrative fine of $250.

           5)Provide "chaptering-out" amendments to prevent a conflict  
             with AB 3032 (Yee), which generally exempts retrofitted URM  








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             buildings from seismic safety warning notice requirements. 

           6)Make various technical or nonsubstantive amendments.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill authorized civil penalties  
          and a right of private action against owners of certain URM  
          buildings that have not been retrofitted and fail to comply with  
          existing seismic safety warning notice requirements.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :

          1)Minor absorbable costs for the Seismic Safety Commission,  
            which is generally charged with coordinating local  
            governments' response to the state's earthquake safety  
            requirements.

          2)Potential minor fine revenues to local governments and to the  
            state.

           COMMENTS  :  This bill is intended to increase the posting of  
          seismic safety warning notices in URM buildings by creating new  
          legal remedies for public agencies and private citizens to  
          enforce those notice requirements.  

          This bill would allow LBDs to impose successive administrative  
          fines of $250 and $1,000 for failure to post the warning notice,  
          and authorizes private individuals to seek a court injunction to  
          make the building owner comply if the public agencies fail to  
          act.  This bill also revises and enlarges the required warning  
          notice, requires a similar disclosure in rental/lease  
          agreements, and exempts retrofitted or otherwise compliant URM  
          buildings from the notice requirement.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Hank Dempsey / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301  



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