BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 300
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 20, 2009

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Kevin De Leon, Chair

                  AB 300 (Caballero) - As Amended:  April 20, 2009 

          Policy Committee:                             Local  
          GovernmentVote:7-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill allows a homebuilder to receive credit for voluntary  
          water demand management measures that it incorporates into large  
          residential developments, and to pay a fee to reduce projected  
          water demand of their project, until January 1, 2020.   
          Specifically, this bill:

          1)Requires a local agency to reduce the anticipated water demand  
            from a residential development project of 500 or more units,  
            based on the project applicant's inclusion of "voluntary water  
            demand management measures," until January 1, 2020.

          2)Defines "voluntary water demand management measures" to  
            include smart irrigation controllers, waterless urinals,  
            ultralow flow and dual flow toilets, recycled water  
            facilities, rainwater capture and reuse facilities, and any  
            other measure that prevents waste or promotes reasonable and  
            efficient use and reuse of available water supplies.

          3)Allows a developer to mitigate water demand associated with  
            proposed residential subdivision by paying into the water  
            supplier's "Voluntary Water Demand Mitigation Fund" to pay for  
            water conservation measures that do not supplant other such  
            measures.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Minor, absorbable costs the Department of Water Resources.

           COMMENTS  









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           1)Rationale.   The author contends this bill responds to local  
            agencies' failure, when estimating future water demand  
            associated with a housing development, to consider  
            homebuilders' use of water-saving devices.  The author  
            believes this bill will encourage water conservation in new  
            homes by requiring local agencies to account for voluntary  
            conservation measures when quantifying a project's water  
            demand.  The author further contends the bill will achieve  
            this encouragement without additional costs to state or local  
            government.

           2)Background.   Existing law prohibits approval of a subdivision  
            of property of more than 500 dwelling units, except as  
            specified, unless local government or the designated advisory  
            agency provides written verification from the applicable  
            public water system that a sufficient water supply will be  
            available prior to completion of the project.  The law also  
            requires a water supplier to assess future water supply  
            whenever a city or county determines that a project, as  
            defined, is subject to the California Environmental Quality  
            Act (CEQA).  Urban water suppliers must prepare Urban Water  
            Management Plans.

           3)Supporters  , including the California Building Industry  
            Association (this bill's sponsor) argue that home builders  
            have long included water conserving measures in residential  
            developments for which local agencies have not given them  
            adequate credit.  They claim this bill will encourage the  
            inclusion of such measures by ensuring developers receive  
            credit for the water conservation achieved by such measures.

           4)Opponents,  though there are none registered against the bill  
            as currently written, are concerned that the bill fails to  
            ensure that the water conservation measures will be realized  
            and maintained by future home owners.  
           
          5)Related Legislation.  
           
             a)   AB 1480  (Krekorian) provides alternative measures by  
               which a local agency may determine a large residential  
               development has sufficient water supply, similar to this  
               bill.  AB 1408 passed Natural Resources 5-2 and is  
               currently set to be heard by this committee.

             b)   SB 610 (Costa, Chapter 643, Statutes of 2001) requires a  








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               water supplier for a property that requires local  
               government to perform a review under the California  
               Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to assess future water  
               supply sufficiency, upon the city or county's request.  

              c)   SB 221  (Kuehl, Chapter 642, Statutes of 2001) prohibits  
               a local government from approving a development agreement  
               that includes a subdivision of more than 500 units unless  
               the developer can verifiably demonstrate that the  
               subdivision has 20-year water supplies. 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jay Dickenson / APPR. / (916) 319-2081