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AB-811 Contractual assessments: energy efficiency improvements.(2007-2008)

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AB811:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 811
CHAPTER 159

An act to amend Sections 5898.12, 5898.20, 5898.22, and 5898.30 of, and to add Sections 5898.14 and 5898.21 to, the Streets and Highways Code, relating to contractual assessments, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Approved by Governor  July 21, 2008. Filed with Secretary of State  July 21, 2008. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 811, Levine. Contractual assessments: energy efficiency improvements.
Existing law authorizes the legislative body of any city, as defined, to determine that it would be convenient and advantageous to designate an area within which authorized city officials and free and willing property owners may enter into contractual assessments and make arrangements to finance public improvements to specified lots or parcels under certain circumstances. Existing law requires the legislative body to make these determinations by adopting a resolution indicating its intention to do so and requires the resolution to include certain information, including, but not limited to, identification of the kinds of public works that may be financed, a description of the boundaries of the area within which contractual assessments may be entered into, and a description of the proposed arrangements for financing the program. Existing law also directs an appropriate city official to prepare a report to include, among other things, the terms and conditions that would be agreed to by a property owner within the contractual assessment area and the city and identification of the types of facilities that may be financed through the use of contractual assessments.
This bill would additionally authorize a legislative body of any city, as defined, to determine that it would be in the public interest to designate an area within which authorized city officials and free and willing property owners may enter into contractual assessments to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property, as specified. The bill would require the resolution of intention to include, among other things, the kinds of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that may be financed as well as a statement specifying that it is in the public interest to finance those distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements. The bill would further require the report to include, among other things, the types of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that may be financed through the use of contractual assessments. The bill would authorize a property owner, upon written consent of an authorized city official, to purchase directly the related equipment and materials for the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements and to contract directly for the installation of those sources or improvements. The bill would make findings and a declaration in this regard.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 5898.12 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

5898.12.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that this chapter should be used to finance public improvements to lots or parcels which are developed and where the costs and time delays involved in creating an assessment district pursuant to other provisions of this division or any other law would be prohibitively large relative to the cost of the public improvements to be financed.
(b) It is also the intent of the Legislature that this chapter should be used to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property.
(c) This chapter shall not be used to finance facilities for parcels which are undergoing development.
(d) This chapter shall not be used to finance the purchase or installation of appliances that are not permanently fixed to residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property.
(e) Assessments may be levied pursuant to this chapter only with the free and willing consent of the owner of each lot or parcel on which an assessment is levied at the time the assessment is levied.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5898.14 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:

5898.14.
 (a) The Legislature finds all of the following:
(1) Energy conservation efforts, including the promotion of energy efficiency improvements to residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property are necessary to address the issue of global climate change.
(2) The upfront cost of making residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property more energy efficient prevents many property owners from making those improvements. To make those improvements more affordable and to promote the installation of those improvements, it is necessary to authorize an alternative procedure for authorizing assessments to finance the cost of energy efficiency improvements.
(b) The Legislature declares that a public purpose will be served by a contractual assessment program that provides the legislative body of any city with the authority to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources and energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property.

SEC. 3.

 Section 5898.20 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

5898.20.
 (a) (1) The legislative body of any city may determine that it would be convenient and advantageous to designate an area within the city, which may encompass the entire city or a lesser portion, within which authorized city officials and property owners may enter into contractual assessments for public improvements and to make financing arrangements pursuant to this chapter.
(2) The legislative body of any city may also determine that it would be convenient, advantageous, and in the public interest to designate an area within the city, which may encompass the entire city or a lesser portion, within which authorized city officials and property owners may enter into contractual assessments to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property pursuant to this chapter.
(b) The legislative body shall make these determinations by adopting a resolution indicating its intention to do so. The resolution of intention shall include a statement that the city proposes to make contractual assessment financing available to property owners, shall identify the kinds of public works, distributed generation renewable energy sources, or energy efficiency improvements that may be financed, shall describe the boundaries of the area within which contractual assessments may be entered into, and shall briefly describe the proposed arrangements for financing the program. The resolution of intention shall state that it is in the public interest to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements, or both, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), if applicable. The resolution shall state that a public hearing should be held at which interested persons may object to or inquire about the proposed program or any of its particulars, and shall state the time and place of the hearing. The resolution shall direct an appropriate city official to prepare a report pursuant to Section 5898.22 and to enter into consultations with the county auditor’s office or county controller’s office in order to reach agreement on what additional fees, if any, will be charged to the city or county for incorporating the proposed contractual assessments into the assessments of the general taxes of the city or county on real property.
(c) As used in this chapter, each of the following terms has the following meaning:
(1) Notwithstanding Section 5005, “city” means a city, county, or city and county.
(2) “Legislative body” has the same meaning as defined in Section 5006.

SEC. 4.

 Section 5898.21 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:

5898.21.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, upon the written consent of an authorized city official, the proposed arrangements for financing the program pertaining to the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property may authorize the property owner to purchase directly the related equipment and materials for the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements and to contract directly for the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to the property owner’s residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property.

SEC. 5.

 Section 5898.22 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

5898.22.
 The report shall contain all of the following:
(a) A map showing the boundaries of the territory within which contractual assessments are proposed to be offered.
(b) A draft contract specifying the terms and conditions that would be agreed to by a property owner within the contractual assessment area and the city.
(c) A statement of city policies concerning contractual assessments including all of the following:
(1) Identification of types of facilities, distributed generation renewable energy sources, or energy efficiency improvements that may be financed through the use of contractual assessments.
(2) Identification of a city official authorized to enter into contractual assessments on behalf of the city.
(3) A maximum aggregate dollar amount of contractual assessments.
(4) A method for setting requests from property owners for financing through contractual assessments in priority order in the event that requests appear likely to exceed the authorization amount.
(d) A plan for raising a capital amount required to pay for work performed pursuant to contractual assessments. The plan may include amounts to be advanced by the city through funds available to it from any source. The plan may include the sale of a bond or bonds or other financing relationship pursuant to Section 5898.28. The plan shall include a statement of or method for determining the interest rate and time period during which contracting property owners would pay any assessment. The plan shall provide for any reserve fund or funds. The plan shall provide for the apportionment of all or any portion of the costs incidental to financing, administration, and collection of the contractual assessment program among the consenting property owners and the city.
(e) A report on the results of the consultations with the county auditor’s office or county controller’s office concerning the additional fees, if any, that will be charged to the city or county for incorporating the proposed contractual assessments into the assessments of the general taxes of the city or county on real property, and a plan for financing the payment of those fees.

SEC. 6.

 Section 5898.30 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

5898.30.
 Assessments levied pursuant to this chapter, and the interest and any penalties thereon shall constitute a lien against the lots and parcels of land on which they are made, until they are paid. Division 10 (commencing with Section 8500) applies to the levy and collection of assessments levied pursuant to this chapter, insofar as those provisions are not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the collection of assessments in the same manner and at the same time as the general taxes of the city on real property are payable and any penalties and remedies and lien priorities in the event of delinquency and default.

SEC. 7.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order for legislative bodies of cities and free and willing property owners to enter into contractual assessments to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements and for the state to begin to experience the effects of these contractual assessments, such as saving millions of kilowatthours, as early as this summer when usage is the highest, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.