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SB-190 Fire safety: building standards.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/01/2019 09:00 PM
SB190:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 01, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  March 05, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 190


Introduced by Senator Dodd
(Coauthors: Senators Borgeas and Nielsen)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Gallagher, Grayson, Lackey, Levine, Mayes, and Salas)

January 30, 2019


An act to amend Section 51189 of the Government Code, and to amend Section 18931.7 of, and to add Section 13159.5 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to fire safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 190, as amended, Dodd. Fire safety: building standards.
(1) Existing law requires a person, as defined, who owns, leases, controls, operates, or maintains an occupied dwelling or occupied structure in, upon, adjoining specified types of land areas within a very high fire hazard severity zone to maintain defensible space around the structure, as specified.
Existing law also requires the State Fire Marshal, in consultation with the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Director of Housing and Community Development, to recommend updated building standards that provide for comprehensive site and structure fire risk reduction to protect structures from fires spreading from adjacent structures or vegetation and to protect vegetation from fires spreading from adjacent structures, as provided.
This bill would require the Office of the State Fire Marshal to develop, in consultation with representatives from local, state, and federal fire services, local government, building officials, utility companies, the building industry, insurers and insurance research organizations, and the environmental community, a model defensible space program to be made available for use by a city, county, or city and county in the enforcement of the defensible space provisions. The bill would set forth required components of the program.
(2) Existing law requires the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to identify areas in the state, except as specified, as very high fire hazard severity zones based on specified criteria in order to enable public officials to identify measures that will retard the rate of spread and reduce the potential intensity of uncontrolled fires that threaten to destroy resources, life, or property and to require that those measures be taken. Existing law requires the State Fire Marshal to prepare and adopt a model ordinance that provides for the establishment of very high fire hazard severity zones. Existing law also requires the State Fire Marshal to annually review, revise as necessary, and administer the California Fire Service Training and Education Program. Existing law requires a local agency to designate, by ordinance, very high fire hazard severity zones within its jurisdiction.
This bill would require the Office of the State Fire Marshal to develop and make available on their internet website a Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Safety Building Standards Compliance training manual intended for use in the training of local building officials, builders, and fire service personnel. The bill would require the Office of the State Fire Marshal to develop a guidance document for the maintenance of defensible space around residential structures. The bill would also require the Office of the State Fire Marshal to develop and update on a regular basis a Wildland-Urban Interface Products handbook listing products and construction systems that comply with specified Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Safety building standards.
(3) Existing law establishes the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund in the State Treasury. Existing law provides that moneys in the fund, which include building permit applicant fees, shall be available, upon appropriation, to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, among other state entities, for expenditure in carrying out various provisions relating to building and housing standards, as provided.
This bill would additionally provide that, upon appropriation, moneys in the fund may be available for purposes of carrying the requirements described in paragraphs (1) and (2). (2) above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 51189 of the Government Code is amended to read:

51189.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that site and structure defensibility is essential to reduce the risk of structure ignition as well as for effective fire suppression by firefighters. This need to establish defensibility extends beyond the site fuel management practices required by this chapter, and includes, but is not limited to, measures that increase the likelihood of a structure to withstand ignition, such as building design and construction requirements that use fire resistant building materials, and provide standards for reducing fire risks on structure projections, including, but not limited to, porches, decks, balconies and eaves, and structure openings, including, but not limited to, attic, foundation, and eave vents, doors, and windows.
(b) No later than January 31, 2020, the State Fire Marshal, in consultation with the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Director of Housing and Community Development, shall, pursuant to Section 18930 of the Health and Safety Code, recommend updated building standards that provide for comprehensive site and structure fire risk reduction to protect structures from fires spreading from adjacent structures or vegetation and to protect vegetation from fires spreading from adjacent structures, based on information learned from the 2017 wildfire season.
(c) (1) No later than January 31, 2020, the State Fire Marshal, in consultation with the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Director of Housing and Community Development, shall develop a list of low-cost retrofits that provide for comprehensive site and structure fire risk reduction to protect structures from fires spreading from adjacent structures or vegetation and to protect vegetation from fires spreading from adjacent structures. The department shall incorporate the list in its fire prevention education and outreach efforts.
(2) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (1), the list shall include a guidance document, including regionally appropriate vegetation management suggestions that preserve and restore native plant species that are fire resistant or drought tolerant, or both.
(d) (1) The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall develop a model defensible space program that shall be made available for use by a city, county, or city and county in the enforcement of the defensible space provisions of Section 51182 of this code and subdivision (a) of Section 4291 of the Public Resources Code. In the development of this program, the State Fire Marshal shall consult with representatives from local, state, and federal fire services, local government, building officials, utility companies, the building industry, insurers and insurance research organizations, and the environmental community. Components of the program shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) General guidelines for creating and maintaining defensible space around specified structures, including appropriate guidelines and definitions for vegetation management.
(B) Suggested minimum qualifications needed for enforcement personnel.
(C) Guidelines for the placement of utilities.
(D) Enforcement mechanisms for compliance with and maintenance of defensible space requirements, including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) Site inspection.
(ii) Procedure for notifying a property owner of a violation.
(iii) Timeline for corrective action by property owner and for reinspection.
(iv) Citation for abatement of a violation and subsequent removal of a fire hazard within the defensible space boundaries.
(v) Suggested administrative procedure that allows for appeal of the citation by the property owner.
(2) If a defensible space program is adopted, the local agency for enforcement of this program shall have the authority to recover the actual cost of abatement and shall have the authority to place it as a special assessment or lien on the property.
(3) In order to develop and implement this subdivision, the Office of the State Fire Marshal is authorized to expend funds from the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund, upon an appropriation by the Legislature, pursuant to Section 18931.7 of the Health and Safety Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13159.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

13159.5.
 (a) The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall develop and make available on their internet website a Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Safety Building Standards Compliance training manual intended for use in the training of local building officials, builders, and fire service personnel. This manual shall be updated as changes are made to the Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Safety building standards as set forth in the California Code of Regulations.
(b) The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall develop a guidance document for the maintenance of defensible space around residential structures. This document shall be submitted to the California Building Standards Commission for consideration for adoption into the California Green Building Standards Code during a regularly occurring code adoption cycle taking place after January 1, 2020.
(c) The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall develop and update on a regular basis a Wildland-Urban Interface Products handbook listing products and construction systems that comply with the Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Safety building standards for the following:
(1) Exterior wall siding and sheathing.
(2) Exterior windows. windows, skylights, and doors.
(3) Under eaves, Vents, including eave and cornice vents.
(4) Decking.
(5) Treated lumber and ignition-resistant materials.
(6) Wood shakes and shingles roofing Roofing materials.
(d) In researching and developing the guidance document, products handbook, and the educational and training provisions under this section, the Office of the State Fire Marshal is authorized to expend funds from the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund, upon an appropriation by the Legislature, pursuant to Section 18931.7.

SEC. 3.

 Section 18931.7 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

18931.7.
 (a) All funds received by the commission under this part shall be deposited in the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund, which is hereby established in the State Treasury.
(b) Moneys deposited in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation, to the commission, the department, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal for expenditure in carrying out this part, the provisions of Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 17910) that relate to building standards, as defined in Section 18909, and the requirements in Section 13159.5 of this code and subdivision (d) of Section 51189 of the Government Code, with emphasis placed on the development, adoption, publication, and updating of green building standards, the updating of verification guidelines for Tier 1 or Tier 2 green building standards and educational efforts, including, but not limited to, training for local building officials associated with green building standards.