Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 13. HOUSING [17000 - 19997]

  ( Division 13 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

PART 1.5. REGULATION OF BUILDINGS USED FOR HUMAN HABITATION [17910 - 17998.3]

  ( Part 1.5 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1844. )

CHAPTER 4. Application and Scope [17950 - 17959.6]
  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1844. )

17950.
  

The provisions of this part, the building standards published in the State Building Standards Code, or the other rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this part which relate to apartment houses, hotels, motels, and dwellings, and buildings and structures accessory thereto, apply in all parts of the state.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1152.)

17951.
  

(a) The governing body of any county or city, including a charter city, may prescribe fees for permits, certificates, or other forms or documents required or authorized by this part or rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this part.

(b) The governing body of any county or city, including a charter city, or fire protection district, may prescribe fees to defray the costs of enforcement required by this part to be carried out by local enforcement agencies.

(c) The amount of the fees prescribed pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not exceed the amount reasonably required to administer or process these permits, certificates, or other forms or documents, or to defray the costs of enforcement required by this part to be carried out by local enforcement agencies, and shall not be levied for general revenue purposes. The fees shall be imposed pursuant to Section 66016 of the Government Code.

(d) If the local enforcement agency fails to conduct an inspection of permitted work for which permit fees have been charged pursuant to this section within 60 days of receiving notice of the completion of the permitted work, the permittee shall be entitled to reimbursement of the permit fees. The local enforcement agency shall disclose in clear language on each permit or on a document that accompanies the permit that the permittee may be entitled to reimbursement of permit fees pursuant to this subdivision.

(e) (1) The provisions of this part are not intended to prevent the use of any manufactured home, mobilehome, multiunit manufactured home, material, appliance, installation, device, arrangement, or method of construction not specifically prescribed by the California Building Standards Code or this part, provided that this alternate has been approved by the building department.

(2) The building department of any city or county may approve an alternate material, appliance, installation, device, arrangement, method, or work on a case-by-case basis if it finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and that each such material, appliance, installation, device, arrangement, method, or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the California Building Standards Code or this part in performance, safety, and for the protection of life and health.

(3) The building department of any city or county shall require evidence that any material, appliance, installation, device, arrangement, or method of construction conforms to, or that the proposed alternate is at least equivalent to, the requirements of this part, building standards published in the California Building Standards Code, or the other rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this part and in order to substantiate claims for alternates, the building department of any city or county may require tests as proof of compliance to be made at the expense of the owner or the owner’s agent by an approved testing agency selected by the owner or the owner’s agent.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 144, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

17951.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 17951, each city, county, or city and county may waive or reduce all building permit fees for improvements to the home of a veteran with a qualifying disability that are made to accommodate that disability.

(b) “Qualifying disability” means a disability that is recognized as service connected by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 281, Sec. 1. (SB 330) Effective January 1, 2018.)

17951.7.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 17951, each city, county, or city and county may waive or reduce all building permit fees for improvements to the home of a person at least 60 years of age with a qualifying disability that are made to accommodate that disability.

(b) A local entity that chooses to waive or reduce building permit fees pursuant to subdivision (a) shall adopt an ordinance to establish a standard application form that may be used to apply for the waiver or reduction, including the requirements for proof of a qualifying disability.

(c) “Qualifying disability” means a physical or mental disability as defined in subdivisions (j) and (m) of Section 12926 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 386, Sec. 1. (AB 2132) Effective January 1, 2019.)

17952.
  

(a)  In the event of nonenforcement of this part, or the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code, or the other rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this part, such provisions, building standards or other rules and regulations shall be enforced by the department in any city or county after the department has given written notice to the governing body of that city or county or fire protection district, as the case may be, of a violation of this part, those building standards, or the other rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this part and the city or county has failed to initiate proceedings to secure correction of the violation within 30 days of the date of that notice. The city or county or fire protection district may request a hearing before the department pursuant to Section 17930 within the 30 days to show cause for nonenforcement. Enforcement by the department shall not be initiated until the decision of the department, adverse to the city or county or fire protection district, is rendered.

(b)  In the event of enforcement by the department pursuant to subdivision (a), the costs incurred by the department for such enforcement shall be borne by such city, or county, or city and county, or fire protection district. The department may assess fees to defray the costs of enforcement, thereby reducing the cost to be borne by the city, county, city and county, or fire protection district, but the department need not assess such fees and may not require the city, county, city and county, or fire protection district to assess fees to offset department costs.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 645, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1998.)

17953.
  

Each city, county, and city and county shall enact an ordinance which requires a preliminary soil report, prepared by a civil engineer who is registered by the state, based upon adequate test borings or excavations, of every subdivision, where a tentative and final map is required pursuant to Section 66426 of the Government Code.

The preliminary soil report may be waived if the building department of the city, county or city and county, or other enforcement agency charged with the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this part, shall determine that, due to the knowledge such department has as to the soil qualities of the soil of the subdivision or lot, no preliminary analysis is necessary.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 24.)

17954.
  

If the preliminary soil report indicates the presence of critically expansive soils or other soil problems which, if not corrected, would lead to structural defects, such ordinance shall require a soil investigation of each lot in the subdivision.

The soil investigation shall be prepared by a civil engineer who is registered in this state. It shall recommend corrective action which is likely to prevent structural damage to each dwelling proposed to be constructed on the expansive soil.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1001.)

17955.
  

The building department of each city, county, or city and county, or other enforcement agency charged with the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this part, shall approve the soil investigation if it determines that the recommended action is likely to prevent structural damage to each dwelling to be constructed. As a condition to the building permit, the ordinance shall require that the approved recommended action be incorporated in the construction of each dwelling. Appeal from such determination shall be to the local appeals board.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1001.)

17956.
  

A city, county, or city and county or other enforcement agency charged with the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this part, is not liable for any injury which arises out of any act or omission of the city, county or city and county, or other enforcement agency, or a public employee or any other person under Section 17953, 17954, or 17955.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1001.)

17957.
  

The governing body of any city, county, or city and county may enact an ordinance prescribing an alternate procedure which is equal to or more restrictive than the procedure specified in Sections 17953, 17954, and 17955.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1001.)

17958.
  

Except as provided in Sections 17958.8 and 17958.9, any city or county may make changes in the provisions adopted pursuant to Section 17922 and published in the California Building Standards Code or the other regulations thereafter adopted pursuant to Section 17922 to amend, add, or repeal ordinances or regulations which impose the same requirements as are contained in the provisions adopted pursuant to Section 17922 and published in the California Building Standards Code or the other regulations adopted pursuant to Section 17922 or make changes or modifications in those requirements upon express findings pursuant to Sections 17958.5 and 17958.7. If any city or county does not amend, add, or repeal ordinances or regulations to impose those requirements or make changes or modifications in those requirements upon express findings, the provisions published in the California Building Standards Code or the other regulations promulgated pursuant to Section 17922 shall be applicable to it and shall become effective 180 days after publication by the California Building Standards Commission. Amendments, additions, and deletions to the California Building Standards Code adopted by a city or county pursuant to Section 17958.7, together with all applicable portions of the California Building Standards Code, shall become effective 180 days after publication of the California Building Standards Code by the California Building Standards Commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 645, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 1998.)

17958.1.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Sections 17922, 17958, and 17958.5, a city, county, or city and county may, by ordinance, permit efficiency units for occupancy by no more than two persons which have a minimum floor area of 150 square feet and which may also have partial kitchen or bathroom facilities, as specified by the ordinance. In all other respects, these efficiency units shall conform to minimum standards for those occupancies otherwise made applicable pursuant to this part.

(b) “Efficiency unit,” as used in this section, has the same meaning specified in the International Building Code of the International Code Council, as incorporated by reference in Part 2 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.

(c) A city, county, or city and county shall not do any of the following:

(1) Limit the number of efficiency units in an area zoned for residential use and located within one-half mile of public transit or where there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the efficiency unit.

(2) Limit the number of efficiency units in an area zoned for residential use and located within one mile of a University of California or California State University campus.

(3) For purposes of this subdivision, any requirements related to density, setbacks, lot coverage, or height restrictions established by local ordinance are not considered a limit on the number of efficiency units.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 400, Sec. 1. (AB 352) Effective January 1, 2018.)

17958.2.
  

(a)  Notwithstanding Section 17958, regulations of the department adopted for limited-density owner-built rural dwellings, which are codified in Article 8 (commencing with Section 74) of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations, shall not become operative within any city or county unless and until the governing body of the city or county makes an express finding that the application of those regulations within the city or county is reasonably necessary because of local conditions and the city or county files a copy of that finding with the department.

(b)  In adopting ordinances or regulations for limited-density owner-built rural dwellings, a city or county may make any changes or modifications in the requirements contained in Article 8 (commencing with Section 74) of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 25 of the California Code of Regulations that it determines are reasonably necessary because of local conditions, if the city or county files a copy of the changes or modifications and the express findings for the changes or modifications with the department. No change or modification of that type shall become effective or operative for any purpose until the finding and the change or modification has been filed with the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 471, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2001.)

17958.3.
  

(a) All residential hotels, as defined by paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 50519, shall provide a locking mail receptacle for each residential unit, consistent with the applicable standards for apartment housing mail receptacles in the United States Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual. Installation and maintenance of each mail receptacle shall meet all of the specifications and requirements of the United States Postal Service.

(b) Notwithstanding the date of construction of the residential hotel, each mail receptacle shall comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601).

(c) Notwithstanding Sections 17922, 17958, and 17958.5, a city, county, or city and county may enact and enforce ordinances which provide greater protections, additional standards, and increased remedies with respect to the provision of a locking mail receptacle for each residential unit in a residential hotel.

(d) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2008.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 599, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2008. Section operative July 1, 2008, by its own provisions.)

17958.4.
  

(a)  Any city, county, or city and county, may, by ordinance, establish a date by which all residential real property with security window bars on bedroom windows shall meet current state and local requirements for safety release mechanisms on security window bars consistent with the applicable standards in the 1995 edition of the California Building Standards Code, or, for safety release mechanisms on security window bars installed on or after January 1, 2008, the current edition of the California Building Standards Code, and any changes thereto made by the city, county, or city and county pursuant to Section 17958.

(b)  Disclosures of the existence of any safety release mechanism on any security window bar shall be made in writing, and may be included in existing transactional documents, including, but not limited to, a real estate sales contract or receipt for deposit, or a transfer disclosure statement pursuant to Section 1102.6 or 1106.6a of the Civil Code.

(c)  Enforcement of an ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not apply as a condition of occupancy or at the time of any transfer that is subject to the Documentary Transfer Tax Act, Part 6.7 (commencing with Section 11901) of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 596, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2008.)

17958.5.
  

Except as provided in Section 17922.6, in adopting the ordinances or regulations pursuant to Section 17958, a city or county may make those changes or modifications in the requirements contained in the provisions published in the California Building Standards Code and the other regulations adopted pursuant to Section 17922, including, but not limited to, green building standards, as it determines, pursuant to the provisions of Section 17958.7, are reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological, or topographical conditions.

For purposes of this section, a city and county may make reasonably necessary modifications to the requirements, adopted pursuant to Section 17922, including, but not limited to, green building standards, contained in the provisions of the code and regulations on the basis of local conditions.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 89, Sec. 1. (AB 210) Effective January 1, 2010.)

17958.7.
  

(a)  Except as provided in Section 17922.6, the governing body of a city or county, before making any modifications or changes pursuant to Section 17958.5, shall make an express finding that such modifications or changes are reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological or topographical conditions. Such a finding shall be available as a public record. A copy of those findings, together with the modification or change expressly marked and identified to which each finding refers, shall be filed with the California Building Standards Commission. No modification or change shall become effective or operative for any purpose until the finding and the modification or change have been filed with the California Building Standards Commission.

(b)  The California Building Standards Commission may reject a modification or change filed by the governing body of a city or county if no finding was submitted.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 645, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 1998.)

17958.8.
  

Local ordinances or regulations governing alterations and repair of existing buildings shall permit the replacement, retention, and extension of original materials and the use of original methods of construction for any building or accessory structure subject to this part, including a hotel, lodginghouse, motel, apartment house, or dwelling, or portions thereof, as long as the portion of the building and structure subject to the replacement, retention, or extension of original materials and the use of original methods of construction complies with the building code provisions governing that portion of the building or accessory structure at the time of construction, and the other rules and regulations of the department or alternative local standards governing that portion at the time of its construction and adopted pursuant to Section 13143.2 and the building or accessory structure does not become or continue to be a substandard building.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 474, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)

17958.9.
  

Local ordinances or regulations governing the moving of apartment houses and dwellings shall, after July 1, 1978, permit the retention of existing materials and methods of construction so long as the apartment house or dwelling complies with the building standards for foundation applicable to new construction, and does not become or continue to be a substandard building.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 288, Sec. 2. Effective August 2, 1993.)

17958.11.
  

(a)  Any city or county may adopt alternative building regulations for the conversion of commercial or industrial buildings, or portions thereof, to joint living and work quarters. As used in this section, “joint living and work quarters” means residential occupancy by a family maintaining a common household, or by not more than four unrelated persons, of one or more rooms or floors in a building originally designed for industrial or commercial occupancy which include (1) cooking space and sanitary facilities in conformance with local building standards adopted pursuant to Section 17958 or 17958.5 and (2) adequate working space reserved for, and regularly used by, one or more persons residing therein.

The alternative building regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall be applicable in those geographic areas specifically designated for such occupancy, or as expressly permitted by a redevelopment plan with respect to a redevelopment project area. The alternative building regulations need not impose the same requirements as regulations adopted pursuant to Section 17922, except as otherwise provided in this section, but in permitting repairs, alterations, and additions necessary to accommodate joint living and work quarters, the alternative building regulations shall impose such requirements as will, in the determination of the local governing body, protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

(b)  The Legislature hereby finds and declares that a substantial number of manufacturing and commercial buildings in urban areas have lost manufacturing and commercial tenants to more modern manufacturing and commercial premises, and that the untenanted portions of such buildings constitute a potential resource capable, when appropriately altered, of accommodating joint living and work quarters which would be physically and economically suitable particularly for use by artists, artisans, and similarly-situated individuals. The Legislature further finds that the public will benefit by making such buildings available for joint living and work quarters for artists, artisans, and similarly-situated individuals because (1) conversion of space to joint living and work quarters provides a new use for such buildings contributing to the revitalization of central city areas, (2) such conversion results in building improvements and rehabilitation, and (3) the cultural life of cities and of the state as a whole is enhanced by the residence in such cities of large numbers of persons regularly engaged in the arts.

(c)  The Legislature further finds and declares that (1) persons regularly engaged in the arts require larger amounts of space for the pursuit of their artistic endeavors and for the storage of materials therefor, and of the products thereof, than are regularly found in dwellings, (2) the financial remunerations to be obtained from a career in the arts are generally small, (3) persons regularly engaged in the arts generally find it financially difficult to maintain quarters for their artistic endeavors separate and apart from their places of residence, (4) high property values and resulting rental costs make it particularly difficult for persons regularly engaged in the arts to obtain the use of the amount of space required for their work, and (5) the residential use of such space is accessory to the primary use of such space as a place of work.

It is the intent of the Legislature that local governments have discretion to define geographic areas which may be utilized for joint living and work quarters and to establish standards for such occupancy, consistent with the needs and conditions peculiar to the local environment. The Legislature recognizes that building code regulations applicable to residential housing may have to be relaxed to provide joint living and work quarters in buildings previously used for commercial or industrial purposes.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 434.)

17958.12.
  

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

(1) Building officials, pursuant to this code and the California Building Standards Code, have broad authority as part of their enforcement authority to render interpretations of the code and to adopt policies and procedures to clarify the application of its provisions.

(2) A building official has the discretion to apply the building standards that were in effect at the time a residential unit was constructed. This is permissible under the authority to grant modifications on a case-by-case basis and the authority of a building department to approve a material, appliance, installation, device, arrangement, or method if it finds that the design is satisfactory and equivalent to the building standards code. Several jurisdictions were not aware of this existing authority.

(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to clarify that when a building permit for a residential unit does not exist, the appropriate enforcement official may make a determination of when a residential unit was constructed and then apply the California Building Standards Code and other specified rules and regulations in effect when the residential unit was determined to be constructed for purposes of issuing a building permit for the residential unit.

(b) The department shall propose the adoption of a building standard to the California Building Standards Commission pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 18935) of Part 2.5 of Division 13 to authorize, when a record of the issuance of a building permit for the construction of an existing residential unit does not exist, a local enforcement official to determine the date of construction of that residential unit, apply this part, the building standards in the California Building Standards Code, and other specified rules and regulations in effect on that date of construction to that residential unit, and issue a retroactive building permit for that construction. This authorization shall be consistent with the findings and declarations of subdivision (a).

(c) This section is declaratory of existing law.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 1010, Sec. 1. (SB 1226) Effective January 1, 2019.)

17959.
  

(a)  No later than December 31, 2003, the department shall consider proposed universal design guidelines for home construction or home modifications which may be submitted by the California Department of Aging, the California Commission on Aging, the Department of Rehabilitation, the office of the State Architect of the Department of General Services, the office of the State Fire Marshal, the California Building Standards Commission, or other state departments. Thereafter, the department, without significantly impacting housing cost and affordability, shall, in consultation with these agencies, develop guidelines and at least one model ordinance for new construction and home modifications that is consistent with the principles of universal design as promulgated by the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University or other similar design guidelines that enhance the full life cycle use of housing without regard to the physical abilities or disabilities of a home’s occupants or guests in order to accommodate a wide range of individual preferences and functional abilities. In developing these guidelines and model ordinances, the department also shall meet with, and solicit information from, individuals and organizations representing individuals and entities with interests in construction, local governments, the health and welfare of senior citizens and persons with disabilities, architects, and others with expertise in these design and living issues. The department shall ensure that at least three meetings subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of the Government Code) shall occur, that shall include opportunities for government agencies, individuals, and organizations identified in this subdivision to participate and comment on proposed guidelines or draft model ordinances.

(b)  (1)  In addition to the authority granted by Sections 17958.5 and 18941.5, and for the purposes of this section, a city, county, or city and county may, by ordinance, make changes or modifications in addition to or in excess of the requirements contained in the California Building Standards Code adopted pursuant to Sections 17922 and 18928 if the city, county, or city and county makes a finding that the changes and modifications are reasonably necessary and are substantially the same as the guidelines or model ordinances adopted pursuant to subdivision (a). In no case shall the changes or modifications be less restrictive than the requirements published in the California Building Standards Code.

(2)  A city, county, or city and county adopting an ordinance pursuant to this subdivision shall file a copy of the ordinance and the findings with the department. No such ordinance shall become effective or operative for any purpose until the findings and the ordinance have been filed with the department. The department may review the findings and each ordinance to evaluate their consistency with this subdivision, and shall provide written comments to the adopting entity as to any such evaluation.

(c)  (1)  In a city, county, or city and county where a universal design ordinance has not been adopted pursuant to subdivision (b), developers of housing for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and other persons and families are encouraged, but not required, to seek information and assistance from the department and the California Department of Aging regarding the principles of universal design specified in subdivision (a) and consider those principles in their construction.

(2)  The department, the California Department of Aging, and any other interested state agency also may, to the extent feasible, disseminate information to interested persons and entities in all parts of the state regarding the principles of universal design and their relationship to new construction and home modifications.

(d)  Subdivision (b) shall become operative on January 1, 2005.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 726, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

17959.1.
  

(a) A city or county shall administratively approve applications to install solar energy systems through the issuance of a building permit or similar nondiscretionary permit. However, if the building official of the city or county has a good faith belief that the solar energy system could have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, the city or county may require the applicant to apply for a use permit.

(b) A city or county may not deny an application for a use permit to install a solar energy system unless it makes written findings based upon substantial evidence in the record that the proposed installation would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health or safety, and there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact. This finding shall include the basis for the rejection of potential feasible alternatives of preventing the adverse impact.

(c) Any conditions imposed on an application to install a solar energy system must be designed to mitigate the specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety at the lowest cost possible.

(d) (1) A solar energy system shall meet applicable health and safety standards and requirements imposed by state and local permitting authorities.

(2) A solar energy system for heating water shall be certified by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or other nationally recognized certification agency. SRCC is a nonprofit third party supported by the United States Department of Energy. The certification shall be for the entire solar energy system and installation.

(3) A solar energy system for producing electricity shall meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the Public Utilities Commission regarding safety and reliability.

(e) The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) “A feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific, adverse impact” includes, but is not limited to, any cost effective method, condition, or mitigation imposed by a city or county on another similarly situated application in a prior successful application for a permit. A city or county shall use its best efforts to ensure that the selected method, condition, or mitigation meets the conditions of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 714 of the Civil Code.

(2) “Solar energy system” has the meaning set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 801.5 of the Civil Code.

(3) A “specific, adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified, and written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 714, Sec. 18. (SB 944) Effective January 1, 2017.)

17959.3.
  

(a)  It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage the use of passive solar energy design. The Legislature recognizes that building code regulations with regard to natural light and ventilation standards have to be modified to permit existing buildings to be retrofitted with passive solar energy.

(b)  Notwithstanding Section 17922, any city or county may by ordinance or regulation permit windows required for light and ventilation of habitable rooms in dwellings to open into areas provided with natural light and ventilation which are designed and built to act as passive solar energy collectors.

(c)  On or before September 1, 1999, the department shall, after consulting with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, prepare, adopt, and submit building standards to implement the provisions of this section for approval as part of the California Building Standards Code pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 18935) of Part 2.5.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 643, Sec. 10.5. Effective January 1, 2000.)

17959.4.
  

The housing appeals board may, in cases of extreme hardship to owner-occupants or tenants of dwellings, provide for deferral of the effective date of orders of abatement. Any deferral of the effective date of an order of abatement under this section shall terminate upon any sale or transfer of the dwelling by the owner-occupant but shall not terminate upon the sale or transfer of the dwelling if the dwelling is occupied by a tenant other than the owner-occupant.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1279, Sec. 4.)

17959.5.
  

The housing appeals board may, upon appeal or upon application by the owner, grant variances from local use zone requirements in order to permit an owner-occupant of a dwelling to construct an addition to a dwelling to meet occupancy standards relating the number of persons in a household to the number of rooms or bedrooms. This power of the housing appeals board shall be in addition to, and shall not otherwise affect, the powers of other governmental boards and agencies to allow local use zone variances.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 847.)

17959.6.
  

(a)  Ninety days after the Department of Housing and Community Development certifies and makes available a standard form pursuant to subdivision (h), but in no event sooner than July 1, 2004, for housing developments for which a building permit application is submitted on or after that date, a developer of any new for-sale residential housing development, including, but not limited to, a single family dwelling, duplex, triplex, townhouse, condominium, or other homes, shall provide to a buyer a list of universal accessibility features that would make the home entrance, interior routes of travel, the kitchen, and the bathrooms fully accessible to persons with disabilities.

(b)  (1)  (A)  The list shall include the features described in paragraphs (2) to (7), inclusive, and any others that the developer deems necessary or appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(B)  To the extent that any of the features described in paragraphs (2) to (7), inclusive, are included in Chapter 11A of the California Building Code (Part 2 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations), they shall be listed consistent with, and shall be installed in a manner at least consistent with, that chapter. A developer that lists and installs materials and features in a manner at least consistent with Chapter 11A or successor chapters of the California Building Code, shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this subparagraph. Other features shall be listed and installed in a manner appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(C)  Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), the developer and buyer may agree in writing to different standards than those provided in subparagraph (B) if the different standards and their deviation from the standards in subparagraph (B) are clearly disclosed.

(2)  General external adaptations:

(A)  Accessible route of travel to the dwelling unit.

(B)  Accessible landscaping of the side and rear yards.

(C)  Accessible route from the garage or parking area to the dwelling unit primary and secondary entries.

(3)  Doors, openings, and entries:

(A)  Accessible primary front door, doorway, and threshold.

(B)  Accessible interior doors and doorways.

(C)  Accessible secondary exterior doors, doorways, and thresholds.

(D)  Accessible levered handles on all specified doors.

(E)  An entry door sidelight or high and low peephole viewers.

(F)  Visual fire alarms and visual doorbells.

(G)  Accessible sliding glass door.

(4)  General interior adaptations:

(A)  Accessible routes to at least one bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen from the primary entrance.

(B)  Accessible switches, outlets, and thermostats.

(C)  Visual fire alarms and visual doorbells.

(D)  Rocker light switches.

(E)  Closet rods and shelves adjustable from three feet to five feet six inches high.

(F)  A residential elevator or lift.

(G)  If provided, a service porch with accessible workspace, cabinets, and appliances.

(5)  Kitchen:

(A)  Adequate accessible clear floorspace at appliances.

(B)  Repositionable sink and countertop workspaces.

(C)  Accessible cabinets and drawers, including pullout shelves, bread boards, and Lazy Susans.

(D)  Accessible sink features and controls.

(E)  Accessible built-in or provided appliances, including refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, and countertop microwave or convection oven.

(F)  Enhancements such as a contrasting color edge at countertops, contrasting floor designs marking accessible routes and work areas, antiscald device on plumbing fixtures, and undercabinet lighting.

(6)  Bathrooms and powder rooms (applicable to one or more bathrooms, at the option of the buyer):

(A)  Grab bar backing and grab bars in all requested locations.

(B)  Accessible clear floorspace and turning circles.

(C)  Accessible sink (lavatory) with adequate knee space and protection.

(D)  Accessible toilet (water closet).

(E)  Accessible roll-in shower in lieu of a standard tub or shower.

(F)  Accessible faucet handles and an adjustable handheld showerhead.

(G)  Enhancements such as a contrasting color edge at countertops, contrasting floor designs marking accessible routes and work areas, and antiscald device on plumbing fixtures.

(7)  Any other external or internal feature requested at a reasonable time by the buyer that is reasonably available and reasonably feasible to install or construct and makes the residence more usable for a person with disabilities in order to accommodate any type of disability.

(c)  For each feature on the list required by subdivision (b), the developer shall indicate whether the feature is standard, limited, optional, or not available.

(d)  If a developer chooses to offer those features listed in subdivision (b) as modifications that may be made to a home, the developer shall indicate on the list required by subdivision (b) at what point in the construction process the buyer must notify the developer that the buyer wishes to purchase the features.

(e)  If a local jurisdiction adopts a model ordinance developed pursuant to Section 17959 that requires developers to provide standard or optional accessibility features in homes described in subdivision (b), a developer subject to that ordinance is required to include on the list required by subdivision (b) only those features beyond those required by the ordinance.

(f)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a developer to provide the features listed in subdivision (b) during the construction process or at any other time, unless the developer has offered to provide a feature and the buyer has requested it and agreed to provide payment.

(g)  Any willful violation by a developer of this section shall be punishable by a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500).

(h)  The department may adopt regulations that it determines are necessary and appropriate for the use and enforcement of this section. The regulations may include, but not be limited to, providing specificity to any features not otherwise covered as mandatory features in Chapter 11A or 11B of the California Building Code, additional mandatory requirements for forms, and additional procedures for offer or acceptance of features. The department may develop, certify, and make available a standard form providing the information required by this section, except for costs, and that standard form shall be exempt from adoption pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). A developer’s use of a form substantially the same as that developed and distributed by the department shall be deemed to comply with this section.

(i)  Pursuant to Section 17959, upon adoption by the department of guidelines or a model ordinance that defines those features deemed to provide universal accessibility, those guidelines or that model ordinance shall supersede the features listed in subdivision (b).

(j)  This section shall not be construed to require action by the California Building Standards Commission pursuant to the California Building Standards Law (Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code).

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 648, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2004.)

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