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SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/15/2017 09:00 PM
SB721:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 15, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 27, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 721


Introduced by Senator Hill
(Coauthor: Senator Skinner)

February 17, 2017


An act to add Section 7071.20 to the Business and Professions Code, relating to contractors. An act to add Section 7071.20 to the Business and Professions Code, and to add Section 4776 to the Civil Code, relating to contractors.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 721, as amended, Hill. Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection.
(1) Existing law provides authority for an enforcement agency to enter and inspect any buildings or premises whenever necessary to secure compliance with or prevent a violation of the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code and other rules and regulations that the enforcement agency has the power to enforce.
This bill would require an inspection of building assemblies and associated waterproofing elements, as defined, including decks and balconies, for buildings with 3 or more multifamily dwelling units by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official, as specified. The bill would require the inspections, including any necessary testing, to be completed by January 1, 2023, with certain exceptions, and would require subsequent inspections every 6 years, except as specified. The bill would require the inspection report to contain specified items and would require that a copy of the inspection report be presented to the owner of the building within 45 days of the completion of the inspection. The bill would require that if the inspection reveals conditions that pose an immediate hazard to the safety of the occupants, the inspection report be delivered to the owner of the building within 15 days and emergency repairs be undertaken, as specified, with notice given to the local enforcement agency. The nonemergency repairs made under these provisions would be required to be completed within 120 days, unless an extension is granted by the local authorities. The bill would authorize local enforcement agencies to recover enforcement costs associated with these requirements. The bill would require the local enforcement agency to send a 30-day corrective notice to the owner of the building if repairs are not completed on time and would provide for specified civil penalties and liens against the property for the owner of the building who fails to comply with these provisions. The bill would authorize a local governing entity to enact stricter requirements than those imposed by these provisions.
(2) The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act defines and regulates common interest developments, which include community apartment projects, condominium projects, and stock cooperatives. The act requires the homeowners association to maintain the common areas of the development.
This bill would require the board of directors of a common interest development, at least once every 6 years, to have an inspection conducted by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official, as specified, of the of building assemblies, as defined, that the association is obligated to repair, replace, restore, or maintain. The bill would require the inspections, including any necessary testing, to be completed by January 1, 2023, with certain exceptions, and would require subsequent inspections every 6 years. The bill would require the inspection reports to contain specified items. The bill would require that the results of the report be used in calculating the reserve study for the development, as specified. The bill would require the inspection report to be presented to the association within 45 days of the completion of the inspection and would require copies of the reports to be permanently maintained in the association’s records. The bill would require that if the inspection reveals conditions that pose an immediate hazard to the safety of the occupants, the inspection report be delivered to the association within 15 days and emergency repairs be undertaken, as specified, with notice given to the local enforcement agency. Nonemergency repairs made under these provisions would be required to be completed within 180 days, unless an extension is granted by the local authorities. The bill would, with regard to a condominium conversion, require an inspection be completed prior to the close of escrow on the first separate interest and would require the disclosure of the results of these inspections to the Bureau of Real Estate prior to the issuance of a final public report. A copy of the report would also be required to be sent to the local jurisdiction in which the property is located prior to the issuing of a final inspection or certificate of occupancy. The bill would authorize a local enforcement agency to recover its costs associated with enforcing these provisions. The bill would authorize a local governing entity to enact stricter requirements than those imposed by these provisions. The bill would provide that its provisions do not apply to those areas constituting an individual owner’s separate interest or to a planned development, as defined.
(3) Because this bill would impose new duties upon local enforcement authorities, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

(1)Existing law provides authority for an enforcement agency to enter and inspect any buildings or premises whenever necessary to secure compliance with or prevent a violation of the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code and other rules and regulations that the enforcement agency has the power to enforce.

This bill would require a property owner to conduct an inspection of decks, balconies, and elevated walkways more than 6 feet above ground level in a building containing 3 or more multifamily units by utilizing a person licensed to perform these inspections by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The bill would require the inspections and any necessary repairs to be completed by January 1, 2021, with certain exceptions, and would require subsequent inspections every 5 years, except as specified. The bill would require a copy of the inspection report to be filed with the county recorder and made available, as specified. The repairs made under these provisions would be required to comply with the latest edition of the California Building Standards Code and all local jurisdictional requirements. The bill would assess specified civil penalties against a property owner, in the form of a lien against the property, for failure to timely comply with these provisions, as specified. The bill would authorize local enforcement agencies to recover enforcement costs associated with these requirements.

(2)Because this bill would impose new duties upon local enforcement authorities, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 7071.20 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

7071.20.
 (a) Building assemblies that include load-bearing components in all buildings containing three or more multifamily dwelling units shall be inspected. The inspection shall be performed by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official from a recognized state, national, or international association, as determined by the local jurisdiction. These individuals shall not be employed by the local jurisdiction while performing these inspections. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that building assemblies and their associated waterproofing elements are in a generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from any hazardous condition caused by fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered. The person or business performing the inspection shall be hired by the owner of the building.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following definitions:
(1) “Associated waterproofing elements” include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of building assemblies from exposure to water and the elements.
(2) “Building assembly” means: balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, entry structures, and their supports and railings, that extend beyond exterior walls of the building and which have a walking surface that is elevated more than six feet above ground level, are designed for human occupancy or use, and rely in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability of the building assembly.
(3) “Load-bearing components” are those components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads from the building assembly to the building or the foundation.
(c) The inspection required by this section shall at a minimum include:
(1) Identification of each building assembly that, if found to be defective, decayed, or deteriorated to the extent that it does not meet its load requirements, would, in the opinion of the inspector, constitute a threat to the health or safety of the occupants.
(2) Assessment of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements of the building assemblies by using methods that allow for a direct visual evaluation of the physical condition of the component. For purposes of this section, a sample of at least 15 percent of each type of building assembly shall be inspected.
(3) The evaluation and assessment shall address each of the following as of the date of the evaluation:
(A) The current condition of the building assemblies.
(B) Expectations of future performance and projected service life.
(C) Recommendations of any further inspection necessary.
(D) Recommendations of any necessary repair or replacement.
(4) A written report of the evaluation stamped and signed by the inspector presented to the owner of the building or the owner’s designated agent within 45 days of completion of the inspection. The report shall include photographs, any test results, and narrative sufficient to establish a baseline of the condition of the components inspected that can be compared to the results of subsequent inspections. In addition to the evaluation required by this section, the report shall advise which, if any, building assembly poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, and whether preventing occupant access or conducting emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary.
(d) The inspection shall be completed by January 1, 2023, and by January 1 every six years thereafter. The inspector conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and a final report indicating that any required repairs have been completed. A copy of any report that recommends immediate repairs, advises that any building assembly poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or that preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary shall be provided by the inspector to the owner of the building and to the local enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. Local enforcement agencies may determine whether any additional information is to be provided in the report and may require a copy of the initial or final reports, or both, be submitted to the local jurisdiction. Copies of all inspection reports shall be maintained in the building owner’s permanent records and disclosed and delivered to the buyer at the time of any subsequent sale of the building.
(e) The inspection of buildings for which a building permit application has been submitted on or after January 1, 2018, shall occur no later than six years following issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the local jurisdiction and shall otherwise comply with the provisions of this section.
(f) If the property was inspected within three years prior to January 1, 2018, by an inspector as described in subdivision (a) and a report of that inspector was issued stating that the building assemblies and associated waterproofing elements are in proper working condition and do not pose a threat to the health and safety of the public, no new inspection pursuant to this section shall be required until six years from the date of that report.
(g) A building assembly found to be in need of repair or replacement, hazardous, structurally deficient, or noncompliant by the inspector, shall be corrected by the owner of the building. All necessary permits for repair or replacement shall be obtained from the local jurisdiction. All repair and replacement work shall be performed by a qualified and licensed contractor in compliance with all of the following:
(1) The inspector’s recommendations, or alternative recommendations by a licensed professional described in subdivision (a).
(2) Any applicable manufacturer’s specifications.
(3) The California Building Standards Code, consistent with subdivision (d) of Section 17922 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) All local jurisdictional requirements.
(h) (1) A building assembly that the inspector advises poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or finds preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, or both, are necessary, shall be considered an emergency condition and the owner of the building shall perform required preventive measures immediately. Repairs of emergency conditions shall be inspected by the inspector and reported to the local enforcement agency.
(2) The owner of the building requiring corrective work to a building assembly that, in the opinion of the inspector, does not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, shall apply for a permit within 120 days of receipt of the inspection report. Once the permit is approved, the owner of the building shall have 120 days to make the repairs unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcement agency.
(i) (1) The owner of the building shall be responsible for complying with the requirements of this section.
(2) If the owner of the building does not comply with the repair requirements within 120 days, the inspector shall notify the local enforcement agency and the owner of the building. If within 30 days of the date of the notice the repairs are not completed, the owner of the building shall be assessed a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day until the repairs are completed.
(3) In the event that a civil penalty is assessed pursuant to this section, a building safety lien may be recorded in the county recorder’s office by the local jurisdiction in the county in which the parcel of land is located and from the date of recording shall have the force, effect, and priority of a judgment lien.
(j) (1) A building safety lien authorized by this section shall specify the amount of the lien, the name of the agency on whose behalf the lien is imposed, the street address, the legal description and assessor’s parcel number of the parcel on which the lien is imposed, and the name and address of the recorded owner of the building.
(2) In the event that the lien is discharged, released, or satisfied, either through payment or foreclosure, notice of the discharge containing the information specified in paragraph (1) shall be recorded by the governmental agency. A safety lien and the release of the lien shall be indexed in the grantor-grantee index.
(3) A building safety lien may be foreclosed by an action brought by the appropriate local jurisdiction for a money judgment.
(4) Notwithstanding any other law, the county recorder may impose a fee on the city to reimburse the costs of processing and recording the lien and providing notice to the owner of the building. A city may recover from the owner of the building any costs incurred regarding the processing and recording of the lien and providing notice to the owner of the building as part of its foreclosure action to enforce the lien.
(k) The continued and ongoing maintenance of building assemblies that include load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements, in a safe, functional, and sanitary condition, shall be the responsibility of the owner of the building.
(l) Local enforcement agencies shall have the ability to recover enforcement costs associated with the requirements of this section.
(m) This section shall not apply to an association of a common interest development, as defined in Sections 4080 and 4100 respectively, of the Civil Code, that complies with the provisions of Section 4776 of the Civil Code.
(n) The governing body of any city, county, or city and county, may enact ordinances or laws imposing requirements greater than those imposed by this section.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4776 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

4776.
 (a) At least once every six years, the board of directors of a common interest development shall cause to be conducted a reasonably competent and diligent inspection by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official from a recognized state, national, or international association, as determined by the local jurisdiction, of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements of building assemblies that the association is obligated to repair, replace, restore, or maintain. The inspector shall not be employed by the local jurisdiction while performing these inspections. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that building assemblies and their associated waterproofing elements are in a generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from any hazardous condition caused by fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following definitions:
(1) “Associated waterproofing elements” include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of building assemblies from exposure to water and the elements.
(2) “Building assembly” means: balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, entry structures, and their supports and railings, that extend beyond exterior walls of the building and which have a walking surface that is elevated more than six feet above ground level, are designed for human occupancy or use, rely in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability of the building assembly, and which the association is obligated to repair, replace, or maintain.
(3) “Load-bearing components” are those components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads from the building assembly to the building or the foundation.
(c) The inspection required by this section shall at a minimum include:
(1) Identification of each building assembly that, if found to be defective, decayed, or deteriorated to the extent that it does not meet its load requirements, would, in the opinion of the inspector, constitute a threat to the health or safety of the occupants.
(2) Assessment of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements of the building assemblies using methods that allow for a direct visual evaluation of the physical condition of the component. For purposes of this section, a sample of at least 15 percent of each type of building assembly shall be inspected.
(3) The evaluation and assessment shall address each of the following as of the date of the evaluation:
(A) The current condition of the building assemblies.
(B) Expectations of future performance and projected service life for purposes of subdivision (k).
(C) Recommendations of any further inspection necessary.
(D) Recommendations of any necessary repair or replacement.
(4) A written report of the evaluation stamped and signed by the inspector presented to the board within 45 days of completion of the inspection. The report shall include photographs, any test results, and narrative sufficient to establish a baseline of the condition of the components inspected that can be compared to the results of subsequent inspections. In addition to the evaluation required by this section, the report shall advise which, if any, building assembly poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, and whether preventing occupant access or conducting emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary.
(d) The inspection shall be completed by January 1, 2023, and by January 1 every six years thereafter. The inspector conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and a final report indicating that any required repairs have been completed. A copy of any report that recommends immediate repairs, advises that any building assembly poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or that preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary shall be provided by the inspector to the association and to the local enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. All inspection reports shall be permanently maintained in the records of the association. Local enforcement agencies may determine whether any additional information is to be provided in the report and may require a copy of the initial or final reports, or both, to be submitted to the local jurisdiction.
(e) The inspection of buildings for which a building permit application has been submitted on or after January 1, 2018, shall occur no later than six years following issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the local jurisdiction and shall otherwise comply with the provisions of this section.
(f) If the property was inspected within three years prior to January 1, 2018, by an inspector as described in subdivision (a) and a report of that inspector was issued stating that the building assemblies and associated waterproofing elements are in proper working condition and do not pose a threat to the health and safety of the public, no new inspection pursuant to this section shall be required until six years from the date of that report.
(g) A building assembly found to be in need of repair or replacement, hazardous, structurally deficient, or noncompliant by the inspector, shall be corrected by the association. All necessary permits for repair or replacement shall be obtained from the local jurisdiction. All repair and replacement work shall be performed by a qualified and licensed contractor in compliance with all of the following:
(1) The inspector’s recommendations, or alternative recommendations by a licensed professional described in subdivision (a).
(2) Any applicable manufacturer’s specifications.
(3) The California Building Standards Code, consistent with subdivision (d) of Section 17922 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) All local jurisdictional requirements.
(h) (1) A building assembly that the inspector advises poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or finds that preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, or both, are necessary, shall be considered an emergency condition and the association shall perform required preventive measures immediately. Repairs of emergency conditions shall be inspected by the inspector and reported to the local enforcement agency.
(2) If the building requires corrective work to a building assembly that, in the opinion of the inspector, does not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, the association shall apply for a permit within 120 days of receipt of the inspection report. Once the permit is approved, the association shall have 180 days to make the repairs unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcement agency.
(3) Repairs required pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered an “emergency situation” as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 5610.
(i) (1) The association shall be responsible for complying with the requirements of this section.
(2) The continued and ongoing maintenance of building assemblies and associated waterproofing elements, in a safe, functional, and sanitary condition, shall be the responsibility of the association as required by the association’s governing documents.
(j) Local enforcement agencies shall have the ability to recover enforcement costs associated with the requirements of this section.
(k) If, in the inspector’s opinion, any of the components or building assemblies evaluated require repair or replacement in accordance with this section, or have a projected service life of less than 30 years, the reserve study required by Section 5550 shall consider that opinion in preparing the reserve funding evaluation.
(l) For condominium conversions proposed for sale after January 1, 2018, the inspection required by this section shall be conducted prior to the first close of escrow of a separate interest in the project and thereafter as required by the section. The inspection report and written confirmation by the inspector that any repairs or replacements recommended by the inspector have been completed shall be submitted to the Bureau of Real Estate by the converter and shall be a condition to the issuance of the final public report. A complete copy of the inspection report and written confirmation by the inspector that any repairs or replacements recommended by the inspector have been completed shall be included with the written statement of defects required by Section 1134, and provided to the local jurisdiction in which the project is located. The inspection, report, and confirmation of completed repairs shall be a condition of the issuance of a final inspection or certificate of occupancy by the local jurisdiction.
(m) The governing body of a city, county, or city and county, may enact ordinances or laws imposing requirements greater than those imposed by this section.
(n) This section shall not apply to an individual owner’s “separate interest,” as defined by Section 4185, or to a “planned development” as defined by Section 4175.

SEC. 3.

  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.Section 7071.20 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:
7071.20.

(a)(1)All buildings containing three or more multifamily dwelling units, any units that have an existing balcony or other elevated walking surface exposed to water, including, but not limited to, rain, snow, or irrigation, with structural framing that is protected by an impervious moisture barrier shall be inspected. For purposes of this section, balconies or other elevated walking surfaces less than six feet above grade are not included. The inspection shall be performed by a licensed general contractor, structural pest control licensee, licensed architect, licensed engineer, a certified construction inspector, or building official as specified in Section 18949.27 of the Health and Safety Code, or other licensee as approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that all of the balconies and other elevated walking surfaces covered by this section are in generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered.

(2)Building elements, including the walking surface, structural frame and connector hardware, weatherproofing, landings, stairway systems, guardrails, handrails, and any other elements critical to the safety of the balcony or elevated walking surface, found to be in need of repair or replacement, hazardous, structurally deficient, or noncompliant shall, upon determination by the inspector, be immediately corrected by the property owner or individual person or company responsible for management or operation of the building. All

(3)If corrective work is required, a property owner shall apply for a permit within 60 days of receipt of the inspection report. Once the permit is approved, the property owner or owner’s designated agent shall have 90 days to make the repairs.

(4)All necessary permits for repair or replacement of exterior balconies and elevated walking surfaces shall be obtained from the local jurisdiction. All repair and replacement work, including installation and inspection of impervious moisture barrier systems, must be performed in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions, the latest edition of the California Building Standards Code, and all local jurisdictional requirements.

(5)The property owner shall be responsible for complying with the requirements of this section. The person or business performing the inspection shall be hired by property owner or by the person or company responsible for the management or operation of the building.

(b)The inspection and repairs shall be completed by January 1, 2021, and every five years thereafter. The inspector conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report that states the condition of the building features and recommendations for repair, conditioning, or replacement and a final report indicating that all of the required repairs have been completed. A copy of the final report shall be submitted to the county recorder for recordation. Local enforcement agencies may determine the information to be provided in the report and require a copy of the initial or final reports, or both, to be submitted to the local jurisdiction in lieu of recordation.

(c)(1)Multifamily buildings of three units or more for which a building permit application has been submitted on or after February 1, 2017, are exempt from the inspection certification requirements for a period of five years following issuance of a certificate of occupancy from the local jurisdiction.

(2)These multifamily buildings of three units or more shall comply with the inspection and documentation requirements described in subdivision (b), which shall be completed before the end of the sixth year following the issuance of the certificate of occupancy and every five years thereafter.

(d)The continued and ongoing maintenance of balconies and elevated walking surfaces and parts thereof, in a safe and sanitary condition, shall be the responsibility of the property owner or the property owner’s designated agent. To determine ongoing compliance with this subdivision, the enforcement agency shall have the authority to require reinspection of those structures.

(e)Local enforcement agencies shall have the ability to recover enforcement costs associated with the requirements of this section.

(f)(1)A property owner or the owner’s designated agent shall not be required to produce a new inspection report of the multifamily building if both of the following are met:

(A)The multifamily building was inspected by an inspector, as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), within three years prior to January 1, 2018.

(B)The inspection was performed by an inspector, as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), and the inspection report states that the decks, balconies, elevated walkways, or other related exterior elevated elements are in proper working condition and do not pose a threat to the health and safety of the public.

(2)If the above requirements are met, a property owner or the property owner’s designated agent shall file a copy of the final inspection report to the county recorder. Beginning five years after the completion of the inspection, these multifamily buildings of three units or more shall be reinspected and a new inspection report filed with the county recorder and every five years thereafter.

(g)(1)If a property owner or an owner’s designated agent does not comply with the inspection or repair requirements after 60 days, the enforcement agency shall send a 30-day corrective notice by certified mail to the owner or owner’s designated agent. If within 30 days of the date of the notice the inspection is not completed, the owner of the multifamily building shall be assessed a daily civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day, which shall constitute a lien against the property, until the inspection is complete.

(2)If a corrective notice is sent under this subdivision, the property owner or the owner’s designated agent shall have 60 days from the completion of the inspection to complete the repairs, unless an extension of time is granted by the local enforcement agency. If the repairs are not completed within the designated time, the property owner shall be assessed a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) per day, which shall constitute a lien against the property, until the repairs are completed.

SEC. 2.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.