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SB-1206 Local government: broadband infrastructure development project permit processing: microtrenching permit processing ordinance.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/01/2020 09:00 PM
SB1206:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 01, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1206


Introduced by Senator Lena Gonzalez

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 7099.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to taxation. An act to add Sections 65964.5 and 65964.6 to the Government Code, relating to local government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1206, as amended, Lena Gonzalez. Confidentiality: taxpayer communications. Local government: broadband infrastructure development project permit processing: microtrenching permit processing ordinance.
The California Constitution authorizes a city or county to make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.
Existing law, the Permit Streamlining Act, governs the approval process that a city or county is required to follow when approving, among other things, a permit for construction or reconstruction for a development project for a wireless telecommunications facility and a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility.
This bill would authorize a city or county to impose on an applicant for a permit for a broadband infrastructure development project a reasonable fee for costs associated with the submission, and the expedited review, processing, and approval of an application, including, but not limited to, personnel costs as necessary, if the applicant elects for the expedited review and processing and agrees to pay that fee.
Existing law provides that the Department of Transportation has full possession and control of state highways and associated property. Existing law authorizes the department to issue written permits authorizing the permittee to, among other things, make an opening or excavation in a state highway, and place, change, or renew an encroachment. Existing law requires the department to either approve or deny an application for an encroachment permit within 60 days of receiving a completed application.
Existing law requires the department to notify companies and organizations working on broadband deployment on its internet website of specified department-led highway construction projects that, among other things, involve construction methods that are suitable for installing broadband conduit. Existing law authorizes those companies and organizations to collaborate with the department to install broadband conduits as part of those projects. Existing law requires the department to develop guidelines to facilitate the installation of broadband conduit on state highway rights-of-way.
This bill would require the department to adopt a model ordinance for adoption by a city or county governing the city’s or county’s review, processing, and approval of an application for a permit to conduct microtrenching, as specified. The bill would require a city or county to adopt the model ordinance or a similar ordinance that includes certain provisions, including a requirement that the city or county ministerially approve or deny a completed application within 30 days of receiving the application, as specified.
This bill would authorize a city or county to impose on an applicant for a permit for a broadband infrastructure development project a reasonable fee for costs associated with the submission, and the expedited review, processing, and approval of an application, including, but not limited to, personnel costs as necessary, if the applicant elects for the expedited review and processing and agrees to pay that fee.
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.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA does not apply to the ministerial approval of projects.
Because the approval process established by the bill is streamlined and ministerial in nature, the approval of projects subject to this process are exempt from CEQA.
The bill would include findings that changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities.

Existing law requires that certain protections of confidentiality that apply to a communication between a client and an attorney also apply to communications between a taxpayer and any federally authorized tax practitioner in any noncriminal tax matter before the State Board of Equalization to the extent that the communication would be considered a privileged communication if it were made between a client and an attorney.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to those provisions.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 65964.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65964.5.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.
(2) “Microtrench” means a narrow open excavation trench that is less than or equal to 8 inches in width and less than or equal to 26 inches in depth and that is created for the purpose of installing a subsurface pipe or conduit.
(3) “Microtrenching” means excavation of a microtrench.
(b) The department shall adopt a model ordinance for adoption by a city or county governing the city’s or county’s review, processing, and approval of an application for a permit to conduct microtrenching. The model ordinance shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following provisions:
(1) Installations in a microtrench shall be limited to broadband or other low-voltage utilities and shall be installed as follows:
(A) All parts in a roadway or alley shall be installed at a minimum depth of cover of at least one inch below the existing roadway layer.
(B) All parts between the curb face and the property line, or in any other public place or easement, shall be installed at a minimum depth of cover of at least one inch below the bottom of the hardscape and at a minimum depth of cover of at least six inches below grade.
(C) All parts under softscape in any public place or easement, including, but not limited to, between the curb face and the property line, shall be installed at a minimum depth of cover of 12 inches below grade.
(2) Within 30 days of receiving a completed application, the city or county shall ministerially approve or deny the application.
(3) The application shall include payment of a reasonable fee set by the city or county to cover the cost of processing the application.
(c) A city or county shall adopt the model ordinance developed by the department pursuant to subdivision (b) or an ordinance governing the city’s or county’s review, processing, and approval of permit applications to conduct microtrenching that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, provisions that require the following:
(1) Installations in a microtrench be limited to telecommunication or other low-voltage utilities.
(2) A minimum depth of cover in a roadway or alley that is at least one inch below the existing roadway layer.
(3) A minimum depth of cover between the curb face and the property line, or in any other public place or easement, that is at least one inch below the bottom of the hardscape and at least six inches below grade.
(4) A minimum depth of cover under softscape in any public place or easement, including, but not limited to, between the curb face and the property line, that is at least 12 inches below grade.
(5) Within 30 days of receiving a completed application, the city or county ministerially approve or deny the application.
(d) A city or county that fails to adopt an ordinance as required by subdivision (c) shall be deemed to have adopted the model ordinance developed by the department pursuant to subdivision (b).
(e) This section shall not preclude an applicant and the city or county from mutually agreeing to an extension of any time limit provided by this section.
(f) The Legislature finds and declares that microtrenching, which is critical to the deployment of broadband services and other utility services, is a matter of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, this section applies to all cities, including charter cities.

SEC. 2.

 Section 65964.6 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65964.6.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Applicant” means a person or entity who submits an application.
(2) “Application” means an application for a permit for a broadband infrastructure development project.
(3) “Personnel costs” includes the costs of hiring or employing temporary or permanent city or county employees, consultants, or contractors.
(b) A city or county may impose on an applicant a reasonable fee for costs associated with the submission of, and the expedited review, processing, and approval of, an application, including, but not limited to, personnel costs as necessary, if the applicant elects for the expedited review and processing and agrees to pay that fee.
(c) This section does not amend or alter the civil service laws of this state or any city or county.

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 7099.1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:
7099.1.

(a)(1)With respect to tax advice, the protections of confidentiality that apply to a communication between a client and an attorney, as set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 950) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code, shall also apply to a communication between a taxpayer and any federally authorized tax practitioner to the extent the communication would be considered a privileged communication if it were between a client and an attorney. A federally authorized tax practitioner has the legal obligation and duty to maintain confidentiality with respect to privileged communication.

(2)Paragraph (1) may only be asserted in any noncriminal tax matter before the State Board of Equalization.

(3)For purposes of this section:

(A)“Federally authorized tax practitioner” means any individual who is authorized under federal law to practice before the Internal Revenue Service if the practice is subject to federal regulation under Section 330 of Title 31 of the United States Code, as provided by federal law as of January 1, 2000.

(B)“Tax advice” means advice given by an individual with respect to a state tax matter, which may include federal tax advice if it relates to the state tax matter. For purposes of this subparagraph, “federal tax advice” means advice given by an individual within the scope of the individual’s authority to practice before the federal Internal Revenue Service on noncriminal tax matters.

(C)“Tax shelter” means a partnership or other entity, any investment plan or arrangement, or any other plan or arrangement if a significant purpose of that partnership, entity, plan, or arrangement is the avoidance or evasion of federal income tax.

(b)The privilege under subdivision (a) shall not apply to any written communication between a federally authorized tax practitioner and a director, shareholder, officer, or employee, agent, or representative of a corporation in connection with the promotion of the direct or indirect participation of the corporation in any tax shelter, or in any proceeding to revoke or otherwise discipline any license or right to practice by any governmental agency.

(c)This section shall be operative for communications made on or after the effective date of the act adding this section.