The October Report
October 5, 2017
Legislative Affairs Priority Issues and Focus - DISCUSSION ITEM
NAIOP members see every day there are no shortage of issues that can impact their businesses, and your Legislative Affairs team is committed to protecting the members’ interests. Yet, there are only so many resources and time in a day, so we have always tried to focus on the priority issues. Legislative Affairs has recently had a series of discussions to review our focus. We look forward to engaging the Board in a discussion of these priorities.
Split Roll Taxes/Prop 13 - The fight to prevent any effort to create any type of Split Roll Tax has been and will continue to be the highest priority. This is always closely coordinated with CBPA.
Environmental Regulations – This is a broad area covering (1) air quality (ISRs - Indirect Source Rules), (2) water issues (Supply), and (3) CEQA Reform (California Environmental Quality Act). While NAIOP SoCal is often a lead entity in the air and water issues, we are also successful in developing coalition partners. We work in a supportive capacity with CBPA who leads on the CEQA issue. The environmental arena is one where we are becoming a government of the regulator, by the regulator and for the regulator.
Taxes and Fees – Here the focus is on local taxes and fees that impact the commercial real estate community including parcel taxes, linkage fees, and public art taxes. While one often hears the argument that whatever new fee is “small”, the piling on of taxes and fees has reached the point of death by a thousand cuts and must be stopped.
Land Use – Here the focus is on local ballot box planning initiatives and slow growth/no growth efforts. Furthermore, there are numerous efforts to not allow any greenfield development even in light of the severe housing crisis and need for additional commercial development to meet the needs of an everincreasing population.
Transportation and Goods Movement – The need for a solid transportation system is an evident part of a robust economy. We not only have many NAIOP SoCal members involved in the goods movement system, especially in regard to warehouse development, but it also makes up about one-third of our economy. The recent recession reminded us all that if a large sector of the economy falters, it impacts the economic well-being of us all for many years. There are several efforts ongoing at the state and local levels to create goods movement plans.
We are faced with many well-funded, well organized organizations who have significant influence and propose ideas that can be very detrimental to our NAIOP members. They are very aggressive in their tactics and the voice of business can be completely overshadowed. Thus, the Legislative Affairs Committee believes it will be important to be consistently assertive in our efforts to push forward with a reality based discussion of balancing the need for jobs and the economy with the other issues that are raised in any given year
City of Irvine Ballot Box Planning Initiative – ACTION ITEM
As discussed last month, a citizens group called Irvine for Responsible Growth intends to place an initiative they call “An Initiative to give the People of Irvine Control of their Future” on the November, 2018 ballot. The Irvine initiative is almost identical to the recently passed Costa Mesa ballot box planning measure requiring voter approval of essentially any development project that requires adoption, amendment, or any type of change to the General Plan and/or Zoning Code. This effort raises significant concerns and shows how these types of measures spread to other areas of the County like a cancer. The Legislative Affairs Committee voted unanimously to request the NAIOP SoCal Board to formally vote to oppose this measure to make it very clear that this type of initiative is totally unacceptable. NAIOP SoCal staff will coordinate efforts, including NAIOP SoCal Political Action Committee funding, to support the effort to defeat the measure with NAIOP SoCal members and allied industry associations.
Recommended Action – The NAIOP SoCal Board approve formally opposing the Irvine “initiative to give the people of Irvine control of their future”, and direct the appropriate actions be taken to defeat the initiative.
SCAQMD and CARB Indirect Source Rule (ISRs) Update
NAIOP SoCal and the broader NAIOP community has long been a leader in creating more efficient, sustainable developments, including the needed warehouses to provide the 17 million people in Southern California with their daily necessities of life; food, clothing and shelter. NAIOP members have spent millions, if not billions of dollars, to improve air and water quality. Thus, it has been our focus to try to achieve a balanced approach in enhancing the environment and achieving economic and job growth. Unfortunately, it appears many other organizations are not interested in such a balanced approach. There have been a series of meetings with residents living near seaports, railyards, warehouses and distribution centers to supposedly discuss ISR “concepts”. Quite frankly, these meetings seem more designed to get people to come in and complain about anything and everything regarding the goods movement system, especially trucks and warehouses, so CARB can go back and say there is some drastic need for as draconian a set of measures as they can think up. Furthermore, CARB seems to have decided it is all electric vehicles (EV) or else. And soon, maybe by 2040, which is just 23 years. Thus, we must expect in March of 2019 that CARB will release ISR “concepts” that would require warehouses to only allow EV to come to the facility with significant penalties for noncompliance. This is not a cooperative, balanced approach.
City of LA Housing Linkage Fee Moves Forward – Planning Committee Supports
NAIOP SoCal is on record opposing the City of LA Affordable Housing Linkage Fee. The Planning and Land Uses Management Committee (PLUM) recently unanimously supported the fee and proposed several changes to the program. The primary change to the commercial portion was to not have one fee of $5 a square foot, but 3 fees. The city was divided into 3 commercial market areas; Low ($3 a SF), Medium ($4 a SF), and High ($5 a SF). The various Community Planning Areas (CPAs) of the City were grouped into the three areas. The entire linkage fee program is to come back to the PLUM Committee in the near future with the requested amendments before going on to the City council for a final vote.
Welcome New Legislative Committee Members
We are very pleased to welcome members to our committee who have joined us over the past few months. Their participation is important and very much appreciated.
Davis R. Lapkin, Marsh Risk & Insurance Services
David W. Salisbury, U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate
Steve Schafenacker, Shea Properties
Chris Yamashita, Young Professionals Group (YPG)