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    • Background Passed by the State Legislature in 2016, Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) is a statewide initiative to address climate change by reducing pollutants like greenhouse gases. By 2025, the state aims to reduce organic waste by 75% and increase edible food recovery by 20%. To achieve this goal, local jurisdictions are now required to provide organic waste collection services, procure recycled organic waste products to create demand for these products, reduce edible food waste and monitor and enforce these programs. When organic waste such as food scraps, yard trimmings and paper decomposes anaerobically in landfills, it produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Organic waste recycling aims to minimize the environmental impact of organic waste disposal by harnessing the potential of these materials and turning them into new, useful products. Following SB 1383’s enactment, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) developed detailed regulations and guidelines for implementing SB 1383's requirements. CalRecycle adopted formal regulations in November 2020, outlining the specific actions jurisdictions need to take to comply with SB 1383's mandates. Legal Requirements for SB 1383 Organic Waste Landfill Divergence Targets Residential Requirements  SB1383 requires all jurisdictions to provide organic recycling services to all customers. Residential collection services are integral to achieving this goal because more than half of organic waste is generated by households. Below are regulatory requirements for local jurisdictions set forth by CalRecycle. Agencies can choose between standard collection services or performance-based collection services.  The regulations for standard collection services are more prescriptive while performance-based collection services are less restrictive overall, but require agencies to provide services to at least 90% of generators and have more restrictions related to contamination monitoring. The majority of cities across the state have opted for standard collection services.  Standard Collection Service vs. Performance-Based Collection Service Regulation Requirements for Local Jurisdictions  Standard Collection Service Performance-Based Collection Service Collection container service options  Can choose 3+, 3-, 2-, or unsegregated single-container collection services. Use 3 or 3+ container collection service only. Split containers are allowed. Container contamination minimization  Monitor contamination through route reviews or waste evaluations for all containers. Monitor contamination through waste evaluations for all containers, with quarterly monitoring of gray containers. Container labeling requirements  Containers must adhere to specified colors. Containers must adhere to specified colors. Waivers granted by jurisdictions  New curbside containers or lids require labels. No container labeling requirements. Education and outreach Can allow for de minimis, physical space and collection frequency waivers. No prescribed waivers; service must be provided to at least 90% of residential and commercial organic waste generators. Regulation of haulers  Provide education to residents and businesses about reducing and recycling organic waste and to commercial edible food generators about donating edible food to food recovery services and organizations. Provide education to commercial edible food generators about donating edible food to food recovery services. CALGreen building standards and model water efficient landscape ordinance  A jurisdiction must require haulers to meet the regulatory requirements as a condition of approval.  Must adopt an ordinance or enforceable mechanism to allow self-hauling. Must regulate haulers to only transport source-separated organic waste to designated source separated organic waste recycling facilities. Edible food recovery program Must adopt an ordinance or other enforceable requirement that requires compliance with specified provisions of the California Green Building Standards Code and specified provisions of the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. Must adopt an ordinance or other enforceable requirement that requires compliance with specified provisions of the California Green Building Standards Code and specified provisions of the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. Capacity planning  Counties, in coordination with cities, special districts that provide solid waste collection service, and regional agencies, must conduct capacity planning for organic waste recycling and edible food recovery. Counties, in coordination with cities, special districts that provide solid waste collection service, and regional agencies, must conduct capacity planning for organic waste recycling and edible food recovery. Procurement Must annually procure recovered organic waste products that meet or exceed the annual recovered organic waste product procurement target and procure approved paper products Must annually procure recovered organic waste products that meet or exceed the annual recovered organic waste product procurement target and procure specific paper products  Recordkeeping Maintain records related to standard organic waste collection service, contamination monitoring, waivers, education and outreach, hauler programs, edible food recovery, procurement, enforcement actions, complaints and investigations. Maintain records related to performance-based service, contamination monitoring, education and outreach for edible food recovery efforts, procurement, enforcement actions for edible food recovery efforts, and complaints and investigations for edible food recovery efforts. Reporting Report on compliance, organic waste collection service, contamination monitoring, waivers issued, education and outreach, hauler oversight, CALGreen and MWELO, edible food recovery program, capacity planning (county only), procurement, monitoring and enforcement. Report on compliance, organic waste collection service, results of waste evaluations performed, CALGreen and MWELO edible food recovery program, capacity planning (county only) and procurement. Inspections Must conduct inspections. Must only conduct inspections related to commercial edible food generators and food recovery. Investigate complaints  Must investigate complaints of alleged violations. Must investigate complaints of alleged violations related to edible food recovery. Enforcement Conduct enforcement actions on all requirements. Conduct enforcement actions only on entities subject to the edible food recovery requirements.   Commercial Organic Waste Generators Commercial organic waste generators must adhere to either of the following options: Subscribe to and participate in their jurisdiction’s organics curbside collection service Self-haul organic waste to a composting facility, community composting program or other collection activity or program Jurisdictions are required to adopt an ordinance that requires compliance and provides general education about self-hauler requirements. CalRecycle did not include requirements that jurisdictions separately identify and provide education to all self-haulers, along with any associated reporting requirements. Jurisdictions can meet the requirement to educate self-haulers by including information on self-hauling in their general education and outreach material provided to all generators. Public Spaces Jurisdictions are not required to collect organic waste in public spaces like beaches and parks. The state has recognized the challenge of preventing contamination in containers located in these areas. Edible Food Recovery Targets Statewide Goal and Commercial Food Generators SB 1383 requires commercial edible food generators to donate the maximum amount of edible food they would otherwise dispose of. This aims to reduce food waste and ensure that surplus edible food goes to those in need rather than ending up in landfills.  Consequently, local jurisdictions are required by the state to ensure compliance by commercial entities. These responsibilities include implementing and overseeing edible food recovery programs. One crucial aspect is assessing the current capacity for edible food recovery within their areas. This assessment is vital to understand the existing infrastructure and resources available to handle and distribute surplus food from commercial edible food generators. Counties are tasked with leading these efforts, coordinating with cities, regional agencies and special districts to ensure adequate capacity planning for edible food recovery. This includes estimating the amount of edible food sent to landfills by mandated food donors, identifying available recovery capacity and assessing the need for new or expanded infrastructure to recover edible food. SB 1383 allows jurisdictions to contract with their local environmental health departments or other public or private entities to fulfill certain regulatory responsibilities. Section 18981.2 of the regulations provides clear guidelines on designating external entities to assist with program implementation. This includes educating commercial edible food generators and monitoring their compliance with the edible food recovery requirements. Even when contracting with external entities, each jurisdiction remains responsible for compliance with SB 1383's requirements. Recordkeeping Requirements Jurisdictions are required to maintain all records required by the SB 1383 regulations in an Implementation Record (14 CCR Section 18995.2). At a minimum, the following records are required to be maintained in the Implementation Record: Ordinances and Enforceable Mechanisms Written Program Descriptions Organic Waste Service Collection Contamination Minimization, including Route Reviews and Waste Evaluations Waivers and Exemptions Education and Outreach Jurisdiction Oversight of Hauler Programs Edible Food Recovery Recovered Organic Waste Product Procurement Paper Procurement Inspection and Enforcement Compliance Reviews Investigation of Complaints and Alleged Violations A jurisdiction may find it beneficial to keep additional records relating to SB 1383 and other diversion or recycling programs in the Implementation Record to further support the jurisdiction’s compliance.  CalRecycle has created a Model Implementation Record Tool and a Model Performance-Based Implementation Record Tool that you can use to assist in meeting the implementation record and recordkeeping requirements in the SB 1383 regulations. All required records must be stored in a single, easily accessible location, whether physical or electronic, enabling prompt access by CalRecycle. Upon CalRecycle’s request, jurisdictions must provide access to the Implementation Record within ten business days. All records within the Implementation Record are subject to the requirements and relevant disclosure exemptions of the Public Records Act. Procurement Targets SB 1383 sets legal requirements for procuring recovered organic waste products. As of January 1, 2022, all jurisdictions are required to be in full compliance with SB 1383’s procurement requirements. However, due to a lack of statewide organic waste processing infrastructure, the State passed AB 1985 to create an additional two-year phase-in period for jurisdictions to meet their required targets. Annual Procurement Targets Jurisdictions must procure a specific quantity of recovered organic waste products to meet their designated procurement targets. These targets are assigned by CalRecycle based on the jurisdiction's population. The formula used to derive these targets is available publicly and can be found on CalRecycle’s website.  Each jurisdiction can determine the mix of products that aligns with its local needs. The variety of recovered organic waste products that local governments can procure includes compost, mulch and renewable energy derived from anaerobic digestion of organic waste.   Existing Procurement Programs and Requirements If a jurisdiction already has procurement programs in place that meet the defined requirements, those can be counted toward the procurement targets. This allows local governments to leverage established initiatives, such as landscaping projects using mulch or compost distribution to residents, to contribute towards their SB 1383 goals. Sourcing and Usage Agencies do not need to recover or use organic waste products within its boundaries. Local governments have the flexibility to procure products from various sources, including purchasing or acquiring them from entities beyond their jurisdiction. Procurement Requirements The primary goal of SB 1383's procurement requirements is to foster demand for the use of recovered organic waste products and create a market for these products. Procurement is not limited to traditional purchasing; local jurisdictions or their service providers can acquire products through other means such as their agreements with waste haulers. To fulfill procurement requirements, the acquired products must be used or donated rather than sold. This includes municipal landscaping projects using mulch/compost, compost distribution giveaways for residents and renewable energy projects. General Process for SB 1383 Implementation Assess any current organic waste programs to check if they meet or contribute to meeting SB 1383’s requirements. Collect all existing documentation, reports and data pertaining to current organic waste programs within your jurisdiction Arrange meetings with all key personnel involved in existing organic waste programs to discuss what current programs are accomplishing. Compare the data you have collected from your research against the requirements of SB 1383. Analyze your jurisdiction's capacities and limitations to determine the best path toward compliance. How far is your jurisdiction from compliance? Is it feasible to make small adjustments to existing programs to achieve compliance? Does the jurisdiction have the capacity for educational social media campaigns? How can your jurisdiction leverage relationships with community partners to achieve compliance? Does the jurisdiction currently have an agreement with a hauler that would allow them to implement the requirement of SB 1338?  Draft and pass a local ordinance that aligns with SB 1383's requirements to divert organic waste from landfills. Explore partnerships with other entities for assistance in SB 1383 implementation. Who can help with education & outreach?  How can community partners help your jurisdiction achieve compliance? Develop educational programs to inform residents and businesses about proper disposal of organic waste. Workshops are a great way to educate and inform all parties. Based on Tripepi Smith’s experience, we’ve found the most success in holding one workshop for each audience group: one for residents, one for business owners/managers, and one for property managers. Workshops can be recorded and posted to the City’s website for later viewing.  Discuss creating flyers for businesses that they can post to their walls for reference when sorting waste. Discuss creating signs for trash enclosures with details on what type of waste goes where.  Discuss the production of educational videos Work with your waste hauler to optimize the collection process to minimize contamination and maximize the diversion of organic waste. It is the City’s responsibility to educate residents and businesses about SB 1383 requirements. However, you may discuss partnering with your hauler on outreach efforts. They have robust lists with resident/business/property owner contact information Utilize bill inserts Take advantage of mailing/newsletter lists Collaborate on incentive items. For example, free compost soil or organic waste kitchen bins. The waste hauler is responsible for providing organic waste collection services for businesses and residents, including the necessary bins and containers. Discuss the rollout timeline and ensure communications align.  The waste hauler is responsible for transporting organic waste to facilities for processing, such as composting or anaerobic digestion. Discuss your hauler’s process for processing organics waste and the end product. Utilize this information in your communications to provide residents a “why.” Waste haulers must provide data on the quantity of organic waste collected, as well as diversion and processing activities, to the city for reporting purposes. Determine annual procurement targets based on the population of your jurisdiction. Ensure any pre-existing procurement efforts align with the SB 1383 goals and can be counted towards procurement targets. Create and maintain an Implementation Record as required by SB 1383 regulations. Decide on a mix of recovered organic waste products to procure that suit local needs and capabilities, including compost, mulch and renewable energy. Implement programs to recover edible food, aligning with the SB 1383 goals. Partner with food pantries in the City; build relationships Frequently remind businesses where they can donate Remind residents of food pantry availability in your area Ensure accurate reporting on compliance, collection services and waste evaluations to track progress towards divergence targets. Utilize resources provided by CalRecycle for guidance and support in achieving the landfill organic waste diversion targets. Financial Considerations Financial impacts of implementing programs required to comply with SB 1383 may vary depending on a variety of factors, including organics recycling consumer base, existing organic recycling infrastructure and agreements with waste haulers. Waste Hauler Rate Increases SB 1383 mandates increased focus on the collection of organic waste, which may require additional or modified collection routes and schedules. Haulers may need to invest in new vehicles and technologies that support efficient collection, transportation and processing of organic waste. These improvements contribute to achieving the SB 1383 goals but are accompanied by increased operational costs, which are typically passed on to local jurisdictions through rate increases. Jurisdictions should consider the following factors when evaluating cost increases: Additional Infrastructure and Equipment Costs Waste haulers may need to invest in new infrastructure and specialized equipment to handle organic waste separately and process it in compliance with SB 1383 requirements. Financial implications also include the cost of acquiring and maintaining specialized bins and materials for collecting and transporting organic waste. Organic Waste Separation and Processing Waste haulers and facilities must develop processes to separate organic waste from other types of waste, increasing operational costs. Compliance with Food Recovery Programs Costs include establishing systems for food recovery, transportation and distribution to those in need. Capacity Planning and Expansion Waste collection providers may need to plan and expand their capacity for food recovery, involving logistical adjustments and investments. Financial considerations encompass planning costs, facility expansion, and investment in additional resources to accommodate increased capacity. Education and Outreach Programs This includes expenses for creating educational materials, conducting workshops and outreach campaigns to inform the public. Monitoring and Reporting Compliance Financial implications relate to software or systems for monitoring, training and generating compliance reports. Adjustments to Collection Services: Modification of collection routes, schedules and services to accommodate separate collection of organic waste and adapt to the requirements of SB 1383. According to CalRecycle, on average, SB 1383 should only result in waste collection fee increases of 5% or less. Survey data from local jurisdictions indicates that the majority of cities anticipate raising rates within the range of 1% to 20%, while approximately 20% of cities foresee even larger rate hikes. Complying with Proposition 218  Proposition 218 is a California state amendment that impacts how local governments in California can impose certain types of fees and assessments on property owners and residents. Under Proposition 218, property owners in California can protest property-related fees, assessments and charges. If local governments in California need to implement specific fees or assessments as part of their compliance with SB 1383, they will need to do so in accordance with Proposition 218’s restrictions and regulations. The mandatory implementation of SB 1383 can mean that property-owners may see a huge increase in monthly property related bills, which is a property-related fee that can be protested according to Proposition 218. All local California jurisdictions must comply with Proposition 218 by offering the opportunity for property-owners and residents to protest the fee and provide public comment before it goes into effect.  For example, the City of Santa Paula held a formal protest hearing in September 2022 for proposed SB 1383 related rate adjustments. The City also mailed notices of the proposed rate adjustments to all affected customers. Exploring Cost Mitigation Strategies Implementing SB 1393 in your local jurisdiction can incur costs associated with the infrastructure, equipment and efficient collection processes. Many jurisdictions may still be in the implementation stages of mandating SB 1383. Predicting budget forecasts accurately can be difficult if your agency is still working on bringing your jurisdiction into compliance. Here are some ways your agency can mitigate costs: SB 1383 requires that a contract or written agreement for food recovery must be established, but it is at the discretion of food recovery organizations, food recovery services and commercial edible food generators to determine the exact provisions included in the contract or agreement. CalRecycle notes that food recovery organizations can pay attention to what is included in contracts to be financially effective. For example, food recovery organizations can indicate what foods they are willing to accept. SB 1383 does not prohibit a food recovery organization from negotiating to share costs with commercial food generators. Available SB 1383 Funding Grants and Loans The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) administers an SB 1383 Local Assistance Grant Program to support the implementation of SB 1383. The grant provides funding to local jurisdictions to support the implementation of SB 1383 related requirements. These include capacity planning, edible food recovery, and education and outreach among others. Local agencies, regional or joint powers authorities and special districts directly responsible for solid waste collection services are eligible for this grant. Other additional grants and other funding resources provided by CalRecycle for SB 1383 include: Organics Grant Program Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program Community Composting for Green Spaces Grant Program Recycling Market Development Revolving Loan Program Learn more about additional financial resources for SB 1383 on CalRecycle’s website. Outreach and Education The education and outreach requirements of SB 1383 are fundamental components of the legislation to foster public awareness and compliance with the regulations. This involves engaging the community, conveying essential information about organic waste separation, food recovery programs and the broader goals of SB 1383. Jurisdictions should plan to work in education and outreach as part of the program budget when rolling out organics waste recycling to residents and businesses.  Potential outreach and educational options are outlined below. Jurisdictions should create a plan best suited for their community and plan for the associated costs. Monthly Newsletter/E-Newsletter Content Social Media Content Creation (staff time) Social Media Advertising Website/Webpage Content (staff time) Flyers Postcards (or Door Hangers, Cart Tags, etc.) Press Releases (staff time) Educational videos (staff time/contractors) Workshops Workshop planning Workshop promotion Facility use Workshop meeting recordings Outreach to Multi-Family Residences Tracking of Education and Outreach (staff time) According to CalRecycle, jurisdictions have reported spending between $50,000 and $500,000 per year on organic waste outreach campaigns. The state has made grants available to relieve the financial burden on local jurisdictions. In May 2022, the City of Orange contracted with Tripepi Smith to provide outreach and education services, including website content, social media support, print collateral, workshops, videography and more. The contract was for $90,000.  Penalties for Non-Compliance with SB 1383 for Local Jurisdictions As of November 2023, the state has established the following penalties for local jurisdictions in violation of SB 1383, which became enforceable on January 1, 2022. SB 1383 necessitates each jurisdiction adopt a mandatory recycling ordinance. Jurisdictions are allowed to adopt an educational and non-punitive approach until 2024. Starting January 1, 2024, jurisdictions must have enforcement mechanisms in place, such as fining residents, to ensure compliance with the requirements. Under SB 1383, CalRecycle holds the authority to consider factors such as "substantial efforts" and "extenuating circumstances" when determining penalties. If a jurisdiction was actively trying to address the issues outlined in SB 1383, it could potentially receive more time to comply through a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). However, qualifying for this plan required demonstrating substantial efforts to rectify the problems mentioned in SB 1383. In 2021, the Governor signed SB 619 to grant jurisdictions additional time to meet SB 1383's requirements. Under SB 619, CalRecycle waived administrative civil penalties for the 2022 calendar year if a jurisdiction, as per their Notification of Intent to Comply, took action to remedy the violations within the stipulated schedule. However, if the issues persisted from 2022 into 2023, penalties would have started to accrue from January 1, 2023. CalRecycle also had the option to put a jurisdiction on a "Corrective Action Plan," potentially waiving penalties if the jurisdiction fully complied with the plan.  Minor Violation: Involves minimal deviation from the standards. Penalties range from $500 to $4,000 per violation per day. Moderate Violation: Involves moderate deviation from the standards. Penalties range from $4,000 to $7,500 per violation per day. Major Violation: Involves substantial deviation from the standards. May be knowing, willful or intentional. Penalties range from $7,500 to $10,000 per violation per day. For major violations, certain types of violations are automatically considered major, such as not having ordinances for waste disposal reduction and food recovery, not requiring haulers to comply, lacking an edible food recovery program, lacking an Implementation Record, implementing prohibited policies and failing to submit required reports. The specific penalty within the range is determined based on factors like the nature and severity of the violation, the violator's ability to pay, the willfulness of the misconduct, efforts to avoid or mitigate violations, economic benefit gained from violations and the deterrent effect on the violator.  For violations related to the procurement of recovered organic waste products, penalties are calculated based on the number of days a jurisdiction was out of compliance with its procurement target, with a maximum penalty of $10,000 per day. Overall, penalties cannot exceed the amount authorized by law, and residential organic waste generators are exempt from these penalties. Example Assets SB 1383 Bill Text Staff Reports/Agreements City of Rolling Hills Estates’ Solid Waste Collection Services Contract (2018) and Amendment (2021) City of Modesto Recycling and Organics Guide for Multifamily Ventura County Self Hauler Registration Outreach Materials City of Orange SB 1383 outreach and education video City of San Diego: Outreach Video for City Employees City of South Gate Organics Recycling webpage City of Baldwin Park Organics Recycling webpage City of Palo Alto: Organic Waste Self-Hauler Requirements Mailer CalRecycle Resources CalRecycle/Stockton Model Franchise Agreement Synopsis CalRecycle/San Ramon Model Franchise Agreement Synopsis Model Procurement Policy Model Edible Food Recovery Agreement Model Mandatory Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance Model Franchise Agreement Model Implementation Record Tool Model Performance-Based Implementation Record Tool Standard Collection Service vs. Performance-Based Collection Service SB 1383 Procurement Tools For Municipalities CalRecycle Procurement Calculator Tool for Local Jurisdictions Modesto Recycling and Organics Guide for Businesses CalRecycle’s Standards for Cart Coloring Appendix - Definition of Terms Organic Waste - Biodegradable waste materials derived from living organisms or natural processes. This category includes a wide range of materials such as food scraps, yard waste, plant debris, paper products, wood, and other similar items Green Waste - Organic materials that are generated from various landscaping and gardening activities. It primarily consists of biodegradable materials such as grass clippings, leaves, branches, shrub trimmings and other plant debris Food Waste - Any edible material that is discarded, thrown away, or uneaten, typically originating from households, restaurants, food service establishments, or other sources. This includes both cooked and uncooked food items that are no longer intended for consumption CalRecycle - California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery Jurisdiction - The term jurisdiction refers to a city, county, a city/county or a special district that provides solid waste collection services. A city, county, city/county or special district may work together through a Joint Powers Authority to adhere to SB 1383’s requirement; however, the individual city, county, city/county or special district will remain ultimately responsible for compliance. Cal. Code Regs. tit. 14 § 18982 Special districts that do not provide solid waste collection services are considered a waste generator and fall under the definition of a non-local entity. Article 1, Section 18982(42) Container - While there is no specific regulatory definition for a "container," the term generally refers to bins, carts and related objects used to collect waste or recyclable materials. Although not explicitly defined by CalRecycle’s regulations, "containers" are understood to be receptacles utilized in waste management and recycling operations. Hauler Route - A hauler route refers to the designated route or sequence of stops for the collection service area of a jurisdiction. CalRecycle’s regulations provide flexibility for jurisdictions to determine their hauler routes. It is required that jurisdictions take measures to minimize contamination of organic waste containers. This can involve conducting route reviews or waste evaluation studies for each hauler route [Article 3, Section 18984.5]. The concept of a hauler route is crucial for a jurisdiction's compliance efforts as it guides education and outreach initiatives aimed at reducing organic waste contamination. Hauler routes can vary significantly among jurisdictions based on factors such as the types of waste generators, the location of facilities for waste processing, route efficiency considerations, and more. The definition of a hauler route is contingent upon the designated itinerary or geographic layout of a jurisdiction's waste collection system. For example, this system might consist of a continuous itinerary or a series of stops that service various types of generators, such as residential and commercial, for different waste categories, including garbage, recyclables and organics. Waste Generator - The term waste generator encompasses all entities that produce organic waste, including items like food waste, yard waste, paper, cardboard, lumber and clothing. This waste can be collected, recovered, and recycled into new products, such as compost, biofuel or electricity.  
    • Background Information Electric bikes (e-bikes) are a method of transportation that have recently gained popularity, especially in California’s beach towns. The global market for e-bikes is projected to grow from $43.32 billion in 2023 to $119.72 billion by 2030.  An e-bike is defined by California law and the California Department of Motor Vehicles as a bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. There are three classifications for e-bikes as defined by California Vehicle Code 312.5: Class 1: A low-speed pedal-assisted electric equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and stops providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Class 2: A low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle. It cannot provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Class 3: A speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling. It stops providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour and it is equipped with a speedometer. If you are seeing the rise of e-bike use in your own city, , it’s important to think about how this can affect transportation safety within your community. Multiple cities in California have already implemented their own e-bike policy with regulations and safety standards to protect residents from accidents. E-Bike Benefits E-bikes can be a convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation for your community. There are also environmental, economic and health-related benefits for residents choosing to ride one in your community. Environmental Benefits Research shows that e-bikes are one of the most economical and environmentally friendly methods of transportation. Researcher Tom Lent conducted a study called the E-Bike 1000 MPG Project to discover the economical and environmental impact of e-bikes versus electric cars. Insights from the study include: E-bikes are 10 to 30 times more efficient than electric cars at fighting climate change. E-bikes get 30 to 100 times more miles per pound of battery than an electric car. Battery efficiency is important when considering the environmental impact because, as electric cars become more popular, lithium batteries needed to make e-bikes and electric cars might slowly decrease in supply. E-bikes emit 40-140 times fewer pounds of greenhouse gases than a 30 mpg gas car when charged with California’s electric energy mix. Most e-bikes cost less than a penny a mile to charge. Here’s a comprehensive list of more studies on e-bikes for more information. Health and Fitness Benefits E-bikes may require less effort to ride than a traditional bicycle, but they still present health and fitness-related benefits, especially in older adults. A study looked at how cycling affects older adults' cognitive function and well-being. It compared traditional cyclists, e-bike riders and those who didn't cycle. The study's key findings on health benefits include: The traditional and e-bike cycling group both saw fitness improvements compared to the non-cycling group, with only the e-bike group showing an increase in mental health scores. With the data gathered, e-bikes serve as a powerful way to engage older adults in health and fitness compared to traditional bicycles. The study showed that e-bikes allowed for increased independence and mobility in older adults. E-Bike Challenges While e-bikes present numerous benefits, it’s important for your agency to note the challenges they come with. Some agencies have chosen to ban e-bikes in certain areas of their community or altogether due to challenges related to pedestrian traffic congestion. Increased use of e-bikes and e-scooters can decrease motor vehicle traffic congestion and commuter time on the road, but it does transfer that congestion over to bike lanes or pedestrian sidewalks. Allowing e-bike usage can decrease traffic immensely, but agencies will need to make adjustments and investments into their physical infrastructure for shifts in overall traffic.  Agencies can start changing their physical infrastructure by planning for land use and allocation, such as converting lanes usually for cars into bike lanes. But the extensive planning and financial costs associated with infrastructure changes can be costly enough to deter agencies from considering e-bikes at all.  E-Bike Safety The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that about 133,000 emergency room visits were associated with micro mobility products from 2017 to 2019, including e-bikes, e-scooters and hoverboards. E-bikes accounted for 9% of micro mobility vehicle injuries in 2020. Most of these injuries were related to falls, most of which involved loss of user control, collisions with other motor vehicles and pavement related issues. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes can reach a maximum of 20 miles per hour without pedaling, and even faster with a rider pedaling. Although most road injury data has been concluded from research involving cars and pedestrians, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that the risks of serious injury and death rise at around 20 miles per hour.  E-Bikes vs. Traditional Bicycles E-bikes are a relatively new mode of transportation, so it’s important to note that there is currently not enough data on e-bike safety. However, with the data researchers currently have, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System conducted a study concluding that e-bikes are more dangerous than traditional bicycles. Traditional bicycles usually only reach 15 miles per hour in contrast with the 20 miles per hour exerted by a typical e-bike. Additional highlights from the study include: E-bike accident victims have a 17% risk of internal injury, while traditional bicycle victims have a 7.5% risk of the same type of injury. E-bike riding injuries are three times more likely to involve a crash with a pedestrian. E-bike riders are more likely to suffer concussions. Your agency should consider drafting a policy for e-bike usage to help mitigate these safety risks. Legal Requirements The Department of Interior requires some federal agencies to craft a policy on e-bikes. In August 2019, the Department released a Secretarial Order stating that other major land management agencies within the Department of Interior must craft their own policies on e-bike access. Federal agencies crafting their own e-bike policies serve as a great example of why local government agencies should, too. It’s a good idea to have an e-bike policy specific to your local government agency because agencies can include stricter regulations that are needed depending on what the environment and terrain looks like in your community. If you are in a coastal city, you can implement a policy with regulations that pertain to safety procedures by the high-traffic areas near the coast or boardwalks. If your city has a large amount of high-traffic pedestrian areas, you have the freedom to include regulations that may apply to those. The overall goal of an e-bike policy is to communicate to residents whether e-bikes can be used or not, and what safe riding looks like to protect residents from physical injury. If your agency decides to draft an e-bike policy, there are some legal requirements to keep in mind. California State Electric Bike Laws California State Parks currently allow Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on a park-by-park basis. It is important to note that, on federal lands, electric mountain bikes (which are different from regular e-bikes) are considered the same as a motorized vehicle. Generally, any natural trail that is open to motorized vehicles is also open to electric mountain bikes. California Vehicle Code 312.5 This Vehicle Code notes the different classifications for e-bikes according to state law. E-Bike Classification Labels As of January 1, 2017, manufacturers and distributors of e-bikes must apply a label that is permanently affixed on the product in a visible location. The label must indicate the e-bike’s classification number, top assisted speed and motor wattage of the e-bike. This helps law enforcement tell the difference between the various classifications. AB 1096 Before 2016, e-bikes were regulated like mopeds in California and only had access to public streets and roads. The main difference between e-bikes and mopeds is that e-bikes can be powered through the rider’s pedaling, while mopeds do not include a pedal feature. Under AB 1096, e-bikes are now considered much closer to traditional bicycles, so e-bike riders can access other California bikeways.  Age Restrictions The California Department of Motor Vehicles notes that a rider must be at least 16 years old to operate and ride a Class 3 e-bike. There are no age restrictions for Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes. At 16, anyone can legally ride an e-bike, and you don’t need a special type of license to do so. Helmet Requirements California law requires that a rider under the age of 18 on a Class 1 or Class 2 e-bike wear a helmet for safety. Any Class 3 rider must be over the age of 16, and they must wear a helmet regardless of age. The laws above are statewide in California, but your agency can choose to have stricter rules or regulations regarding e-bikes. This is a reminder that your policy can only be as lenient at the laws and restrictions of the state. Components of an E-Bike Policy  When drafting an e-bike policy, there are several components your agency should include. This might differ based on whether your agency completely bans e-bike usage or not, or whether your agency restricts e-bikes in designated areas of the community. Rules for Roads/Trails What side of the road should cyclists ride on? Indicate your agency’s bike lane regulations. Include safety tips and safety gear requirements. The U.S. Product Safety Commission recommends these safety tips that your agency can include in communication efforts about e-bikes to your residents: Wear a helmet to protect your head from falls. Check for damage on the e-bike before riding. Damage to any parts can lead to loss of control. Always test the brakes to know how long it takes for an e-bike to come to a complete stop. See and be seen. Do not assume that motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians can easily see an e-bike rider. Beware of obstacles. E-bikes have small tires that can easily get caught in a road obstacle.  Remove distractions, such as earbuds or headphones, while riding to focus on the road. Do not perform stunts. Jumps and stunts can lead to an accident or damage e-bike parts. Follow all manufacturer directions. Check the e-bike’s user manual for age and weight limits.   An additional tip is to keep an eye on e-bike product recalls, which anyone can track on the U.S. Product Safety Commission’s Recall webpage. Voluntary Bike Registration Cyclists do not have to register their e-bikes, but your agency can include a section encouraging residents to voluntarily register their bikes. The City of Laguna Niguel’s policy notes that the City’s Police Department operates a voluntary bicycle registration program free for all City residents. If your agency chooses to initiate a similar program, make sure to include those details. Education and Outreach Promote resources for better e-bike safety knowledge and offer ways for your residents to learn more about e-bikes in general. The California Highway Patrol’s Electric Bicycle Safety Course is available online and provides module lessons on safe e-bike riding, basic maneuvers and tips to consider when purchasing an e-bike. Your agency can list both online and in-person resources for residents to easily access. The City of Berkeley has an all-volunteer organization called Walk Bike Berkeley that advocates for safe, low-stress and fun biking in Berkeley for all ages and abilities. The organization works towards impacting policies and plans that help make the City safer for bike riders, including e-bikes and traditional bicycles.  The City of San Clemente has an entertaining video on e-bike safety available in addition to their policy. The City of Encinitas also provides an educational video with their policy on e-bike safety. E-bike Accident Procedure List details and processes for when a resident finds themselves in an e-bike related accident, including to what extent law enforcement in your agency may get involved. Note that residents should call 911 for emergencies. Provide details about who to contact for more info regarding e-bike related questions specific to your agency. E-Scooters Your agency’s policy can include items related to e-scooters. Many agencies have different policies regarding whether e-scooters are completely banned or not. Some agencies have designated areas in which e-scooters will automatically slow and shut down as a ride approaches the area. Your agency can choose to partner with e-scooter providers such as Bird and Lime to set designated areas that allow or do not allow e-scooters. The City of Oakland allows e-scooters as a method of transportation, and indicates safety regulations on their website for riders. In 2018, the City of Ventura released an emergency ordinance banning e-scooters due to obstruction of vehicle and pedestrian access, parking in the public right-of-way and reduced sidewalk area.   Policy Enforcement After drafting and implementing an e-bike policy, some cities have adopted various enforcement tactics to ensure regulations are being followed. Consider how your city wants to enforce e-bike regulations to prevent further e-bike related accidents. Your agency can monitor how your e-bike policy is being received and determine if more restrictive ordinances are needed. The City of Manhattan Beach enforces their e-bike policy in accordance with their policy, which explicitly states which specific locations in the City do not allow for e-bike use, such as all city sidewalks, plazas, grass areas and parking structures. The City enacted an emergency ordinance prohibiting e-bike speeds to go over 15 mph on certain bike paths and restricted e-bike altogether in certain areas. Violating these restrictions can lead to fines ranging from $500-$1000. Your agency can issue fines to further enforce your e-bike policy. After determining that cyclists were found to be at fault in two thirds of all bicycle crashes, the City of Huntington Beach started heavily enforcing safe e-bike use by impounding bikes and issuing hefty fines up to $400 for unsafe behavior in 2023. Police officers now have the authority to impound bikes, regardless of the owners’ age. They also have the authority to use their discretion and write a ticket fine whenever they see fit. The City of Rohnert Park enforces their e-bike and e-scooter policy by giving students violating the policy a warning ticket. The warning ticket is meant to serve as an educational teaching moment and requires parents to sign and return it to the City’s Department of Public Safety. Parents receive a call after the first offense, with following offenses resulting in a citation with fines. The Department also launched a safety campaign, partnering with the local school district to distribute bilingual educational flyers to students. E-Bike Policies for Coastal Cities Coastal cities should take into account bike paths and trails within their community when drafting an e-bike policy. Your city should determine whether e-bikes are allowed at all on bike paths along the coast, and which e-bike classifications are prohibited if they are. The City of San Clemente’s e-bike policy was amended to prohibit all e-bikes on beach trails in December 2021. City Council amended the policy after a resident survey concluded that 89% of e-bike incidents reported were related to beach trails. The City Council adopted an ordinance regulating all bicycle use on beach roads and trails as a result.  The City of Carlsbad added new regulations in 2022 to prevent accidents on congested trails in the community, including trails by the coast. The increase in e-bike collisions pushed the City to make changes. The City implemented a new rule requiring e-bike riders to dismount their bicycle whenever they approach within 50 feet of a pedestrian or horseback rider. This applies to any trail, including beach trails. The City enforces this with a fine up to $100. First-time violators must complete a safety course in addition to paying the fine. Dangerous riding behavior mostly seen on beach trails, such as riding on the handlebars of an e-bike is now illegal in the City. The City of San Diego began enforcing e-bike and e-scooter regulations in 2020 on beach boardwalks, and started heavily enforcing the ban in 2023. The City started assigning Park and Recreation officials to regulate the ban by issuing warnings to residents riding an e-bike in the restricted areas. Financial Considerations There are a few financial considerations to keep in mind when it comes to e-bikes and riders in your agency: Potential Litigation Costs If your agency does not have an e-bike policy in place, you run the risk of litigation costs in the event of an accident. Accidents happen, and riders may choose to sue either the e-bike company or their agency if a policy was not in place. The City of Carlsbad had to release a local state of emergency after a deadly accident involving a woman on an e-bike colliding with a vehicle driver that failed to reduce the vehicle’s speed in time. Education and Outreach Costs Consider the costs associated with providing educational and outreach resources for residents to learn more about e-bike safety standards. Your agency may choose to create or hire a third party to organize a video, social media, digital ads and other outreach materials to publish on the agency’s online platforms. This can also include hosting programs within school districts or collaborating with a bike shop.  Costs of Enforcement Your agency should consider staff time needed by law enforcement to regulate your e-bike policy around the community. Cities can also set up their own fines associated with violating specific regulations your e-bike policy has put into place. Enforcing residents who violate the regulations will also incur costs for labor time. The e-bike company Vtuvia E-Bike notes on their website that reasonable amounts include a $25 fine for not wearing a helmet or around $100 for exceeding e-bike speed restrictions. The City of Carlsbad provides a snapshot of common fines and costs on their website along with their e-bike policy. Resources California Bicycle Coalition E-Bike Classifications California Bicycle Coalition Info for Agencies Examples City Policy Examples City of Carlsbad The City of Carlsbad’s Policy has a helpful graphic to differentiate features of each e-bike classification. City of Ventura City of San Clemente City of Rohnert Park City of Laguna Niguel City of Lake Forest City of Torrance City of San Marcos City of Encinitas
    • Background Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR), also known as water quality reports or drinking quality reports, provide your agency’s residents with information about the quality of local drinking water. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Consumer Confidence Report Rule requires every community water supplier in the nation to provide a Consumer Confidence Report to its customers.  Understanding a Consumer Confidence Report can help community members make informed decisions about the water they drink, so it’s important for staff to ensure your agency is on track to send the report out annually. Residents who do not pay their own water bill because they live in an apartment or condo do not receive a CCR but can contact their building manager or search online to see their community water system’s CCR. Public Health Benefits of a CCR: Increased consumer knowledge of drinking water sources and quality. Increased trust in government entities and more transparency between agencies and residents. Increased awareness of consumers to potential health risks so that they can make more informed decisions. Increased dialogue between community water suppliers and consumers. Increased understanding of the value of drinking water and water supply services. Legal Requirements Health and Safety Code 116470 and California Code of Regulations, Article 20 Section 64480 (p151) - Your agency is required by both of these codes to prepare a Consumer Confidence Report. Health and Safety Code 116470 also requires that public water systems with more than 10,000 service connections that have detected contaminants above public health goals to provide exceedance reports every three years. Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) - Congress passed the SDWA in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. Under the SDWA, the US Environmental Protection Agency can set national health-based standards for drinking water. The State Water Resources Control Board requires that an annual CCR is completed and distributed by July 1 of every year. A certification that your agency completed its annual CCR must be submitted to the USEPA by October 1 of every year. The CCR Certification should certify how the CCR was distributed. Your agency is encouraged to submit the certification at the same time you submit the CCR by the July 1 date so that all CCR requirements are completed as soon as possible. Consumer Confidence Report Components Your agency’s Consumer Confidence Report must have required information before it is sent out to residents. The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires all community public water systems to prepare an annual report with required information. The USEPA provides an easy-to-understand guide on what is required with a summary of the items below. Consumer Confidence Report Content Requirement Sections Information about the water system Information about the source of water Definitions of metric terminology related to water quality Information on detected contaminants Required information on specific contaminants indicated by the USEPA Required additional information (For example, the contaminants in drinking water) Require information on health effect Information about any violations of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) As explained by the EPA's Quick Reference Guide, CCRs can include more than the required items above. CCRs can also include: An explanation (and diagram) of water treatment processes Source water protection efforts and water conservation tips Financial costs of making safe drinking water Statement from the mayor or community water supplier general manager In California, the specific detailed requirements of a Consumer Confidence report are listed in California Code of Regulations, Title 22 Section 64481 (p. 152). The State Water Resources Control Board typically shares helpful resources each year on their CCR webpage, which those developing a CCR can use as a starting point. These resources include an annually updated CCR Reference Manual for Water Suppliers, Instructions for Small Water Systems, templates and more. Distributing a Consumer Confidence Report When developing your agency’s CCR, you can create and format it in an engaging way to encourage residents and other affected individuals to read and understand information that affects their water quality and health. Tripepi Smith provides six tips to keep in mind for an engaging CCR. Tripepi Smith can also help agencies plan, design and distribute their CCR if your agency needs help on where to start. Start with the required data and content. Expand your content to proactively tell your story. Create an engaging format. Develop a plan for direct delivery. Leverage existing online platforms. Send the State Water Board a copy of the report and a distribution certification. Every public community water supplier must provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report to its customers by July 1 every year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Consumer Report Rule. The CCR is typically produced with data provided by an agency’s community water supplier and the agency assists with the distribution. For example, the City of Irvine’s residents receive a CCR from the Irvine Ranch Water District, but the residents can find the report on City sites and communications. Public water suppliers have the option to send this out by mail or electronically. Your agency must specify where residents can obtain a Spanish translation of the CCR or other language if the non-English speaking group exceeds 1,000 residents or 10% of the community. Other Distribution Requirements:  Community water suppliers must send a copy of the CCR to any state agency identified by the Director of State Drinking Water Programs when mailed to consumers. Community water suppliers must have their CCR available on the internet if they serve 100,000 or more people. Community water suppliers may also want to send a copy of their CCR to state and local health departments, or local TV stations or newspapers. Financial Considerations Since every community water supplier is responsible for developing the content of a Consumer Confidence Report with water quality data, the costs associated with making sure your CCR gets out to residents should be included in your agency’s budget or operational needs. If your agency does not provide water services directly to residents, the community water supplier would be responsible for most costs associated with developing the CCR. However, your agency and your community water supplier may collaborate on CCR distribution, education and outreach. Your agency or your community water supplier may decide to hire a third-party consultant or creative agency to help with design and formatting to ensure your residents can understand their water quality. Hiring an outside agency can be an additional financial cost to consider.  A jurisdiction may spend around $6,000 and up on a third-party’s work to design the CCR in compliance with state and federal requirements. When weighing various costs that may be part of developing and distributing the CCR, jurisdictions may consider pros and cons unique to their community of printing the report versus distributing it digitally. Electronic delivery is a potential cost-saving initiative. The City of Lomita electronically delivered their CCR to residents, and consequently experienced cost-savings by turning to electronic distribution. Examples The California Consumer Confidence Report Database displays water quality data for and provides examples of CCRs across California agencies. Consumer Confidence Report Examples City of Lomita CCR 2022 City of Irvine CCR 2022 City of Los Angeles CCR 2023 City of Long Beach CCR 2022 City of San Jose CCR 2022 City of Fresno CCR 2022 City of Riverside CCR 2020 City of San Francisco CCR 2022 City of San Diego CCR 2022 Website Examples  The cities below provide a list of CCRs for previous years for residents to easily access. City of San Diego Website City of Yuba City Website   Social Media Examples The City of Lomita used their social media platforms to spread the word when their 2020 Consumer Confidence Report was made available to residents. Facebook Post Example Instagram Post Example Education and Outreach Examples City of Patterson - The City of Patterson hosted a workshop for its residents to discuss water-related matters and concerns, such as where its community’s water comes from and the City’s role when it comes to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). City of Long Beach - The City of Long Beach provides outreach and education resources for its residents. The City offers contact information for speaker requests to learn more about water supply and ways to save water if a resident would like a representative to speak at an upcoming event. City of Corona - The City of Corona offers a Water Use Efficiency Grant to schools that need funding assistance for projects related to water efficiency, quality and distribution. The grant can be up to $5,000 per project to help schools educate students about the community’s water supply. This webpage example lists out the specific steps a school can take to receive the grant. The City also provides contact information for speaker requests. Mesa Water District - Mesa Water District serves the City of Costa Mesa, City of Newport Beach and some unincorporated areas in Orange County. The Water District offers the option for residents to schedule an appointment for an employee to visit their household and make suggestions on how to use water more effectively. Santa Clara Valley Water District - The Santa Clara Valley Water District offers numerous programs and events for education and outreach. They have a designated Education Outreach Team that hosts virtual and in-person programs to help educate children in classrooms, libraries and during field trips. Additional Resources  State Water Control Resources Board - Consumer Confidence Reports State Water Control Resources Board - Water Quality Goals Staff Report California State Water Resources Control Board CCR Reference Manual for Water Suppliers Centers for Diseases and Prevention - Consumer Confidence Reports United States Environmental Protection Agency CCR Required Information California Drinking Water-Related Laws (Effective July 21, 2021) United States Environmental Protection Agency CCR Best Practices Factsheet    
    • Background California Senate Bill No. 60, Chapter 307 defines short-term rentals (STR) as any residential property or portion of a residential property that is rented to an individual or group for 30 consecutive days or less. Any time greater than 30 days is considered a lease or normal rental.  According to a study conducted by the Milken Institute, in 2019, short-term rentals accounted for more than 13% of the occupied housing supply in California. Short-term rentals accounted for 32% of housing supply in Sonoma County, 21% in the Palm Springs Desert, 45% in Lake Tahoe, 51% in the High Desert and 68% in Big Bear. Common concerns regarding short-term rental involve noise, crime and parking availability. Short-term rentals may also change the character of a neighborhood with continuous visitors that do not have long-term interest in improving neighborhood quality or property values.  There is also concern that short-term rentals have a negative impact on rent and housing affordability. A 2019 Harvard Business Review study found that as the number of short-term rentals increase in a community, the quantity of affordable housing units decreases. The study focused on the rise of Airbnbs and found that home-sharing contributes to 20% of the average annual increase in U.S. rents and 14% of the average annual increase in U.S. housing prices. Critics of short-term rentals claim that STRs significantly compete against hotels and reduce the occupancy taxes paid to local governments. Legal Requirements  There are no legal requirements for short-term rentals at the state level. In California, agencies can establish their own rules and regulations regarding short-term rentals. Most California city ordinances require short-term rental owners to register all their properties within the city. Cities can also establish ordinances to require short-term rentals to be primary residences, meaning a resident lives anywhere from 60 days to 9 months at the short-term rental. Additional regulations may include: Restrictions based on dwelling type, dwelling location and minimum stay length  Limits on the percentage of short-term rental units in a given multi-unit residential complex  Restrictions in certain accessory structures, such as attics or pool houses Restrictions based on specific zones or districts A minimum number of days for the rental reservation  Agencies generally cap occupancy in a short-term rental unit to two adults per bedroom and up to a total of 10 adults per unit.  Below are examples of various city and county ordinances: Riverside County In Riverside County, Ordinance No. 927 requires the renter to obtain a Short-Term Rental Certificate from the Planning Department before renting or advertising any short-term rental. There are separate applications for homeowners and management companies with a fee of $250 for the first year and $100 for renewals. The certificate is valid for one year from the date of issuance. The ordinance asserts a maximum number of consecutive days guests can stay (30) and a minimum number of days (2).  City of Los Angeles The Los Angeles City Council adopted the Home-Sharing Ordinance in December 2018. The ordinance established a legal process allowing residents to rent their primary residence to short-term visitors through “home-sharing.” Short-term rental properties must be primary residences and create a cap on rentable days to 120 nights per year.  Additionally, the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance prohibits any property to be used for a short-term rental business. The vast majority of Los Angeles single-family homes built before the year 1978 fall into this category.  City of San Diego  The City of San Diego’s Short-Term Residential Occupancy Ordinance (STRO) requires a license for all short-term rentals that allow stays that are less than one month. If the property falls within one of these nine districts, the STRO Ordinance will apply. There are four license types with varying requirements on the number of days and type of dwelling available for the STRO. A rental host can only hold one license and cannot not operate more than one dwelling unit at a time; licenses are not transferable between ownership and dwelling unit. City of San Francisco The City of San Francisco enacted short-term residential rental regulations through Administrative Code Chapter 41A. The City requires local short-term rental business registration through the City Treasurer. Applicants are required to pay fees depending on their gross receipts for a calendar year. For example, if a renter makes less than $100,000 in gross receipts with their short-term rental property in San Francisco, their registration fee is $52; if a renter makes more but less than $250,000, their fee rises to $86.  San Francisco also requires a Short-Term Residential Rental Certificate from the Office of Short-Term Rentals. These applications are completed online and come with an application fee of $450. Additionally, residents must live in short-term rental properties for at least 275 nights of the calendar year.  Steps for Implementation Here are some considerations for creating a short-term rental program:  Research and Assessment - Research the current short-term rental market within your jurisdictions, examining the number and impact of short-term rentals within the community.   Licensing and Registration - Establish a licensing and registration system for short-term rental hosts. Determine fees for registration and licensing. The City of Big Bear Lake outlines in Ordinance No. 2021-495 that a current and valid annual license is required for each rental property and the license must be posted within the property. In Big Bear Lake, a short-term rental property owner must renew this application every year and can only maintain two licenses. New applicants for the Vacation Rental Program are required to provide proof of ownership through a recorded deed or final closing statement from escrow and  also include proof of current liability insurance coverage. There is a $550 registration fee.  Regulations - Identify regulations for short-term rentals, such as registration and listening requirements for hosts, occupancy limits, safety standards, noise and nuisance regulations. The Big Bear Lake Vacation Rental Ordinance identifies certain operational requirements, including: The vacation rental owner must ensure that the vacation rental property complies with all codes involving fire, building and safety, health and safety, zoning, lighting and all other laws and regulations. All guest check-ins must be performed in person by the owner or the owner’s agent. The renter must sign a copy of the City’s Good Neighbor Policy prior to check-in. Occupancy limits include a maximum two adults per bedroom and a maximum total of 16 people or one person per 200 square feet of living space, whichever is less. Parking is allowed only in designated driveways and garages and is not allowed in the yard or street at any time.  Outdoor activity that disturbs the peace is banned between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Taxation - Determine how short-term rentals will be taxed. This may include transient occupancy taxes (TOT), sales taxes and other local taxes.  In the City of Big Bear Lake, owners are responsible for submitting transient occupancy tax forms, reporting nightly stays and gross receipts. The TOT for the City of Big Bear is 8%.  Enforcement - Establish an enforcement process to address violations and ensure compliance with regulations. In the City of Big Bear, the Vacation Rental Ordinance outlines if a violation occurs, it will be considered a misdemeanor and the owner is responsible for paying any costs incurred by the City. The City may impose a $500 fine for the first violation and each subsequent violation will be met with a $1,000 fine. The City can issue an administrative fine of $5,000 to any person who operates a vacation rental property without a license.  Community Outreach - Due to the sensitive nature of short-term rentals, it is important to implement community outreach to educate the public on the program and receive community feedback.   After launching the Vacation Rental Ordinance, the City of Big Bear Lake hired Tripepi Smith to assist with public engagement and community workshop discussions. The City held a series of three workshops to educate and engage the community. The City used multiple outreach platforms to connect with the public, including: A dedicated webpage on the City’s website for the project: Vacation Rental Ordinance Informational Workshops The City’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Boosted posts on the City’s Facebook page to target all Page Followers and anyone on Facebook in the Big Bear Lake area. The City’s e-newsletter platform A dedicated email to the Vacation Rental licensee database Press release distribution through City media list The City’s website for article placement Case Study The City of Long Beach provides an example of such regulations. Long Beach passed its short-term rental ordinance in 2020. Ordinance No. ORD-22-0011 requires tenants to apply for Primary Residence Registration and specifies the STR must be on the same parcel of land as the applicant’s primary residence.  The ordinance outlines two types of rental activity allowed as a Primary Residence STR. The first is un-hosted rental activity where the host is not required to remain on site during the guest stay; there is also a maximum of 90 days per registration period. The second is hosted rental activity where the host remains on site with an unlimited number of days per registration period. Additionally, a Non-Primary Residence STR registration can be applied for by anyone who owns residential property in Long Beach that is not their primary residence. Both un-hosted and hosted rentals activity qualify for an unlimited number of days per registration period for a Non-Primary Residence STR.The ordinance also declares the STR operator shall not operate more than one primary residence STR and more than one  non-primary residence STR in the City. The ordinance also restricts how many short-term rentals owners can operate. Long Beach caps short-term rentals at 800 citywide for both hosted and non hosted. The City enforces a $1,000 find to property owners who do not register their short-term rentals,  The transient occupancy tax for the City of Long Beach is 13%.  Financial Considerations   The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) applies to nearly all short-term rental properties in the state. It includes a percentage of the nightly rental rate, which must be paid to state entities to remain in good standing as a business. There is no set TOT rate identified by California, rather, the TOT rates are set by local governments and are dependent on the location of the rental property. The TOT typically falls between 10-15% of a short-term rental’s nightly rate. The proceeds from the tax can go toward funding local public services such as public safety and parks and recreation. For example, the City of San Diego TOT rate is 10.5%, while San Francisco’s TOT rate is set at 14%. To implement any type of short-term rental regulation, local governments must expect to invest some level of staff time and other resources in funding the cost of the program and enforcement. For example, the City of Big Bear Lake allocated $25,000 to hire Tripepi Smith to assist with vacation rental outreach services. Additional Examples  City of South Lake Tahoe The City of South Lake Tahoe began the process of implementing a short-term rental program in November 2018 when the City passed Measure T, which phased out all vacation home rentals in residential areas and increased the number of business licenses for shared rentals from 15 to 92.  In 2020, there was an increase in demand for shared rentals in South Lake Tahoe and there was overall concern for the potential impacts on neighborhoods. In November 2020, the City Council adopted the Hosted Rental Ordinance requiring a permit to operate a short-term rental and set a citywide maximum limit of 200 active rental permits. The ordinance also increased fines and registration fees and added three enforcement officers to assist with monitoring the rental market. The ordinance sets the maximum number of guests at two people per bedroom and a total of six guests. It also prohibits rentals to unaccompanied minors under the age of 18. City of Santa Monica Santa Monica’s Home Sharing Ordinance allows home sharing but prohibits vacation rentals. Residents can rent out rooms in their primary homes for a period of 30 days or less, but renting out an entire home remains illegal. Short-term rental businesses need to register their business and obtain a license number to be displayed in spaces such as online listings. Santa Monica also requires short-term rental businesses to join the Home-Sharing Registry through the city permits office. City of Berkeley Berkeley’s short-term rental ordinance considers a property a short-term rental if guests stay less than 14 consecutive days. If the host is present during the rental period, the annual rental days are not capped, but the host cannot book more than 90 days in a calendar year. Short-term rentals are only permitted in specific city zones.  In addition to the 12% transient occupancy tax, Berkeley requires hosts to pay a 2% enforcement fee monthly.  City of Malibu City Ordinance 468 and City Ordinance 472 requires each short-term rental owner to register with the city through a mail-in application and pay the $439  fee. The host must be on the property at all times during rentals. The rental hosts must provide guests with the City of Malibu's Short-Term Rental Code of Conduct and post it inside the main entrance door to the dwelling unit or directly adjacent. The City of Malibu requires short-term rental hosts to pay a 15% TOT.  City of Sacramento In Sacramento, short-term rentals are regulated by City Code 5.114. Rental properties are required to obtain a short-term rental permit and must be a primary residence or a secondary residence. In addition to a 12% transient occupancy tax, rental property hosts must pay an annual business tax of $50.   
    • Background Rent control is legislation that limits rental rates and annual rent increases in cities, counties and states. The laws typically specify a maximum percentage for rent increases based on a jurisdiction’s Consumer Price Index (CPI)–typically annually or monthly–as well as establish a ceiling regarding the frequency of increases. In California, over 20 cities and counties maintain long term, local rent control ordinances. Legal Requirements  Key Legislation AB-1482 Tenant Protection Act of 2019 CA Tenant Protections Chart Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act The legal requirements noted below are applicable under the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. In 1995, California enacted the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act to limit the ability for local governments to enact rent control. The Act exempts single-family homes, condominiums and post-1995 construction from rental control. In January 2020, California enacted the California Tenant Protection Act (AB 1482), which limits rent increases and removes a landlord’s ability to evict tenants without just cause. The law is retroactive and calculates a tenant’s starting rent based on rent pricing from March of 2019.  For all jurisdictions, AB 1482 caps rent increases at either 5% plus the increase in the regional CPI, or 10% of the lowest rent charged at any time during the 12 months prior to the increase, whichever is lower. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the percentage change in the cost of living for most areas in California.  State law calculates rent increases using the regional CPI if a tenant lives in the following cities: Orange, Los Angeles County, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Francisco, Alameda, Mari, Contra Costa and San Mateo.  The California Tenant Protection Act acts as a statewide rent control law. Cities and counties can enact their own, stricter rent control ordinances. If your city or county has stricter rent control laws, local law may take precedent. For example, compared to the state’s rent cap of 10%, the City of Los Angeles has a stricter cap of 8%.   In cities that already have a rent control ordinance under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, AB 1482 extends rent caps to housing that is not covered under the existing local ordinance. Landlords in California are only permitted to raise rent twice every 12 months if they provide 30-day notice. Landlords are required to provide 90-day notice if they plan to increase the rent by more than 10%. Landlords cannot raise rent throughout a lease term unless the lease agreement expressly permits it. Beyond the state policies, local rent control laws may restrict how much a landlord can annually increase rent. For example, as of August 2023, the maximum annual rent increase permitted in Los Angeles County is restricted to 8.8% (5% + CPI of 3.8%). The limit is 10% if a new roommate moves in. Steps for Implementing Rent Control Laws There are multiples ways to pass a rent control law:  A City Council can adopt an ordinance Tenants can place a rent control measure on the ballot by securing enough petition signatures and winning the majority vote  A City Council can adopt interim rent control laws for a predetermined period of time to determine whether the laws are a fit for the community When cities adopt a new ordinance or interim rent control law, cities may have to create or maintain a database for landlords and property owners to manage taxation for the new laws. Cities will also need to create a community outreach program to educate residents and property owners on these new laws. Community outreach can be conducted through various mediums, such as community forums, social media posts, advertisements in local newspapers or magazines, emails, direct mail or flyers. The City of Culver City offers an example of both interim rent control laws and a community outreach program. In October 2019, Culver City launched a 12-month interim rent control law. The Culver City City Council launched the Interim Rent Control Measures to study and analyze whether a permanent rent control program was warranted. The study consisted consisted of:  Peer jurisdiction rent control and tenant protection programs Rent control/tenant protection program administration Landlord and tenant grievances Hearing and due process procedures After this interim period, Culver City launched a permanent rent control program in September 2020. Culver City used various communication assets to inform the community of this new program, such as informational brochures, social media posts, newspaper ads, informational videos and postcard mailers. The mailed items provided answers to various questions, such as what Culver City tenants need to know, what tenants should do if they live in a rent controlled unit and what Culver City landlords should know.  Example Programs  East Palo Alto The Cities of East Palo Alto and Santa Monica serve as examples for implementing and managing local rent control.  In 2010, East Palo Alto voters approved the City’s rent control measure, administering the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The City established a Rent Stabilization Board, charging it with overseeing the Ordinance, as well as advocating for tenants if served with increases that violate the local ordinance.  Santa Monica The people of Santa Monica voted to enact their own rent control law and appointed a Rent Control Board in April 1979. Voters have amended the law over the years, including 1984, 1990, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2022.  The Santa Monica Rent Control Board oversees the City’s basic goals of controlling residential rents, limiting grounds for eviction, preserving rental housing and encouraging maintenance. Before implementing general adjustments, the Santa Monica Rent Control Board must hold a public hearing. The Rent Control Board consists of five elected Commissioners, with one member serving as chairman. Commissioners are voted in by residents and serve a term length of four years.  The Rent Control Board can: Set the rent ceilings for all controlled rental units. Require registration of all controlled rental units under Section 1803(q). Establish a base rent ceiling on rents under Section 1804(b). Make adjustments in the rent ceiling in accordance with Section 1805. Set rents at fair and equitable levels. Hire and pay necessary staff, including hearing examiners and personnel to issue orders, rules and regulations, conduct hearings and charge fees. Make such studies, surveys and investigations, conduct such hearings and obtain such information as is necessary to carry out its powers and duties. Report annually to the City Council of the City of Santa Monica on the status of controlled rental housing. Remove rent controls under Section 1803(r). Issue permits for removal of controlled rental units from the rental housing market under Section 1803(t). Administer oaths and affirmations and subpoena witnesses. Establish rules and regulations for deducting penalties and settling civil claims under Section 1809. Refer violations to appropriate authorities for criminal prosecution. Seek injunctive and other civil relief under Section 1811. Charge and collect registration fees, including penalties for late payments. Resources for Santa Monica Rent Control: Rent Control Charter Amendment & Regulations Board Memorandum Santa Monica - Rules for Board Meetings Rent Mediation  Agencies can also consider rent mediation programs or policies to settle disputes between landlords and tenants. Rent mediation is intended to facilitate discussion between parties to resolve rental housing disputes before such issues reach the court system.  Examples of City Mediation Programs include: The City of Gardena enacted a rent meditation ordinance to shield tenants from unreasonable rent increases while permitting property owners to implement reasonable rent increases. The ordinance requires the owner of residential rental units to provide a copy of the established Rent Mediation and Hearing Procedures for each residential unit. If a tenant files a request for mediation, the tenant must submit the form to the City Manager’s Office within DAYS of receiving a notice of rent increase. Within 30 days of filing, the  Rent Mediation Board will review the request and schedule a hearing within two weeks. The City of Santa Barbara established the Rental Housing Mediation Board in 1976. The Board was created to provide an inexpensive and effective means to resolve rental housing disputes out of court. The Board consists of fifteen members and meets once a month. The mediation process is conducted by staff or two appointed Board mediators, depending on the complexity of the issue.  Financial Considerations  Financial consideration includes staff time to oversee a commission/board to execute a rent control or mediation program and potential legal guidance. For example, the City of Santa Barbara estimates the Rental Housing Mediation Board spends approximately four hours per month for meetings, mediation sessions and related activities.  Financial considerations also involve the fees associated with community outreach when implementing new rent control policies. For example, in 2020, the City of Culver City hired Tripepi Smith to assist with overall education, outreach and community engagement for publicizing the City’s Permanent Rent Control program. Tripepi Smith’s work was approximately $32,000, which included background and strategy management, design and prints, animated videos, webpage updates, website news articles and GovDelivery emails.  Cities with Rent Control Berkeley Local laws place a limit on rent prices, parking fees, garbage fees, eviction protocols, and security deposit laws. Beverly Hills There's an annual limit of 8% on rent hikes. East Palo Alto Rent hikes are limited to 10%, including parking and utility fees as well as any other services. Hayward Annual rent increases are limited to 5%. Los Angeles Rent increases are limited to 8% per annum. However, the limit is 10% if a new roommate moves in Los Gatos Rent can increase by over 5% of the existing monthly rent. Oakland Rent increases are limited to 10%. Palm Springs Rent increases are limited to 75% of the CPI. San Francisco The annual rent increase rate is determined by the San Francisco Rent Board. San Jose  There's a 5% cap on annual rent increases. Santa Monica Rent hikes are limited to 75% of the CPI of Los Angeles for the past year. West Hollywood The West Hollywood rent stabilization division determines the maximum allowable rent increase. A full list of cities and counties with rent control laws can be found here. (Note: This was last updated in Sept. 2023 and may not include updates beyond that timeframe.) Cities with Rent Mediation City of Gardena Rent Mediation and Hearing Procedures City of Santa Barbara Rental Housing Mediation Board  City of West Hollywood Mediation  City of San Jose San Jose Municipal Code Chapter 17.23.010 City of Culver City      
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