News & Information

Municipal Law Updates

September 20, 2018

Increased Amounts for Bidding Public Projects under the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act

I. SUMMARY The Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act (“UPCCAA”) provides public agencies with an optional, alternative and less-burdensome bidding procedure for public works projects that are valued at a certain amount. Assembly Bill 2249 (“AB 2249”) increased these amounts so that more public works contracts can be awarded using these relaxed bidding procedures. Agencies…

September 20, 2018

New State Law Limits City Authority to Regulate Sidewalk Vendors

I. SUMMARY Intended to increase economic opportunities to low-income and immigrant communities, increase access to culturally significant food and merchandise, and to contribute to safe and dynamic public spaces, Senate Bill 946 (“SB 946”) limits local authority to regulate sidewalk vendors. Any local regulations on sidewalk vendors must comply with newly enacted state laws that…

September 30, 2017

Cities can be liable under Inverse Condemnation for damage caused by fallen trees that were planted by the City

I. Summary On August 24, 2017, the California Court of Appeal held that the City of Pasadena was not liable for damages caused by a City tree falling onto a house in a suit for inverse condemnation because there was no record that the City planted the tree as part of a public improvement project.[1]…

April 17, 2017

Claims Procedure for Contractors on Public Works Projects

April 17, 2017 I. Summary Public works contracts entered into between January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2020 must incorporate the newly enacted contractor claims procedures that are set forth in Public Contract Code Section 9204 (“Section 9204”).  Assembly Bill 626 (“AB 626”) enacted Section 9204 and requires a public entity to respond to a contractor’s…

March 6, 2017

California Supreme Court Holds that Writings Contained in Public Employees’ Personal Accounts May be Subject to Disclosure under the California Public Records Act

SUMMARY On March 2, 2017, the California Supreme Court, in City of San Jose v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County (Smith),[1] held that “when a city employee uses a personal account to communicate about the conduct of public business, the writings may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA or…

February 13, 2017

Joint power agencies must file joint powers agreement with LAFCO by July 1, 2017

Senate Bill 1266 (“SB 1266”) provides that joint power agencies that, (1) have a city as a member and, (2) that were formed to provide municipal services, must file a copy of the joint powers agreement[1] with the local agency formation commission (“LAFCO”) by July 1, 2017.[2]  Such joint power agencies that are formed after…

December 2, 2016

Additional noticing, records retention, and posting requirements for property taxes, written protests, and public debt reports

Summary Recently Governor Brown approved three separate bills that impose additional administrative requirements on financial processes that cities commonly encounter. Starting January 1, 2017, cities must provide notice to non-resident property owners of a proposed parcel tax, must retain for two years written protests against new/increased property assessments, and must post annual debt reports to…

November 15, 2016

Limitation on City Regulation of Accessory Dwelling Units

Designed to provide relief from California’s housing shortage, Senate Bill 1069 and Assembly Bill 2299 (collectively “SB 1069,” effective January 1, 2017) limit city authority to regulate accessory dwelling units. It also replaces city building, parking and use standards on this topic and imposes standards on cities that have not yet adopted their own regulations….