March 28, 2017
Public policy is easier to shape than it is to fix. In that regard multiple members of MCAR are volunteering their time to help shape policy in Monterey County and our local cities.
One member is involved with Monterey County’s Local Agency Management Program (LAMP). The LAMP is responsible for updating the County’s Department of Health regulations that will become ordinances covering onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) – also known as septic systems. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has mandated that every county update local regulations covering OWTS. The State continues to seek improvements in water quality both for surface water and groundwater and the Department of Health anticipates providing the draft language to the County Supervisors to approve as ordinances as early as 2018.
Under the new guidelines it is proposed that each time an OWTS servicer pumps out a septic tank, the servicer must provide a written report to the Department of Health regarding the efficiency of the system and whether the system should be repaired or replaced. This report alone may be enough to trigger a review of the system and possibly generate the expensive installation of a new type of OWTS that may be two-to-three times as expensive as a traditional septic tank, pit or drain-field repair or replacement. The new ordinances may significantly alter the OWTS’ method and cost of replacing failed or failing septic systems so don’t wait if you or your client has a troublesome septic system.
Another team of members is working with the City of Monterey to rewrite the sewer lateral regulations that are currently in effect for both Pacific Grove and Monterey. The team met with the chief inspector to develop proposed language on when and under what circumstances homeowners, either sellers or buyers, are responsible for repairing sewer laterals. The team has met once with the inspector and as the process unfolds MCAR will continue to participate and monitor the drafting of the proposed regulations.
Another team of members are working with Monterey County to draft fair and reasonable ordinances regarding short-term rentals in the inland areas of Monterey County. The team has met over the last two years with numerous officials and participated in outreach and working sessions to help craft the language. The process has been slow and the county now anticipates the release of the new language sometime in 2017.
Legislative Day Sacramento May 3, 2017
The first quarter of 2017 has been busy for advocacy and outreach (A&O) and as the State Legislature continues to meet more proposed legislation will need our attention. As such, members of the Local Government Relations committee are planning participation in the annual California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) Legislative Day in Sacramento. Last year MCAR volunteer leadership met personally with Senate Majority Leader – Bill Monning, Senator Anthony Canella, Assemblymember Luis Alejo and Assemblymember Mark Stone.
The Legislative Day is held during the Spring Meetings in Sacramento and our volunteer leadership will participate both in CAR committee meetings and in visits with our senators and assembly members during the week of May 1-5, 2017.
Dr. Scott Dick