2019 California Construction Law Updates

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California is no stranger to introducing hundreds of new laws each year. 2018 proved to be even more ambitious than usual, with several areas of legislation impacting the construction and real estate industries.

Here are a few key updates to be aware of in 2019:

New Real Estate & Construction Laws

  • SB 721 – Balcony and Deck Inspections Law
  • AB 1565 – Construction Contractor Liability amendment to clarify AB 1701
  • SB 1465 – Contractors must report Multifamily Construction Judgement awards and Settlements over $1 million to the CSLB
  • Laws aimed at increasing housing density:
    • AB 2753 – Expediting processing of density bonus applications
    • AB 2372 – Allows cities and counties to grant developers of transit priority or affordable housing projects a Floor Area Ratio Bonus in lieu of bonus on dwellings per acre
    • SB 1227 – Extends State Density Bonus Law to apply to student housing projects if 20%+ are affordable to lower income students
    • AB 2797 – Reconciles State Density Bonus Law with California Coastal Act
  • Laws focused on removing barriers and streamlining housing production:
    • AB 3194 – Housing Accountability Act Amendments
    • SB 765 – Amendments to SB 35, with explicit statement that CEQA does not apply to agency’s determination whether application for development is subject to streamlined approval process
    • AB 2263 – Reduced parking requirements for historical reuse projects

2018 Construction Bond Measures

We cannot ignore California’s statewide election results, which will also have some notable impacts to the construction industry. Here are three propositions that passed and introduce state-level bonds to fund both housing and hospitals.

  • Proposition 1 – Allows California to issue up to $4 billion in bonds to a variety of programs focused on affordable housing and veteran programs
  • Proposition 2 – Opens up to $2 billion of bonds for support service housing. Revenue will be raised from California’s top income earners (over $1 million)
  • Proposition 4 – Adds an additional $1.5 billion of bonds for hospitals focusing on children’s healthcare

Keeping up with these ever-changing legislative updates can be challenging. Our team of specialty area experts are here to help navigate them, to ensure your project is positioned for compliance and success. To learn more, visit our list of construction and real estate consulting services or contact Ron Whitehead at or Steve Grimes at

Topics: Real Estate Development, California, Law, Commercial Construction, Residential Construction


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