Legislative Corner

State And Local Updates September 2017

VIRGINIA

Energy Benchmarking Mandate for 2018 – Governor McAuliffe and his administration are drafting legislation for the 2018 Virginia General Assembly which would allow local jurisdictions to require property owners to participate in energy benchmarking for public consumption.  Numerous jurisdictions around the United States, including DC and Montgomery County, currently require participation in energy benchmarking.  We will forward appropriate Call to Action notices or relevant information as this issue unfolds.

Alexandria Parking Standards – The City of Alexandria has been working on updating their parking standards in response to an increase in transit use and a decline in car ownership.  They completed Phase I in April 2015, revised February 2016, “Parking Standards for Multifamily Residential Development Projects Guiding Document” (see below link).  Phase II is underway and will focus on commercial development, including office and retail.

https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/planning/info/Parking_Standards_Task_Force/2016-02-24%20Final%20Guiding%20Document.pdf

MARYLAND

Minimum Wage Increase – Montgomery County increased from $10.75 to $11.50 per hour effective July 1 and will be applicable in Prince George’s County effective October 1.  Other Maryland jurisdictions increased to $9.25 and will increase to $10.10 effective July 2018.

DC

Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016 – This new requirement, which will be administered by the Office of Human Rights, takes effect October 1, 2017, and restricts residential providers from turning down applicants based on arrest records.  See link below for more information.

http://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B21-0706?FromSearchResults=true

Healthy Homes Program – This new initiative, administered by DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development, is designed to reduce home safety hazards and provides grants up to $4,000 to help homeowners remedy home hazards such as mold, asbestos, radiation/radon, fire life safety issues, etc.  For more information, you may contact Lubna Jamal at 202-442-4569 or lubna.jamal@dc.gov.

 

State And Local Updates July 2017 

 

VIRGINIA 

Arlington County Trespass Towing Ordinance Overturned – Governor McAuliffe signed HB 1960 into law, which overturned a local ordinance to require commercial property owners provide real-time authorization for each individual vehicle towed from their lots – thank you to all of our Chapter members who participated in the Call to Action.  See attached link for details:   https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=171&typ=bil&val=hb1960 

Virginia’s Statewide Fire Prevention Code – Provisions of the International Fire Code have remained in Virginia’s Statewide Fire Prevention Code, causing ambiguous and unclear direction on which sections apply and the division of responsibility between building code and fire officials.  This has led to misapplications of the fire codes by local officials, causing property owners to complete costly and unnecessary upgrades which are NOT required by Virginia’s Uniform Statewide Building Code.  The Board of Housing & Community Development has introduced a change in the code to remove these invalid provisions.  However, the Virginia Fire Prevention Association is trying to stop the removal, asking for additional time to consider the impact of the proposed change.  If you wish to get involved, please see the attached links for additional information: 

http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/index.php/va-building-codes/building-and-fire-codes/regulations/statewide-fire-prevention-code-sfpc.html 

http://www.vfpa.org/  

MARYLAND 

SB 182 and HB 849 – As of April 1, 2018, Maryland residential rental properties are required to install carbon monoxide alarms in every rental unit that relies on the combustion of a fossil fuel for heat, ventilation, hot water or clothes dryers.  The alarm may be installed on the wall or ceiling and must be located outside in the immediate vicinity of each separate sleeping area and on every level of the unit including the basement.  See links below for more details:  

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=sb0182&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2016rs  

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&tab=subject3&id=hb0849&stab=01&ys=2016RS 

Letter from the State of Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 

Proposed Recordation Tax Increase – The Montgomery County Council Government Operations and Fiscal Policy has been working on Bill 10-17 Recordation Tax Rates/Amendments, in an effort to increase the recordation tax premium based on the amount of a property’s value.  Previous law tax rate was $1.55 for each $500 or fraction of $500 over $500,000.  Current rates, which took effect 9/1/16 are $2.30 for each $500 or fraction of $500 over $500,000.  The new proposed rates, which may take effect on 9/1/17, are as follows:  

              $1.55 for each $500 or fraction of $500 over $500,000 but less than $1 million 

              $2.55 for each $500 or fraction of $500 over $1 million but less than $2 million 

              $3.55 for each $500 or fraction of $500 over $2 million 

See attached link for more details: 

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=136&event_id=5018&meta_id=134087 

B46-15, Human Rights and Civil Liberties – Building Maintenance Worker – Minimum Work Week – proposed legislation to mandate a minimum work week of 30 hours for building maintenance workers , targeting office buildings that are 400,000 s.f. or more.  This could impact janitorial workers, security officers, and concierges and result in substantial increases in operating expenses. It is anticipated that the Council will continue to work on this Bill upon their return from recess in the fall.  See the link below for further details: 

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/bill/2015/Packets/20151117_6A.pdf 

Posting/Utility Billing Disclosures – Reminder that effective June 10, Bill B19-15 requires Landlords for rental housing units to disclose certain utility billing information to residents and to post information on retaliatory evictions.  See attached link for more details: 

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DHCA/Resources/Files/director/tenant_rights/bill_19-15-clean.pdf

 


 

In case you missed the first quarter newsletter: Updates On State and Local Legislative Issues 

VIRGINIA
Amendment 18 – Mercury-Containing Lamp Crushing; impact to commercial and residential properties. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is amending their Universal Waste Regulation related to the crushing of bulbs/lamps. Amendment 18 went into effect January 1, 2017; however, the regulatory guidance and compliance resources have not been finalized or issued yet, so the enforcement will be rolled out appropriately.  The main points of the new regulations are as follows:

  • Notification to the Virginia DEQ with specific, required information
  • Training Plans – In general, following the guidelines in the Bulb Eater®Operating Manual or online Bulb Eater Training Certification will meet this requirement.
  • Generator Use Only – One positive clarification is that it allows for lamps from other locations to be brought to a central crushing location as long as the lamps are under the ownership/management of a single entity.
  • Secondary Filtration with Separate Ventilation – This may be practically addressed by locating the crushing operation in an area or suitable room that has a window or may be vented to the outdoors and can be sealed from the rest of the building by a door.
  • Filters – All used filters must be handled separately and cannot be placed inside of the drum.  They must now be shipped in a separate container.
  • Emissions Monitoring - The regulation establishes a new set of mercury emission standards that are not based on traditional OSHA limits and policies.
  • Recordkeeping – This is a straight-forward requirement involving documentation that the crushing operation meets the new requirements.
  • Financial Closure Plans and Policies – This is required for large quantity UW handlers (5000kg or 11,000 lbs) or more of UW lamps at any one time; note 1 kg = 2.2 lbs.
  • See attached link for more detailed information on the amendment.
      http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewXML.cfm?textid=9974
Fairfax County – see link for more details 
Real Estate Tax Rate $1.13 per $100 assessed value
Commercial/Industrial Surcharge, Route 28, Dulles Rail tax districts  No change from 2016
Tysons Service District $.060 per $100 assessed value
Proposed new Reston Service District tax              $.021 per $100 assessed value

 

Arlington County 
Real Estate Tax Rate        $.998 per $100 assessed value
Countywide storm water  $.013 per $100 assessed value
Business improvement districts No change from 2016
Water/Sewer fees for commercial/residential                           Increase of $.35 per 1,000 gallons

 

Prince William County - Real Estate Tax Rate                      $1.125 per $100 assessed value
City of Alexandria  - Real Estate Tax Rate        $1.10 per $100 assessed value

 


 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Bill 19-15, effective on March 13th; impact to multi-family properties described below: 

  • Bed Bug issues reported in 20% or more of units is considered an infestation and may result in a County inspection and citations/fines for inability to resolve within notice period.
  • Landlord must offer a two-year lease term at both initial move-in and at every renewal. Landlord can build in rent increases during the lease term, but it must be clearly outlined in the lease and on the new summary page.
  • Landlord must add a summary page (to be provided by the County) to every lease that outlines major lease terms in “laymen’s terms”
  • Residents have the right to request approval from the County to conduct repairs on their unit and deduct the cost from their rent. This is only after the County issues citation for repair and Landlord does not comply within 30 days. Resident must have approval from the County before proceeding and must select a contractor from their approved list (not the Landlord’s approved list).
  • Landlord must offer a two-year lease term at both initial move-in and at every renewal.
  • See attached link for more information on Bill 19-15   https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/bill/2015/Packets/20150421_4B.pdf

 

       NEW OSHA SAFETY LAWS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 17, 2107 

          OSHA has updated new safety standards with regard to Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment in an effort to reduce the number of work-related injuries caused by “falls from heights and on the same level,” which may have a significant impact on property owners.  The “final rule” applies to all general workplaces and covers all walking-working surfaces, including horizontal and vertical surfaces such as floors, stairs, roofs, ladders, ramps, scaffolds, elevated walkways, and fall protection systems, and impacts building management services, utilities, warehousing, retail, window cleaning, chimney sweeping, and outdoor advertising.  The new standards became effective on January 17, 2017, with a phased-in compliance program as follows:

      • Training workers on fall and equipment hazards – 6 months

      • Inspection and certification of permanent building anchorages – 1 year

      • Installation of fall protection (personal fall arrest systems, ladder safety systems, cages, wells) on existing fixed ladders (over 24 feet) that do not have any fall protection – 2 years

      • Installation of ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on new fixed ladders (over 24 feet) and replacement ladders/ladder sections – 2 years

      • Installation of ladder safety systems or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders (over 24 feet) – 20 years

 

Please see the following link for more information: https://www.osha.gov/walking-working-surfaces/