BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                     AB 764

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          Date of Hearing:  April 7, 2015


                                Susan Bonilla, Chair

          AB 764  
          (Quirk) - As Introduced February 25, 2015

          NOTE:  This bill is double-referred, and if passed by this  
          Committee, it will be referred to the Assembly Committee on  

          SUBJECT:  Commercial parking lots:  design:  insurance discount.  

          SUMMARY:  Authorizes the California Building Standards  
          Commission (CBSC) to adopt building standards to require that  
          the installation of bollards be added to the list of  
          considerations in the design of any new commercial property  
          parking lot.  

          EXISTING LAW

          1)Establishes the CBSC within the Department of General  
            Services, and requires any building standard adopted or  
            proposed by state agencies to be submitted to, and approved  
            by, the CBSC prior to codification into the California  
            Building Standards Code (CBC).  (Health and Safety Code (HSC)  
            Section 18920; 18930)


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          2)Requires the CBSC to adopt, approve, codify, and publish  
            building standards providing the minimum standards for the  
            design and construction of state buildings, including  
            buildings constructed by the Trustees of the California State  
            University and, to the extent permitted by law, to buildings  
            designed and constructed by the Regents of the University of  
            California.  (HSC Section 18934.5)   

          3)Requires the State Fire Marshall to develop building standards  
            to implement the state's fire and life safety policy, and  
            transfers any responsibilities of the State Fire Marshal to  
            adopt building standards through a formal rulemaking process  
            to the CBSC.  (HSC Section 18949.2)  

          THIS BILL

          1)Authorizes the CBSC to adopt building standards to require  
            that the installation of bollards be added to the list of  
            considerations in the design of any new commercial property  
            parking lot.  

          2)Defines "bollard" as a short vertical post placed to protect  
            buildings or pedestrians from collisions by motor vehicles. 

          3)Authorizes an insurer to consider the installation of bollards  
            on a commercial property parking lot as a safety measure  
            eligible for a discount on the property owner's rates for  
            insurance covering liability arising out of the ownership,  
            maintenance, or use of the commercial property. 

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.  This bill is keyed fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel. 


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          1)Purpose.  The author is the sponsor of this bill.  According  
            to the author, this bill "seeks to provide awareness of  
            storefront crashes and encourage the use of safety bollards in  
            building design.  A bollard is a vertical pillar or safety  
            device most often made of steel and concrete and is installed  
            in a footing in the ground and placed in a line?to block a  
            vehicle from crossing into a pedestrian, shopping or seating  
            area, or into a building.  Specifically, AB 764 would add  
            bollard installation to this list of considerations in the  
            design of any new commercial property parking lot.   
            Additionally, it would authorize an insurer to consider these  
            bollards as a safety measure eligible for discounted building  
            insurance rates.  By doing this, AB 764 will reduce the number  
            of storefront crashes."

          2)Background. Vehicle-into-Building Crashes.  According to the  
            Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), "With 500 people  
            reportedly killed each year by vehicles crashing into retail  
            stores, sidewalk cafes, hair salons and other businesses, low  
            speed barrier crashes have been called 'one of the largest  
            unaddressed safety issues in the country.'"  According to TTI,  
            these accidents occur most frequently when a driver is  
            entering or leaving a parking space perpendicular to a  
            building, and even at relatively low speeds, can cause serious  
            injury or death.  However, TTI notes that simple, preventative  
            measures can protect pedestrians, store employees, and patrons  
            from being injured or killed when thee accidents occur.  In  
            recognition of the safety risks posed by errant vehicles and  
            the increasingly important use of protective barriers as a way  
            to prevent or minimize the damages from these types of  
            accidents, the American Society for Testing and Materials  
            International (ASTM), an international standards development  
            organization, in conjunction with the researchers at TTI,  


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            recently approved a test standard, known as the Test Method  
            for Low Speed Barriers for Errant Vehicles, to set parameters  
            for bollards, barriers, and other devices most often seen  
            protecting storefronts and high-traffic pedestrian areas to  
            help standardize the use of protective barriers.  Prior to the  
            adoption of this standard, there was no objective way to  
            evaluate the effectiveness of vertical pipes, decorative  
            planters, and other devices that could serve to protect a  
            business from damages caused by a vehicle-into-building  

            According to the Storefront Safety Council, more than 60  
            vehicle-into-building crashes occur each day, resulting in  
            over 3,650 injuries per year.  Most often, these storefront  
            crashes involve pedal or other driver error, with elderly  
            drivers accounting for nearly half of all storefront crashes.   

            According to the author, while building codes already exist  
            that have design standards to protect gas meters, fire  
            hydrants, and chemical tanks, few localities have established  
            appropriate standards for protection of building occupants.   
            While many major retailers in the United States already use  
            impact protection devices, other commercial property owners  
            have been slower to recognize the problem or have been  
            awaiting government guidelines on which preventative measures  
            to adopt.  

            California Building Standards. The California Building  
            Standards Law establishes the CBSC and the process for  
            adopting state building standards.  Under this process, state  
            agencies propose building standards for building types under  
            their jurisdiction, beginning with a model code developed by a  
            national code-writing entity which the agency proposes  
            amendments to reflect California's needs.  The CBSC must then  


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            adopt, modify, or reject those standards.  
            The state agencies involved in the development and proposal of  
            building standards include the following: 1) the Department of  
            Housing and Community Development (for hotels, apartments, and  
            dwellings); 2) the Division of the State Architect (for public  
            schools, community colleges, and accessibility in public  
            accommodations and public housing); 3) the Office of the State  
            Fire Marshal (for life and life safety for hotels, apartments,  
            dwellings, and assembly and high-rise buildings); 4) the  
            Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (for  
            hospitals and clinics); 5) the Department of Consumer Affairs,  
            and various boards therein (for certain places of business);  
            and 6) the California Department of Public Health (for camps,  
            public swimming pools).  In addition, other state agencies,  
            including the California Energy Commission, the State Lands  
            Commission, and the Department of Water Resources, develop and  
            adopt their own building standards, which are approved by the  
            CBSC.  However, not all buildings fall under the general  
            jurisdiction of a relevant state agency.  For example, many  
            commercial occupancies may fall under the jurisdiction of the  
            State Fire Marshall for fire and panic safety standards, and  
            under the Division of State Architects for accessibility  
            standards, but are not part of any state agency's general  

            The CBSC is responsible for developing building standards for  
            state owned buildings, including University and State College  
            buildings, and for developing green building standards for  
            most buildings except for housing, public schools, and  
            The CBSC publishes in Title 24 of the California Code of  
            Regulations the CBC every three years, and its supplements,  
            such as the California Green Building Standards Code, in  
            intervening years.  The building codes apply to all building  
            occupancies, and related features and equipment throughout the  
            state, and set requirements for structural, mechanical,  
            electrical, and plumbing systems, and require measures for  


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            energy conservation, green design, construction and  
            maintenance, fire and life safety, and accessibility.   

          3)Prior Legislation.  AB 1092 (Levine), Chapter 410, Statutes of  
            2013, required the Department of Housing and Community  
            Development to propose mandatory building standards for the  
            installation of future electric vehicle charging  
            infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings,  
            and required the CBSC to adopt those standards in addition to  
            standards for nonresidential development. 

            AB 2644 (Butler) of 2011 would have required the CBSC to adopt  
            building standards for the construction, installation, and  
            alteration of electric vehicle charging stations for parking  
            spaces in single-family residential real property, in  
            accordance with prescribed requirements.  (Note: This bill was  
            held in the Assembly Housing and Community Development  

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT.  The  Storefront Safety Council  writes in  
          support, "Our own research shows that vehicle-into-building  
          crashes occur as many as 60 times per day in the United States.   
          Often caused by pedal or other driver error, these accidents are  
          almost always preventable.  As we have reported in conjunction  
          with Texas A&M University and ASTM, more than 3,600 pedestrians,  
          store patrons, and employees are seriously injured every [year]  
          ---and as many as 500 more are killed - in these types of  
          preventable accidents.  AB 764 supports builders, designers, and  
          developers in considering safety barriers for preventing  
          storefront crashes."  

          In addition,  Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants  , who also  
          writes in support of the bill, recounts a tragic accident that  
          took place on April 25, 2014, at a Farrell's Restaurant in Buena  
          Park.  This vehicle-into-building crash took the life of Marisa  


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          Manalo, a grandmother who brought her three grandchildren to  
          Farrell's, severely injured two of her three grandchildren, who  
          were all pinned under the car, and also resulted in the severe  
          injury of three other individuals.  Farrell's writes that the  
          "accident was totally preventable had the building code required  
          the installation of a bollard in front of the disabled parking  
          area.  Marisa would be alive today to enjoy her grandchildren  
          had a simple $500 bollard been installed.  This is why AB 764 is  
          so important."  


          None on file.

          IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES.  The term "bollard" is not currently used  
          in the CBC.  However, other similar terms, such as "vehicle  
          barrier," are used within the CBC, and may provide greater  
          flexibility with the types of protective barriers that may be  
          used to protect against vehicle crashes, such as horizontal  
          devices, including blocks or planters, in addition to other  
          types of vertical barriers, such as posts.  For example, Section  
          406 of Chapter 4 of the CBC provides height, situational, and  
          location requirements for vehicle barriers in public parking  
          garages, and Section 1607.8.3 of Chapter 16 of the CBC requires  
          vehicle barriers to be designed to resist certain loads.  As a  
          result, the author may wish to consider amending the language to  
          provide for this flexibility as suggested below.

          In addition, while it is clear that the CBSC is the state entity  
          responsible for adopting and publishing all building standards,  
          it is unclear whether CBSC's jurisdiction would include proposed  
          building standards for commercial property parking lots.  It is  


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          also unclear whether there currently exists a "list of  
          considerations" in the design of a new commercial property  
          parking lot.  As a result, the author may wish to consider  
          whether the bill should be amended to more accurately reflect  
          the CBSC's jurisdiction and to grant the CBSC greater  
          flexibility adopting these building standards, as suggested  
          below.  In addition, the author may wish to consider whether  
          CBSC should consult with the Office of the State Fire Marshall,  
          which is responsible for fire and panic safety standards, or the  
          Division of State Architects, which is responsible for  
          accessibility standards, including standards for parking, in  
          developing these standards.



          On page 2, strike lines 5-6 and insert, "vehicle barriers are  
          considered in the design of any new public parking lots." 

          On page 2, line 7, strike "bollard is a short vertical post" and  
          insert "vehicle barrier includes a horizontal or vertical  
          protective device"

          On page 2, line 13, strike "Bollard" and insert "Vehicle  


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          On page 2, line 16, strike "bollards" and insert "vehicle  

          On page 2, lines 21-22, strike "bollard is a short vertical  
          post" and insert "vehicle barrier includes a horizontal or  
          vertical protective device"



          California Restaurant Association 

          Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants

          Storefront Safety Council


          None on file.

          Analysis Prepared by:Eunie Linden / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301


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