Water Meter Bill Runs Aground
Confronted by mounting opposition from homebuilders, legislation that would have required water meters for all new multifamily units in Common Interest Developments (CID) has been pulled by the author, effectively killing the bill.
Sponsors of AB 19 (Fong, D – Mountain View) had recently narrowed the focus of the bill to CID’s in an effort to remove opposition from the rental housing sector. However, the sponsors had also switched from submeters to meters, a change that was problematic for industry since all of the water meters would be owned and maintained by the local water purveyor.
In addition to the cost differential (water meters cost roughly 10 times more than submeters), there is also a significant and very costly design issue: unlike a submeter, all of the water meters would have to be located within the water purveyors easement.
Lastly, the bill contained no protection from unwarranted hook-up fees charged by the water purveyor. Bottom line: costs associated with material, labor and hook-up fees could easily reach $20,000 for each condominium unit.
While this was a welcome victory for industry, it should be noted that the sponsors have indicated that they will continue to pursue this issue in a new bill this year or in 2013. We’ll keep an eye out for it!
For more information, contact Bob Raymer.