Members Help Defeat Onerous Climate Change Ordinance

The San Mateo County Association of REALTORS®, Calif., successfully rallied members, homeowners, and elected officials to defeat a proposed measure that took preparing for global warming to a whole new level. In the city of Pacifica, officials proposed a requirement that obligated homeowners buying, remodeling, or expanding property to pay for and submit a consultant’s study proving the project’s adaptability to the 100-year sea level rise over the expected life of the structure.

“Asking the City Council how a homeowner’s bathroom remodel would warrant such a drastic mandate seemed to really frame the issue,” says Paul Stewart, SAMCAR’s Government Affairs Director. “Since the fees for the consultant’s study were estimated at between $5,000 and $10,000, the question became ‘How do you justify such a mandate when it costs more than the project itself?’ The council got it.”

SAMCAR’s campaign included talking with -homeowners in affected neighborhoods (nearly three quarters of the city) about the impact to their property rights. The association also took out an advertisement in the local newspaper, the Pacifica Tribune, the same paper to which it submitted op-ed pieces. Additionally, SAMCAR coordinated communications via social media sites and targeted interactions with the City Council.

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