For 3 years the San Carlos Airport Pilots Association (SCAPA), a chapter of the California Pilots Association, has been working on Legislation to improve notices to persons buying homes near airports in California.

It began when Rich Newman (most recently SCAPA President) and I were sitting at yet another meeting listening to folks complain about airport noise. Rich, a Real Estate Broker, wanted a better notification system so those buying near airports understood more clearly what that meant.

While AB2776 will not prevent people from complaining, it will take the wind out of their sails, because not only will they themselves know they signed this disclosure form, but so will all local city council members.

Local Supervisors in San Mateo county have supported this Bill, and CPA President Jay White wrote a wonderful letter to Assemblyman Simitian in support of the Bill.It will benefit ALL airports in California.

– Carol Ford

Director-at-Large, Region 2, past President, SCAPA

SCAPA is pleased to report some substantial progress on the bill sponsored by your association to increase the scope and value of disclosure given to home buyers in residential real estate transactions, related to airport impacts.

Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) has authored AB 2776 on our behalf. The exact language of the bill is currently being negotiated among the lobbyists (and SCAPA) that have been present in a series of meetings at the State Capitol, guided and administered by the very capable Joe Simitian.

In the meeting held on April 10, 2002, the Assemblyman committed to carrying the bill with the following features for enhanced disclosure:

1. A change to the mandatory Seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement to include a reference to the applicability of published Airport Influence Area Maps (also known as Airport Referral Maps) including a list of possible impacts on persons residing in those areas.

2. A substantial increase and enhancement of the information contained in reports known commonly as “Natural Hazards Disclosure” documents, used in most transactions. These documents will disclose to the buyer of a home, the proximity of the property being sold to the areas discussed in the paragraph above and the types of impacts to be expected. The Seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement will refer the buyer to this report.

3. Disclosure in Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for new projects (where the Seller’s Disclosure is often not used) of the proximity of the property to the areas discussed in paragraph one above.

4. An expanded description in the Department of Real Estate “White Paper” report issued in connection with new subdivisions (of a certain size) of the same areas and impacts.

Assemblyman Simitian has been careful to try to have a representative from every lobby that could possibly have an interest in this bill in the room during our meetings to hear their thoughts. He has been sensitive to their needs, but always firm on his desire to see this legislation become law and be meaningful if passed and signed by the Governor.

The bill is being carried in the current legislature. This has been a very interesting experience for us. Those of you who have been involved in the legislative process know how complicated and difficult an effort this has been.We are learning as we go. We will keep you informed of developments as they occur.

– Rich Newman, past President, SCAPA

Editor’s note: This article was reprinted from SCAPA’s May 2002 newsletter. On May 8, AB 2776 was passed as amended (by the Assembly Local Government Committee) and sent on to the Appropriations Committee. The vote was 8 – 2.