BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                            Senator Dave Cox, Chair

          BILL NO:  AB 1962                     HEARING:  6/16/10
          AUTHOR:  Chesbro                      FISCAL:  No
          VERSION:  6/9/10                      CONSULTANT:  Detwiler

                           Background and Existing Law  

          Regional park and open space districts have broad statutory  
          authority to acquire real and personal property, including  
          property interests such as easements.  These districts  
          usually need majority-voter approval before they can convey  
          interests in real property that's dedicated for parks or  
          open space.

          When cities and counties approve proposed development  
          projects, they can impose conditions, including the  
          dedication of land or the payment of impact fees.   
          Developers often need years to fulfill these conditions.   
          Sometimes cities and counties require property owners to  
          donate land or easements to regional park and open space  
          districts.  Some districts wait until it's certain that a  
          project will succeed before they accept a developer's offer  
          to dedicate land or easements.

          Governed ex officio by the Sonoma County Board of  
          Supervisors, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation  
          and Open Space District asks property owners to follow an  
          existing law for offering dedications to cities and  
          counties.  With the city or county's consent, the property  
          owner may make an irrevocable offer to dedicate real  
          property.  The city or county can accept the dedication any  
          time after the property owner formally records the  
          irrevocable offer.  The city or county can abandon the  
          offer if it follows prescribed statutory procedures.

          In Sonoma County, the property owner irrevocably offers the  
          dedication of an easement to the County of Sonoma and later  
          the Board of Supervisors accepts the offer.  The County  
          then transfers the easement to the Sonoma County  
          Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District.   
          Officials want to streamline this process by having the  
          property owners make their irrevocable offers directly to  
          the District.


          AB 1962 -- 6/9/10 -- Page 2

                                   Proposed Law 

          Assembly Bill 1962 allows property owners to make  
          irrevocable offers of dedication of real property or  
          interests in real property to a regional park and  
          open-space district, with the consent of the district's  
          board of directors.

          The property owner must formally record the offer in the  
          same manner as a real property conveyance.  Once recorded,  
          the offer is irrevocable and the district's board may  
          accept it at any time.

          AB 1962 allows a district's board of directors to terminate  
          an offer of dedication by majority vote only if the board  
          makes two findings:
                 The offer was never accepted and, therefore, the  
               offer's termination does not constitute a conveyance  
               of an interest in real property dedicated for park and  
               open space purposes.
                 Now or in the future, the district cannot  
               effectively use the real property or interest in real  
               property for park or open space purposes.

          The bill declares that its procedures are an alternative to  
          other laws.


           Direct action  .  To streamline the development process, AB  
          1962 allows property owners to make irrevocable offers of  
          dedication directly to regional park and open space  
          districts, avoiding the complication of going through  
          county governments.  Patterned after the statutory  
          procedures that are available to cities and counties, the  
          bill avoids unnecessary bureaucratic maneuvers.  These  
          procedures protect both private property rights and the  
          public interest.

                                 Assembly Actions  

          Assembly Local Government Committee:  9-0


          AB 1962 -- 6/9/10 -- Page 3

          Assembly Floor:                    76-0

                         Support and Opposition  (6/10/10)

           Support  :  Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open  
          Space District, Marin County Open Space District,  
          Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, California  
          Coalition of Land Trusts, Cities of Cloverdale, Cotati,  
          Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Windsor.

           Opposition  :  Unknown.