BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2179
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  April 21, 2010

                                Cameron Smyth, Chair
                   AB 2179 (Monning) - As Amended:  March 18, 2010
          SUBJECT  :  Tidelands and submerged lands: City of Santa Cruz and  
          City of Long Beach.

           SUMMARY  :  Grants to the Cities of Santa Cruz and Long Beach all  
          the right, title, and interest of the state in certain public  
          trust lands.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Grants and conveys in trust to the City of Santa Cruz all the  
            right, title, and interest of the state in certain trust lands  
            acquired and held by the state and known as: "Volleyball  
            Parcel," "West Lawn Parcel," and "Trestle Easement."

          2)Grants and conveys in trust to the City of Long Beach all the  
            right, title, and interest of the state in certain trust lands  
            acquired and held by the state and known as: "Southern Parcel"  
            and "Street Parcel."

          3)Requires both cities to hold, operate, and manage, in trust  
            for the benefit of the statewide  public, the above public  
            trust lands in accordance with the common law public trust  
            doctrine and the terms, trusts, and conditions set forth in  
            the cities' original grant of public trust lands.
           EXISTING LAW  :
          1)Establishes the State Lands Commission (SLC), comprised of the  
            Lieutenant Governor, the State Controller, and the State  
            Director of Finance.

          2)Provides that SLC is the state agency that manages and  
            protects the state's tide and submerged lands.  

          3)Requires SLC to carry out its responsibilities consistent with  
            the Public Trust Doctrine which provides that tide and  
            submerged lands are reserved for uses associated with  
            commerce, fishing, navigation, recreation and the environment.

          4)Authorizes SLC to administer and control those lands and to  
            lease, exchange, and otherwise dispose of them as provided by  


                                                                  AB 2179
                                                                  Page  2

            law, subject to the terms and any considerations established  
            by SLC for each transfer or exchange of those lands.  In most  
            instances, the Legislature has enacted statutes specifically  
            authorizing the transfer of particular parcels of state lands  
            to local jurisdictions for specified public trust uses, such  
            as navigation improvements, port construction, piers and  
            wharves, recreation, and public access, and SLC carries out  
            the transaction and exercises ongoing oversight responsibility  
            to make sure the grantee complies with the terms of the  
            transfer and public trust obligations.

          1)Pursuant to Chapter 342, Statutes of 1872, and Chapter 1291,  
            Statutes of 1969, granted to the City of Santa Cruz all the  
            right, title, and interest of the state in certain public  
            trust lands.

          2)Pursuant to Chapter 676, Statutes of 1911, Chapter 102,  
            Statutes of 1925, Chapter 158, Statutes of 1935, and Chapter  
            138, Statutes of 1964, granted to the City of Long Beach all  
            the right, title, and interest of the state in certain public  
            trust lands.

          3)In an exchange, requires SLC  to impose the public trust on  
            the lands or interests in lands it acquires.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown
           COMMENTS  :  

          1)The Public Trust Doctrine provides that submerged and  
            submersible lands are preserved for public use in navigation,  
            fishing and recreation, and the state, as trustee for the  
            people, bears the responsibility of preserving and protecting  
            the right of the public to the use of waters for those  
            purposes.  A trustee is a person, in this case, the city, who  
            holds legal title to property "in trust" for the benefit of  
            another person (beneficiary), in this case, the state.  The  
            trustee owes a fiduciary duty to the beneficiary, having to  
            act in good faith and in the best interest 
          of the beneficiary.  In addition, a trustee possesses a  
            fiduciary responsibility to the beneficiaries of the trust to  
            follow the terms of the trust and the requirements of  
            applicable state law.


                                                                  AB 2179
                                                                  Page  3

          2)Since statehood, the Legislature has transferred in trust  
            certain tide and submerged lands, including the beds of  
            navigable waters, to local jurisdictions for specific public  
            trust uses of statewide benefit.  SLC, having the state's  
            remaining jurisdiction and authority, exercises oversight  
            responsibility over these lands, and is responsible for  
            assuring that these legislative trustees comply with their  
            respective granting statutes and the legal principles under  
            the Public Trust Doctrine.  Quite often, the improvement of  
            these granted tide and submerged lands results in the  
            generation of tidelands trust revenues, which are also subject  
            to the use restrictions of the Public Trust Doctrine and the  
            granting statutes.

          3)Newly acquired lands coming into the trust are, by default,  
            held in trust by the Commission despite the fact that, in this  
            case, the lands leaving the trust were granted to the Cities  
            of Santa Cruz and Long Beach.  The parcels acquired by the  
            Commission are being managed by both cities pursuant to  
            49-year lease agreements with the Commission.

            AB 2179 grants the right, title, and interest of the state in  
            these parcels to both cities.  As trustees, both cities would  
            manage these parcels consistent with the public trust in  
            perpetuity and subject to oversight by the Commission.

          4)In the City of Santa Cruz, the Commission exchanged 1.6 acres  
            of filled and reclaimed land for parcels providing public  
            access to the Pacific Ocean and San Lorenzo River.  In Long  
            Beach, the Commission exchanged filled tidelands cut off from  
            water for other lands in order to enhance the physical  
            configuration of the city's trust land ownership.  The  
            Commission also received $605,000 since the land exchange was  
            not for equal value.  This money was deposited in the Land  
            Bank Fund to purchase other lands to be put into the trust.

           5)Support Arguments  :  According to the City of Santa Cruz, AB  
            2179 finalizes a beneficial transfer of tidelands to the  
            City's stewardship.  It represents a culmination of years of  
            effort to resolve tideland ownership questions.

             Opposition Arguments  :  None at this time. 


                                                                  AB 2179
                                                                  Page  4

          6)This bill has been double-referred to the Committees on  
            Natural Resources, where it was heard and passed on April 12,  
            2010, with a 9-0 vote, and to Local Government.

          State Lands Commission
          City of Santa Cruz 

          None on file
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Katie Kolitsos / L. GOV. / (916)