BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





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          |                                                                 |
          |         SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES AND WATER         |
          |                   Senator Fran Pavley, Chair                    |
          |                    2009-2010 Regular Session                    |
          |                                                                 |
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          BILL NO: AB 2179                   HEARING DATE: June 9, 2010  
          AUTHOR: Monning                    URGENCY: No  
          VERSION: March 18, 2010            CONSULTANT: Katharine Moore  
          DUAL REFERRAL: No                  FISCAL: Yes  
          SUBJECT: Tidelands and submerged lands: City of Santa Cruz and  
          City of Long Beach  
          
          BACKGROUND AND EXISTING LAW
          The State Lands Commission (SLC) has exclusive jurisdiction over  
          the state's right, title and interest in its sovereign public  
          trust lands. These include filled and unfilled tide and other  
          submerged lands as well as the beds of navigable rivers, lakes  
          and streams. The Legislature may grant the state's  
          administrative authority to manage these lands to local  
          agencies, subject to the public trust and on-going oversight by  
          the SLC, for specific uses of statewide benefit. The public  
          trust is a set of guiding principles that direct the state to  
          hold its title to public trust lands in a manner to protect the  
          public's interest in activities that are typically  
          water-dependent or related. While continually evolving to meet  
          changing public needs, these activities include navigation,  
          commerce, fishing, recreation and environmental protection,  
          among others. The Legislature has made grants of public trust  
          lands to over 80 cities, counties and harbor districts since the  
          state's inception.

          There are instances where physical changes on or near filled or  
          reclaimed tidelands cause these lands to no longer be useful for  
          water-related public trust purposes. Section 6307 of the Public  
          Resources Code authorizes the SLC to enter into an exchange of  
          filled or reclaimed public trust lands for other lands if the  
          SLC finds that, among other conditions, the exchange would  
          enhance the physical configuration of trust land ownership,  
          enhance public access to or along the water, or resolve boundary  
          or title disputes. The public trust lands disposed of in the  
          exchange must be cut off from the water, and the lands received  
          by the state must provide a benefit to the public trust. The  
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          state, not the local grantee, obtains jurisdiction over the  
          newly acquired public trust lands. The SLC and the local grantee  
          usually enter into a long-term lease agreement to permit local  
          management of the new lands pending subsequent legislative  
          action to complete the exchange.

          In order to settle a title dispute, a land exchange agreement  
          was reached between the SLC, the City of Long Beach and a  
          private business and subsequently approved by the SLC at its  
          June 5, 1991 meeting (calendar item 8). Two parcels were  
          acquired by the SLC as a result of this exchange and leased to  
          the City of Long Beach. The Legislature has made multiple grants  
          of public trust lands to the City of Long Beach (c. 676  
          (Statutes of 1911), c. 102 (Statutes of 1925), c. 158 (Statutes  
          of 1935), c. 138 (Statutes of 1964, 1st extraordinary session)).  
          Similarly, at its August 1, 2009 meeting, the SLC approved a  
          land exchange settlement for a different title dispute between  
          the SLC, the City of Santa Cruz and another private business.  
          The SLC entered into a long-term lease agreement with the City  
          of Santa Cruz for the two parcels and easement acquired. The  
          Legislature has also made grants of public trust lands to the  
          City of Santa Cruz (c. 342 (Statutes of 1872), c. 1291 (Statutes  
          of1969)).

          PROPOSED LAW
          This bill transfers the specific public trust lands obtained via  
          the two land exchange agreements described above from the state  
          to the Cities of Santa Cruz and Long Beach to be managed locally  
          with their other trust lands for the benefit of the public trust  
          and subject to specified statutory provisions. The leases  
          currently in force would be terminated as of January 1, 2011.

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT
          According to the sponsor, "this legislative grant will allow  
          these lands to be managed locally for the benefit of the public  
          trust and the people of California."

          Additionally, the City of Santa Cruz notes that this bill  
          "finalizes a beneficial transfer of tidelands to the City's  
          stewardship. It represents the culmination of years of effort to  
          resolve tideland ownership questions, and marks the completion  
          of this longstanding issue. The land transfer of tidelands will  
          benefit future generations of Californians."

          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION
          None received.

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          COMMENTS 
           Legislative grants of public trust lands via statute are  
          un-codified  . Codified laws are generally applicable state-wide  
          to all. In contrast, each statutory grant of public trust lands  
          has unique boundaries, is made to a specific grantee, and is  
          rarely modified, although arguably this reduces the public's  
          ability to track past land grants.
               
          SUPPORT
          State Lands Commission (sponsor)
          City of Santa Cruz
          City of Long Beach

          OPPOSITION
          None Received
































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