BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 1124 (Negrete McLeod)
          As Amended  June 21, 2010
          2/3 vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :28-7  
           
           WATER, PARKS & WILDLIFE    13-0 APPROPRIATIONS      17-0        
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Huffman, Fuller,          |Ayes:|Fuentes, Conway,          |
          |     |Anderson, Arambula, Tom   |     |Bradford,                 |
          |     |Berryhill, Blumenfield,   |     |Charles Calderon, Coto,   |
          |     |Caballero, De La Torre,   |     |Davis,                    |
          |     |Fletcher, Gatto, Bonnie   |     |De Leon, Gatto, Hall,     |
          |     |Lowenthal, Salas, Yamada  |     |Harkey, Miller, Nielsen,  |
          |     |                          |     |Norby, Skinner, Solorio,  |
          |     |                          |     |Torlakson, Torrico        |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :   Authorizes San Bernardino County to exchange lands  
          purchased with state park bond funds if the county meets certain  
          requirements relating to conservation easements and deed  
          restrictions on lands retained, sold and acquired.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Authorizes San Bernardino County (County) to sell property it  
            owns within Chino Agricultural Preserve that was purchased  
            with grant funds from the California Wildlife, Coastal, and  
            Park Land Conservation Act of 1988 (Proposition 70) if the  
            following conditions are met: 

             a)   The sale meets conditions of existing law requiring an  
               amount equal to the sale proceeds or fair market value of  
               the property sold to be used by the grantee for the same  
               purposes;

             b)   The County preserves all lands and conservation  
               easements acquired or dedicated in perpetuity for  
               agricultural preservation and open space conservation  
               purposes;

             c)   The County, by April 1, 2011, places a deed restriction  
               on each property it acquired with Proposition 70 funds.   








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               The deed restriction shall be for agricultural preservation  
               and open space conservation, recorded with the county  
               assessor, and in effect until either a conservation  
               easement is recorded on the property or the county sells or  
               exchanges the property; 

             d)   The County uses all the proceeds from each sale only for  
               acquisition of replacement land or conservation easements  
               within the Chino Agricultural Preserve.  Exceptions to this  
               requirement may be granted only by the Department of Parks  
               and Recreation (DPR); and,

             e)   The County adopts and implements a land plan that meets  
               specified conditions.

          2)Requires the County to adopt a detailed land plan by December  
            31, 2011 that identifies each parcel acquired with Proposition  
            70 bond funds, and identifies the parcels which will be sold,  
            exchanged, purchased and retained.

          3)Requires the detailed land plan to maximize connectivity of  
            lands to the extent feasible and practicable, to include an  
            environmental review in compliance with the California  
            Environmental Quality Act, and if the plan results in any net  
            loss of acreage or value, to identify additional land within  
            the Chino Agricultural Preserve to compensate for that loss.   
            Requires that the land plan and environmental review  
            demonstrate that there will be no net loss in acreage or  
            agricultural and open space value, and that the county acquire  
            or dedicate additional land or conservation easements within  
            the preserve if necessary to compensate for any loss by no  
            later than one year following the sale of the last property to  
            be disposed. 

          4)Requires that the plan be provided to DPR for review and  
            approval no less than 90 days prior to the county's adoption.

          5)Requires the County to hold a public hearing before the County  
            Board of Supervisors on the plan.

          6)Requires the County, by April 1, 2012, to record a  
            conservation easement for agricultural and open space purposes  
            on each property retained, and within 90 days of acquisition  
            on any property acquired.  Requires that the easements be in  








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            perpetuity and approved by DPR.

          7)Requires the County prior to closing any real property  
            transaction with respect to the land plan, to submit  
            independent appraisals to DPR for concurrence with state  
            appraisal standards, and requires that the County make the  
            appraisals available to the public.

          8)Provides that if the County fails to adopt a detailed land  
            plan by December 31, 2011 as required, the County may apply to  
            DPR for an extension of time.  If the county fails to apply  
            for an extension of time, or DPR does not approve an  
            extension, the county shall be required to record conservation  
            easements, as approved by DPR, on all lands purchased with  
            Proposition 70 bond funds within the Chino Agricultural  
            Preserve by April 1, 2012.

          9)Declares that this bill is an amendment to Proposition 70  
            within the meaning of that act and consistent with its  
            purposes.     

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Proposition 70, approved by the voters in 1988, authorized  
            $776 million in general obligation bond funds for various land  
            conservation purposes, including $185.4 million to DPR for  
            grants to local agencies, of which $20 million was allocated  
            to San Bernardino County for acquisition of land primarily  
            through the use of conservation easements within Chino  
            Agricultural Preserve.  Proposition 70 required any applicant  
            for grants under Proposition 70 to agree to maintain and  
            operate the property in perpetuity.

          2)AB 2063 (Negrete McLeod), Chapter 377, Statutes of 2004,  
            authorized the County of San Bernardino to sell property  
            acquired with Proposition 70 funds if proceeds from the sale  
            were used to acquire replacement land within Chino  
            Agricultural Preserve, and the county prepares a detailed land  
            plan approved by the Board of Supervisors, there is no net  
            loss of acreage or habitat value as a result of the exchange,  
            the county holds a public hearing, and the county receives an  
            independent appraisal of the lands to be sold and acquired and  
            makes these appraisals available to the public.   









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           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Minor, absorbable costs to DPR to review and  
          approve the county's land plan, extension requests and  
          conservation easements and to review land value appraisals.

           COMMENTS  :   The author indicates the purpose of this bill is to  
          ensure that $20 million in public funds awarded to the County  
          from Proposition 70 in 1988 are protected and used in the manner  
          intended by the voters by requiring deed restrictions or  
          conservation easements on the properties acquired by the county  
          to ensure the land is protected in perpetuity.  When the county  
          was awarded the funds, it agreed to place any land it obtained  
          under an agricultural conservation easement.  The county also  
          adopted a resolution stating its intent to place easements on  
          the property.   However, nearly 20 years later none of the  
          approximately 370 acres purchased is under any kind of easement  
          or other deed restriction. Five years ago the County indicated  
          it desired to pursue a plan to consolidate and replace some of  
          the properties, as the properties purchased with the Proposition  
          70 funds are not all contiguous and have created isolated  
          parcels, some of which lack public access, diminishing their  
          public value. Then-Assembly Member Negrete McLeod authored  
          legislation (AB 2063, Chapter 377, Statutes of 2004),  
          authorizing a land swap, as long as the land eventually retained  
          by the County was placed under easement.  To date such a plan  
          has not been implemented.   

          Essentially, this bill permits the County to pursue a  
          land-consolidation/land-swap strategy, as long as the following  
          conditions are met:  1) the county, by April 1, 2011, places a  
          temporary deed restriction on each of the properties it  
          purchased with the Proposition 70 funds; 2) the County develops  
          a detailed land plan within one year, identifying those lands it  
          intends to retain, and those it intends to sell or exchange; 3)  
          the County places conservation easements on the lands it intends  
          to retain; 4) the County places conservation easements on those  
          it acquires in exchange; and, 5) the county demonstrates there  
          will be no net loss in acreage or agricultural and open space  
          value.

          The County opposed the introduced version of this bill and  
          argued that the existing law (AB 2063) does not give the County  
          the flexibility needed to proceed with the county's conceptual  
          plan to build a Cultural Heritage Center within the preserve.   
          The County indicates it is now working with the author and the  








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          sponsor on this bill as amended and is no longer opposed.

          Since this bill amends provisions enacted by an initiative  
          measure it requires a two-thirds vote.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Diane Colborn / W., P. & W. / (916)  
          319-2096



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