BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair 1333 (Yee) Hearing Date: 05/10/2010 Amended: 04/26/2010 Consultant: Mark McKenzie Policy Vote: L.Gov. 5-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: SB 1333 would require an airport to acquire an avigation easement prior to the issuance of a building permit that allows for construction of a residential project within the airport's 65 decibel (dB) or higher noise boundary, as specified. The easement may be immediately recorded and must include a termination clause if the project is cancelled or the building permit is revoked or expires. The bill would also require the local government that issued the permit to notify the airport within 30 days of a permit's expiration, and the airport would be required to record a notice of termination of the easement with the county recorder within 90 days of the notification. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 Fund Recording mandate potential reimbursable mandate costsGeneral ------see staff comments------ Easement termination notice likely minor, potentially reimbursable costs General ------see staff comments------ _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: An avigation easement typically provides a right-of-way for free and unobstructed passage of aircraft through the airspace over a property, and provides a right to subject the property to noise, vibrations, fumes, dust, and fuel particle emissions associated with normal airport activity. An avigation easement also places certain restrictions on the subject property, such as prohibitions against structures that would enter the easement airspace, and provides a right of entry for certain purposes. California airport noise regulations establish the standard for acceptable levels of noise in the vicinity of airports to be a "community noise equivalent level" (CNEL) of 65 dB. Development of residential and certain other uses within an airport's 65 dB CNEL contour area are deemed to be an incompatible unless the airport obtains an avigation easement. Typically, avigation easements are granted at the time of occupancy by a new owner, rather than when development is approved for a property. SB 1333 would require avigation easements to be acquired by an airport prior to the issuance of a building permit for a "noise-sensitive project," if a local government conditions the approval of the project on the granting of an avigation easement to the airport. The bill requires a local government that issues a building permit for a noise-sensitive project to notify an airport owner or operator of the expiration or revocation of an avigation easement, as specified. By requiring this notice, SB 1333 imposes a state- Page 2 SB 1333 (Yee) mandated local program by requiring a higher level of service. Staff notes, however, that costs would likely be minor and local governments may be able to adjust permit fees to cover this additional burden. Mandated costs that can be covered by fees are not reimbursable. The bill would also authorize an airport owner or operator to immediately record an avigation easement upon receipt, and would require the airport to record a notice of termination of the easement with the county recorder within 90 days of receiving a notice of the permit's expiration or revocation from the local agency that issued the building permit. By imposing the additional recording burden on county recorders, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. County recorders can generally charge fees for recording easements or other property instruments, but cannot charge fees to other governmental entities. In the case of an airport owned or operated by a county, city, district, or other political subdivision, the county recorder could be precluded from charging a fee to record or terminate an avigation easement. Staff recommends an amendment to explicitly authorize the county recorder to charge a fee sufficient to cover its recordation costs imposed by this bill. Specifically, on page 4, after line 8, insert the following: (e) Notwithstanding Sections 6103 and 27383 of the Government Code, in filing any instrument, paper, or notice pursuant to this section, the owner or operator of an airport shall pay all applicable recording fees prescribed by law.