BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1333|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                         |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                         |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                         |
          |327-4478                          |                         |
                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 1333
          Author:   Yee (D)
          Amended:  5/17/10
          Vote:     21

           SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE  :  5-0, 4/19/10
          AYES:  Cox, Aanestad, Kehoe, DeSaulnier, Price

           SUBJECT  :    Airports:  avigation easements

           SOURCE  :     California Airports Council

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires 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.  This bill also requires 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  

           ANALYSIS  :    The State Department of Transportation must  
          adopt noise standards governing the operation of aircraft  
          and aircraft engines based upon the level of noise  
          acceptable to a reasonable person residing in the vicinity  


                                                               SB 1333

          of the airport.

          California airport noise regulations:

          1. Establish the standard for the acceptable level of  
             aircraft noise for persons living in the vicinity of  
             airports to be a community noise equivalent level (CNEL)  
             of 65 decibels.

          2. Deem new development of residential and certain other  
             land uses within the 65 dB CNEL contour of a  
             noiseproblem airport to be incompatible unless the  
             airport obtains an avigation easement for aircraft  

          An avigation easment is a type of easement which typically  

          1. A right-of-way for free and unobstructed passage of  
             aircraft through the airspace over the property at any  
             altitude above a specified surface.

          2. A right to subject the property to noise, vibrations,  
             fumes, dust, and fuel particle emissions associated with  
             normal airport activity.

          3. A right to prohibit the erection or growth of any  
             structure, tree, or other object that would enter the  
             acquired airspace.

          4. A right-of-entry onto the property, with proper advance  
             notice, for the purpose of removing, marking, or  
             lighting any structure or other object that enters the  
             acquired airspace.

          5. A right to prohibit electrical interference, glare,  
             misleading lights, visual impairments, and other hazards  
             to aircraft flight from being created on the property.

          This bill requires 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.


                                                               SB 1333

          This bill defines "noise-sensitive project" as a project  
          within an airport's 65 decibels CNEL or higher noise  
          corridor involving new construction or reconstruction for  
          residential uses, including detached single-family  
          dwellings, multifamily dwellings, high-rise apartments or  
          condominiums, mobilehomes, public and private educational  
          facilities, hospitals, convalescent homes, churches,  
          synagogues, temples, and other places of worship.

          This bill defines "avigation easement" as a  
          less-than-fee-title transfer of real property rights from  
          the property owner that may convey to an owner or operator  
          of an airport any or all of the specified rights. 

          This bill states that the owner or operator of an airport  
          that is granted an avigation easement as a condition for  
          approval of a noise-sensitive project is entitled to  
          immediately record the easement upon receipt.

          This bill requires that an avigation easement granted to  
          the owner or operator of an airport as a condition for  
          approval of a noise-sensitive project must include a  
          termination clause that terminates the easement if the  
          project is not built and the permit or any permit extension  
          authorizing construction of the project expires or is  
          revoked.  The bill requires the political subdivision that  
          issued a permit to notify the owner or operator of the  
          airport within 30 days of a permit's expiration or  
          revocation.  The owner or operator of the airport must  
          record a notice of termination with the county auditor  
          within 90 days after the receiving notice of a permit's  
          expiration or revocation from a political subdivision.   
          Within 30 days of recording the notice of termination, the  
          owner or operator of the airport must provide the political  
          subdivision with proof of filing.

          This bill authorizes the county recorder to charge a fee  
          sufficient to cover its recordation costs.

          Pressures to construct housing, schools, or healthcare  
          facilities near urban airports can sometimes outweigh  


                                                               SB 1333

          concerns over noise impacts and result in decisions to  
          allow development where these uses would normally be  
          incompatible.  Some cities have ordinances requiring  
          property owners to grant avigation easements as a condition  
          for approval of potentially incompatible development  
          projects within an airport's noise impact boundary.  These  
          easements are often granted when local officials issue  
          certificates of occupancy to property owners.

          Commercial airport operators say that granting these  
          easements after completion of a development project can  
          subordinate the easements to other property rights and may  
          provide potential property buyers with insufficient  
          awareness of airport noise effects.  They want avigation  
          easements that are granted as a condition of approval for a  
          potentially incompatible development project to be granted  
          earlier in the development process.

          To remain in compliance with airport noise regulations, San  
          Francisco International Airport (SFO) officials have worked  
          with officials in neighboring cities to address issues  
          relating to potentially incompatible development projects.   
          City officials in San Bruno and South San Francisco have  
          cooperated with SFO by requiring property owners to grant  
          avigation easements as a condition of approval for some  
          development projects within SFO's noise impact boundary.   
          SFO officials believe that these easments' effectiveness in  
          addressing airport noise issues is affected by when the  
          easments are granted.  By requiring these easements to be  
          granted before the issuance of a building permit, this bill  
          ensures that the airport's rights are fully protected and  
          that potential property buyers are properly notified that  
          the property is subject to the conditions specified in the  

          This bill disclaims the state's responsibility for  
          providing reimbursement by citing local governments'  
          authority to charge for the costs of implementing the  
          bill's provisions.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee analysis:


                                                               SB 1333

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions                2010-11     2011-12     
           2012-13   Fund

           Recording mandate                            potential  
          reimbursable mandate costs                          General

          Easement termination                              likely  
          minor, potentially reimbursable                           
            Notice            costs

          Note:  Amendments take in Senate Appropriations Committee  
               authorize the county recorder to charge a fee  
               sufficient to cover its recordation costs imposed by  
               this bill.

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/18/10)

          California Airports Council (source)
          San Francisco International Airport

          AGB:do  5/18/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                ****  END  ****