BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

          |                                                                 |
          |                   Senator Fran Pavley, Chair                    |
          |                    2009-2010 Regular Session                    |
          |                                                                 |

          BILL NO: SB 1488                   HEARING DATE: April 13, 2010   

          AUTHOR: Natural Resources and WaterURGENCY: No  
          VERSION: As introduced             CONSULTANT: Katharine Moore    

          DUAL REFERRAL: No                  FISCAL: Yes  
          SUBJECT: State lands: tidelands and submerged lands.  
          This is the State Lands Commission (SLC) omnibus committee bill.

          The SLC exercises the state's ongoing oversight authority over  
          all of the state's public trust lands.  These include filled and  
          unfilled tide and other submerged lands as well as the beds of  
          navigable rivers, lakes and streams.  These lands cannot be  
          bought or sold but the state's administrative authority to  
          manage them may be granted by the Legislature to local agencies,  
          subject to the public trust, 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, for example, navigation, commerce, fishing, recreation  
          and environmental protection. The Legislature has been making  
          grants of these lands since the state's inception. 

          In 2006, the City of Pittsburg sponsored AB 2324 (Canciamilla,  
          c. 275, Stats. 2006) which replaced several existing legislative  
          grants of tide and other submerged lands to the city with a  
          single grant subject to the public trust and certain other  
          provisions.  Pittsburg sought the legislation in order to  
          simplify the development plans of its port, speed clean-up of  
          contaminated industrial areas, boost its economic growth and  
          create jobs.

          The SLC is also the trustee of the Land Bank Fund (LBF) created  


          pursuant to the Kapiloff Land Bank Act of 1982. There are  
          certain restrictions on the LBF's operation.  The LBF may  
          receive funds from:
                 Title settlements which may be used to purchase specific  
               LBF parcels and the conveyance of those interests to the  
                 Project applicants for the purposes of mitigation, and 
                 Any party for projects to provide for the management and  
               improvement of real property held by the SLC to provide  
               open space, habitat and public access. 

          PROPOSED LAW
          This bill would modify the Public Resources Code to:
              i.    Require a survey of the trust lands granted to the  
                City of Pittsburg in 2006 be completed by January 1, 2013  
                and exclude Brown's Island from the same grant.
              ii.                                Allow the Land Bank Fund  
                to be used to create access to public trust lands.



          The proposed bill addresses two items of concern to the State  
          Lands Commission which, if passed, will improve its ability to  
          meet its public land management and resource protection goals.

          None received

           Changes needed in the grant of public tidelands and submerged  
          lands to the City of Pittsburg:   No survey was required in the  
          grant to the City of Pittsburg provided that it "established a  
          metes and bounds description of the trustee's corporate water  
          boundaries."  This was atypical and the grant boundaries have  
          not yet been reported.  The new survey requirement will force  
          the boundaries to be assessed and reported to the SLC.  After  
          the grant was made, subsequent discussions between the City of  
          Pittsburg and the SLC revealed that Brown's Island - which is  
          partly under the jurisdiction of the Port of Stockton - should  
          not have been included.
           The rationale to expand eligibility for Land Bank Fund projects:   
           In some instances, the best way to improve trust lands is to  
          allow the public to access them in order to participate in  
          water-related recreation, navigation and other trust activities.  
           Access to the trust lands may be provided by, for example, the  
          addition of a wheelchair ramp, staircase, path or trail, among  
          other methods.  Often these improvements have to be built on  
          non-trust lands, such as the land between a road and a beach.   
          It is not clear that LBF funds can be spent on projects located  
          on non-trust lands.  In order to address this obstacle, the  
          proposed change in the law broadens project eligibility to  
          include "access to."  This would allow, for example, the SLC to  
          use LBF funds to build a stairway from an upland road to a beach  
          on trust lands in partnership with the owner of the non-trust  
          lands (typically a public entity).  The SLC has assured staff  
          that it is interested only in cooperative projects with  
          non-trust land owners and will not assert eminent domain  
          (existing law prohibits the use of eminent domain under the  
          Kapiloff Land Bank Act (see PRC 8620)). 

          State Lands Commission
          None Received