BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 481|
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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 481
          Author:   Lowenthal (D)
          Amended:  6/12/13 in Senate
          Vote:     21


           SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE  :  8-2, 6/11/13
          AYES:  DeSaulnier, Beall, Cannella, Galgiani, Hueso, Lara, Liu,  
            Pavley
          NOES:  Gaines, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Roth

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  4-2, 7/1/13
          AYES:  De León, Hill, Lara, Steinberg
          NOES:  Walters, Gaines
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Padilla

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  51-21, 5/23/13 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    High-speed rail rights-of-way management

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill grants the High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA)  
          similar property management authority as that granted to the  
          California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law grants the California Department of  
          General Services (DGS) broad real estate acquisition and  
          management authority for state-owned property.  For example, the  
          DGS Director may acquire easements deemed necessary for the  
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          proper utilization of state-owned real estate, as well as grant  
          easements across state-owned property.  Further, the DGS  
          Director can negotiate the lease of access to state-owned  
          property, for example, for telecommunication companies to run  
          buried cable.  DGS' property management authority does not  
          generally include highway rights-of-way, which are instead  
          managed by Caltrans.

          In managing state highway rights-of-way, existing law provides  
          Caltrans a number of options related to the use or disposal of  
          excess property.  For example, Caltrans can lease to public  
          agencies or private entities the airspace above or ground below  
          highway rights-of-way as long as the lease does not impact road  
          safety.  In addition, Caltrans can classify portions of highway  
          rights-of-way as non-operating and can lease those areas to  
          local governments for public purposes such as for parks or other  
          recreational facilities.  Finally, Caltrans can sell excess  
          rights-of-way through a competitive process, or without seeking  
          competitive bids under the following conditions:

          1.To adjacent landowners if not doing so would deprive the  
            landowner of an existing right of access, or if the parcel is  
            less valuable as a separate sale than it would be in  
            conjunction with the neighboring parcel;

          2.To local governments at their request; or

          3.To a former owner or long-time residential tenant who  
            continues to reside on the parcel.

          Caltrans deposits all revenues from managing the highway  
          rights-of-way in the state highway account.

          Existing law created the HSRA in 1996 to direct development and  
          implementation of intercity high-speed rail service that is  
          fully coordinated with other public transportation services.  In  
          2008, voters approved Proposition 1A (Prop 1A) authorizing $9.95  
          billion in general obligation bonds for the high-speed rail  
          project.  Prop 1A authorizes HSRA to use bond funds for, among  
          other things, acquisition of interests in real property and  
          rights-of-way.  Prop 1A also authorizes HSRA to either contract  
          with Caltrans for right-of-way activities or otherwise use DGS  
          processes for right-of-way acquisition pursuant to the state's  
          public acquisition law.

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          This bill grants HSRA similar property management authority as  
          that granted to Caltrans.  Specifically, this bill:

          1.Excludes high-speed rail rights-of-way from DGS' property  
            management authority and instead provides for HSRA to manage  
            the property;

          2.Enables the Chief Executive Director of HSRA to lease to  
            public agencies or private entities the airspace above or area  
            below high-speed rail rights-of-way as long as these leases do  
            not impact safety;

          3.Allows HSRA to sell excess high-speed rail rights-of-way  
            through a competitive process, or without seeking competitive  
            bids under the same conditions as Caltrans;

          4.Requires HSRA to deposit revenues from the lease or sale of  
            high-speed rail rights-of-way, or revenues from the sale of  
            real property no longer necessary for high-speed rail  
            purposes, into the High-Speed Rail Property Fund; and 

          5.Restricts the use of these revenues to the development,  
            improvement, and maintenance of the high-speed rail system,  
            upon appropriation by the Legislature.

           Comments
           
          According to the author's office, this bill allows HSRA to  
          address the high-speed rail project's short and long-term needs  
          by granting HSRA authority to manage property related to the  
          project.  This bill mirrors provisions of existing law,  
          regulation, and policy governing Caltrans' authority to manage  
          its properties and to sell its excess land.  The author's office  
          contends that this bill will enable HSRA to more effectively  
          manage property acquired for the high-speed rail project by  
          allowing it to negotiate with impacted landowners for continued  
          access, exchange property between adjoining landowners to help  
          mitigate impacts to existing uses, sell excess property no  
          longer required for the project, and lease property to  
          interested parties as a means of creating additional revenue  
          sources for the project.

           Why exempt HSRA rights-of-way from DGS management  ?  Generally,  

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          it is more efficient to consolidate property management  
          responsibilities in one state department than to let every  
          department manage its own properties.  There are a couple of  
          good reasons, however, for why the Legislature exempted Caltrans  
          from DGS' property management authority and granted Caltrans its  
          own managing abilities.  DGS manages much of the state's real  
          estate, including mostly "vertical" properties like office  
          buildings and the surrounding grounds.  These properties provide  
          different challenges and opportunities than the "horizontal"  
          rights-of-way managed by Caltrans, and presumably require  
          different skillsets to manage.  For example, purchasing or  
          selling portions of numerous contiguous parcels adjacent to  
          miles of highway is a very different task than negotiating the  
          purchase or sale of one full parcel occupied by an existing  
          building or other structure.  In addition, Caltrans has the  
          ability to deal with disputed deals in a public forum at  
          regularly-scheduled meetings of the California Transportation  
          Commission and therefore does not need to go through the typical  
          state acquisition process involving the California Public Works  
          Board.

          The HSRA will experience similar challenges and opportunities as  
          Caltrans with the high-speed rail rights-of-way.  Caltrans has  
          indicated that it does not have the capacity to manage HSRA's  
          properties, and, because DGS doesn't deal with many  
          rights-of-way, DGS is not well-suited for the management of  
          horizontal properties.  In addition, HSRA has the similar  
          ability as Caltrans to deal with land disputes in a public forum  
          at the HSRA board meetings.

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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:  

           Potential overall high-speed rail project savings, to the  
            extent that DGS would be relieved of administrative oversight  
            duties related to HSRA property management functions  
            (High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Fund).  While the bill would  
            increase costs to HSRA staff to handle property management  
            duties, these costs would likely be more than offset by  
            savings related to removing these additional administrative  
            requirements, and the revenue gains noted below.


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           Unknown revenue gains related to the authority granted to HSRA  
            to sell, exchange, and lease specified property to public and  
            private entities (High-Speed Rail Property Fund).  These funds  
            would be used for future development, improvement, and  
            maintenance of the high-speed rail system.

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  7/1/13)

          California High-Speed Rail Authority
          California State Association of Electrical Workers
          California State Pipe Trades Council
          Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  51-21, 5/23/13
          AYES:  Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Blumenfield, Bocanegra,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown, Buchanan, Ian Calderon,  
            Campos, Chau, Chesbro, Cooley, Daly, Dickinson, Eggman, Fong,  
            Frazier, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gordon, Gorell, Gray, Hall,  
            Roger Hernández, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Lowenthal, Medina,  
            Mitchell, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Pan, Perea, V. Manuel  
            Pérez, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Skinner, Stone, Ting,  
            Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Achadjian, Allen, Bigelow, Chávez, Conway, Dahle,  
            Donnelly, Beth Gaines, Harkey, Linder, Logue, Maienschein,  
            Mansoor, Melendez, Morrell, Nestande, Olsen, Patterson, Salas,  
            Wagner, Wilk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Fox, Grove, Hagman, Holden, Jones, Waldron,  
            Vacancy, Vacancy


          JA:ej  7/1/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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