BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1259
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 16, 2013

                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON WATER, PARKS AND WILDLIFE
                                Anthony Rendon, Chair
                    AB 1259 (Olsen) - As Amended:  March 21, 2013
           
          SUBJECT  :   Flood protection: permit approval

           SUMMARY  :  Allows a city or county in an urban or urbanizing area  
          of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley (Central Valley), where  
          there is a moderate flooding hazard and the Federal Emergency  
          Management Agency (FEMA) has not yet conducted a risk analysis,  
          to approve a permit or entitlement to build a new residence or a  
          tentative map to build a new subdivision, if there is  
          substantial evidence in the record to show that the property  
          would receive an urban level of flood protection.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Defines an "undetermined risk area" to mean an urban or  
            urbanizing area within a moderate flood hazard zone, as  
            delineated on an official flood insurance rate map issued by  
            FEMA, which has not been determined to have an urban level of  
            protection.

          2)Prohibits a city or county in the Central Valley from entering  
            into a development agreement to build new residences for  
            property that is located within a flood hazard zone unless,  
            based on substantial evidence in the record, one of the four  
            following findings is made:

             a)   Existing flood protection facilities will protect the  
               project to an urban level of flood protection;
             b)   The city or county has imposed conditions on the  
               development agreement that will protect the project to an  
               urban level of flood protection; 
             c)   The local flood management agency has made adequate  
               progress on the construction of a system which will result  
               in flood protection equal or greater than the urban level  
               of flood protection; or, 
             d)   The property in an undetermined risk area has met the  
               urban level of flood protection based on substantial  
               evidence in the record.

          3)Prohibits a city or county within the Central Valley from  








                                                                  AB 1259
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            making any discretionary decision to approve a permit or  
            entitlement to build a new residence, or a tentative map to  
            build a new subdivision, if the project is located within a  
            flood hazard zone unless, based on substantial evidence in the  
            record, one of the three following findings is made:

             a)   Existing flood protection facilities will protect the  
               project to an urban level of flood protection;
             b)   The city or county has imposed conditions on the permit  
               or entitlement for the project, including a tentative map,  
               that will protect the project to an urban level of flood  
               protection; or, 
             c)   The local flood management agency has made adequate  
               progress on the construction of a system which will result  
               in flood protection for the project equal or greater than  
               the urban level of flood protection.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Nonfiscal

           COMMENTS  :   In 2007, former Governor Schwarzenegger signed a  
          six-bill flood package with the general purposes of identifying  
          the areas of the state with the greatest flood risk and to  
          reduce those risks.  Among the package was SB 5 (Machado)  
          Chapter 364, Statutes of 2007 that requires the Central Valley  
          Flood Protection Board to adopt an integrated flood management  
          plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Flood Management  
          System, by July 1, 2012.  Within 24 months of the adoption of  
          the Flood Plan (i.e. no later than July 1, 2014), cities and  
          counties are required to amend their general plans to  
          incorporate data and analysis from the Flood Plan. And within 12  
          months of amending its general plan (i.e. no later than July 1,  
          2015), a city or county must also update their zoning ordinances  
          to be consistent with the revised general plan.  Once the  
          general plan and zoning ordinances have been updated, the local  
          government is prohibited from allowing development on property  
          within a flood hazard zone unless the city or county makes  
          certain determinations.

          SB 1278 (Wolk), Chapter 553, Statutes of 2012, modified the  
          flood hazard planning and development requirements for those  
          cities and counties located in the Central Valley.  SB 1278  
          defined, among other terms, "undetermined risk area" and "urban  
          level of flood protection," and specified that an undetermined  
          risk area is one presumed to be at risk during a "200 year"  
          flood event (i.e. one that has a 1-in-200 chance of occurring in  








                                                                  AB 1259
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          any given year) unless deemed otherwise by the State Plan of  
          Flood Control, an official National Flood Insurance Program rate  
          map issued by FEMA, or a finding made by a city or county based  
          on a determination of substantial evidence by a local flood  
          agency. 

          SB 1278 also included, among its provisions, a new exception to  
          the provision prohibiting a city or county within the Central  
          Valley from entering into a development agreement for property  
          that is located within a flood hazard zone.  The new provision  
          allowed the city or county to approve the development agreement  
          if a finding could be made, based on substantial evidence in the  
          record, that the property in an undetermined risk area had met  
          the urban level of flood protection.  

           Supporting arguments  :  The author states that this bill will  
          bring clarity and consistency to local governments working to  
          comply with permitting requirements in an undetermined risk area  
          of a flood hazard zone by making the requirements that already  
          apply to the approval of development agreements also apply to  
          permits and tentative maps.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors

           Opposition 
           
          None on file.
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Tina Cannon Leahy / W., P. & W. / (916)  
          319-2096