BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                     SENATE GOVERNANCE & FINANCE COMMITTEE
                            Senator Lois Wolk, Chair
          

          BILL NO:  AB 1259                     HEARING:  7/3/13
          AUTHOR:  Olsen                        FISCAL:  No 
          VERSION:  3/21/13                     TAX LEVY:  No
          CONSULTANT:  Lui                      

                         FLOOD PROTECTION AND LAND USE
          

          Makes changes to Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley cities' and  
          counties' development practices in flood hazard zones. 


                           Background and Existing Law
                                         
          In 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a six-bill flood  
          package that identified high-risk flood hazard zones and  
          planned for future development. 

          One of the six bills, SB 5 (Wolk, 2007) required each city  
          and county within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley must  
          amend its general plan within two years of the Central  
          Valley Flood Protection Board adopting the Central Valley  
          Flood Protection Plan, which is an integrated flood  
          management plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Flood  
          Management System.  On June 29, 2012, the Board adopted the  
          Flood Plan.  SB 5 also required the city or county to also  
          amend its zoning ordinance to make it consistent with its  
          general plan within 36 months of the Board's adopting the  
          Flood Plan.  The Department of Water Resources must issue  
          draft 200-year floodplain maps for areas protected by the  
          State Plan of Flood Control by July 2, 2013 (AB 1965, Pan,  
          2012). 

          Once a city or county's general plan and zoning ordinance  
          amendments become effective, a city or county is prohibited  
          from entering into a development agreement for property  
          that is located in a flood hazard zone unless the city or  
          county makes specified findings, including, among others,  
          that certain conditions have been imposed by the city or  
          county, unless it makes one of three findings:
                 The State Plan of Flood Control's facilities or  
               other flood management facilities protect the property  
               to the urban level of flood (200-year flood level of  
               protection) protection in urban and urbanizing areas  




          AB 1259 -- 3/21/13 -- Page 2


               or the national Federal Emergency Management Agency's  
               (FEMA) standard of flood protection in nonurbanized  
               areas;
                 The city or county has imposed conditions on the  
               development agreement that will protect property to  
               the urban level of flood protection in urban and  
               urbanizing areas or FEMA's standard of flood  
               protection in nonurbanized areas; 
                 The local flood management agency has made adequate  
               progress on the
               construction of a flood protection system that will  
               result in flood protection equal to or greater than  
               the urban level of flood protection in urban or  
               urbanizing areas or FEMA's standard of flood  
               protection in nonurbanized areas.

          Last year, cities and counties asked for more time to  
          develop mapping information and identify areas for the  
          upcoming general plan and zoning ordinance amendments'  
          deadlines.  In response, the Legislature enacted AB 1965  
          and         SB 1278 (Wolk, 2012).  SB 1278 requires each  
          city and county within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley to  
          amend its general plan before July 2, 2015, and to amend  
          its zoning ordinance within a year after the amendment of  
          its general plan.

          SB 1278 also allows a city or county to enter into a  
          development agreement for property located in a flood  
          hazard zone if it makes a finding that property in an  
          undetermined risk area has met the urban level of flood  
          protection.  State law defines an "undetermined risk area"  
          as an urban or urbanizing area within a moderate flood  
          hazard zone, as shown on an official flood insurance rate  
          map by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has  
          not been determined to have an urban level of flood  
          protection.

          Cities and counties would also like to be able to approve  
          discretionary permits, ministerial permits, tentative maps,  
          and parcel maps, based on a finding that property in an  
          undetermined risk area has met the urban level of flood  
          protection. 


                                   Proposed Law  

          Assembly Bill 1259 allows a city or county within the  





          AB 1259 -- 3/21/13 -- Page 3


          Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley, which has updated its  
          general plan and zoning ordinance, to approve a  
          discretionary permit or other discretionary entitlement, or  
          a ministerial permit that would result in the construction  
          of a new residence, for a project located in a flood hazard  
          zone, if the city or county makes a finding that the  
          property in an undetermined risk area has met the urban  
          level of flood protection.

          AB 1259 also allows a city or county that has updated its  
          general plan and zoning ordinance to approve a tentative  
          map, or a parcel map for which a tentative map was not  
          required, for a subdivision located in a flood hazard zone,  
          if the city or county makes a finding that the property in  
          an undetermined risk area has met the urban level of flood  
          protection.




                               State Revenue Impact
           
          No estimate. 


                                     Comments  

          1.   Purpose of the bill  .  Cities and counties in the  
          Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley can enter into development  
          agreements for a project in a flood hazard zone if the  
          local agency makes a specified finding.  According to the  
          author, "A coalition of local governments joined together  
          to address certain needed changes to the [2007 flood  
          package].  Conforming amendments are needed to sections  
          [pertaining to discretionary and ministerial permits and  
          tentative maps]."  Although SB 1278 included language that  
          permits cities and counties to enter into development  
          agreements if the local government makes a finding,  
          equivalent sections addressing permits and tentative maps  
          were not included.  The bill builds upon SB 1278, by  
          allowing a city or county to approve a discretionary  
          permit, ministerial permit that constructs a new residence,  
          or a tentative map, if the local government makes a finding  
          that the property in an undetermined risk area meets the  
          urban level of flood protection. 

          2.   Double-referral  .  The Senate Rules Committee ordered a  





          AB 1259 -- 3/21/13 -- Page 4


          double-referral of   AB 1359 to the Senate Natural  
          Resources and Water Committee, which has jurisdiction over  
          flood management policies, and the Senate Governance and  
          Finance Committee, which analyzes land use planning.  The  
          bill passed out of Senate Natural Resources and Water on  
          June 25 on a 9-0 vote.


                                 Assembly Actions  

          Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee:15-0
          Assembly Local Government Committee:  9-0
          Assembly Floor:                              75-0


                         Support and Opposition  (6/27/13)

           Support  :  San Joaquin County; California Association of  
          Realtors; California State Association of Counties; City of  
          Sacramento; Rural County Representatives of California  
          (RCRC).

           Opposition  :  Unknown.