BILL ANALYSIS Ó 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.