BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                            



           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 169|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           
                                           
                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 169
          Author:   Emmerson (R)
          Amended:  As introduced
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE  :  10-1, 4/2/13
          AYES:  DeSaulnier, Gaines, Beall, Cannella, Galgiani, Hueso,  
            Lara, Liu, Roth, Wyland
          NOES:  Pavley

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8 


           SUBJECT  :    State Scenic Highway System: removal of a segment of
                      Interstate10

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill removes the segment of Interstate 10  
          between postmiles 16.54 and 17.66 in the County of Riverside  
          from eligibility for inclusion in the State Scenic Highway  
          System.  

           ANALYSIS  :    The Legislature instituted the State Scenic Highway  
          Program in 1963 and, since that time, the California Department  
          of Transportation (Caltrans) has maintained it.  This program  
          establishes the state's responsibility for the protection and  
          enhancement of California's natural scenic beauty.  Pursuant to  
          that goal, the Legislature makes portions of the state highway  
          system eligible to be a state scenic highway.  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 169
                                                                     Page  
          2

          The 1963 legislation adopted a "Master Plan" that lists highways  
          that are eligible for scenic designation.  The Legislature has  
          made additional designations since that time.  The highways  
          deemed eligible are chosen based upon five factors:  (1)  
          intrinsic scenic value and experiences that the route would  
          provide; (2) the diversity of experience, such as the transition  
          between different landscape regions or climatic areas that  
          travel on the route would furnish; (3) the degree to which the  
          route would link specific scenic, historical, and recreational  
          points or areas of interest; (4) the relationship of these  
          routes to urban areas, taking into account the opportunities for  
          weekend and one-day sightseeing trips by large numbers of  
          people; and (5) the opportunities for bypassing, or leaving  
          periodically, major trans-state or inter-regional routes. 

          After the Legislature deems a highway eligible, a local agency  
          (such as a city or county) must prepare a corridor management  
          plan that describes the land use and other relevant planning  
          actions that it will implement to retain scenic quality.  If  
          this plan is adequate, the Caltrans Director determines the  
          route "scenic," and it is then designated.  Upon formal  
          designation, current law also requires local agencies to take  
          actions that may be necessary to protect the scenic appearance  
          of the corridor - the band of land generally adjacent to the  
          highway right of way - including, but not limited to:  (1)  
          regulation of land use and intensity of development; (2)  
          detailed land and site planning; (3) control of outdoor  
          advertising; (4) careful attention to and control of earthmoving  
          and landscaping; and (5) the design and appearance of structures  
          and equipment.

          While the Caltrans Director has the ability to approve official  
          scenic highways, it does not have the authority to remove a  
          designation or remove a segment from eligibility.  Legislative  
          approval is required to remove an eligible route.

          Current law includes Interstate 10 from Route 38 near Redlands  
          to Route 62 near Whitewater as eligible for the State Scenic  
          Highway System.  Interstate 10 is currently deemed eligible for  
          designation, however, Riverside County never sought formal  
          designation.

          This bill removes the segment of Interstate 10 between postmiles  
          16.54 and 17.66 in the County of Riverside from eligibility from  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 169
                                                                     Page  
          3

          the State Scenic Highway System.  

           Comments
           
          The author is seeking to remove a segment of the scenic highway  
          on Interstate 10 in Riverside County between postmiles 16.54 and  
          17.66 that does not meet the criteria for the scenic eligibility  
          designation.  In June 2011, pursuant to a request by the  
          Riverside County Board of Supervisors, Caltrans reviewed the  
          1.12 mile segment.  Caltrans determined that the segment is no  
          longer eligible for inclusion in the program due to "visual  
          intrusions," including railroad tracks, an active gravel pit,  
          and numerous existing billboards.  In addition, the segment has  
          also been developed with an outlet mall and a casino on the  
          Morongo Indian Reservation.  The county states the segment's  
          continued eligibility in the program prevents critical economic  
          development and the creation of a path towards recovery.  

          Riverside County would like to put in a new billboard in the  
          1.12 mile segment.  The Riverside County General Plan, however,  
          presently prevents this from occurring.  The General Plan  
          prohibits specific activities on "scenic" and "scenic eligible"  
          highways, including putting up this new billboard.  Riverside  
          County does not wish to change the local policy because it could  
          allow and encourage the construction of additional and unwanted  
          billboards in other areas of the county.  

          The area surrounding the 1.12 mile segment contains many  
          billboards.  Riverside County states that it has been working  
          with a local advertising group and is seeking to consolidate the  
          number of existing billboards in the area and replace others  
          with digital billboards.  The 1.12 miles segment is found on a  
          stretch of freeway that is the only means of traveling.  Due to  
          these travel limitations, this segment often experiences heavy  
          traffic.  

          Riverside County states that the visibility of a new billboard  
          in this segment due to the frequency of travel would generate  
          needed revenue for the county.  Furthermore, the county would  
          use money generated from the new billboard to fund alternative  
          travel routes along this segment of Interstate 10 to use during  
          emergencies and heavy traffic, as well as digital boards that  
          provide public service announcements.  


                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 169
                                                                     Page  
          4

          Segments of freeways that are classified "landscaped freeway"  
          are subject to the Outdoor Advertising Act, which preclude the  
          installation of billboards.  The segment of highway at issue in  
          this bill is not classified as landscaped, so there is no  
          conflict with the Outdoor Advertising Act.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  4/12/13)

          Riverside County

          JA:nl  4/15/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                   ****  END  ****



























                                                                CONTINUED