BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 169
                                                                  Page  1


          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          SB 169 (Emmerson)
          As Amended  July 3, 2013
          Majority vote 

           TRANSPORTATION      15-0                                        
           
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          |Ayes:|Lowenthal, Linder,        |     |                          |
          |     |Achadjian, Ammiano,       |     |                          |
          |     |Bloom, Bonta, Buchanan,   |     |                          |
          |     |Daly, Gordon, Gatto,      |     |                          |
          |     |Holden, Morrell,          |     |                          |
          |     |Nazarian, Patterson,      |     |                          |
          |     |Quirk-Silva               |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Removes a 37-mile segment on Interstate 10 in  
          Riverside County from eligibility from the state scenic highway  
          system.  

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Establishes the State Scenic Highway Program and requires the  
            California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to  
            administer the program.  

          2)Designates portions of the state's highway system as eligible,  
            with specific segments to be approved by Caltrans as an  
            official scenic highway upon completion of specific criteria.   


          3)Authorizes Caltrans to revoke designation of a scenic highway  
            if specific standards are not maintained, such as regulating  
            land use and controlling outdoor advertising.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel. 

           COMMENTS  :  The Legislature established the State Scenic Highway  
          Program in 1963 under Caltrans' purview and required that a  
          "Master Plan" be adopted that lists highways that are eligible  
          for scenic designation.  The highways deemed eligible are  
          currently in statute and were selected by Caltrans based upon  








                                                                  SB 169
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          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.  

          The purpose of the Scenic Highway Program is to protect and  
          enhance the natural scenic beauty of California highways and  
          adjacent corridors, through special conservation treatment.   
          Upon receiving designation, program benefits include:   
          protecting the scenic corridor from encroachment of incompatible  
          land uses such as junkyards, dumps, concrete plants, and gravel  
          pits; mitigating activities within the corridor that detract  
          from its scenic quality by proper siting, landscaping, or  
          screening; and, prohibiting billboards and regulating on-site  
          signs so that they do not detract from scenic views.  

          A local agency (such as a city or county) that possesses a  
          scenic eligible corridor within its jurisdiction may prepare a  
          corridor management plan that describes the land use and other  
          relevant planning actions that it will implement to retain the  
          area's scenic quality.  If this plan meets specific criteria,  
          Caltrans will designate the identified portion of the route as  
          "scenic" and include special signs along designated routes and  
          also identify the routes on maps produced by the State Division  
          of Tourism.  Upon formal designation, current law 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 Caltrans has the ability to approve official scenic  
          highways, legislative action is the only way to remove any  
          segment identified as scenic eligible in statute.  








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          Current law includes Interstate 10, from Route 38 near Redlands  
          to Route 62 near Whitewater, as scenic eligible.  However,  
          Riverside County has never sought formal designation of this  
          corridor, which spans approximately 37 miles.  

          The author has proposed this legislation at the request of  
          Riverside County in order to allow the county to put up a new  
          billboard within specific section along this corridor.  The  
          author asserts that legislation is required because the county's  
          General Plan prohibits specific activities, including the  
          installation of a new billboard, on both designated scenic and  
          scenic eligible highways.  According to Riverside County, this  
          corridor's continued eligibility, and relevant General Plan  
          restrictions, prevents critical economic development along this  
          corridor.  Thus, this bill serves as a vehicle to allow  
          Riverside County to meet one its economic development  
          priorities.  
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Manny Leon / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093 


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