BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 446


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          Date of Hearing:  April 27, 2015


                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES


                                 Das Williams, Chair


          AB 446  
          (Ridley-Thomas) - As Introduced February 23, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Baldwin Hills Conservancy


          SUMMARY:  Eliminates the 2018 sunset date for the Baldwin Hills  
          Conservancy (BHC).


          EXISTING LAW: 


          1)Established BHC in 2000 in the Natural Resources Agency (NRA)  
            and authorizes the BHC to acquire and manage public lands  
            within the Baldwin Hills area, is the land area currently  
            within the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, the Baldwin  
            Hills community, and the surrounding property.


          2)Prohibits BHC from regulating land use and exercising the  
            power of eminent domain.


          3)Authorizes BHC to fix and collect fees for the use of any land  
            owned or controlled, or for any service provided, by BHC.  
            Prohibits fees in excess of the cost of maintaining and  
            operating the land or of providing the service for which the  
            fee is charged.








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          4)Provides BHC with the first right of refusal to acquire lands  
            suitable for park and open space within its prescribed  
            territory, and authorizes BHC to accept private or public  
            lands offered for recreational trails. 





          5)Specifies that the board of BHC consist of 13 voting members  
            and 7 nonvoting members. The 13 voting members of the board  
            include the Secretary of NRA, the Director of Parks and  
            Recreation, the Director of Finance, the Director of the Los  
            Angeles County Department of Parks, the member of the Los  
            Angeles County Board of Supervisors within whose district the  
            majority of the Baldwin Hills area is located, and 6 members  
            of the public appointed by the Governor.  The 7 nonvoting  
            members are: the Secretary of the California Environmental  
            Protection Agency; the Executive Officer of the State Coastal  
            Conservancy; the Executive Officer of the State Lands  
            Commission; an appointee of the Governor with experience in  
            developing contaminated sites, commonly referred to as  
            "brownfields;" the Executive Director of the Santa Monica  
            Mountains Conservancy; the Director of the Culver City Human  
            Services Department; and the Director of the Department of  
            Conservation. Allows designees to serve for members of the  
            board.
             


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS: 


          1)Conservancy. BHC jurisdiction covers approximately 2 square  








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            miles and is the smallest of the state's 10 conservancies. BHC  
            is located approximately 6 miles from downtown Los Angeles.   
            There is significant oil production activity in the BHC's  
            jurisdiction. BHC plans to restore former oil production lands  
            to open space and make them available to the public as oil  
            production ceases. The goal of BHC is to eventually connect  
            public land into one big park (2 square miles) to serve the  
            area. This will help the surrounding residents have access to  
            the open space in a region that is lacking in park space. 



          2)Is sunset elimination appropriate at this time?  BHC does not  
            sunset until 2018; therefore, BHC will continue for several  
            years even with its current sunset. BHC has shown progress  
            toward achieving its mission and has worked well with local  
            organizations and other state agencies. BHC provides open  
            space and an educational component to communities that don't  
            have many other opportunities to be in and learn about nature.  
            BHC was subject to a Department of Finance (DOF) audit in  
            2008, which found deficiencies with BHC's pre-awarding  
            processes, monitoring of project status, and oversight over  
            bond funded projects. BHC responded to the audit and agreed to  
            take several corrective actions to address the deficiencies  
            found.  BHC received an allocation of $40 million from  
            Proposition 40 (2002), $10 million from Proposition 84 (2006),  
            and $10 million from Proposition 1 (2014). The Proposition 1  
            funds are meant for multibenefit water quality, water supply,  
            and watershed protection and restoration projects. Another  
            sunset review of BHC, could allow the Legislature to  
            scrutinize the spending of the bond funds allocated to BHC,  
            and the actions BHC has taken to respond to DOF's audit. 


          3)Oversight. NRA is responsible for overseeing all land  
            conservation activities and spending in the state. Yet the NRA  
            has not taken an active role in evaluating conservancies or  
            providing them with guidance or best practices. In addition,  
            only three of ten conservancies (State Coastal Conservancy,  








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            Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and Sierra Nevada  
            Conservancy) submit reports to the Legislature. 





          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California State Parks Foundation 


          City of Culver City


          Council for Watershed Health, Board of Directors


          County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors


          Los Angeles Audubon Society


          Natural Resources Defense Council 




          Opposition


          None on file








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          Analysis Prepared by:Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. / (916) 319-2092