BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                       AB 530

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          530 (Rendon)

          As Amended  June 1, 2015

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |      |                      |                    |
          |                |      |                      |                    |
          |Water           |15-0  |Levine, Bigelow,      |                    |
          |                |      |Dababneh, Dahle,      |                    |
          |                |      |Dodd, Beth Gaines,    |                    |
          |                |      |Cristina Garcia,      |                    |
          |                |      |Gomez, Harper, Lopez, |                    |
          |                |      |Mathis, Medina,       |                    |
          |                |      |Rendon, Salas,        |                    |
          |                |      |Williams              |                    |
          |                |      |                      |                    |
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,       |                    |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,      |                    |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly, Eggman,  |                    |
          |                |      |Gallagher,            |                    |
          |                |      |                      |                    |
          |                |      |                      |                    |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,       |                    |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |      |Jones, Quirk, Rendon, |                    |
          |                |      |Wagner, Weber, Wood   |                    |
          |                |      |                      |                    |


                                                                       AB 530

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          |                |      |                      |                    |

          SUMMARY:  Requires the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers  
          and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) to staff, and the Secretary of the  
          California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) to appoint, a working  
          group that is tasked with developing a revitalization plan for the  
          lower Los Angeles River (Lower LA River).  Specifically, this  

          1)Makes findings including, but not limited to, the history and  
            importance of the Los Angeles (LA) River and the need to create  
            a plan for the Lower LA River that updates the LA County 1996 LA  
            River Revitalization Master Plan. 

          2)Adds a chapter to the RMC Act creating the Lower LA River  
            Working Group (Working Group) and specifying that the Working  
            Group shall develop a revitalization plan by March 1, 2017, for  
            the Lower LA River.

          3)Requires the CNRA Secretary, in coordination with the LA County  
            Board of Supervisors, to appoint members to the Working Group  
            including, but not limited to, representatives from the RMC, LA  
            County, the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, the LA  
            Gateway Region Integrated Regional Water Management Plan Joint  
            Powers Authority, elected officials from cities that border the  
            Lower LA River, and non-profit organizations serving the LA  

          4)Allows that revitalization plan development and implementation  
            may be funded from any public or private source including the  
            $100 million in funding from the Water Quality, Supply, and  
            Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1 or Prop.  


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          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Designates the LA River as a traditional navigable waterway  
            protected under the federal Clean Water Act. 

          2)Establishes the RMC in the CNRA, as a state agency with the  
            following purposes:

             a)   To acquire and manage public lands within the Lower LA  
               River and San Gabriel River watersheds, and to provide  
               open-space, low-impact recreational and educational uses,  
               water conservation, watershed improvement, wildlife and  
               habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvement  
               within the territory.

             b)   To preserve the San Gabriel River and the Lower LA River  
               consistent with existing and adopted river and flood control  
               projects for the protection of life and property.

             c)   To acquire open-space lands within the territory of the  

             d)   To provide for the public's enjoyment and enhancement of  
               recreational and educational experiences on public lands in  
               the San Gabriel Watershed and Lower LA River, and the San  
               Gabriel Mountains in a manner consistent with the protection  
               of lands and resources in those watersheds.

          3)Provides $30 million dollars in Prop. 1 for the RMC and another  
            $100 million in Prop. 1 for urban rivers and streams including,  


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            but not limited to, the LA River and its tributaries as defined  
            in the RMC Act and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC)  
            Act, which covers the upper LA River.

          4)Creates the LA County Flood Control District (LACFCD) and  
            empowers it to provide for: 

             a)   Control and conservation of the flood, storm and other  
               waste waters of the district, to conserve those waters for  
               beneficial and useful purposes; 

             b)   Protection of the harbors, waterways, public highways and  
               property in the district from flood water or storm water  
               damage; and, 

             c)   Access to navigable waterways under LACFCD's control,  
               including the LA River, where such access is suitable for  
               education and recreational purposes and not inconsistent with  
               flood control and water conservation uses.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  

          1)Potential reimbursable local state mandated costs in the  
            $250,000 range (General Fund).

          2)Additional costs, in the $50,000 to $100,000 range for the  
            Conservancy to staff the Working Group and develop the Plan.

          3)Minor, absorbable costs for CNRA.


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          COMMENTS:  This bill would create a planning process for the Lower  
          LA River, the 19 miles of river that once it leaves downtown Los  
          Angeles flows through multiple cities until it reaches the Pacific  
          Ocean at Long Beach Harbor.  The LA River is 51 miles long.   
          Currently, the upper 32-mile stretch, which reaches from the San  
          Fernando Valley to downtown LA and lies within the City of LA, has  
          its own LA River Revitalization Master Plan (City Master Plan)  
          released in 2007.  The Lower LA River does not have such a plan.

          The author states that there is not a revitalization plan specific  
          to the Lower LA River, although the 1996 County Los Angeles River  
          Master Plan (County Master Plan) included a few projects for  
          cities along the Lower LA River.   The author states that there is  
          now a need for a comprehensive revitalization plan that focuses  
          more attention and resources on the Southeast LA County cities  
          which include Vernon, Commerce, Maywood, Bell, Bell Gardens,  
          Cudahy, South Gate, Lynwood, Compton, Paramount, Carson, and Long  

          In the late 1700s when the Spanish founded the pueblo that became  
          LA, the LA River supported diverse flora and fauna and much of  
          what is now southern and western Los Angeles was marsh.  As LA  
          grew and prospered, settlements and farming continued to encroach  
          upon the river's floodplain, while also depending upon it for  
          water.  Devastating flooding in the 1930s forced the LACFCD to ask  
          for federal help.  In 1936, Congress directed the United States  
          Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to channelize the river to  
          help control flooding.  Channelization by concrete started in 1938  
          and was completed in 1960.  

          Although planners had envisioned greenbelts interconnecting  
          parklands along the river as early as the 1930s, the more recent  
          interest in the revitalization and promotion of the re-integration  
          of the river and its tributaries into the adjacent neighborhoods  
          began in the mid-to-late 1980s.  There was growing recognition  


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          that compared to other large American cities LA has relatively  
          fewer parks, particularly in under-represented communities.  In  
          the early 1990s, community activism coincided with LA County  
          beginning a process that resulted in the County Master Plan in  
          1996.  The County Master Plan described how economic growth could  
          be spurred along the river in the county through zoning changes  
          and the development of open space, recreational, cultural,  
          artistic, educational, and other opportunities.

          The LA City Council established its own ad hoc committee on the  
          river in 2002 and the City's Master Plan was released in 2007.   
          Continuing the long-term goals of the County Master Plan, the City  
          Master Plan also promoted the revitalization of the river as a  
          multi-benefit solution to addressing and enhancing water quality  
          and flood control while enabling safe access to the river and  
          restoring a functional river ecosystem.  

          In 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency  
          announced that its designation of the LA River as a "traditional  
          navigable waterway," protected under the Clean Water Act, would  
          ensure the vitality of the river.  The LA River was also  
          identified in 2010 as a priority by the Obama administration under  
          the America's Great Outdoors initiative and is now one of seven  
          pilot cities for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.  Then, in  
          May 2014, the Army Corps backed the $1 billion alternative in the  
          Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Study, a plan to restore  
          an 11-mile stretch of the LA River from Griffith Park to downtown  

          Like this bill, AB 1251 (Gomez), of the current legislative  
          session, is focused on the LA River.  AB 1251 would enact the  
          Greenway Development and Sustainability Act in order to promote a  
          greenway along the LA River that focuses on public-private  
          partnerships aimed at establishing a continuous pedestrian bikeway  
          along the LA River and its tributaries in order to foster job  
          creation, economic development, and community revitalization.   


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          Previously, SB 1201 (De León), Chapter 212, Statutes of 2012,  
          provided for public use of the LA River by adding education and  
          recreational purposes to the LA County Flood Control Act where  
          those uses were not inconsistent with flood control and water  

          Supporters state that this bill starts a conversation about how  
          the entire LA River can be managed collaboratively as work on the  
          Lower LA River has lagged behind the upper parts of the river.   
          Supporters state that there is now a need for a comprehensive  
          revitalization plan that focuses more attention and resources on  
          the Southeast LA County cities.

          There is no known opposition to this bill.

          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Tina Leahy / W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096  FN: