BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    SB 1172

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          Date of Hearing:  June 13, 2016


                                 Das Williams, Chair

          1172 (Hancock) - As Introduced February 18, 2016

          SENATE VOTE:  38-0

          SUBJECT:  Tidelands and submerged lands:  City of Albany

          SUMMARY:  Repeals the existing granting statute to the City of  
          Albany (City) to eliminate the requirement that the trust lands  
          be used in a manner consistent with the obsolete Waterfront Plan  
          from 1977.  Replaces that outdated granting statute with a new  
          grant of public trust lands that is consistent with the City's  
          current waterfront improvement plans.

          EXISTING LAW:   

          1)Protects, pursuant to the common law doctrine of the public  
            trust (Public Trust Doctrine), the public's right to use  
            California's waterways for commerce, navigation, fishing,  
            boating, natural habitat protection, and other water-oriented  
            activities.  The Public Trust Doctrine provides that filled  
            and unfilled tide and submerged lands and the beds of lakes,  
            streams, and other navigable waterways (public trust lands)  
            are to be held in trust by the state for the benefit of the  
            people of California.  


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          2)Establishes that the State Lands Commission (SLC) is the  
            steward and manager of the state's public trust lands.  SLC  
            has direct administrative control over the state's public  
            trust lands and oversight authority over public trust lands  
            granted by the Legislature to local public agencies (granted  

          3)Grants the City three parcels of submerged tidelands along the  
            San Francisco Bay waterfront for the establishment,  
            improvement, and conduct of a harbor and other structures and  
            utilities necessary for the promotion of commerce and  

          4)Require future developments be consistent with the Albany  
            Waterfront Plan of 1977, which permits recreation-oriented  
            development, including a small craft marina and retail  

          5)Authorizes the City to grant franchises and leases on the  
            granted land for up to 66 years.

          6)Allocates, excess revenue from the granted land as follows:   
            85% to the General Fund, and 15% to the City.

          THIS BILL:

          1)Requires the City to submit a trust lands use plan to SLC for  
            approval on or before January 1, 2022.  The plan must describe  


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            (a) any proposed development, preservation, or other use of  
            the trust lands; (b) the projected statewide benefit; (c) the  
            proposed method of financing any development; (d) an estimated  
            timetable for implementing each phase of the plan; and (e) how  
            the City proposes to protect the resources and facilities on  
            the trust lands, particularly from the impacts of sea level  

          2)Requires the City to submit a report to SLC on or before  
            September 30, 2022, and every five years thereafter,  
            describing how the trust lands have been used.

          3)Requires the City to establish an accounting system to track  
            revenue received from the trust lands and any associated  
            assets.  Any revenue received must be kept separate from other  
            City money and can only be spent in a way that is consistent  
            with this bill.

          4)Requires the City to get approval from SLC before spending  
            trust revenues for any large capital improvement project  
            ($250,000 or greater).

          5)Requires 20% of trust revenue be transmitted to SLC.  Of this  
            amount transmitted, 80% will be put in the General Fund and  
            the remaining 20% will be deposited in the Land Bank Fund.   
            Money in the Land Bank Fund is used to manage SLC granted  
            lands program. 

          6)Permits the City to lease the land under certain conditions  


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            for less than 50 years.

          7)Requires, on or before January 1, 2019, SLC to survey,  
            monument, and record a plat and a metes and bounds description  
            of the trust lands in the office of the county recorder in the  
            County of Alameda.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.


          1)Public Trust.  The foundational principle of the common law  
            Public Trust Doctrine is that it is an affirmative duty of the  
            state to protect the people's common heritage in navigable  
            waters for their common use.  The traditional uses allowed  
            under the Public Trust Doctrine were described as  
            water-related commerce, navigation, and fisheries.  As a  
            common law doctrine, the courts have significantly shaped the  
            Public Trust Doctrine in a number of important ways.  Courts  
            have found that the public uses to which sovereign lands are  
            subject are sufficiently flexible to encompass changing public  
            needs.  The courts have also found that preservation of these  
            lands in their natural state, so that they may serve as  
            ecological units for scientific study, as open space, and as  
            environments that provide food and habitat for birds and  
            marine life, are appropriate uses under the common law Public  
            Trust Doctrine. Courts have also made clear that sovereign  
            lands subject to the Public Trust Doctrine cannot be sold into  
            private ownership.

          2)Background on Granted Lands.  For over 100 years, the  
            Legislature has granted public trust lands to local  
            governments so the lands can be managed locally for the  
            benefit of the people of California.  There are over 80  


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            trustees in the state, including the ports of Los Angeles,  
            Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond,  
            Benicia, and Eureka.  While these trust lands are managed  
            locally, SLC has oversight authority to ensure those local  
            trustees are complying with the Public Trust Doctrine and the  
            applicable granting statutes.

          3)The Albany Neck and Bulb.  In 1919, the state granted the City  
            three parcels of submerged tidelands along the San Francisco  
            Bay waterfront.  These lands include what is now known as the  
            Albany Neck and Bulb portion of the waterfront.  The Neck and  
            Bulb are located at the base of Buchanan Street and protrude  
            into the bay.  That granting statute was later amended  
            (Chapter 1223, Statutes of 1977) to require future development  
            is consistent with the Albany Waterfront Plan.  The Albany  
            Waterfront Plan reflected the City's plans at that time for  
            recreation-oriented development, including constructing a  
            small craft marina and retail complex.  However, the plan was  
            never implemented.

            Since 1977, policy at the local, regional, and state levels  
            has shifted away from commercial waterfront development on the  
            publically-owned portion of the Albany waterfront.  The City  
            is currently in the process of developing a new plan for  
            improving the Albany Neck and Bulb area and transitioning the  
            area to become part of the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.   
            The McLaughlin Eastshore State Park includes tidelands and  
            upland property along 8.5 miles of shoreline extending from  
            the City of Richmond in the north to Emeryville and Oakland in  
            the south.  McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is operated by the  
            East Bay Regional Park District. The Albany Bulb and Neck is  
            currently open to the public for recreational uses.  This bill  
            would allow the City to enter into an agreement with East Bay  
            Regional Park District to manage the Albany Neck and Bulb as  
            part of the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.


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          4)Amendment.  This bill requires SLC to conduct a survey to  
            record a metes and bounds description of the trust lands.   
            However, the bill already has a detailed land description and  
            the land has already been surveyed in the past.  The author  
            and committee may wish to consider amending the bill to remove  
            the survey requirement. 
          5)Double Referral.  This bill has been double referred to the  
            Assembly Local Government Committee.



          City of Albany

          State Lands Commission


          None on file

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


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