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SB-1625 Baldwin Hills Conservancy.(1999-2000)

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SB1625:v94#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 1625
CHAPTER 428

An act to add and repeal Division 22.7 (commencing with Section 32550) of the Public Resources Code, relating to the Baldwin Hills Conservancy.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 13, 2000. Approved by Governor  September 12, 2000. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1625, Murray. Baldwin Hills Conservancy.
Existing law authorizes various conservancies to acquire, manage direct the management of, and conserve public lands in the state.
This bill would, until January 1, 2008, establish the Baldwin Hills Conservancy to acquire and direct the management of public lands within the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles County, as defined, and would prescribe the management, powers, and duties of the conservancy.
The bill would require the Legislative Analyst, not later than December 31, 2006, to review the effectiveness of the conservancy in acquiring and developing open-space land and recreational opportunities in the Baldwin Hills area, and to submit to the Legislature a report on specified matters concerning the conservancy.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Division 22.7 (commencing with Section 32550) is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

DIVISION 22.7. BALDWIN HILLS CONSERVANCY ACT

CHAPTER  1. General Provisions

32550.
 This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Act.

32551.
 The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Baldwin Hills area within the County of Los Angeles and the cities of Los Angeles and Culver City constitutes an area with unique and important cultural, scientific, educational, recreational, and scenic resources, and includes land with the highest elevation in the Los Angeles Basin.
(b) The state recognized the importance of, and the need for, recreational venues in this area by purchasing and establishing the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in 1983, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation. The County of Los Angeles operates the state recreation area pursuant to a contract with the Department of Parks and Recreation.
(c) In recognition of the evolving community needs in the Baldwin Hills area, in 1999 the Legislature directed the review and revision of the master plan for the existing state recreation area as well as the acquisition of other lands in the Baldwin Hills.
(d) As one of the last remaining urban open spaces in Los Angeles County, the Baldwin Hills area should be held in trust to be preserved and enhanced for the enjoyment of, and appreciation by, present and future generations.
(e) The Baldwin Hills Conservancy should be created to develop and coordinate an integrated program of resources stewardship so that the Baldwin Hills area is managed for its optimum recreational and natural resource values based upon the needs and desires of the surrounding community.

CHAPTER  2. Definitions

32553.
 As used in this division, the following terms have the following meaning:
(a) “Baldwin Hills area” means the land area currently within the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, the Baldwin Hills community, the surrounding property bordered on the south by Slausen Avenue, and on the east by La Brea Avenue, and including a spur of land extending from Stocker Avenue to an area between La Brea Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, and including Ballona Creek and adjacent property within one-quarter mile of Ballona Creek on either side, from the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) to the Marina Freeway (Interstate 90).
(b) “Board” means the governing board of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy.
(c) “Conservancy” means the Baldwin Hills Conservancy.
(d) “Fund” means the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Fund created pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 32574.
(e) “Nonprofit organization” means an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(f) “Territory” means the land in the Baldwin Hills area that is under the jurisdiction of the conservancy.

CHAPTER  3. Conservancy

32555.
 There is in the Resources Agency, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, which is created for the following purposes:
(a) To acquire and manage public lands within the Baldwin Hills area, and to provide recreational, open-space, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and lands for educational uses within the area.
(b) To acquire open-space lands within the territory of the conservancy.
(c) To provide for the public’s enjoyment, and to enhance the recreational and educational experience on public lands in the territory in a manner consistent with the protection of lands and resources in the area.

32556.
 (a) The board shall consist of nine voting members and six nonvoting members.
(b) The nine voting members of the board shall consist of the following:
(1) The Secretary of the Resources Agency, or his or her designee.
(2) The Director of Parks and Recreation, or his or her designee.
(3) The Director of Finance, or his or her designee.
(4) The Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks, or his or her designee.
(5) Three members of the public appointed by the Governor who are residents of Los Angeles County selected from a list of prominent members of the community who shall represent the diversity of the surrounding community.
(6) A resident of Los Angeles County appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, and a resident of Los Angeles County appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules.
(c) The six nonvoting members shall consist of the following:
(1) The Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, or his or her designee.
(2) The Executive Officer of the State Coastal Conservancy, or his or her designee.
(3) The Executive Officer of the State Lands Commission, or his or her designee.
(4) An appointee of the Governor with experience in developing contaminated sites, commonly referred to as “brownfields.”
(5) The Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, or his or her designee.
(6) The Director of the Culver City Department of Parks and Recreation.
(d) A quorum shall consist of five voting members of the board, and any action of the board affecting any matter before the board shall be decided by a majority vote of the voting members present, a quorum being present. However, the affirmative vote of at least four of the voting members of the board shall be required for the transaction of any business of the board.

32557.
 (a) The voting members of the board shall serve for two-year terms. Any vacancy on the board shall be filled within 60 days from its occurrence by the appointing authority.
(b) No person shall continue as a member of the board if that person ceases to hold the office that qualifies that person for board membership. Upon the occurrence of that event, that person’s membership on the board shall automatically terminate.

32558.
 The chairperson and vice-chairperson of the board shall be selected by a majority of the voting members of the board for one-year terms.

32559.
 The conservancy may employ an executive officer and other staff to perform those functions that cannot be provided by volunteers.

32560.
 All meetings of the board shall be subject to the requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

32561.
 All members shall receive reimbursement for actual, necessary, and reasonable expenses. Any member of the board who is not a full-time public employee shall be compensated at a rate not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per regular meeting, not to exceed 12 regular meetings a year. Any member of the board may waive compensation.

32562.
 The conservancy shall obtain and maintain adequate liability insurance or its equivalent for acts or omissions of the conservancy’s agents, employees, volunteers, and servants.

CHAPTER  4. Powers and Duties

32565.
 The jurisdiction of the conservancy includes those lands or other areas that are donated to, or otherwise acquired by, or are operated by the conservancy, that are located in the Baldwin Hills area.

32565.5.
 The conservancy shall do all of the following:
(a) Develop and coordinate an integrated program of resource stewardship so that the entire Baldwin Hills area is managed for optimum recreational and natural resource values based upon the needs and desires of the surrounding community.
(b) Establish policies and priorities within the Baldwin Hills area, and conduct any necessary planning activities in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32555.
(c) Give priority to related projects that create expanded opportunities that provide recreation, aesthetic improvement, and wildlife habitat in the Baldwin Hills area.
(d) Approve conservancy funded projects that advance the policies and proprieties set forth in this division.
(e) Enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Parks and Recreation that would require the conservancy and the department to cooperate in the sharing of technical assistance, data, and information.
(f) Upon submission to the Legislature of the master plan required to be prepared pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1 of Chapter 752 of the Statutes of 1999 by the Secretary of the Resources Agency and the Director of Parks and Recreation, the conservancy shall, by May 1, 2002, approve the master plan, and prioritize and implement both of the following in accordance with the master plan and with the master plan recommendations:
(1) The acquisition of additional recreational and open space and a plan for the management of lands under the jurisdiction of the conservancy, including additional or upgraded facilities and parks that may be necessary or desirable.
(2) The planned conveyance of lands acquired and restored, or lands acquired, restored, and developed, to the Department of Parks and Recreation or to any other public agency once the acquisition and improvements have been finalized. Any such transfer shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Resources Agency. The secretary may require all lands and facilities subject to transfer to be repaired, replaced, or rehabilitated to a fully operable condition, prior to the transfer occurring.
(g) Review and approve any operating agreement or amendments to an existing operating agreement between the Department of Parks and Recreation and any local operating agency, including the County of Los Angeles, for the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Any proposed operating agreement or an amendment to an agreement shall be submitted to the conservancy at least 90 days prior to the proposed effective date of the agreement and shall not become effective unless the conservancy certifies, in writing, its approval of the proposed agreement.

32566.
 The conservancy may direct the management, operation, administration, and maintenance of the lands and facilities it acquires in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32555. The conservancy may adopt regulations governing the use by the public of conservancy lands and facilities and may provide for the enforcement of those regulations.

32567.
 The conservancy shall determine acquisition priorities and may acquire real property or any interest in real property within the Baldwin Hills area from willing sellers and at fair market value or on other mutually acceptable terms, upon a finding that the acquisition is consistent with the purposes of the conservancy. The conservancy may acquire the property itself, or may coordinate the acquisition with other public agencies with appropriate responsibility and available funding or land to exchange. The overall objectives of the land acquisition program shall be to assist in accomplishing land transactions that are mutually beneficial to the landowners and the conservancy, and that meet the conservancy’s purposes. Neither the conservancy nor the State Board of Public Works shall exercise the power of eminent domain for the purposes of this division. The conservancy shall have the first right of refusal to acquire public lands suitable for park and open space within the conservancy’s territory, and may accept private or public lands offered for recreational trails or private lands offered in satisfaction of delinquent taxes owed on land located within the territory of the conservancy.

32568.
 The conservancy may undertake site improvement projects; regulate public access; revegetate and otherwise rehabilitate degraded areas, in consultation with other public agencies with appropriate jurisdiction and expertise; upgrade deteriorating facilities; and construct new facilities as needed for outdoor recreation, nature appreciation and interpretation, and natural resource protection. These projects shall be directed by the conservancy and undertaken by other public agencies, with the conservancy providing overall coordination through setting priorities for projects and assuring uniformity of approach.

32569.
 (a) The conservancy may award grants to local public agencies, state agencies, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations for the purposes of this division.
(b) Grants to nonprofit organizations for the acquisition of real property or interests in real property shall be subject to all of the following conditions:
(1) The conservancy may acquire property at fair market value and consistent with the Property Acquisition Law (Part 11 (commencing with Section 15850) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), except that the acquisition price of lands acquired from public agencies shall be based on the public agencies’ cost to acquire the land.
(2) The conservancy shall approve the terms under which the interest in land is acquired.
(3) The interest in land acquired pursuant to a grant from the conservancy may not be used as security for any debt incurred by the nonprofit organization unless the conservancy approves the transaction.
(4) The transfer of land acquired pursuant to a grant shall be subject to the approval of the conservancy and the execution of an agreement between the conservancy and the transferee sufficient to protect the interests of the conservancy.
(5) The conservancy shall have a right of entry and power of termination in and over all interests in real property acquired with state funds, which may be exercised if any essential term or condition of the grant is violated.
(6) If the existence of the nonprofit organization is terminated for any reason, title to all interest in real property acquired with state funds shall immediately vest in the conservancy, except that, prior to that termination, another public agency or nonprofit organization may receive title to all or a portion of that interest in real property, by recording its acceptance of title, together with the conservancy’s approval, in writing.
(c) Any deed or other instrument of conveyance whereby real property is acquired by a nonprofit organization pursuant to this section shall be recorded and shall set forth the executory interest or right of entry on the part of the conservancy.

32570.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the conservancy may lease, rent, sell, exchange, or otherwise transfer any real property or interest therein or option acquired under this division to a local public agency, state agency, federal agency, nonprofit organization, individual, or other entity for management purposes pursuant to terms and conditions approved by the conservancy. The conservancy may request the Director of General Services to undertake these actions on its behalf.
(b) The conservancy may initiate, negotiate, and participate in agreements for the management of land under its ownership or control with local public agencies, state agencies, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, individuals, or other entities and may enter into any other agreements authorized by state or federal law.
(c) The conservancy shall approve changes to the current agreement for the operation of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area that may be proposed for adoption by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

32571.
 Local public agencies may enter into an agreement to transfer responsibility for the management of the land located within the Baldwin Hills area to the conservancy. Local public agencies shall retain exclusive authority over all zoning or land use regulations within their jurisdiction.

32572.
 The conservancy shall restrict access on acquired lands that are unsuitable for parks and open-space use by entering into temporary agreements with other state or local public agencies for the protection of public health and safety, resource management and protection, and security.

32573.
 The conservancy shall do all of the following:
(a) Establish policies and priorities regarding the territory within the Baldwin Hills area, and conduct any necessary planning activities in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32555.
(b) Give priority to related projects that create expanded opportunities that provide recreation, aesthetic improvement, and wildlife habitat in the Baldwin Hills area.
(c) Approve conservancy-funded projects that advance the policies and priorities set forth in this division.
(d) Review the master plan required pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1 of Chapter 752 of the Statutes of 1999 and implement prioritization for the acquisition and operation of additional recreational and open-space needs, including additional or upgraded facilities and parks that may be necessary or desirable.

32574.
 (a) The conservancy may fix and collect fees for the use of any land owned or controlled, or for any service provided, by the conservancy. No fee shall exceed the cost of maintaining and operating the land or of providing the service for which the fee is charged.
(b) The fee revenue and all other revenue received pursuant to this division shall be deposited in the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. The money in the fund shall be expended by the conservancy, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purposes of this division.
(c) Nothing in this act changes the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area’s status to receive funds as part of the state parks system.

32574.5.
 The conservancy shall coordinate its actions with state and local public safety agencies.

32575.
 The conservancy shall administer any funds appropriated to it and any revenue generated by public agencies for the Baldwin Hills area and contributed to the conservancy, and may expend those funds for capital improvements, land acquisition, or support of the conservancy’s operations. Subject to Section 11005 of the Government Code, the conservancy may also accept any revenue, money, grants, goods, or services contributed to the conservancy by any public agency, private entity, or person, and, upon receipt, may expend any such revenue, money, or grants for capital improvements, land acquisitions, or support of the conservancy’s operations.

32576.
 The conservancy may recruit and coordinate volunteers and experts to assist with conservancy projects and the maintenance of conservancy lands.

32577.
 The conservancy shall coordinate its actions with state and local public safety agencies.

32578.
 The conservancy shall have, and may exercise, all rights and powers, expressed or implied, necessary to carry out the purposes of this division, except as otherwise provided.

32579.
 The conservancy may sue and be sued.
32580.This division shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2008, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2008, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 Not later than December 31, 2006, the Legislative Analyst shall review the effectiveness and progress of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy established pursuant to Division 22.7 (commencing with Section 32550) of the Public Resources Code in acquiring and developing open-space land and recreational opportunities in the Baldwin Hills area, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 32553 of the Public Resources Code. The Legislative Analyst shall, not later than December 31, 2006, submit to the Legislature a report evaluating whether the termination date for the conservancy should be extended to meet the goals of Division 22.7 (commencing with Section 32550) of the Public Resources Code, and whether the land under the jurisdiction of the conservancy should be transferred to the control of the Department of Parks and Recreation for inclusion in the state park system.