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AB-2000 Baldwin Hills Conservancy: urban watersheds conservancy expansion.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/28/2020 09:00 PM
AB2000:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2000


Introduced by Assembly Member Kamlager

January 28, 2020


An act to amend Sections 32550, 32551, 32553, 32555, 32556, 32565, 32565.5, 32567, 32568, 32571, 32573, 32574, and 32575 of, to amend the heading of Division 22.7 (commencing with Section 32550) of, to add Section 32573.1 to, and to repeal Section 32580 of, the Public Resources Code, relating to conservancies.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2000, as introduced, Kamlager. Baldwin Hills Conservancy: urban watersheds conservancy expansion.
(1) Existing law, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Act, establishes, until January 1, 2026, in the Natural Resources Agency, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, created with the purpose, among other purposes, to acquire and manage public lands within the Baldwin Hills area, as defined.
This bill would expand the area covered by the conservancy to include southern Ballona Creek Watershed, as defined, and the Upper Dominquez Channel, as defined. The bill would rename the conservancy the Baldwin Hills and Urban Watersheds Conservancy and make conforming changes.
The bill would repeal the January 1, 2026, sunset date, thereby extending the act indefinitely.
(2) The act requires the conservancy’s board to consist of 13 voting members, including one member from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors within whose district the majority of the Baldwin Area is located. The act requires 6 of these members to be appointed by the Governor with 4 out of that 6 to be residents of specified areas.
This bill would delete the above provisions relating to those members and expand the voting membership of the conservancy’s board to consist of 19 voting members by including the mayors of the Cities of Los Angeles, Culver City, Santa Monica, Inglewood, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, and Hawthorne, and a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing District 2. The bill would require the governor to appoint 5 of the voting members, who are nominated by a city council or a neighborhood empowerment group, as provided.
The act requires the conservancy’s board to also consist of 7 nonvoting members, including one member from the Department of Conservation.
This bill would delete the above provision relating to the Department of Conservation member and expand the nonvoting membership of the conservancy’s board to consist of 11 nonvoting members by including the director of the Los Angeles County Public Works Department, among others, as provided.
(3) The act requires the conservancy to do certain things, including developing and coordinating an integrated program of resource stewardship so that the entire area is managed for optimum recreational and natural resource values, as provided.
This bill would also require that the entire area is to be managed for optimum climate resilience.
The act also requires the conservancy, as part of its duties, to approve conservancy funded projects, enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Parks and Recreation, and approve specified master plans, among other things, as provided.
This bill would delete these duties and would instead require the conservancy to carry out projects and activities to further the purposes of the act, study the potential environmental and recreational uses of the Baldwin Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominguez Channel area, and develop and adopt a proposed watershed and open-space plan for improvements in the conservancy territory, as provided. The bill would require this plan to be submitted to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2022.
(4) The act requires the conservancy to administer any funds appropriated to it and any revenue generated by public agencies for the Baldwin Hills area and contributed to the conservancy, and authorizes the conservancy to expend those funds for capital improvements, land acquisition, or support of the conservancy’s operations.
This bill would require the conservancy to additionally administer any funds appropriated to it for these purposes from any future bond act or local initiative measure, as provided.
(5) In addition, this bill would establish the Baldwin Hills, Southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominguez Channel Urban Watershed Improvement Program, to be administered by the conservancy, for climate change adaptation improvements, to protect, conserve, and restore the health and resilience of the watersheds and communities of the region, as provided.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The heading of Division 22.7 (commencing with Section 32550) of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

DIVISION 22.7. BALDWIN HILLS AND URBAN WATERSHEDS CONSERVANCY ACT

SEC. 2.

 Section 32550 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

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

SEC. 3.

 Section 32551 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32551.
 The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area within the County of Los Angeles and the cities of Los Angeles and Culver City City, among other cities, 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 Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel 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 and Urban Watersheds Conservancy should be created to develop and coordinate an integrated program of resources stewardship so that the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area is managed for its optimum recreational and natural resource values based upon the needs and desires of the surrounding community.

SEC. 4.

 Section 32553 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32553.
 As used in this division, the following terms have the following meaning: meanings:
(a) (1) “Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area” means the land area currently within from the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) to the Harbor Freeway and Transit Way (Interstate 110), to Manchester Boulevard and Firestone Boulevard to Lincoln Boulevard (or Interstate 105), which includes the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, the southern portion of the Ballona Creek Watershed, Upper Dominguez Channel, and the Baldwin Hills community, the surrounding property bordered on the south by Slauson Avenue, and on the east by La Brea Avenue, including the approximately 21 acres of land zoned RE40 and bordered by La Brea Avenue on the east, Don Alberto Place to the south, and Don Ricardo Drive on the north, and including a spur of land extending from Stocker Street to an area between La Brea Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, as designated on the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Map, dated March 1, 2001. community. “Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area” also includes Ballona Creek and adjacent property within 50 yards of Ballona Creek on either side, from the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) to the Marina Freeway (Interstate 90). Ballona Creek is included in the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area for purposes of connectivity.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms shall apply:
(A) “Southern Ballona Creek Watershed” means the area of land with the hydrologic unit code of 180701040300 and is a nine-mile long flood protection channel that drains the Los Angeles basin, from the Santa Monica Mountains on the north, the Harbor Freeway (Interstate 110) on the east, and the Baldwin Hills on the south. The Ballona Creek Watershed totals approximately 130 square miles. The ridgeline of the Santa Monica Mountains, from Sepulveda Canyon (Sepulveda Boulevard/405 Freeway) east of the Silverlake neighborhood, marks the northern divide of the watershed. Mulholland Drive approximates much of the Ballona Creek Watershed. Ballona Creek Watershed’s southern boundary includes parts of the City of Inglewood, including the drainage area of Centinela Creek, and the Westchester Bluffs. It includes all of the City of West Hollywood, all of the City of Beverly Hills, portions of the City of Culver City, some of the City of Inglewood, the unincorporated portion of the County of Los Angeles, a portion of the City of Santa Monica, and a large part of the Los Angeles basin. The eastern end of the watershed includes MacArthur Park and the entertainment complex known as Staples Center, but excludes the high rises included in the downtown area of the City of Los Angeles. The western boundary is marked by a rise in the land between the Cities of Santa Monica and Venice and parts of West Los Angeles down to the Pacific Ocean or the mouth of Ballona Creek in the City of Playa del Rey. The Ballona Creek Watershed is comprised of all or parts of the Cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and unincorporated portions of the County of Los Angeles.
(B) “Upper Dominguez Channel” means the area of land with the hydrologic unit code of 180701060101 and includes approximately 33.1 square miles of land. West Florence Avenue in the City of Inglewood is the northern boundary, while Route 1 forms the western boundary, including the Los Angeles International Airport and the Cities of El Segundo and Manhattan Beach. The eastern boundary is at Vermont Avenue through portions of Westmont in the northern part of the City of Los Angeles (to the north) and south midway through the City of Hawthorne above Rosecrans Avenue (to the south).
(b) “Board” means the governing board of the Baldwin Hills and Urban Watersheds Conservancy.
(c) “Conservancy” means the Baldwin Hills and Urban Watersheds Conservancy.
(d) “Fund” means the Baldwin Hills Conservancy and Urban Watersheds 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 Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area that is under the jurisdiction of the conservancy.

SEC. 5.

 Section 32555 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32555.
 There is in the Natural Resources Agency, the Baldwin Hills and Urban Watersheds Conservancy, which is created for the following purposes:
(a) To acquire and manage public lands within the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area, and to provide recreational, open space, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and lands for educational uses within the area.
(b) To acquire lands for open space 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.

SEC. 6.

 Section 32556 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32556.
 (a) The board shall consist of 13 19 voting members and 7 11 nonvoting members.
(b) The 13 19 voting members of the board shall consist of the following:
(1) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, or his or her the secretary’s designee.
(2) The Director of Parks and Recreation, or his or her the director’s designee.
(3) The Director of Finance, or his or her the director’s designee.
(4) The Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks, or his or her the director’s designee.

(5)The member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors within whose district the majority of the Baldwin Hills area is located, or his or her designee.

(6)Six

(5) The Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, or the mayor’s designee.
(6) The Mayor of the City of Culver City, or the mayor’s designee.
(7) The Mayor of the City of Santa Monica, or the mayor’s designee.
(8) The Mayor of the City of Inglewood, or the mayor’s designee.
(9) The Mayor of the City of El Segundo, or the mayor’s designee.
(10) The Mayor of the City of Manhattan Beach, or the mayor’s designee.
(11) The Mayor of the City of Hawthorne, or the mayor’s designee.
(12) A member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing District 2, or the member’s designee.
(13) Five members of the public appointed by the Governor who are residents of Los Angeles County County, as nominated by a city council or a neighborhood empowerment group, and who represent the diversity of the community surrounding the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area. Of those six members, four members shall be selected as follows:

(A)One member shall be a resident of Culver City selected from a list of three persons nominated by the city council.

(B)Three members shall be residents of the adjacent communities of Blair Hills, Ladera Heights, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills, Inglewood, View Park, or Baldwin Vista.

(7)

(14) 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 seven 11 nonvoting members shall consist of the following:
(1) The Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, or his or her the secretary’s designee.
(2) The Executive Officer of the State Coastal Conservancy, or his or her the executive officer’s designee.
(3) The Executive Officer of the State Lands Commission, or his or her the executive officer’s 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 the executive director’s designee.
(6) The Director of the Culver City Human Services Department, or his or her the director’s designee.
(7) The Director of the Department of Conservation, Los Angeles County Public Works Department, or his or her the director’s designee.
(8) The Director of the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department, or the director’s designee.
(9) The Director of the City of Inglewood Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, or the director’s designee.
(10) The President of the Board of Airport Commissioners of Los Angeles World Airports, or the president’s designee.
(11) The Director of the City of Los Angeles Public Works Department, or the director’s designee.
(d) A quorum shall consist of seven 10 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 eight of the voting members of the board shall be required for the transaction of any business of the board.
(e) The board shall do both of the following:
(1) Study the potential environmental and recreational uses of Ballona Creek and the adjacent property described in subdivision (a) of Section 32553.
(2) Develop a proposed map for that area.

SEC. 7.

 Section 32565 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32565.
 The jurisdiction of the conservancy shall include only 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 Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area.

SEC. 8.

 Section 32565.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

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 Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area is managed for optimum climate resilience and recreational and natural resource values based upon the needs and desires of the surrounding community.
(b) Establish policies and priorities within the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel 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 Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel 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. The 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)Any proposed operating agreement, or an amendment to an agreement, for the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area between the Department of Parks and Recreation and any local operating agency that would affect the conservancy shall be submitted to the conservancy at least 90 days prior to the proposed effective date of the agreement to enable the conservancy to provide input, as appropriate.

(d) Carry out projects and activities to further the purposes of this division throughout the region and, in doing so, the board shall make every effort to ensure that, over time, conservancy funding and other efforts are spread equitably across each of the various subregions and among the stated goal areas, with adequate allowance for the variability of costs associated with individual regions and types of projects.
(e) Study the potential environmental and recreational uses of the Baldwin Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominguez Channel area described in subdivision (a) of Section 32553.
(f) (1) Develop and adopt a proposed watershed and open-space plan for improvements in the conservancy territory.
(2) (A) A report on the plan shall be provided to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2022.
(B) A report submitted pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(C) This paragraph shall become inoperative on January 1, 2026, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.

SEC. 9.

 Section 32567 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32567.
 The conservancy shall determine acquisition priorities and may acquire real property or any interest in real property within the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel 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, at the cost of acquisition, surplus public lands suitable for park and open space within the conservancy’s territory, and may accept private or public lands offered for recreational trails.

SEC. 10.

 Section 32568 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32568.
 (a) The conservancy may, within the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area, 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.
(b) The conservancy shall not, under any circumstances, extend the road designated as “Stocker Street” to Overland Avenue or to any street within the boundaries of Culver City without the prior written approval of the city council.

SEC. 11.

 Section 32571 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32571.
 (a) Local public agencies may enter into an agreement to transfer responsibility for the management of the land located within the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel area to the conservancy.
(b) Local public agencies shall retain exclusive authority over all zoning or land use regulations within their jurisdiction.

SEC. 12.

 Section 32573 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32573.
 The conservancy shall do all of the following:
(a) Establish policies and priorities regarding the territory within the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel 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 Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel 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.

SEC. 13.

 Section 32573.1 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

32573.1.
 (a) The Baldwin Hills, Southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominguez Channel Urban Watershed Improvement Program is hereby established, to be administered by the conservancy for climate change adaptation improvements, to protect, conserve, and restore the health and resilience of the watersheds and communities of the region, in support of the purposes and programs described in Section 32565.5. In implementing this program, the conservancy shall coordinate and collaborate with other state agencies, federal agencies, local entities, and stakeholders.
(b) In implementing this program, notwithstanding Section 32575, the conservancy may test new funding, policy, planning, and implementation approaches with the area covered by an initiative to test new ways of accomplishing the program objectives and goals described in subdivision (a), with the intent of broadening the scope of the initiative to apply to the entire program area.
(c) This section shall not be construed as requiring the Legislature to appropriate additional funds.

SEC. 14.

 Section 32574 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

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 and Urban Watersheds 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.

SEC. 15.

 Section 32575 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

32575.
 The conservancy shall administer any funds appropriated to it it, including any funds appropriated to it for these purposes from any future bond act or local initiative measure, and any revenue generated by public agencies for the Baldwin Hills Hills, southern Ballona Creek Watershed, and Upper Dominquez Channel 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.

SEC. 16.

 Section 32580 of the Public Resources Code is repealed.
32580.

This division shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2026, deletes or extends that date.