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SB-948 California Environmental Quality Act community plans.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/12/2018 03:53 PM
SB948:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 12, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 948


Introduced by Senator Allen

January 30, 2018


An act to amend Section 5096.520 of the Public Resources Code, relating to conservation easements. An act to add Section 21184.7 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 948, as amended, Allen. Conservation easements: central public registry. California Environmental Quality Act community plans.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.
The Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011 authorizes the Governor, until January 1, 2021, to certify environmental leadership development projects that meet certain requirements for CEQA streamlining benefits provided by that act. The act defines “environmental leadership development project” to include certain kinds of projects, including residential, retail, commercial, sports, cultural, entertainment, or recreational use projects that meet specified requirements. The act authorizes the Governor to certify a project as an environmental leadership development project if the project meets certain conditions, including, among other things, that the project will result in a minimum investment of $100,000,000 in California upon completion of construction and the project will not result in any net additional emissions of greenhouse gases. The act requires a lead agency to prepare the record of proceedings for a certified project concurrent with the preparation of certain environmental documents.
This bill would specify that a community plan and the accompanying ordinances meeting specified requirements are a certified environmental leadership development project qualifying for CEQA streamlining benefits provided by the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011.

Under existing law, a conservation easement is a limitation in a recorded instrument designed to retain land predominantly in its natural, scenic, historical, agricultural, forested, on open-space condition. Existing law requires the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to establish a central public registry of all conservation easements held or required by the state, or purchased with state grant funds provided by an agency, department, or division of the state on or after January 1, 2000, as prescribed. Existing law requires the registry to be updated biennially.

This bill would require the registry to be updated biennially or more frequently at the discretion of the secretary.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 21184.7 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21184.7.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “community plan project” means a community plan, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 21083.3, and the accompanying ordinances that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Include two or more transit priority areas, as defined in Section 21099.
(2) Are for a jurisdiction with a general plan that includes a circulation or mobility element adopted on or after January 1, 2015.
(3) Are consistent with a sustainable communities strategy or an alternative planning strategy adopted by an applicable metropolitan planning organization and certified by the State Air Resources Board as achieving the required reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases pursuant to Section 65080 of the Government Code.
(4) Comply with the regional clean air standards established by the State Air Resources Board.
(5) Include housing capacity to sufficiently accommodate regional housing needs projects as set forth in Section 65584.01 of the Government Code.
(6) Are consistent with applicable regional plans to protect environmentally sensitive habitat areas, agricultural land, parks, flood zones, and high fire areas.
(7) Include projects and strategies designed to reduce vehicle miles traveled.
(8) Receive final approval after January 1, 2017.
(b) A community plan project is a leadership project that shall be deemed to be certified by the Governor and is subject to this chapter.

SECTION 1.Section 5096.520 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
5096.520.

(a)The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall establish a central public registry of all conservation easements held or required by the state, or purchased with state grant funds provided by an agency, department, or division of the state on or after January 1, 2000. In constructing the registry, the Natural Resources Agency shall draw upon the Department of General Services’ property inventory, and other information held by a state agency, department, division, or other sources.

(b)For the purposes of this section, “conservation easement” means any limitation in a recorded instrument that contains an easement, restriction, covenant, condition, or offer to dedicate, that has been executed by or on behalf of the owner of the land that is subject to that limitation and is binding upon successive owners of the land, and the purpose of which is to retain land predominantly in its natural, scenic, historical, agricultural, forested, or open-space condition. “Conservation easement” includes a conservation easement as defined in Section 815.1 of the Civil Code, an open-space easement as defined in Section 51075 of the Government Code, and an agricultural conservation easement as defined in Section 10211.

(c)The registry shall only include the following information on each conservation easement that is listed in the registry:

(1)The assessor’s parcel numbers for the property covered by the easement.

(2)The purpose of the easement.

(3)The location of the easement, identified by county and nearest city.

(4)The identity of the easementholder.

(5)The size of the easement in acres.

(6)The date the easement transaction was recorded.

(7)The amount of funding provided by the agency, department, or division of the state holding or requiring the easement or providing state grant funds for the easement.

(d)An agency, department, or division of the state with conservation easements that are held or required by the state or purchased with state grant funds shall enter and keep current the information specified in subdivision (c) for those easements in the registry established pursuant to this section.

(e)The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall make the registry available for use by the general public. Only the information relating to paragraphs (2) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (c) regarding conservation easements held or required by the state, or purchased with state grant funds provided by an agency, department, or division of the state on or after January 1, 2006, shall be provided by the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency on the Internet. Personal identifying information shall not be posted on the Internet. The registry shall be updated biennially or more frequently at the discretion of the secretary.