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AB-948 Coyote Valley Conservation Program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 08/12/2019 02:00 PM
AB948:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 12, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  June 18, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 948


Introduced by Assembly Member Kalra
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chu, Robert Rivas, and Mark Stone)
(Coauthors: Senators Beall and Monning)

February 20, 2019


An act to add Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 35180) to Division 26 of the Public Resources Code, relating to the Coyote Valley Conservation Program.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 948, as amended, Kalra. Coyote Valley Conservation Program.
Existing law creates the Santa Clara Valley Open-Space Authority, and prescribes the jurisdiction and functions and duties of the authority. Existing law authorizes the authority, among other things, to acquire, hold, and dispose of real and personal property, within the authority’s jurisdiction, necessary to the full exercise of its powers.
This bill would authorize the authority to establish and administer the Coyote Valley Conservation Program to address resource and recreational goals of the Coyote Valley, as defined. The bill would authorize the authority to collaborate with state, regional, and local partners to help achieve specified goals of the program. The bill would authorize the authority to, among other things, acquire and dispose of interests and options in real property. The bill would require a proponent or party to a certain proposed development project within Coyote Valley to provide notice to the authority of the proposed project, and would authorize the authority to provide analysis of the environmental values and potential impacts of the proposed project. The bill would require Coyote Valley to be acknowledged as an area of statewide significance in local planning documents developed or updated on or after January 1, 2020, affecting land use within Coyote Valley. The bill would require a state entity to consult with the authority before expending state moneys collected on or after January 1, 2020, from fines or penalties derived from natural resource related infractions within Coyote Valley. To the extent that this bill would impose new duties on local entities, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 35180) is added to Division 26 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6. Coyote Valley Conservation Program

35180.
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the Coyote Valley Conservation Program.

35181.
 The authority may establish and administer the Coyote Valley Conservation Program to address the resource and recreational goals of the Coyote Valley, as provided in this chapter.

35182.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Coyote Valley is a unique landscape providing agricultural, wildlife, recreational, climate, and other natural infrastructure benefits, covering an area of about 17,200 acres in southern Santa Clara County.
(b) Coyote Valley is a resource of statewide significance. The Coyote Valley has been subject to intense development pressure and is in need of restoration, conservation, and enhancement.
(c) Coyote Valley is bounded by and includes two of the fastest growing cities in California, the City of San Jose to the north and the City of Morgan Hill to the south.
(d) Mushrooms, bell peppers, nursery crops, and other agricultural crops grown in Coyote Valley provide more than thirty million dollars ($30,000,000) of economic benefit each year.
(e) Coyote Valley provides a critical corridor for wildlife migrating between the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range.
(f) Residents of the City of San Jose and other nearby cities access the outdoors in Coyote Valley to view wildlife, and recreate and connect with nature and the community.
(g) Coyote Valley’s natural resources provide opportunities for many climate and natural infrastructure benefits, including flood attenuation from improved wetlands, increased water supply from groundwater recharge, and carbon sequestration from natural and working lands.
(h) Protection of Coyote Valley is a component of state and local efforts to preserve agriculture in the County of Santa Clara, including the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan, the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, state investments from the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, and a feasibility study funded by the State Coastal Conservancy.
(i) The establishment of the Coyote Valley Conservation Program pursuant to this chapter will provide a necessary structure to implement restoration and preservation projects and recreational opportunities, and enhance the overall condition of Coyote Valley.

35183.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Coyote Valley” means all areas southeast of a line drawn northeast to southwest through a point at the intersection of Coyote Creek and Metcalf Road, northeast to the first ridgeline of the Diablo Range, southwest to the first ridgeline of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and northwest of a line drawn northeast to southwest through a point at the intersection of Cochrane Road and Monterey Road, excluding all lands within the City of Morgan Hill’s Urban Service Area as of February 29, 2012.
(b) “Natural lands” has the same meaning as the term is defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 9001.5.
(c) “Program” means the Coyote Valley Conservation Program.
(d) “Program lands” means interests in real property acquired, managed, or subject to a project under this chapter.
(e) “Working lands” has the same meaning as the term is defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 9001.5.

35184.
 The authority may collaborate with state, regional, and local partners to help achieve all of the following goals of the program:
(a) To provide recreational opportunities, preserve open space, develop and maintain trails, restore, enhance, and preserve wildlife habitat and species, restore and preserve wetlands and agricultural lands, study, maintain, and preserve lands for groundwater recharge, watershed restoration, and natural floodwater conveyance, sequester greenhouse gases, and enhance resilience to climate change.
(b) To provide public access to, and enjoyment and enhancement of, recreational and educational experiences on, program lands in a manner consistent with the protection of land and natural resources in the area.

35185.
 In carrying out the purposes of this chapter, and without limiting the express or implied powers of the authority as provided in this division, the authority shall have, and may exercise, all necessary rights and powers, expressed or implied, to achieve the goals of this chapter. The authority may do all of the following:
(a) Acquire and dispose of interests and options in real property.
(b) Undertake, maintain, or fund projects to implement site improvements, upgrade deteriorating facilities, or construct new facilities for outdoor recreation, public access, nature appreciation, and interpretation; historic and cultural preservation; protection, restoration, or enhancement of natural resources and habitat; or continuation or expansion of agricultural activities.
(c) Provide technical assistance to landowners on practices to enhance the carbon sequestration or climate resilience benefits of natural and working lands.
(d) Enhance wildlife connectivity across Highway 101, Monterey Road and other impediments to the movement of wildlife in the Coyote Valley through implementation of wildlife friendly culverts and overpasses, removal of fencing, and placement of wildlife crossing signage, or other means.
(e) Provide for the management of program lands.

35186.
 (a) A proponent or party to a proposed development project converting natural lands or working lands within Coyote Valley for a nonagricultural purpose shall provide notice to the authority of the proposed project. The authority may provide analysis of the environmental values and potential impacts of the proposed project.
(b) Coyote Valley shall be acknowledged as an area of statewide significance in local planning documents developed or updated on or after January 1, 2020, affecting land use within Coyote Valley.

(c)A state entity shall consult with the authority before expending any state moneys collected on or after January 1, 2020, from fines or penalties derived from natural resource related infractions within Coyote Valley.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.