Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 21. STATE COASTAL CONSERVANCY [31000 - 31410]

  ( Division 21 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1441. )

CHAPTER 9. System of Public Accessways [31400 - 31410]
  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1441. )

31400.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that it is the policy of the state that the right of the public to access and enjoyment of the coastal resources should be effectively guaranteed. To achieve such objective, it is the intent of the Legislature that the State Coastal Conservancy have a principal role in the implementation of a system of public accessways to and along the state’s coastline, including San Francisco Bay and Suisun Marsh.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 967, Sec. 14.)

31400.1.
  

The conservancy may award grants to any public agency or nonprofit organization to acquire land, or any interest therein, or to develop, operate, or manage lands for public access purposes to and along the coast. No grants may be awarded to any local agency unless the conservancy has first determined that the subject accessway will serve more than local public needs.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 885, Sec. 3. Effective October 14, 2001.)

31400.2.
  

The conservancy may provide up to the total cost of the acquisition of interests in lands and the initial development of public accessways by any public agency or nonprofit organization, as provided in Section 31400.1. The amount of funding provided by the conservancy shall be determined by the total amount of funding available for coastal public accessway projects, the fiscal resources of the applicant, the urgency of the project relative to other eligible projects, and the application of factors prescribed by the conservancy for the purpose of determining project eligibility and priority in order to more effectively carry out the provisions of the division.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1123, Sec. 4.)

31400.3.
  

The conservancy may provide such assistance as is required to aid public agencies and nonprofit organizations in establishing a system of public coastal accessways, and related functions necessary to meet the objectives of this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1234, Sec. 5. Effective September 29, 1980. Operative January 1, 1981, by Sec. 11 of Ch. 1234.)

31401.
  

The conservancy shall develop and adopt standards to guide state and local public agencies and federal agencies to the extent permitted by federal law or regulations or the United States Constitution in acquiring and developing public access to coastal resources. Such standards shall be incorporated within an integrated system of public accessways to and along the state’s coastline which shall become an element of the California Outdoor Recreation Resources Plan required by Section 5099.2.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 840.)

31402.
  

In order to assure that an adequate system of public accessways is provided along the entire coastline, the department or the conservancy may acquire fee title or lesser interests in areas required for public access to significant coastal resources. The department may develop and maintain such areas.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 930.)

31402.1.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for timely acceptance of offers to dedicate interests in property, recorded pursuant to Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) and needed to provide public access to and along the ocean shoreline.

(b) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) In order to prevent the potential loss of public accessways to and along the state’s coastline, it is in the best interest of the state to accept all offers to dedicate real property that protect open space or have the potential to provide access to public tidelands, including any beach, shoreline, or view area, or that provide a connection to other easements or public properties providing this access.

(2) Offers to dedicate interests in property that are required and recorded pursuant to Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) provide mitigation necessary for approved development to occur consistent with the policies and objectives of that division and are not gifts to the state or acquisitions of property interests within the meaning of Section 31105.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 518, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

31402.2.
  

The conservancy shall accept any outstanding offer to dedicate a public accessway, described in Section 31402.1, that has not been accepted by another public agency or nonprofit organization within 90 days of its expiration date.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 337, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31402.3.
  

(a) To the extent that funds are available in the Coastal Access Account in the State Coastal Conservancy Fund, the conservancy shall open at least three public accessways each year either directly or by awarding grants to public agencies or nonprofit organizations.

(b) The conservancy may transfer public access easements or other less-than-fee interests in property to an appropriate public agency or nonprofit organization for development, management, or public use, or may enter into agreements with public agencies and nonprofit organizations for the development, management, or public use of the accessway. Transfer under this section is not subject to approval by the Department of General Services pursuant to Section 11005.2 of the Government Code. The conservancy shall retain the right to reclaim the easements or other interests in the event that the public agency or nonprofit organization ceases to exist, is no longer able to manage the accessway, or violates the terms of the agreement.

(c) Before a nonprofit organization may accept an offer to dedicate an interest in real property under Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000), the nonprofit organization shall do all of the following:

(1) Submit satisfactory proof to the executive director of the commission that the nonprofit organization has been approved as a tax exempt public benefit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and has filed a Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service.

(2) Submit a management plan to the executive director of the commission and the executive officer of the conservancy that describes the nonprofit organization’s planned management and operation of the interest.

(3) Grant a right of entry that permits the conservancy to reclaim or assign the interest to another public agency or nonprofit organization, if the conservancy and the commission determine that the nonprofit organization is not managing or operating the interest consistent with the management plan developed pursuant to paragraph (2).

(d) A public accessway accepted pursuant to Section 31402.2 may not be developed, improved, or formally opened for public use until its transfer, development, or public use has been authorized by the conservancy.

(e) The conservancy may not use moneys appropriated from the General Fund for the purposes of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 337, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31403.
  

The department or the conservancy may not acquire any public access site under the power of eminent domain unless such acquisition is approved by the Legislature as part of its annual approval of the Budget Act.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 930.)

31404.
  

When another local public agency is unable or unwilling to take title to an area required for public access to and along the coastline, the department or the conservancy may accept title to such an area. The department or the conservancy, however, shall not be required to open any area for public use when, in its estimation, the benefits of public use would be outweighed by the costs of development and maintenance. The department or the conservancy shall make a determined effort to identify local public agencies and nonprofit organizations which will accept responsibility for maintenance and liability for public accessways which are located outside of the state park system. The department or the conservancy may lease any public access site to a public agency or nonprofit organization; provided, however, that the conditions of such transfer guarantee public use of the site for access to coastal resources.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 667, Sec. 5.)

31405.
  

The department or the conservancy may accept, from any public agency or nonprofit organization, fees collected for purposes of providing public access to coastal resources. Any funds collected from such source shall be expended by the department or the conservancy for the sole purpose of acquisition, development, and maintenance of public accessways to the coastline. To the maximum extent possible, such fees shall be expended in the general area where they are collected or in areas where public access to and along the coastline is clearly deficient. The department or the conservancy may transfer funds, including such fees, to a local public agency or nonprofit organization for the purposes of acquisition of sites for public access to and along the coastline.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 667, Sec. 6.)

31406.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the conservancy may enter into an option to acquire an interest in real property in connection with a public access project, when the Legislature appropriates funds for purposes of carrying out the objectives of this division. The cost of the option may not exceed six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000).

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 958, Sec. 28. Effective January 1, 2003.)

31408.
  

(a) The conservancy shall, in consultation with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the California Coastal Commission, and the Department of Transportation, coordinate the development of the California Coastal Trail.

(b) To the extent feasible, and consistent with their individual mandates, each agency, board, department, or commission of the state with property interests or regulatory authority in coastal areas shall cooperate with the conservancy with respect to planning and making lands available for completion of the trail, including constructing trail links, placing signs, and managing the trail.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 179, Sec. 190. Effective January 1, 2009.)

31409.
  

Consistent with the conservancy’s authority under this chapter to develop a system of public accessways to, and along, the state’s coastline, the conservancy may award grants and provide assistance to public agencies and nonprofit organizations to establish and expand those inland trail systems that may be linked to the California Coastal Trail.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 446, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2002.)

31410.
  

(a) That portion of the Ma-le’l Dunes in Humboldt County that is part of the California Coastal Trail and is under the jurisdiction of the conservancy is hereby designated and shall be known as the Senator Wesley Chesbro Coastal Trail.

(b) After the date on which Wesley Chesbro ceases his service in the Legislature or on January 1, 2009, whichever occurs later, the conservancy shall erect appropriate signage, upon receipt of funding as described in subdivision (c), to reflect the designation made by this section and shall cause all directories and other publications concerning the California Coastal Trail to reflect the designation as the publications are periodically revised.

(c) The costs of the signage shall be funded by parties who request the conservancy to erect that signage pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 548, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2008.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC