Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 5. PARKS AND MONUMENTS [5001 - 5873]

  ( Division 5 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 94. )

CHAPTER 1.55. State Urban Parks and Healthy Communities Act [5095 - 5095.6]
  ( Chapter 1.55 added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 877, Sec. 3. )

5095.
  

This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the State Urban Parks and Healthy Communities Act.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 877, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2002.)

5095.1.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Parks and recreation provide opportunities for building strong communities and promote ethnic and cultural harmony.

(b) The state parks system and the network of community and regional parks, along with park professionals, are in a unique position to promote educational, recreational, and community services that foster partnerships with schools, nonprofit organizations, and other government organizations that serve as a foundation for the healthy development of our communities.

(c) California’s population is growing increasingly diverse and it is incumbent upon state and local governments, working with local education entities, to develop and integrate programs and educational curriculum that take full advantage of the state’s natural environs.

(d) Today, many of our communities are in distress and face increasingly complex problems of poverty, race relations, environmental concerns, crime, and inadequate education facilities. These problems are exacerbated by the lack of communication, collaboration, and services in our inner cities. More and more local agencies, along with nonprofit community-based organizations, are called upon to provide recreation, after school programs, and community services to meet these growing problems.

(e) Most state, community, and regional parks play a role in educating the public about our cultural diversity, historical roots, biological networks, and ecological systems. To do this effectively, these entities need to identify and integrate themes within our state and local parks systems that are relevant to urban communities and, to the extent possible, work with local education agencies to better define those themes and provide increased opportunities for children to access California’s park network as a “living classroom.”

(f) There are numerous examples across the state where collaborative efforts on behalf of state, community, and regional parks working in conjunction with community-based organizations and local education entities have developed programs, providing children with exemplary outdoor educational experiences.

(g) Often, inner city and minority youth populations lack access to recreational opportunities.

(h) Recreational and athletic activities have served to break down color barriers in various communities and allowed individuals such as Tiger Woods and Venus Williams to blaze new cultural and societal trails, serving as positive role models for urbanized youth throughout the nation.

(i) In addition, many urban areas throughout the state lack the financial means or availability of property to acquire and develop parks and recreation areas and facilities, particularly in the neighborhoods that are currently least served in this area.

(j) To promote a greater sense of responsibility toward new parks and recreation areas and facilities, it is vital to encourage community participation in the development of new parks and recreation areas and facilities, which will help keep them clean and safe and enhance community pride and sustain neighborhood vitality.

(k) Recreation, team sports, and games build self-esteem, confidence, social harmony, independent thinking, self-discipline, sportsmanship, and health and help to develop skills in conflict resolution.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 877, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2002.)

5095.2.
  

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Active recreational purpose” means an activity that requires athletic fields, courts, gymnasiums, or other recreational venues for youth soccer, baseball, football, basketball, tennis, or swimming, or any activity the department identifies as meeting this definition.

(b) “Department” means the Department of Parks and Recreation.

(c) “Director” means the Director of Parks and Recreation.

(d) “Facility” includes a place for organized team sports, outdoor recreation, permanent play structures, and multipurpose structures designed to meet the special recreational, educational, vocational, and social needs of youth. “Facility” also includes the acquisition of properties or development of venues for the furtherance of the purposes of Section 5095.4 where existing state conservancies or state, community, or regional parks are not readily accessible.

(e) “Fund” means the State Urban Parks and Healthy Communities Fund.

(f) “Nonurbanized local agency” means any city, county, or district that qualifies as a nonurbanized area as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 5621 and that is eligible for grant funding pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 5620).

(g) “Special district” means a regional park district, regional park and open-space district, or regional open-space district formed pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 5500) of Chapter 3, or a recreation and park district formed pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 5780).

(h) “State agency” includes the Department of Parks and Recreation and the state conservancies in existence on the effective date of the act adding this section during the 2001 portion of the 2001–02 Regular Session.

(i) “Urbanized or heavily urbanized local agencies” include cities, counties, or a city and county, or special districts as determined by the Department of Finance according to the latest verifiable census data pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 5621.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 664, Sec. 181. Effective January 1, 2003.)

5095.3.
  

There is hereby created, in the State Treasury, the State Urban Parks and Healthy Communities Fund. The department shall expend moneys from this fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to provide grants to state agencies, including state conservancies in existence on January 1, 2002, urbanized or heavily urbanized local agencies, and community-based organizations, in accordance with Sections 5095.4 and 5095.5. Funds necessary to administer this chapter shall be appropriated in the annual Budget Act.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 975, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2003.)

5095.4.
  

(a) The director, in consultation with the State Department of Education, shall develop a competitive grant program to assist state parks, state conservancies in existence as of January 1, 2003, urbanized and heavily urbanized local agencies, and community-based organizations within those jurisdictions, working in collaboration, to provide outdoor educational opportunities to children.

(1) Applicant entities shall provide a 25-percent matching contribution in community resources. The matching contributions may be in the form of money, including funds from other state or local assistance programs, gifts of real property, equipment, and consumable supplies, volunteer services, free or reduced-cost use of land, facilities, or equipment, and bequests and income from wills, estates, and trusts. The department may establish findings for hardships to waive the matching requirement when an applicant cannot meet the requirement.

(2) The department may give additional consideration to applicant entities collaborating with other entities, including, but not limited to, school districts, faith-based groups and others providing outreach programs to identify and attract urbanized youth most in need of organized, constructive recreational activities.

(b) The department shall make one-third of any funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter available to give special priority to providing increased access for elementary schoolage children in grades 2 to 8, inclusive, to conservancy or state, community, and regional park properties and, in addition, shall give priority, in awarding a grant pursuant to this section, to all of the following:

(1) Programs that use curriculum tied to the science content standards and science framework adopted by the State Board of Education.

(2) Applicants that serve children with family incomes below the statewide average, based on the most recent figures computed and established by the Department of Finance.

(3) Applicants that provide access to children who are underserved or lack access to parks or other outdoor venues suitable to conduct appropriate environmental education instruction.

(4) Applicants that have developed working collaboratives to develop environmental education partnerships.

(5) Applicants working in collaboration with local educational agencies to identify those children lacking adequate opportunities to access outdoor environmental education curriculum or innovative or alternative recreation programming.

(c) The amount of a grant awarded pursuant to this section may not be less than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or more than two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000). A grant may be expended for any of the following purposes:

(1) Staffing that is directly associated with the programming.

(2) Staff training or development directly associated with the programming.

(3) Costs associated with transporting youth between a community or school and the proposed environmental education venue.

(4) Medical insurance for the participants, only if the insurance is a requirement pursuant to the activity.

(5) Operational costs, such as the rental equipment, food, and supplies.

(6) Applicants that can demonstrate that the administrative costs associated with this activity will not exceed more than 7.5 percent of the amount of the grant.

(d) The department may gather information from the applicants as to the effectiveness of these programs in meeting program objectives. The department shall summarize this information and report to the appropriate budget and fiscal committees of both houses of the Legislature as to the number of children served, the educational objectives met, and the level of demand.

(e) Applicant agencies may enter into contracts with other public agencies or entities to provide unique interpretive skills or to present authentic, curriculum-based programs in units of conservancy properties or state, community, or regional park systems for services not otherwise provided. The purpose of this subdivision is to authorize the applicants to provide programming services, equipment, and materials that assist in the curriculum program or provide educational activities that assist in the presentation of cultural traditions.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 975, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

5095.5.
  

(a) The department shall allocate two-thirds of any funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter to provide grants to urbanized or heavily urbanized local agencies or community-based organizations within these jurisdictions for the acquisition and development of properties for active recreational purposes, as defined. Eligible projects shall meet all of the following criteria:

(1) The amount of the grant applied for, together with any matching contribution, shall meet all of the cost of acquiring and developing the project, and when construction of the project is completed, the new urban park or facility shall have a management plan and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that the applicant agencies have sufficient means to ensure that the park or facility shall remain open and accessible to the public.

(2) The application includes a commitment for a matching contribution. The matching contributions may be in the form of money, including funds from other state or local assistance programs, gifts of real property, equipment, and consumable supplies, volunteer services, free or reduced-cost use of land, facilities, or equipment, and bequests and income from wills, estates, and trusts. The department may establish findings for hardships to waive the matching requirement when an applicant cannot meet the requirement.

(3) To the extent practicable, the project is a joint-use project between two or more agencies that share responsibility for ownership, development, or maintenance, or both, of the project.

(b) The department shall adopt guidelines to amplify or clarify the criteria specified in Section 5095.4 or this section, and may adopt additional criteria, to supplement those criteria.

(c) The department may develop a procedural guide for the administration of this chapter and the guidance of applicants.

(d) The department shall solicit written comments and hold public hearings at convenient locations throughout the state on any regulations, guidelines, or the procedural guide proposed to be adopted or developed pursuant to this section.

(e) The department shall adopt guidelines to implement this chapter.

(f) Any regulation, guideline, or procedural guide adopted or developed pursuant to this chapter is not subject to the review or approval of the Office of Administrative Law or to any other requirement of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(g) A grant received pursuant to this section may be expended to acquire the fee title or other interest in real property. If an application proposes to acquire less than fee title, the applicant shall demonstrate in the application, to the satisfaction of the department, that the proposed project will provide public benefits that are commensurate with the type and duration of the interest in real property to be acquired.

(h) With the consent of an urbanized or heavily urbanized local agency, any eligible nonprofit organization that is tax exempt pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code may apply for a grant on behalf of an entity for the purposes of either Section 5095.4 or this section. The application shall include a copy of any contract between the local agency and the nonprofit organization and the resolution or other authorization of consent. The contract shall specify arrangements for the long-term management and operation of the urban park or recreation area commensurate with the amount of the grant, as determined by the department.

(i) Every applicant for a grant pursuant to this section and the entity that will operate and maintain the property, if that entity is different than the applicant, shall agree to comply with all of the following requirements:

(1) To operate and maintain the property developed pursuant to this chapter so that it is usable by residents of the affected area. With the approval of the department, the grant recipient, or its successor in interest in the property, may transfer its property interest and the responsibility to operate and maintain the property, in accordance with the terms of the grant and any applicable law, to a public agency or nonprofit organization that is able to operate and maintain the property in perpetuity. Any attempt to make a transfer in violation of this subdivision is void.

(2) To use the property only for the purposes for which the grant was made and to make no other use or sale or other disposition of the property, except as authorized by statute. If the use of the property is changed to a use that is not permitted by the terms of the grant, or if the property is sold or otherwise disposed of, the grant recipient shall reimburse the department an amount equal to the amount of the grant, the fair market value of the land and any improvements constructed with the grant, or the proceeds from the sale or other disposition, whichever amount is greater. If the property that is sold or otherwise disposed of is less than the entire interest in the property funded with the grant, the grant recipient shall reimburse the department an amount equal to either the proceeds from the sale or other disposition of the interest or the fair market value of the interest sold or otherwise disposed of, whichever amount is greater.

(3) In lieu of seeking reimbursement pursuant to paragraph (2), the department may impose restrictions on the use of public park property identical to the requirements for the preservation of public parks set forth in the Public Park Preservation Act of 1971 (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 5400)) with respect to any property used, sold, or otherwise disposed of in a manner not permitted by the terms of the grant.

(j) The recipient of a grant pursuant to this chapter may use the grant funds to pay for any portion of the cost of cleaning up, removing, or remediating any toxic materials or hazardous substances, if the amount used for cleanup, removal, or remediation does not exceed 20 percent of the grant allocated to the project.

(k) The amount allocated pursuant to this chapter shall be roughly divided 60 percent to the southern portion of the state (south of the Tehachapi Mountains) and 40 percent to the northern portion.

(l) Recognizing that some rural areas of the state have significant deficiencies of park facilities for active recreational purposes, the department shall consider allocating two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) pursuant to this section to nonurbanized local agencies. In awarding these grants, the department shall apply the same guidelines as those established for awarding a grant to a nonurbanized area pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 5621.

(m) After all grants authorized under this chapter have been awarded, the department shall report to the Budget Committee of the Assembly and the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee of the Senate on the number of grant applications received, the total amount of funds sought by applicants, and the number of eligible applications that were not funded.

(n) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit community-based organizations from acting in partnership with organizations that do not have tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 975, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2003.)

5095.6.
  

(a) This chapter shall be implemented only upon appropriation of sufficient funds to the department for that purpose.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision, all funds that are appropriated to the department pursuant to this chapter shall be encumbered within three years of the date of that appropriation and expended within eight years of the date of that appropriation.

(c) Any grants to state or local agencies or nonprofit organizations or community groups pursuant to this chapter, on or after January 1, 2003, shall be contingent upon a future appropriation in the annual Budget Act.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 975, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2003.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC