Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV


  ( Title 7.2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1162. )

CHAPTER 1. Findings and Declarations of Policy [66600 - 66607]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1162. )


The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the public interest in the San Francisco Bay is in its beneficial use for a variety of purposes; that the public has an interest in the bay as the most valuable single natural resource of an entire region, a resource that gives special character to the bay area; that the bay is a single body of water that can be used for many purposes, from conservation to planned development; and that the bay operates as a delicate physical mechanism in which changes that affect one part of the bay may also affect all other parts. It is therefore declared to be in the public interest to create a politically-responsible, democratic process by which the San Francisco Bay and its shoreline can be analyzed, planned, and regulated as a unit.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1162.)


The Legislature further finds and declares that uncoordinated, haphazard filling in San Francisco Bay threatens the bay itself and is therefore inimical to the welfare of both present and future residents of the area surrounding the bay; that while some individual fill projects may be necessary and desirable for the needs of the entire bay region, and while some cities and counties may have prepared detailed master plans for their own bay lands, a governmental mechanism must exist for evaluating individual projects as to their effect on the entire bay; and that further piecemeal filling of the bay may place serious restrictions on navigation in the bay, may destroy the irreplaceable feeding and breeding grounds of fish and wildlife in the bay, may adversely affect the quality of bay waters and even the quality of air in the bay area, and would therefore be harmful to the needs of the present and future population of the bay region.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)


The Legislature further finds and declares that certain water-oriented land uses along the bay shoreline are essential to the public welfare of the bay area, and that these uses include ports, water-related industries, airports, wildlife refuges, water-oriented recreation and public assembly, desalinization plants, upland dredged material disposal sites, and powerplants requiring large amounts of water for cooling purposes; that the San Francisco Bay Plan should make provision for adequate and suitable locations for all these uses, thereby minimizing the necessity for future bay fill to create new sites for these uses; that existing public access to the shoreline and waters of the San Francisco Bay is inadequate and that maximum feasible public access, consistent with a proposed project, should be provided.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 583, Sec. 1.)


The Legislature further finds and declares that areas diked off from the bay and used as saltponds and managed wetlands are important to the bay area in that, among other things, such areas provide a wildlife habitat and a large water surface which, together with the surface of the bay, moderate the climate of the bay area and alleviate air pollution; that it is in the public interest to encourage continued maintenance and operation of the salt ponds and managed wetlands; that, if development is proposed for these areas, dedication or public purchase of some of these lands should be encouraged in order to preserve water areas; that, if any such areas are authorized to be developed and used for other purposes, the development should provide the maximum public access to the bay consistent with the proposed project and should retain the maximum amount of water surface area consistent with the proposed project.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)


The Legislature further finds and declares that the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, treating the entire bay as a unit, has made a detailed study of all the characteristics of the bay, including: the quality, quantity, and movement of bay waters, the ecological balance of the bay, the economic interests in the bay, including the needs of the bay area population for industry and for employment, the requirements of industries that would not pollute the bay nor interfere with its use for recreation or other purposes, but would need sites near deepwater channels; that the study has examined all present and proposed uses of the bay and its shoreline, and the master plans of cities and counties around the bay; and that on the basis of the study the commission has prepared a comprehensive and enforceable plan for the conservation of the water of the bay and the development of its shoreline, entitled the San Francisco Bay Plan.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)


The Legislature further finds and declares that in order to protect the present shoreline and body of the San Francisco Bay to the maximum extent possible, it is essential that the commission be empowered to issue or deny permits, after public hearings, for any proposed project that involves placing fill, extracting materials or making any substantial change in use of any water, land or structure within the area of the commission’s jurisdiction.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)


The Legislature further finds and declares:

(a) That further filling of San Francisco Bay and certain waterways specified in subdivision (e) of Section 66610 should be authorized only when public benefits from fill clearly exceed public detriment from the loss of the water areas and should be limited to water-oriented uses (such as ports, water-related industry, airports, bridges, wildlife refuges, water-oriented recreation, and public assembly, water intake and discharge lines for desalinization plants and power generating plants requiring large amounts of water for cooling purposes) or minor fill for improving shoreline appearance or public access to the bay;

(b) That fill in the bay and certain waterways specified in subdivision (e) of Section 66610 for any purpose should be authorized only when no alternative upland location is available for such purpose;

(c) That the water area authorized to be filled should be the minimum necessary to achieve the purpose of the fill;

(d) That the nature, location, and extent of any fill should be such that it will minimize harmful effects to the bay area, such as, the reduction or impairment of the volume surface area or circulation of water, water quality, fertility of marshes or fish or wildlife resources, or other conditions impacting the environment, as defined in Section 21060.5 of the Public Resources Code;

(e) That public health, safety, and welfare require that fill be constructed in accordance with sound safety standards which will afford reasonable protection to persons and property against the hazards of unstable geologic or soil conditions or of flood or storm waters;

(f) That fill should be authorized when the filling would, to the maximum extent feasible, establish a permanent shoreline;

(g) That fill should be authorized when the applicant has such valid title to the properties in question that he or she may fill them in the manner and for the uses to be approved.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 774, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)


The Legislature finds that in order to make San Francisco Bay more accessible for the use and enjoyment of people, the bay shoreline should be improved, developed and preserved. The Legislature further recognizes that private investment in shoreline development should be vigorously encouraged and may be one of the principal means of achieving bay shoreline development, minimizing the resort to taxpayer funds; therefore, the Legislature declares that the commission should encourage both public and private development of the bay shoreline.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)


The Legislature hereby finds and declares that this title is not intended, and shall not be construed, as authorizing the commission to exercise its power to grant or deny a permit in a manner which will take or damage private property for public use, without the payment of just compensation therefor. This section is not intended to increase or decrease the rights of any owner of property under the Constitution of the State of California or the United States.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)


Nothing in this title shall deny the right of private property owners and local governments to establish agricultural preserves and enter into contracts pursuant to the provisions of the California Land Conservation Act of 1965.

The commission, within six months after the effective date of this section, shall institute an affirmative action program to encourage local governments to enter into contracts under the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 with owners of property to which the provisions of that act may be applicable.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)


If any provision of this title or the application thereof in any circumstance or to any person or public agency is held invalid, the remainder of this title or the application thereof in other circumstances or to other persons or public agencies shall not be affected thereby.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 713.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV