Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


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

CHAPTER 10. Lower Cost Coastal Accommodations Program [31411 - 31414]
  ( Chapter 10 added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 838, Sec. 3. )


The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The right of access to the coast is guaranteed to the people of California by the California Constitution and the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000)), which requires that coastal development be regulated, and public access rights to our state’s beaches be protected.

(b) California’s Parks Forward Commission has emphasized the need to expand access to parks and public lands throughout California to ensure that all Californians and visitors to the state, including those from low-income and underserved communities, are able to benefit from outdoor experiences.

(c) Lower cost accommodations, including hotels, motels, hostels, cabins, and camping opportunities, are essential elements of coastal and park access because they enable Californians and visitors from a variety of backgrounds, including those of low and moderate income, to enjoy California’s beaches and parks and experience the full range of recreational, educational, spiritual, and other experiences offered.

(d) A lack of affordable accommodations remains a barrier to coastal access. California’s historic supply of lower cost coastal accommodations has been reduced, and continues to be diminished, as a result of high coastal property values and economic pressures to develop new coastal accommodations that are too expensive to be affordable to most visitors.

(e) California should invest in new strategies and partnerships to improve the availability of lower cost accommodations along the coast, particularly for low-income and middle-income families. A strategic program to provide affordable accommodations in appropriate areas of our coastal parks and public lands can play an important role in improving public access to the coast. California should also support innovative pilot projects that enable the state to partner with nonprofit organizations and the private sector in order to provide coastal access.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 838, Sec. 3. (AB 250) Effective January 1, 2018.)


(a) The conservancy shall develop and implement a Lower Cost Coastal Accommodations Program to facilitate improvement of existing, and the development of new, lower cost accommodations within one and one-half miles of the coast. In implementing the program, the conservancy may undertake projects and award grants, and shall be guided by the lower cost accommodations assessment required to be developed pursuant to Section 31413.

(b) The program shall include both of the following:

(1) Clear and measurable objectives.

(2) Implementation measures designed to ensure that new or improved accommodation projects supported by the program will be affordable and available to low-income and middle-income families and to nonprofit organizations and public entities that provide young or at-risk populations with education, service learning, healthy living, recreational, or similar opportunities.

(c) The conservancy shall take all of the following actions to develop and implement the program:

(1) Consult with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the California Coastal Commission, local and regional park agencies, open-space districts, and other public agencies regarding development of the accommodations assessment and selection and funding of specific projects to improve existing and new lower cost coastal accommodations.

(2) Engage with parks, conservation, and community groups to ensure that program activities reflect and address community needs and interests.

(3) Provide the department, commission, and other interested agencies and organizations with copies of the completed assessment, as well as technical assistance upon request, for purposes of informing their potential investments in lower cost accommodations along the coast.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 838, Sec. 3. (AB 250) Effective January 1, 2018.)


(a) The conservancy shall prepare a lower cost coastal accommodations assessment that includes, at a minimum, all of the following elements:

(1) (A) A description of specific opportunities to improve existing and develop new lower cost accommodations on coastal public lands and coastal lands owned or operated by nonprofit organizations, including a list of potentially suitable sites for the location of these accommodations.

(B) For purposes of the description required by this paragraph, all of the following shall apply:

(i) Lands may include, but are not limited to, state, regional, and local parks, lands held by harbor or open space districts, lands owned by the public but not yet designated as parks, lands owned by nonprofit organizations, and national parks and other federally managed lands.

(ii) Qualifying accommodations may include, but are not limited to, campgrounds, cabins, and hostels.

(iii) A site for potential lower cost accommodations shall not be included in the assessment without consultation from the agency or nonprofit organization that owns or operates the site. A site shall not be included in the assessment if so requested by the entity that owns or operates the site.

(2) An analysis of daily occupancy or rental rates, based on geographic location, seasonality, and other relevant factors, that the conservancy will consider for purposes of identifying existing lower cost accommodations as well as potential future projects for program support. Any analysis developed pursuant to this paragraph shall not be interpreted to conflict with any rights and responsibilities of the Department of Parks and Recreation to establish rental rates or fees for accommodations within its jurisdiction.

(3) Data and analysis regarding the existing supply of and need for lower cost coastal accommodations within the program area, anticipated costs of new project development, and the supply of lower cost accommodations relative to population within 150 miles of the California coast.

(4) Criteria for prioritizing investment of program funds in lower cost accommodation projects, such as any applicable legal requirements that may apply to those funds, geography, the vulnerability of potential projects to sea level rise or coastal hazards, existing disparities in park or coastal access, availability of public agency or nonprofit partners, adequacy of existing infrastructure and services, and financial feasibility.

(5) A description of needed and anticipated measures to ensure that accommodation projects that may be supported by the program will be consistent with the purposes described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 31412.

(6) A list of appropriate public and private funding sources and potential financing mechanisms to support development and operation of lower cost accommodation projects.

(b) (1) The conservancy shall update the assessment not less than every five years, and maintain a current list of potential lower cost accommodation projects that may be implemented, subject to available funding.

(2) Each five-year update of the assessment shall include an evaluation of the conservancy’s implementation of the program over the preceding five years, and shall describe any recommended changes that may be needed to improve the program’s effectiveness.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 838, Sec. 3. (AB 250) Effective January 1, 2018.)


(a) The conservancy may develop and implement a pilot program for the purposes of identifying and testing measures that support development, improvement, maintenance, and operation of lower cost accommodations by nonprofit or for-profit private entities. The conservancy shall establish criteria for selection of projects that are eligible to receive assistance under the pilot program.

(b) In carrying out a pilot program, the conservancy may do all of the following:

(1) Purchase existing lower cost accommodations from willing sellers and operate those accommodations through leases or operating agreements with qualified regional or local park agencies, concessionaires, or nonprofit organizations.

(2) Purchase existing accommodations from willing sellers and resell them to willing buyers, including private entities.

(3) Provide loans, grants, or other financial assistance to private entities for purposes of acquiring or improving accommodations.

(c) (1) Any project or transaction undertaken pursuant to this section shall be subject to terms and conditions prescribed by the conservancy to ensure that the project or transaction advances the purposes of the program, is based upon the economic soundness of the project itself, and provides a reasonable expectation that all financial obligations of the project can be met by participating parties.

(2) Any sale of real property to a private entity pursuant to this section shall be subject to deed restrictions or other legally enforceable instruments that require the property to be used for the provision of lower cost coastal accommodations for at least 30 years following the date of sale.

(3) Any purchase of property by the conservancy pursuant to this chapter shall not be subject to the Property Acquisition Law (Part 11 (commencing with Section 15850) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(d) For purposes of this section, accommodations may include, but are not limited to, campgrounds, cabins, hostels, limited stay recreational vehicle parks, motels, and hotels, but shall not include private residences.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 838, Sec. 3. (AB 250) Effective January 1, 2018.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC