Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


  ( Division 22.9 added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 574, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions and Definitions [32630 - 32632]
  ( Heading of Chapter 1 renamed from Article 1 by Stats. 2004, Ch. 183, Sec. 294. )


This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the San Diego River Conservancy Act.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 574, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)


(a) The San Diego River is a natural, historic, and recreational resource in the heart of San Diego. From its headwaters near the town of Julian in east San Diego County, it runs 52 miles through Mission Valley and the first settlement in California at Old Town San Diego before it empties into the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Beach. The river has been subjected to intense development in some parts; it runs through one of San Diego’s most populated neighborhoods and is in need of restoration, conservation, and enhancement all along its length. The area presents excellent opportunities for recreation, scientific research, historic preservation of the first aqueduct in the United States, and educational and cultural activities, of value to California and the nation. Reestablishing the cultural and historic connections between the San Diego River, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the Military Presidio, and the Kumeyaay Nation will provide the public with the opportunity to appreciate the state’s historic beginnings.

(b) Given the opportunities available, the state recognizes the importance of holding this land in trust to be preserved and enhanced for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 406, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009.)


For the purposes of this division, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Conservancy” means the San Diego River Conservancy established by this division.

(b) “Fund” means the San Diego River Conservancy Fund established pursuant to Section 32657.

(c) “Governing board” means the governing board of the conservancy.

(d) “Historic flumes” means both of the following:

(1) The Padre Dam flume built by Native Americans along the San Diego River to convey water from the Mission Dam to the Mission San Diego de Alcala in the early 1800s.

(2) The flume built by the San Diego Flume Company in the late 1880s to convey water from a diverting dam on the upper San Diego River to the eastern edge of the City of San Diego.

(e) “Local public agency” means a city, county, district, or joint powers agency.

(f) “Nonprofit organization” means a private, nonprofit organization that qualifies for exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, and that has among its principal charitable purposes the preservation of land for scientific, historic, educational, recreational, scenic, or open-space opportunities, the protection of the natural environment, or preservation or enhancement of wildlife.

(g) “San Diego River area” or “area” means those lands or other areas that are donated to, or otherwise acquired by, or operated by, the conservancy, which are located within one-half mile on either side of the thread of the river and its tributaries including the historic flumes emanating from the river, from its headwaters near Julian to the Pacific Ocean at Dog Beach in San Diego, and other properties within the watershed of the San Diego River that meet the intent of this division as approved on a case-by-case basis by a two-thirds majority vote of the governing board.

(h) “Tribal nation” means a federally recognized tribe traditionally and culturally affiliated with the County of San Diego.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 306, Sec. 1. (SB 214) Effective January 1, 2018.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC