Law:Division 22.8. San Gabriel And Lower Los Angeles Rivers And Mountains Conservancy (California)

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Contents

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (prc:32600-32602) Public Resources Code Section 32600-32602



32600. This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy Act.


32601. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the San Gabriel River and its tributaries, the Lower Los Angeles River and its tributaries, and the San Gabriel Mountains, Puente Hills, and San Jose Hills constitute a unique and important open-space, environmental, anthropological, cultural, scientific, educational, recreational, scenic, and wildlife resource that should be held in trust to be preserved and enhanced for the enjoyment of, and appreciation by, present and future generations.


32602. There is in the Resources Agency, the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, which is created as a state agency for the following purposes: (a) To acquire and manage public lands within the Lower Los Angeles River and San Gabriel River watersheds, and to provide open-space, low-impact recreational and educational uses, water conservation, watershed improvement, wildlife and habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvement within the territory. (b) To preserve the San Gabriel River and the Lower Los Angeles River consistent with existing and adopted river and flood control projects for the protection of life and property. (c) To acquire open-space lands within the territory of the conservancy. (d) To provide for the public's enjoyment and enhancement of recreational and educational experiences on public lands in the San Gabriel Watershed and Lower Los Angeles River, and the San Gabriel Mountains in a manner consistent with the protection of lands and resources in those watersheds.


Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (prc:32600-32602.duplicate) Public Resources Code Section 32600-32602



32600. This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy Act.


32601. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the San Gabriel River and its tributaries, the Lower Los Angeles River and its tributaries, and the San Gabriel Mountains, Puente Hills, and San Jose Hills constitute a unique and important open-space, environmental, anthropological, cultural, scientific, educational, recreational, scenic, and wildlife resource that should be held in trust to be preserved and enhanced for the enjoyment of, and appreciation by, present and future generations.


32602. There is in the Resources Agency, the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, which is created as a state agency for the following purposes: (a) To acquire and manage public lands within the Lower Los Angeles River and San Gabriel River watersheds, and to provide open-space, low-impact recreational and educational uses, water conservation, watershed improvement, wildlife and habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvement within the territory. (b) To preserve the San Gabriel River and the Lower Los Angeles River consistent with existing and adopted river and flood control projects for the protection of life and property. (c) To acquire open-space lands within the territory of the conservancy. (d) To provide for the public's enjoyment and enhancement of recreational and educational experiences on public lands in the San Gabriel Watershed and Lower Los Angeles River, and the San Gabriel Mountains in a manner consistent with the protection of lands and resources in those watersheds.


Chapter 2. Definitions

Ca Codes (prc:32603) Public Resources Code Section 32603



32603. As used in this division, the following terms have the following meaning: (a) "Board" means the governing board of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. (b) "Conservancy" means the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. The conservancy may also be known as the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. (c) (1) "Territory" means the territory of the conservancy that consists of those portions of Los Angeles County and Orange County located within the San Gabriel River and its tributaries, the lower Los Angeles River and its tributaries, and the San Gabriel Mountains, including, without limitation, all of the following: (A) The hydrologic basin or watershed that coincides with the upper San Gabriel River watershed, including the Upper Rio Hondo tributary, but not including any land area within the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy as described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 33100) and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 33200) of Division 23. The hydrologic basin or watershed is bounded by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, the San Jose Hills to the east, the Puente Hills to the south, and by a series of hills and the Raymond Fault to the west. (B) The hydrologic basin or watershed that coincides with the lower San Gabriel River watershed. (C) The San Gabriel Mountains, including the Foothills Mountains Conservancy and the Puente Hills and San Jose Hills area, except any land area within the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy as described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 33100) and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 33200) of Division 23. (D) The hydrologic basin or watershed that coincides with the lower Los Angeles River south of the northernmost boundary of the City of Vernon, as of June 1, 1999, except any land area within the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, as described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 33100) and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 33200) of Division 23. (2) To assist persons in understanding the breadth of the territory included within the territory described in paragraph (1), the Legislature declares that that territory includes the territory in all of the following cities and areas: (A) The territory within the city boundaries, as of January 1, 2000, of the following cities: Alhambra, Anaheim, Arcadia, Artesia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Bradbury, Brea, Buena Park, Cerritos, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Cudahy, Cypress, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, El Monte, Fullerton, Glendora, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Park, Industry, Irwindale, La Habra, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Palma, La Puente, La Verne, Lakewood, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Lynwood, Maywood, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Placentia, Pomona, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Gabriel, Santa Fe Springs, Seal Beach, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, Temple City, Vernon, Walnut, West Covina, and Whittier. (B) The unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and Orange County adjacent to the San Gabriel River and its tributaries, the lower Los Angeles River and its tributaries, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Foothill Mountains, the Puente Hills, and the San Jose Hills area including, but not limited to, East Los Angeles. (d) Nothing in this section shall affect the jurisdiction of any other state conservancy.


Chapter 3. Conservancy

Ca Codes (prc:32604-32609) Public Resources Code Section 32604-32609



32604. The conservancy shall do all of the following: (a) Establish policies and priorities for the conservancy regarding the San Gabriel River and the Lower Los Angeles River, and their watersheds, and conduct any necessary planning activities, in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32602. (b) Give priority to river related projects that create expanded opportunities for recreation, greening, aesthetic improvement, and wildlife habitat along the corridor of the river, and in parts of the river channel that can be improved for the above purposes without infringing on water quality, water supply, and necessary flood control. (c) Approve conservancy funded projects that advance the policies and priorities set forth in Section 32602. (d) Prepare a San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Parkway and Open Space Plan to be approved by a majority of the cities representing a majority of the population, the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County, the Central Basin Water Association, and the San Gabriel Valley Water Association. The plan shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following elements: (1) A determination of the policies and priorities for the conservation of the San Gabriel River and its watershed, the Lower Los Angeles River, and the San Gabriel Mountains, in accordance with the purposes of the conservancy as set forth in Section 32602. (2) A plan for incorporating, as relevant, the principles and planning work contained within the Los Angeles River Master Plan prepared by the County of Los Angeles. (3) An identification of underused existing public open spaces and recommendations for providing better public use and enjoyment in areas identified in the plan. (4) An identification of, and a priority program for implementing, those additional low-impact recreational and open space needs, including additional or upgraded facilities and parks that may be necessary or desirable.


32605. The board shall consist of 13 voting members and seven nonvoting members, as follows: (a) The 13 voting members of the board shall consist of all of the following: (1) One member of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, or his or her designee, who represents the area or a portion thereof contained within the territory of the conservancy, appointed by the Governor. (2) Two members of the board of directors of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, one of whom shall be a mayor or city council member of a city bordering along the San Gabriel River, and one of whom shall be a mayor or city council member of a city bordering the San Gabriel Mountains area. One member shall be appointed by a majority of the membership of that board of directors, and one member shall be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules from a list of two or more potential members submitted by the board of directors. (3) Two members of the board of directors of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, one of whom shall be the mayor of the City of Long Beach or a city council member of the City of Long Beach appointed by the mayor, and one of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly from a list of two or more potential members submitted by the executive committee of the board of directors of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. The executive committee shall submit lists of potential members to the Speaker of the Assembly until an acceptable member is appointed. (4) Two members of the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities, both of whom shall be a mayor or city council member of a city bordering along the San Gabriel River or a tributary thereof. One member shall be appointed by a majority of the membership of the city selection committee of Orange County, and one member shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of two or more potential members submitted by the city selection committee. (5) One member shall be a representative of a member of the San Gabriel Valley Water Association appointed by a majority of the membership of the board of directors of the San Gabriel Valley Water Association. (6) One member shall be a representative of the Central Basin Water Association appointed by a majority of the membership of the board of directors of the Central Basin Water Association. (7) One member shall be a resident of Los Angeles County appointed by the Governor from a list of potential members submitted by local, state, and national environmental organizations that operate within the County of Los Angeles and within the territory of the conservancy and that have participated in planning for river restoration or open space, or both, or river preservation. (8) The Secretary of the Resources Agency, or his or her designee. (9) The Secretary for Environmental Protection, or his or her designee. (10) The Director of Finance, or his or her designee. (b) The seven ex officio, nonvoting members shall consist of the following officers or an employee of each agency designated annually by that officer to represent the office or agency: (1) The District Engineer of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. (2) The Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region of the United States Forest Service. (3) The Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. (4) The Director of the Orange County Public Facility and Resource Department. (5) A member of the San Gabriel River Watermaster, appointed by a majority of the members of the San Gabriel River Watermaster. (6) The Director of Parks and Recreation. (7) The Executive Officer of the Wildlife Conservation Board.


32606. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), the term of each voting member of the board shall be two years. Any vacancy shall be filled within 60 days of its occurrence by the appointing authority. (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), no person shall continue as a member of the board if he or she ceases to hold the office that qualifies that person to be appointed as a member of the board, or in the case of the member appointed pursuant to paragraph (5) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 32605, ceases to represent a member of the association. The membership on the board held by the person shall terminate immediately upon ceasing to hold that qualifying office or membership. Except as provided in subdivision (c), the position of any member appointed by the Governor shall be deemed vacant immediately if the member ceases to be a resident of the applicable territory. (c) The term of each of the members appointed pursuant to paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 32605 shall be two years, or until the member's successor is appointed, whichever is longer.

32607. (a) The voting members of the board shall elect a chairperson, vice chairperson, and other officers, as determined to be necessary, from among the board members. The terms of those offices shall be determined by the board. (b) The conservancy may employ an executive officer and other necessary staff to perform functions that cannot be provided by the existing personnel, by others on a contract basis, or by volunteers, and may enter into contracts for services requiring knowledge, experience, and ability not possessed by the conservancy staff. All those contracts shall be approved by the board.


32608. Members of the board who are not full-time public employees shall be compensated at a rate not to exceed seventy-five dollars ($75) per regular meeting, not to exceed 12 regular meetings per year, and the actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Any member may waive compensation.


32609. (a) A quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting members of the board. All meetings of the board shall be held in accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). (b) Any action of the board affecting any matter shall be taken by a majority vote of the membership of the board, a quorum being present.


Chapter 4. Powers And Duties

Ca Codes (prc:32611-32616) Public Resources Code Section 32611-32616



32611. The conservancy may manage, operate, administer, and maintain the lands and facilities it acquires, in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32602. The conservancy may adopt regulations governing the use by the public of conservancy lands and facilities and may provide for the enforcement of those regulations.


32612. (a) The conservancy may acquire real property or any interest in real property pursuant to the Property Acquisition Law (Part 11 (commencing with Section 15850) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) within the conservancy's territory from willing sellers and at fair market value, upon a finding that the acquisition is consistent with the purposes of the conservancy, as set forth in Section 32602. The conservancy may acquire the property itself or may coordinate the acquisition through other public agencies that have the authority to acquire property and that have available funding or land to exchange. The conservancy may hold a remainder interest in property in those instances in which an owner desires to sell the property and retain a life estate, and may create and administer a mitigation land bank and arrange land exchanges, consistent with the purposes set forth in Section 32602. The overall objective of the land acquisition program shall be to assist in accomplishing land transactions that are mutually beneficial to the landowner and the conservancy, and that meet the conservancy's purposes. Neither the conservancy nor the State Public Works Board shall exercise the power of eminent domain pursuant to this division. (b) To the extent not in conflict with any other law, the conservancy may exercise the right of first refusal for surplus public agency property located within its territory for the purposes of the conservancy set forth in Section 32602 subject to the conditions and provisions of the adopted San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Parkway and Open Space Plan, and shall conform to all relevant general and specific plans and zoning regulations of local agencies within the territory of the conservancy. (c) Prior to entering into an agreement to acquire any interest in real property within the territory of the conservancy for open space or conservation purposes, the conservancy shall provide 30 days written notice to the legislative body of the affected local agency, if such a project was not included in the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Parkway and Open Space Plan.


32613. (a) The conservancy shall have, and may exercise, all rights and powers, expressed or implied, necessary to carry out the purposes of this division, except as otherwise provided. (b) The conservancy may not levy a tax, exercise the power of eminent domain, or regulate land use except on lands it owns, manages or controls. The conservancy shall be subject to all laws, regulations, and general and specific plans of the legislative body of any city in which the conservancy proposes to take action.


32614. The conservancy may do all of the following: (a) Sue and be sued. (b) Enter into contracts with any public agency, private entity, or person necessary for the proper discharge of the conservancy's duties, and enter into a joint powers agreement with a public agency, in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Section 32602. (c) Lease, rent, sell, exchange, or otherwise transfer any real property or interest therein or any option acquired under this division to a local public agency, state agency, federal agency, nonprofit organization, individual, or other entity pursuant to terms and conditions approved by the conservancy pursuant to terms and conditions approved by the conservancy for management purposes, in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32602. Prior to entering into an agreement to lease, rent, sell, exchange, or otherwise transfer any real property or interest therein or any option acquired under this division within the territory of the conservancy, the conservancy shall provide 30 days written notice to the legislative body of the affected local agency, if the project was not included in the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Parkway and Open Space Plan. (d) Initiate, negotiate, and participate in an agreement for the management of land under its ownership or control by a local public agency, state agency, federal agency, nonprofit organization, individual, or other entity, and initiate, negotiate, and participate in an agreement for the management of land under the ownership or control of any of those entities by the conservancy, in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32602. (e) Enter into any other agreement with any public agency, private entity, or person necessary for the proper discharge of the conservancy's duties for the purposes set forth in Section 32602. (f) Recruit and coordinate volunteers and experts to conduct interpretive and recreational programs and assist with construction projects and the maintenance of parkway facilities. (g) Undertake, within the territory, site improvement projects, regulate public access, and revegetate and otherwise rehabilitate degraded areas, in consultation with any other public agency with appropriate jurisdiction and expertise, in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32602. The conservancy may also, within the territory, upgrade deteriorating facilities and construct new facilities as needed for outdoor recreation, nature appreciation and interpretation, and natural resources projection. The conservancy may undertake those projects by itself or in conjunction with another local agency; however, the conservancy shall provide overall coordination of those projects by setting priorities for the projects and by ensuring a uniform approach to projects. The conservancy may undertake those projects with prior notification to the legislative body of the local agency that has jurisdiction in the area in which the conservancy proposes to undertake that activity.


32614.5. (a) The conservancy may award grants to local public agencies, state agencies, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations for the purposes of this division. (b) Grants to nonprofit organizations for the acquisition of real property or interests in real property shall be subject to all of the following conditions: (1) The purchase price of any interest in land acquired by the nonprofit organization may not exceed fair market value as established by an appraisal approved by the conservancy. (2) The conservancy approves the terms under which the interest in land is acquired. (3) The interest in land acquired pursuant to a grant from the conservancy may not be used as security for any debt incurred by the nonprofit organization unless the conservancy approves the transaction. (4) The transfer of land acquired pursuant to a grant shall be subject to the approval of the conservancy and the execution of an agreement between the conservancy and the transferee sufficient to protect the interests of the state. (5) The state shall have a right of entry and power of termination in and over all interests in real property acquired with state funds, which may be exercised if any essential term or condition of the grant is violated. (6) If the existence of the nonprofit organization is terminated for any reason, title to all interest in real property acquired with state funds shall immediately vest in the state, except that, prior to that termination, another public agency or nonprofit organization may receive title to all or a portion of that interest in real property, by recording its acceptance of title, together with the conservancy's approval, in writing. (c) Any deed or other instrument of conveyance whereby real property is acquired by a nonprofit organization pursuant to this section shall be recorded and shall set forth the executory interest or right of entry on the part of the state.


32615. The conservancy shall administer any funds appropriated to it, and may expend those funds for capital improvements, land acquisition, or support of the conservancy's operations, in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32602. The conservancy may also accept any revenue, money, grants, goods, or services contributed to it by any public agency, private entity, or person and, upon receipt, may use the revenue, money, grants, goods, or services for capital improvements, land acquisitions, or support of the conservancy's operations, in accordance with the purposes set forth in Section 32602.


32616. (a) The conservancy may fix and collect fees for the use of any land owned or controlled, or for any service provided, by the conservancy. No fee shall exceed the cost of maintaining and operating the land or of providing the service for which the fee is charged. (b) The fee revenue and all other revenue received pursuant to this division shall be deposited in the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. The money in the fund shall be expended by the conservancy, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purposes of this division.


Chapter 5. Limitations

Ca Codes (prc:32620-32621) Public Resources Code Section 32620-32621



32620. Nothing in this division shall be interpreted to grant the board any regulatory or governing authority over any ordinance or regulatory measure adopted by a city, county, or special district that pertains to land use, water rights, or environmental quality.


32621. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this division, the conservancy shall not take any action that does any of the following: (1) Interferes or conflicts with the exercise of the powers or duties of any watermaster, public agency, or other body or entity responsible for groundwater or surface water management or groundwater replenishment as designated or established pursuant to any adjudication or statute. (2) Interferes or conflicts with any provision of any judgment or court order issued, or rule or regulation adopted, pursuant to any adjudication affecting water or water management in the San Gabriel River watershed and basin. (3) Impedes or adversely impacts any previously adopted Los Angeles County Drainage Area project, as described in the report of the Chief of Engineers dated June 30, 1992, including any supplement or addendum to that report as of September 1, 1999, or any maintenance agreement to operate the project. (4) Results in the degradation of water quality, or interferes or conflicts with any action by a watermaster or public agency that is authorized pursuant to statute, any water right or adjudication including, but not limited to, any action relating to water conservation, groundwater recharge, conservation or storage of water, or both, the pumping of groundwater, water treatment, the regulation of spreading, injection, pumping, storage, or the use of water from local sources, stormwater flows and runoff, or from imported or reclaimed water that is undertaken in connection with the management of the San Gabriel River or any branch, stream, fork, or tributary thereof, a groundwater basin, or groundwater resource. (5) Interferes with, obstructs, hinders, or delays the exercise of, any water right by the owner of a public water system, including, but not limited to, the construction, operation, maintenance, replacement, repair, location, or relocation of any well or water pumping, treatment, or storage facility, pipeline, or other facility or property necessary or useful to the operation of the public water system. (b) The conservancy shall provide written notice to every water association in the jurisdiction of the conservancy of any proposed action, policy, or project that may affect any water right or water delivery system at least 45 calendar days prior to the date set for approval of any of those matters by the conservancy. (c) As used in this section, "adjudication" means any final judgment or order entered in any judicial proceeding adjudicating or affecting water rights, surface water management, or groundwater management. (d) The conservancy shall consult with other conservancies within the Resources Agency prior to implementing any project pursuant to this division in which there may be a jurisdictional overlap between those conservancies. Each of those conservancies shall make its best effort to resolve any issues regarding any project development that is carried out pursuant to this division in a mutually advantageous and environmentally beneficial manner. Any dispute between the conservancies shall be referred to the Resources Agency for resolution.


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