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Full text of SB 1201 LA River Expanded Public Access Bill

Full text of SB 1201 LA River Expanded Public Access Bill

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Published by: scprweb on Aug 29, 2012
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Introduced by Senator De León
February22, 2012123An act to add and repeal Section 12805.7 of the Government Code,and to amend Section 2 of the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act(Chapter 755 of the Statutes of 1915), relating to the Los Angeles River.
legislative counsel
s digest
SB1201, as amended, De León.Los Angeles River.Existing law establishes in state government the Natural ResourcesAgency, consisting of various departments, including the State LandsCommission.The
 Existing law, the
Los Angeles County Flood Control Act
establishesthe Los Angeles County Flood Control District and authorizes the districtto control and conserve the
ood, storm, and other wastewater of thedistrict.This bill, until January 1, 2016, would establish in state gov
ernmentthe Los Angeles Riv
er Interagency Access Council, with membershipto include representatives of the abov
e agencies, the CaliforniaEnvironmental Protection Agency, speci
ed municipalities, localgovernments that request to participate, and appointed Members of theLegislature, and to be chaired by the Secretary of the Natural ResourcesAgency, to coordinate the actions of state and local agencies with jurisdiction ov
er, or otherwise involv
ed in developing and administering
public access and safety policies for, the Los Angeles Riv
er. The billwould specify that rules governing the liability of public employeesand rules requiring public agencies to conduct open meetings apply tothe council. The bill would require the council to seek the maximumparticipation of all parties affected by the Los Angeles Riv
er, asspeci
ed, and the bill would authorize the council to establish technicalor other advisory committees to achiev
e this goal. The bill would alsoprohibit the council from acquiring an interest in land or water, andfrom assuming any powers reserved to local jurisdictions.The bill would amend the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act toinclude in the objects and purposes of the district to provide for publicuse of navigable waterways under the district
s control that are suitablefor recreational and educational purposes, when these purposes are notinconsistent with the use thereof by the district for
ood control andwater conservation.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes
.State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
1234567891011121314151617181920SECTION 1.The Legislature
nds and declares all of thefollowing:(a) Early Native American and Spanish settlements in the greaterLos Angeles alluvial plain critically depended upon, and were inclose proximity to, the Los Angeles River, which provided plentifulfresh water.(b) Multiple local, regional, state, and federal agencies, as wellas municipal governments, have jurisdiction over or interests inthe Los Angeles River. The United States Army Corps of Engineers, in particular, has been a longtime and fruitful partnerin the stewardship and
ood control operations of the Los AngelesRiver.(c) Planning over the decades has envisioned the Los AngelesRiver as a vital component of the life of the urban areassurrounding it by providing parkways, open space, bicycle andpedestrian paths, and other recreational opportunities, althoughmore recently many neighborhoods have turned away from theconcrete channel the river has largely become. Both Los AngelesCounty and the City of Los Angeles and other municipalities havedeveloped master plans and other planning documents that call for
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940the revitalization of the Los Angeles River with the multibene
tgoals, among others, of enhancing the environment and habitat,improving
ood storage and water quality, generating economicdevelopment, increasing community involvement, and providingopen space.(d) The United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2011named the Los Angeles River to its Urban Waters FederalPartnership, and the Los Angeles River was also selected to bepart of the federal America
s Great Outdoors Initiative in 2012,indicating strong federal interest in the ongoing revitalization of the Los Angeles River.(e) The United States Environmental Protection Agency
s July2010 designation of the Los Angeles River as a
TraditionalNavigable Water
under the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.Sec. 1251 et seq.), combined with the demonstrated recreationalnavigability of the river, means that the river is subject to Section4 of ArticleX of the California Constitution, which guarantees thepublic a right of access to the navigable waters of the state thatmust not be obstructed by any individual, partnership, orcorporation, and to case law protecting the public trust. Therefore,the river must be held in trust for the public and managed for publicaccess and use.(f) The public
s interest in use of the Los Angeles River forrecreational and educational purposes continues to increasedramatically. However, since the river was channelized, it has beenmanaged for
ood control purposes without adequate provisionfor public access and use.(g) The current regulation and inconsistent enforcement of publicaccess to the Los Angeles River at multiple levels of governmentare inadequate to ensure the public
s right of access to the river ina safe manner, particularly considering the lack of a comprehensivesafety warning system.SEC. 2.Section 12805.7 is added to the Government Code, toread:12805.7.(a) There is hereby established in state governmentthe Los Angeles Riv
er Interagency Access Council to coordinatethe actions of state and local agencies with jurisdiction ov
er, orotherwise involv
ed in developing and administering public accessand safety policies for, the Los Angeles River with membershipas follows:

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