October 24, 2019 Meeting Highlights

The Commission held its October public meeting in Martinez, California. Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Anderson welcomed the Commission to Martinez.

Tijuana River

The Commission adopted a support position on two federal bills, H.R. 3895 (D-CA-51)and H.R. 4039 (D-CA-49), intended to address the untreated wastewater, sewage, trash, and sediment from Mexico that flows into California through the Tijuana River and its tributaries. H.R. 3895, introduced this past July, would increase the capital of the North American Development bank by $1.5 billion for water infrastructure projects to address the flow of sewage and other pollution into State waters. The bill would also establish and fund a public health trust fund. H.R. 4039, also introduced this past July, would require the U.S. EPA to carry out a program to fund water infrastructure projects near the United States and Mexico border. Both bills were referred to a policy committee and await a hearing. A support position on these bills is consistent with the Commission’s past efforts to address the flow of toxic waste and sewage into California, including that the Commission is a plaintiff in litigation against the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission. A support position is also consistent with the Commission’s role and jurisdiction over sovereign lands and in particular its jurisdiction over sovereign lands in the Pacific Ocean near the U.S./Mexico border.

Crockett Waterfront

The Commission received an informational update about the Crockett waterfront, an area that has struggled for many years but is in the midst of revitalization efforts. Staff updated the Commission on its efforts to revitalize the area, including the associated challenges and opportunities. The Commission committed to continuing to proactively work on this issue, including through robust community engagement. Many people in the community spoke on this item, expressing what a treasure this area is to the community and the larger Contra Costa County.

City of Burlingame

The Commission approved a short-term lease for roughly 9.5 acres of waterfront land in Burlingame to the SPHERE Institute, a local nonprofit policy firm. The lease gives the SPHERE Institute site control to conduct studies, complete site analysis, and provide public access.  It also requires free parking, safety monitoring, and vegetation maintenance to reduce fire risk. The short-term lease is the culmination of a Public Trust Needs Assessment and RFP (Request for Proposals) process. The SPHERE Institute will be required to apply for a long term lease once their studies and analysis are complete. After Commission staff reviews the application and completes its environmental review, the application will be brought before the Commission for its consideration.

Donner Lake / Town of Truckee

The Commission approved a landmark boundary line and easement agreement with over 180 property owners along the shore of Donner Lake. This agreement, which resolves a boundary dispute that has existed since the 1970s, is the result of years of collaboration between Commission staff, private landowners, local officials, stakeholders, legal counsel, and consultants. The study, legal analysis, and information sharing between the parties resulted in an agreement with broad support that clarifies the State’s jurisdiction and leasing authority and preserves public access at Donner Lake.

Interagency Coordination

The State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission, who often collaborate, have a new memorandum of understanding to improve coordination and collaboration. The Executive Officer briefed the Commission about the agreement, which affirms and clarifies the agencies shared commitment to collaborate. This is especially important at a time when California is leading efforts to curb climate change and adapt to sea-level rise. Examples of collaboration opportunities include work on Coastal Development Permits, Port Master Plans, energy development, and statewide policy advancement. Other benefits include increasing the quality of the agencies’ work, providing process certainty to the public, stakeholders, applicants, and decision-makers, and strengthening approvals made under the Parties’ respective authorities.

Future Meetings

The Commission’s next public meeting is on December 6, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown-Arena located at 300 J Street, Sacramento. Additional Information, including the agenda, and staff reports, will be posted on our website as they become available.