Options for the Ownership and Management of Mitigation Lands - Beginning January 1, 2012
Senate Bill 436, a bill signed into law in October of this year, changes definitions and adds Section 65967 to the mitigation lands section of the State Planning and Zoning Laws located in the Government Code. Current State Planning and Zoning laws allow a state or local agency to require mitigation land that is provided by an applicant to be transferred to that agency or a non-profit. Beginning January 1, 2012, local and state agencies will have additional options for the transfer and management of this mitigation land.
Section 65967 of the Government Code will authorize the transfer of mitigation lands not only to the agency or a nonprofit organization, but also a special district, a for-profit entity, a person, or another entity - provided that certain criteria are met, such as specific annual reporting requirements. Agencies may also require these entities to secure endowments for the management of mitigation lands. The Legislature’s intent is to account for the funds required to manage mitigation lands into perpetuity. Agencies also must reserve specific funds if the agency intends to own and manage its mitigation lands. Finally, the revisions allow an agency to allocate funds to a non-profit that is holding and managing the agency’s mitigation fee lands required by mitigation obligations for a public project.
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