Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

FROM: CITY MANAGER

DATE: MAY 6, 2003

SUBJECT: VARIOUS STATE LEGISLATIVE BILLS

RECOMMENDATION

Consider legislative bills as requested to be placed on the agenda by Councilmembers Larry Clark and John McTaggart.

BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION

In accordance with City Council policy, Councilmembers Larry Clark and John McTaggart have individually requested certain legislative bills to be reviewed and considered by the entire Council. Below is a summary of each legislative bill of interest. Should Council wish to support or oppose a legislative bill, staff will prepare the appropriate letters for the mayor and/or Councilpersonís signature. A motion for a neutral position on any legislative bill will result in no action by staff, although individual Councilmembers may personally prepare and send letters of support or opposition at anytime.

Copies of each legislative text are attached for review.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 10 (Harman) Local Government: property related fees.

Councilmember John McTaggart requests the Council consider supporting this item. Existing law as established by Proposition 218 requires voter approval by the electorate residing in the affected area for new or increased property-related fees or charges. Proposition 218 exempts certain types of fees, such as those for sewer, water and refuse collections services, from the voter approval requirement. Fees for these services can be established through a public hearing process by a decision of the Council, unless there is a majority protest registered at the public hearing. ACA 10 proposes to also exempt storm water and urban runoff management fees and charges from the voter approval requirements of Proposition 218. If passed by the legislature, ACA 10 would then be placed on a statewide ballot and would need statewide voter approval to become state law.

If ACA 10 became state law, it would make it easier for cities to fund and comply with new and increasingly stringent storm water quality permit requirements adopted by the regional water quality control boards. Passage of ACA 10 would be to the Cityís advantage should the City Council decide to implement financing alternatives for storm drain and water quality fees in the future.

The April 30th hearing by the Assembly Committee on Local Government was postponed.

AB 299 (Lowenthal) Vehicles: taxicabs and passenger vehicles for hire.

Councilmember Larry Clark requests the Council to consider supporting this legislative bill. AB 299 requires an officer of the law to impound a taxicab or other "for hire" passenger vehicle for up to 30 days if reasonable cause exists to believe that the vehicle is operating in violation of local licensing requirements.

The City of Los Angeles is sponsoring this bill to curb "bandit" taxicabs operating without a City license. The City of Los Angeles contends that unlicensed cabs pose a threat to public safety and should remain out of operation as long as possible. According to the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, "bandit" cabs generally do not have any insurance, are often poorly maintained are very difficult for enforcement to catch. The impoundment procedure is hoped to serve as a substantial deterrent to violators.

This bill passed the Assembly and was read for the first time in the Senate on April 22, 2003.

AB 872 (Strickland) Speed limits, divided urban highways.

Councilmember Larry Clark requests the Council to consider this legislative bill. This legislative bill originally proposed a maximum speed limit of 45 mph on urban, divided, and restricted access arterial highways (such as Hawthorne Boulevard and Palos Verdes Drive South). However, AB 872 was amended in the Assembly Transportation Committee on April 22, 2003, and the original proposal was eliminated. AB 872 as amended simply clarifies an existing law by defining "urban, divided, and restricted access arterial highways". The net result is no significant change or impact. The bill was referred to the Senate.

As a matter of background information, the original intent was to allow government agencies to raise or lower speed limits, as they deem necessary, without losing the ability of radar enforcement. Generally, speed limits are determined on the basis of engineering and traffic surveys that measure prevailing speeds. Speed limits are then established at or near the 85th percentile. Although existing law permits local agencies to set speed limits below the 85th percentile due to safety factors such as residential density, and pedestrian and bicyclists, speed limits not set within 5 mph of the 85th percentile constitute a "speed trap" and therefore are not eligible for radar enforcement.

AB 872 passed the Assembly Committee on Appropriations on April 30, 2003.

Registered Support:

City of Thousand Oaks (billís sponsor)

Registered Opposition:

Automobile Club of Southern California
California Bus Association
California State Automobile Association.

AB 1544 (Simitian) Elections

Councilmember Larry Clark submitted this legislative bill request for Council consideration in favor of AB 1544. AB 1544, as amended on April 21, 2003, proposes to authorize cities with a population of 100,000 or less, school districts, and special districts to conduct all-mail ballot elections to fill a vacancy in a special election. The all-mail ballot election would be subject to the following conditions:

  1. the legislative body must authorize the use of mailed ballots by resolution;
  2. the election must be a special election to fill a vacancy;
  3. the election must not be held on the same date as a statewide primary or general election; and
  4. the return of voted mail ballots would be subject to the same regulations as absentee ballots.

On April 22, 2003, the Assembly Elections, Redistricting and Constitutional Amendment Committee passed this bill and referred it to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Registered Support:

Association of California Water Agencies
City of Belmont
City of San Carlos
League of California Cities
Secretary of State Kevin Shelley

Registered Opposition:

None filed.

AB 1652 (Nakano) Los Angeles County MTA

Councilmember John McTaggart submitted this request for supporting this legislative bill. Currently the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Board of 14 represents 88 cities. The Board membership is comprised of: 5 appointed by the Board of Supervisors from the unincorporated areas, 4 City of Los Angeles Mayoral appointees, 4 appointed by the League of Cities and 1 non-voting member appointed by the Governor. AB 1652 (Nakano) would expand the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board membership by increasing the League of Cities members from four to six; thus increasing the number of voting members from 13 to 15. The intent of AB 1652 is to ensure equal and appropriate representation on the MTA Board to accurately reflect the population statistics and Prop A & C contributions in Los Angeles County.

AB 1652 passed the Assembly Committee on Transportation on April 22, 2003 and was referred to the Committee on Local Government for a hearing.

Registered Support:

League of California Cities California Contract Cities Association
City of Claremont
City of Hawthorne
City of Lakewood
League of California Cities, Los Angeles County Division

Registered Opposition:

Amalgamated Transit Union
City of Los Angeles City Hall
Los Angeles City Councilman Hal Bernson, Twelfth District
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Should City Council approve supporting AB 1652, staff will prepare the attached draft letter for the Mayor or any Councilmemberís signature.

AB 1158 (Lowenthal) Housing Element Reviews

Councilmember John McTaggart requests Council to consider supporting this bill. Existing law requires each city and/or county to adopt a General Plan that contains a mandatory housing element to assess housing needs and establish community-housing goals. Part of the assessment includes determining the localityís share of regional housing need as determined by the Council of Governments. Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, has introduced AB 1158 that reforms the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) procedure and addresses a number of issues local governments have expressed strong concern in the past. The bill also contains some language that requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to adopt regulations to guide their reviews of local housing elements.

Some of the significant elements of this bill:

  • RHNA adopted in conjunction with regional transportation plan, on a six-year cycle.
  • Regionís growth projections are used, if within 3% of HCD number.
  • Region can challenge HCD methodology to ensure that state projections are demographically sound, and consistent with statutory process.
  • Councils of Government (COG) perform local surveys on local jobs/housing relationship & local opportunities and constraints on additional housing production prior to developing allocation methodology.
  • In developing allocation methodology, COGs must consider jobs/housing balance, the number of units built in a community in each income category during the previous cycle, land protected from urban development under federal and state programs, laws and regulations which prohibit the development or expansion of necessary infrastructure, city-county agreements to direct urban development to incorporated areas, and county programs to protect prime agricultural lands.
  • Allow sub regional allocations within COGs, and improvements the COG appeals.
  • Successfully appealed units may be redistributed by COG on a per-capita basis among all jurisdictions, up to 7% of the RHNA.
  • Two or more local governments are authorized to agree to an alternate distribution of units assigned to them.

The April 30th hearing was postponed by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Registered Support:

League of CA Cities
[SPONSOR] American Planning Association, CA Chapter
CA Association of Councils of Governments
CA State Association of Counties
City of Roseville

Registered Opposition:

CA Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

FISCAL IMPACT

None associated with this report.

PREPARED BY
Gina Park
Sr. Administrative Analyst

APPROVED BY
Les Evans
City Manager

Attachment:

  1. Legislative Text
  2. Draft Support Letters

Date

Assembly Member Tom Harman

State Capitol, Room 5158

Sacramento CA 95814

RE: ACA 10 (Harman). Storm Water Fees. Proposition 218.--Support

Dear Assembly Member Harman:

The City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes supports your ACA 10.

Water quality has become an increasingly important issue. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, like many cities, has used scarce general fund monies to support storm water programs in light of the restrictions placed upon it by Proposition 218. Existing law requires local voter approval by two-thirds for certain property related fees and exempts certain types of fees, such as for water, sewer and garbage, from this voter approval requirement. Your ACA 10 proposes to include storm water management program fees as an exemption from the Proposition 218 voter approval requirement. The passage of ACA 10 would greatly assist the efforts by cities to fund and comply with new and more stringent storm water quality permit requirements adopted by the regional water quality control boards.

On behalf of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, I want to thank you for introducing ACA 10.

Sincerely,

Mayor/Councilmember

Date

Assembly Member Lowenthal

State Capitol, Room 4146

Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 299 (Lowenthal)--Support

Dear Assembly Member Lowenthal:

On behalf of the City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes, I am pleased to report the Councilís full support of AB 299. AB 299 requires a magistrate presented with the affidavit of a peace officer establishing reasonable cause to believe that a vehicle is being operated as a taxicab or other passenger vehicle for hire in violation of licensing requirements adopted by a local authority under a specified provision of the Vehicle Code to issue a warrant or order authorizing any peace officer to immediately seize and cause the removal of the vehicle. In addition, AB 299 authorizes a vehicle to be impounded for a period not to exceed 30 days and provides procedures for release of the vehicle prior to the end of the 30-day period.

Currently, cities lack the legal authority to hold impounded unlicensed taxicabs for an adequate period of time. As a result, unlicensed taxicabs are immediately reused and these unlicensed taxicabs endanger the public. AB 299 will provide a State code empowering local authorities to impose up to a 30 day impound. Enacting legislation that will alleviate this problem is of particular importance to cities in order to ensure the safety of all its citizens.

Sincerely,

Mayor/Councilmember

Date

Assembly Member Strickland

State Capitol, Room 4098

Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 872 (Strickland). Vehicles: Speed Limits: Divided Urban Highways.

Notice of Support

Dear Assembly Member Strickland:

The City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes is pleased to support AB 872, which clarifies the inclusion of urban, divided, restricted-access arterial highway under existing law for establishing maximum speed limits.

The City is disappointed that the original proposed language to increase a local agencyís ability to set speed maximum speed limits on specified types of urban streets, rather than relying on the current inflexible formula that essentially gives speeders a role in setting posted limits was eliminated. The City hopes this issue will return in future discussions.

Sincerely,

Mayor/Councilmember

Date

Assembly Member Alan Lowenthal

State Capitol, Room 4146

Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 1158 (Lowenthal) RHNA Reforms, Housing Element Reviews--Support

Dear Assembly Member Lowenthal:

The City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes supports your AB 1158. It is our understanding that this measure contains agreements reached last year as a result of your leadership in the Lowenthal/Wiggins Housing Element Working Group on regional housing needs assessments (RHNA) reforms.

The City supports the proposed improvements to the RHNA process, which include:

  • RHNA adopted in conjunction with regional transportation plan, on a six-year cycle.
  • Regionís growth projections are used, if within 3% of HCD number.
  • Region can challenge HCD methodology to ensure that state projections are demographically sound, and consistent with statutory process.
  • Councils of Government (COG) perform local surveys on local jobs/housing relationship & local opportunities and constraints on additional housing production prior to developing allocation methodology.
  • In developing allocation methodology, COGs must consider jobs/housing balance, the number of units built in a community in each income category during the previous cycle, land protected from urban development under federal and state programs, laws and regulations which prohibit the development or expansion of necessary infrastructure, city-county agreements to direct urban development to incorporated areas, and county programs to protect prime agricultural lands.
  • Allow sub regional allocations within COGs, and improvements the COG appeals.
  • Successfully appealed units may be redistributed by COG on a per-capita basis among all jurisdictions, up to 7% of the RHNA.
  • Two or more local governments are authorized to agree to an alternate distribution of units assigned to them.

Thank you for your leadership on this issue.

Sincerely,

Mayor/Councilmember

Date

Assembly Member Simitian

State Capitol, Room 5119

Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 1544 (Simitian). Elections.--Support

Dear Assembly Member Simitian:

The City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes supports AB 1544, as amended, which would authorize cities with a population of 100,000 or less, school districts, and special districts to conduct all-mail ballot elections to fill a vacancy in a special election.

The City supports AB 1544 because it reduces the otherwise costly procedures for conducting municipal elections, and allows citizens to vote without the burden of having to travel to a voting poll, which can be burdensome for those who do not have easy access to transportation.

The City appreciates your leadership in introducing AB 1544.

Sincerely,

Mayor/Councilmember

Date

Assemblymember George Nakano

State Capitol

Room XXXX

Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 1652 (Nakano) LAMTA Board Membership.--Support

Dear Honorable Assembly Member Nakano:

On behalf of the City Council of Rancho Palos Verdes, I would like to express the Cityís support of AB 1652 which would increase representation on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMTA) Board among the smaller sized cities from 4 to 6 members. AB 1652 seeks to establish equitable and appropriate representation on the Board of LAMTA that best reflects the diversity and needs of the entire Los Angeles County.

Currently, the City Selection Committee Appointments comprised of four representatives from 87 cities within the County, have less than one third of the Board votes. Yet, they represent 51% of the County population and generate 63% of the Proposition A and C Ĺ cent sales tax revenue. This weakens the ability of the majority of the County to participate in vital transportation policy and programs. AB 1652 will correct this inequity by increasing the City Selection membership from four to six; thereby amplifying its percentage of Board votes from 30% to 40%. Assembly Bill 1652 will be a positive step to ensure appropriate representation on the Board.

Sincerely,

Mayor/Councilmember