October 21, 2021 Meeting Highlights

Beach in the City of Oceanside with surfers in the waves at sundown.

The Commission held its October meeting virtually. The staff reports and comment letters associated with our meeting are available in our Archives. The Executive Officer’s report with updates and links to supplementary materials for a wide array of activities and projects is also available.

Temporary Vehicle Triage Center at Candlestick Park State Recreation Area

The Commission authorized an amendment to an existing lease with California State Parks to facilitate the use of a small portion of the Candlestick State Recreation Area as a temporary vehicle triage center that will serve people experiencing homelessness and in need of services and safe shelter. The Commission, State Parks, community-based social service providers, and the City of San Francisco have collaborated to provide services and space at the lease area to accommodate people currently living in vehicles encamped along the Hunter’s Point Expressway and surrounding area. The vehicle triage center will safely shelter over 200 people and provide lighting, portable restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Other services include security and janitorial staff, a guard shack, picnic area, potable water hose bibs, electrical service to each vehicle sufficient to charge cell phones and small appliances, and trash services.

Abandoned Vessel Removal in the Delta

The Commission authorized staff to take ownership of and remove two abandoned vessels, the Standard No 2 and the Tug Valiant, in Sevenmile Slough near Isleton in the Delta. This action enables staff to remove and dispose of the vessels, improving navigation, water quality, Delta habitat, and the overall recreational and fishing experience. The Commission authorized staff to expend up to $900,000 for removal and disposal activities and share costs with local, state, and federal agencies. Staffs’ next step is to retain a contractor to remove the two vessels. Removing these vessels is a priority for the Commission as it is also part of a larger effort the Commission is undertaking in the years ahead to remove abandoned vessels in the Delta.

Offshore Wind Energy

The Commission delegated authority to the Executive Officer to proceed with the environmental review for two proposed offshore wind energy projects in the Pacific Ocean near Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County. This is important because conducting this environmental review will include identification of data gaps and necessary baseline studies, disclosure and analysis of potentially significant impacts, identification of feasible measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate those impacts, and identification of feasible alternatives, all in a transparent, inclusive public process. Preparing this environmental review will not approve the two project applications. The information development pursuant to this environmental review and analysis will help inform the Commission’s future determination of whether the proposed projects are in the State’s best interests.

Orange County Flood Control District

The Commission authorized a short-term (2-year) lease to the Orange County Flood Control District for flood control improvements and activities at the mouth of the Santa Ana River in Orange County. Local environmental groups have contacted Commission staff with concerns that off-leash dogs in the area are threatening endangered and threatened bird species, including the Western snowy plover and California least tern. The new lease the Commission authorized will reduce flood risks while addressing the conflict between the use of this area as an informal, off-leash dog park and the protection of snowy plovers and least terns and their habitats. The limited 2-year lease term will allow the Commission to re-evaluate the effectiveness of this protection and enforcement framework and adaptively manage the situation.

Future Meetings and Ways to Stay Informed

The Commission’s next public meeting will be on December 8, 2021, at 10 a.m. You can sign up here to receive updates about this and future meetings. Another great way to stay informed is by following the State Lands Commission on Twitter.