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California Earth Corps v. California State Lands Comm'n

Citation: 35 ELR 20085
No. No. C041603, (Cal. App. 3d Dist., 04/21/2005)

A California appellate court reversed the approval of a land exchange agreement that conveyed out of the public trust 3 acres of former tidelands that have been filled in exchange for 10 acres along the Los Angeles River. California Public Resource Code §6307 requires that the underlying purpose of an exchange be "to enhance the configuration of the shorelines for the improvement of the water and upland." This denotes a change to the physical shoreline or construction of an improvement at the shoreline. The exchange at issue does neither. Although the tidelands have been filled, §6307 makes no exception for land that is currently being used for purposes other than those enumerated in the statute. And contrary to the lower court's reasoning for upholding the approval, the statute is silent on the issue of access or utility. The exchange, therefore, violates the criteria set forth in §6307.