SCGA Public Affairs

Major Coastal Resorts Environmental Accountability Act AB 1590 [Friedman; D-Burbank]

Friday, April 14, 2023

Introduced as a spot or placeholder bill on the final day to file bills in this year’s session (February 17), AB 1590 was populated with substantive content subsequent thereto that among many other things would “prohibit the use of any nonorganic pesticide, as defined, or fertilizing material, as defined, at a major coastal resort.”

For the purposes of its provisions the bill defines a “major coastal resort” as a resort or hotel that meets all of the following: 1) Is composed of more than 300 guest rooms or units; 2) includes or operates a golf course on the premises; and 3) is located in whole or in part in the coastal zone.

While many of the bill’s particulars are not entirely clear, they are clear about the proscription on the use of all nonorganic pesticides and fertilizers on a golf course that is part of a “major coastal resort” containing 300 or more guest rooms. Whether the rooms and the golf course need be under the same ownership for the proscription to apply and/or whether the room count is an aggregate one or one restricted specifically to the golf course to which the rooms are attached – that is not clear, although it may become clear as the bill continues to be amended.

The bill has incurred significant opposition from the quarters one would expect, and any and all golf properties that might or might not come under the bill’s prohibitions are at minimum carefully watching the bill. The California Alliance for Golf (CAG) is “watching” the bill and contemplating possible action. Very few golf courses fit the bill’s particulars; however, the slope that would take the state from such proscriptions on large resorts cum golf functionality to proscriptions on all golf facilities within earshot of the “coastal zone” is a slippery one. As some have discovered when trying to develop a golf property that is outside the coastal zone but somewhat contiguous to it, the California Coastal Commission often asserts jurisdiction thereover.

Click here to read the bill as currently amended.

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