Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area; Tesla Park; Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area

Photo courtesy of teslapark.org

Following The Independent's report last week that a deal had been reached to preserve Tesla Park, a state budget bill with provisions to protect the 3,100-acre site near Livermore from use as an off-road vehicle site passed the state legislature and was sent to the governor.

The bill — SB 155 — passed 68-8 in the Assembly and 28-9 in the Senate on Sept. 9. It replaced a measure by Tri-Valley Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan that had been working its way toward a vote last week. Bauer-Kahan’s bill also would have protected Tesla Park.

Once Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the bill, the law will keep Tesla Park under the jurisdiction of the state’s Department of Parks and Recreation, making it independent of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, where off-road vehicles are allowed.

Off-highway vehicle enthusiasts had for years wanted the state to expand the Carnegie site into the Tesla Park area. The issue resulted in litigation and a previously vetoed Bauer-Kahan bill that would have sold Tesla Park to conservationists.

The newly passed law will place $29.8 million from the state’s General Fund into the Off-Highway Motorized Vehicle Trust Fund for off-roading enthusiasts and organizations to find another location. Bauer-Kahan’s bill, AB1512, had set aside $9 million.

One location under consideration is Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill.

The deal was previously reached between Newsom, state legislators and the Parks and Recreation officials with about a week to go in the legislative session to preserve Tesla Park.