The California State Lands Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that a harbor-area city not include most of the land occupied by the Port of Los Angeles.
Instead, the commission said the city of Los Angeles should keep control of port land under a trust agreement with the state. The property includes all of the underwater areas around the port and 67% of the dry land.
The commission, which oversees the port tidelands, expressed concern that if the harbor area secedes from Los Angeles, a new city might not have the money to provide sufficient police and fire protection for the port.
In addition, commissioners said, a harbor city would not be bound by the agreement under which Los Angeles operates the port.
The panel's recommendation will be considered by the Local Agency Formation Commission in its review of the harbor secession proposal.
Secessionists want the tidelands so that a harbor city could influence development at the expansion-hungry port and collect fees and taxes.
The Local Agency Formation Commission is to rule next month on whether the proposed city would be financially healthy. Two preliminary reports have raised serious questions about the area's financial stability.
The lands commission said it might reconsider if a harbor city proves viable. Secessionists plan to study whether LAFCO can modify the boundary on its own.