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League Sponsored Bill Would Remove Annexation Requirements for Disadvantaged Communities While Still Allowing for Service Planning

March 13, 2012
Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 244 (Wolk), which requires a city to update its general plan by the next revision of their housing element to plan for disadvantaged unincorporated communities, including communities outside a city's boundaries if it is in the city's sphere of influence. In addition, it also requires the local agency formation commission (LAFCO) to deny any application by a city to annex a territory that is contiguous to a disadvantaged community, unless a second application is submitted for the disadvantaged community. Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Riverside) has introduced SB 1498, which would remove the dual application requirement for annexations.
 

The League decided to sponsor this bill because it respects the intent of SB 244 to provide essential municipal services to disadvantaged communities, but addresses the concerns our members raised that annexation would become too burdensome for cities.

LAFCOs are currently required to develop and determine the sphere of influence of each local governmental agency. SB 244, coupled with the sweep of $130 million of city general fund dollars under SB 89, effectively resulted in a disincentive for cities to annex any territory at all, let alone disadvantaged communities.

SB 1498 would allow LAFCOs to approve the extension of services beyond an agency's sphere of influence based on several determinations that would limit "sprawl" but still provide services to existing residents in disadvantaged communities. The bill also ensures before a LAFCO could approve the extension of the sphere of influence that both parties, the disadvantaged community and the service providing city, were in agreement.

By allowing LAFCOs the latitude to make these new sphere of influence determinations, services can still be provided without requiring complex annexation applications for contiguous disadvantaged communities.

City officials are encouraged send support letters for SB 1498. A sample support letter can be accessed on the League's website by typing "SB 1498" into the search box.



 
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