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Policy:Change of Organizational Boundaries

It is the policy of the Commission to:

  1. Ensure that every determination made by the Commission is consistent with the spheres of influence of the local agencies affected by that determination.
  2. Require that proposals for a change of organization or reorganization are consistent with the formation of orderly and logical boundaries.
  3. Require that boundary descriptions accompanying proposals for a change of organization or reorganization are definite and certain
  4. Amend, condition, or disapprove proposals which create boundaries that are not definite and certain or that do not conform to lines of assessment or title. The splitting of lines of assessment or title shall be avoided, except for existing environmental limitations, such as wetlands, agricultural use or open space designation in a long-range or regulatory plan
  5. Disapprove proposals whose boundaries conflict with existing local agency jurisdictional boundaries
  6. Require that all proposals for annexation to a city include streets within the proposal area and the entire width of any street bounding the proposal area; the streets shall become city streets upon annexation. The Commission may exclude from a proposal any street bordering the affected territory if the Commission concludes that such exclusion would result in more logical boundaries.
  7. Discourage boundaries which divide an identifiable community, commercial district, or any other area having social or economic homogeneity.
  8. Discourage boundaries which are drawn so as to include only commercial or industrial areas, excluding adjacent residential areas.
  9. Disapprove proposals for a change of organization or reorganization in which the proposed boundary configurations produce areas that are difficult or impossible to serve.

Legal Authority

The Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 encourages logical and orderly growth. To accomplish that goal, the Commission should adopt some guiding principles based on Government Code Section 56001, which states in part:

The Legislature finds and declares that it is the policy of the state to encourage orderly growth and development which are essential to the social, fiscal, and economic well-being of the state. The Legislature recognizes that the logical formation and determination of local agency boundaries is an important factor in promoting orderly development and in balancing that development with sometimes competing state interests of discouraging urban sprawl, preserving open-space and prime agricultural lands, and efficiently extending government services…….Therefore, the Legislature further finds and declares that this policy should be effected by the logical formation and modification of the boundaries of local agencies, with a preference granted to accommodating additional growth within, or through the expansion of, the boundaries of those local agencies which can best accommodate and provide necessary governmental services and housing for persons and families of all incomes in the most efficient manner feasible. 

Background and Discussion

In preparation of an application, proponents often require direction on how to tailor specifics of the proposal to meet the expectations of the Commission. The above guidelines are designed to provide the necessary direction to prepare a complete application that meets the minimal standards for processing.

Adoption Date: September 3, 2014