(a) In order to carry out its purposes and responsibilities for planning and shaping the logical and orderly development and coordination of local governmental agencies subject to the jurisdiction of the commission to advantageously provide for the present and future needs of the county and its communities, the commission shall develop and determine the sphere of influence of each city and each special district, as defined by Section 56036, within the county and enact policies designed to promote the logical and orderly development of areas within the sphere.
(b) Prior to a city submitting an application to the commission to update its sphere of influence, representatives from the city and representatives from the county shall meet to discuss the proposed new boundaries of the sphere and explore methods to reach agreement on development standards and planning and zoning requirements within the sphere to ensure that development within the sphere occurs in a manner that reflects the concerns of the affected city and is accomplished in a manner that promotes the logical and orderly development of areas within the sphere. If an agreement is reached between the city and county, the city shall forward the agreement in writing to the commission, along with the application to update the sphere of influence. The commission shall consider and adopt a sphere of influence for the city consistent with the policies adopted by the commission pursuant to this section, and the commission shall give great weight to the agreement to the extent that it is consistent with commission policies in its final determination of the city sphere.
(c) If the commission’s final determination is consistent with the agreement reached between the city and county pursuant to subdivision (b), the agreement shall be adopted by both the city and county after a noticed public hearing. Once the agreement has been adopted by the affected local agencies and their respective general plans reflect that agreement, then any development approved by the county within the sphere shall be consistent with the terms of that agreement.
(d) If no agreement is reached pursuant to subdivision (b), the application may be submitted to the commission and the commission shall consider a sphere of influence for the city consistent with the policies adopted by the commission pursuant to this section.
(e) In determining the sphere of influence of each local agency, the commission shall consider and prepare a written statement of its determinations with respect to each of the following:
(1) The present and planned land uses in the area, including agricultural and open-space lands.
(2) The present and probable need for public facilities and services in the area.
(3) The present capacity of public facilities and adequacy of public services that the agency provides or is authorized to provide.
(4) The existence of any social or economic communities of interest in the area if the commission determines that they are relevant to the agency.
(5) For an update of a sphere of influence of a city or special district that provides public facilities or services related to sewers, municipal and industrial water, or structural fire protection, that occurs pursuant to subdivision (g) on or after July 1, 2012, the present and probable need for those public facilities and services of any disadvantaged unincorporated communities within the existing sphere of influence.
(f) Upon determination of a sphere of influence, the commission shall adopt that sphere.
(g) On or before January 1, 2008, and every five years thereafter, the commission shall, as necessary, review and update each sphere of influence.
(h) In determining a sphere of influence, the commission may assess the feasibility of governmental reorganization of particular agencies and recommend reorganization of those agencies when reorganization is found to be feasible and if reorganization will further the goals of orderly development and efficient and affordable service delivery. The commission shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure wide public dissemination of the recommendations.
(i) When adopting, amending, or updating a sphere of influence for a special district, the commission shall establish the nature, location, and extent of any functions or classes of services provided by existing districts.
(j) When adopting, amending, or updating a sphere of influence for a special district, the commission may require existing districts to file written statements with the commission specifying the functions or classes of services provided by those districts.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 62, Sec. 2. (AB 2698) Effective January 1, 2013.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018