MONT CALABASAS ANNEXATION

    

The City of Calabasas welcomes Mont Calabasas residents to the Calabasas website! 

This page provides links to information about potential annexation into the City of Calabasas, details on the benefits to joining Calabasas, and a number of frequently asked questions about annexation.  Mont Calabasas residents are urged to contact the City with any questions not answered on this page.

On July 13, 2011, the Local Agency Formation Commission for Los Angeles County (LAFCO) approved the Mont Calabasas annexation into the City of Calabasas. 

Please click here to view the City's press release.
 

Benefits of Annexation

The following list is a summary of key benefits of annexation. For details on these and other City programs and services, please consult the City website (www.cityofcalabasas.com).


Frequently Asked Questions
(click on question for answer):

Jump to:
Annexation Background Information  ▪  The Benefits of AnnexationLAFCO Process Flowchart


Latest Annexation Status Update - June 16, 2011:

On June 8, 2011 the Local Agency Formation Commission for Los Angeles County (LAFCO) conducted the protest hearing regarding the proposed annexation.  At the hearing the LAFCO Executive Officer reported preliminary protest tallies (e.g., written protests received to-date prior to the hearing) as follows:

·    Of a total of 177 registered voters in the community, 19 voters filed written protests (approximately 10.7%);

·    Of 144 total parcels in the community, 14 property owners filed written protests (representing approximately 12.6% of the total assessed valuation).

At the protest hearing no property owners nor any registered voters from Mont Calabasas personally attended to submit additional protest documents.  LAFCO closed the hearing, which concluded the protest period, and no additional protest filings can be accepted afterward.  Accordingly, the final tallies are expected to be very similar to the reported preliminary tallies.  Final tallies will be reported to LAFCO by LAFCO staff at the commission’s next meeting, scheduled for 9:00a.m. on July 13, 2011

Based upon the preliminary figures and the strong likelihood they will hold true, the final results are expected to fall far short of the statutory thresholds necessary to push the matter to an election (at least 25% but below 50%), or to terminate the annexation (at least 50%).   Therefore, while official LAFCO action may take place only after LAFCO receives the final tallies on July 13, 2011, it seems clear that the annexation will proceed.

In the meantime, as always, Mont Calabasas residents are encouraged to  consult the City’s web site (www.cityofcalabasas.com) for information on city programs and events, the various city departments, City Council and commission agendas, and many other municipal services.
 

Background Information

Mont Calabasas has been identified as a potential candidate for annexation in the City’s General Plan for the past 16 years. On February 20, 2008 the City Council adopted a resolution of annexation to formally initiate an annexation to bring Mont Calabasas into the City under applicable state law. Then, on May 12, 2009 the City filed an application with the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) of Los Angeles County requesting consideration of the annexation.

Before LAFCO could officially consider the matter, the City was required to accomplish several pre-requisites:

1.   Pre-zone the proposed annexation area.   On June 4, 2008 the City passed Ordinance No. 2009-258 pre-zoning the Mont Calabasas annexation area in conformance with land use designations in the City’s 2030 General Plan.  The pre-zoning matches the City’s zoning districts to the existing land uses in the area and nothing will change. For example, the city’s “Residential-Single Family” zoning is applied to the existing single-family residential properties in the existing subdivision; likewise, the commercially zoned site is zoned identically to the County’s commercial zoning, and the open space areas are pre-zoned to “Open Space- Development Restricted”.

2.   Prepare and adopt a joint tax-sharing resolution.  On November 9, 2010 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a Joint Resolution regarding the exchange of property tax revenue, and a similar resolution was previously adopted by the Calabasas City Council on August 25, 2010.

Following these necessary pre-requisites, the annexation process shifted to LAFCO in accordance with procedures specified in the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 (state law). Accordingly, LAFCO conducted a public hearing on April 13, 2011, in advance of which LAFCO mailed notices to all property owners and registered voters in the area. At the public hearing LAFCO approved the annexation.  A second hearing will now be held by LAFCO on June 8, 2011 for the sole purpose of calculating any written protests from property owners and/or registered voters within the annexation area. If a sufficient number of written protests are received, LAFCO will order an election to take place wherein only the registered voters within the annexation area will receive ballots. (Please see the accompanying diagram for detailed explanation of the LAFCO public hearing and protest processes and applicable thresholds for protest hearing and election.)  The annexation will be completed if the number of written protests fails to reach established thresholds or the results of an election are positive in favor of the annexation. If this occurs Mont Calabasas would be within the City on the date the annexation is recorded by the LAFCO staff.

 

Synopsis of LAFCO Public Hearings Process for Annexations

NOTE: This chart is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replicate the precise meaning and intent of the Cortese-Knox-Herzberg Act (Cal. Gov. Code Section 56000 et. Seq.). Interested persons are encouraged to consult the LAFCO website for more specific information regarding the annexation process and timelines (www.lalafco.org).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve heard that the City will have to zone and/or build affordable housing on the vacant land in front of Mont Calabasas as a condition of the annexation – is this true? (NEW)

 

A: Absolutely not.  Like all other counties and cities in the state of California, Los Angeles County and the City of Calabasas are required by law to plan for future growth in a manner that includes expanded housing capacities.  Calabasas has complied with this requirement with its recently updated 2030 General Plan.  The 2030 General Plan anticipates annexation of Mont Calabasas as-is, and with  the commercial site to remain 100% commercial (office and retail uses), as entitled under the County and with no housing.  Also, the negotiated agreement between the County and the City regarding a transfer of nine housing units from the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation for L.A County to the RHNA allocation for Calabasas will have no impact whatsoever on Mont Calabasas because the City has the capacity to absorb these housing units as documented in the Housing Element of the City’s 2030 General Plan.  This capacity exists throughout the city in the form of zoned but undeveloped residential properties throughout the city, and does not include any properties located within any proposed annexation area.

Q: How was Mont Calabasas identified to be annexed to the City of Calabasas?

A: Two years ago Calabasas adopted an updated General Plan which identified several north lying areas “bookended” by Calabasas as having the potential for being annexed in to the City. However, the adoption of the 2030 General Plan was not the first time Mont Calabasas had been identified for possible annexation – the city’s original General Plan (in 1995) also identified Mont Calabasas for annexation.

Q: What costs, if any, will residents be required to pay if Mont Calabasas is annexed?

A: First of all, 100% of the costs of processing the annexation are being paid by the City of Calabasas and the property owners and residents of Mont Calabasas will not pay any part of those costs. Also, property taxes will not be affected at all by the annexation. There will be a slight change in the utility user tax (UUT) rate -- currently Mont Calabasas residents pay UUT at a rate of 4.5%, while the City charges 5.0% for UUT. However, prior to 2008 the County rate was 5.0% but was lowered to 4.5% in 2008 via passage of Measure U; and although the rate went down to 4.5% additional utilities were added so the comparative cost to taxpayers is likely a wash or only slightly higher, depending on individual usage of the various utility services. Also, the annual lighting district fee (currently $5.00 annually per household) will increase to $28.00 annually (the City district rate).

Q: How much money will the City of Calabasas receive from Mont Calabasas if it is annexed?

A: The City of Calabasas currently receives an average of 4.7 cents from every dollar that our residents pay in property tax. Based upon the Tax Sharing Agreement between the City and Los Angeles County, as approved by both the Calabasas City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the share of property tax to be collected by the City for properties located in Mont Calabasas will likewise be approximately 4.7% of every tax dollar. Accordingly, and based upon the latest assessment rolls, the amount of property tax projected to come to the City is approximately $90,000 yearly.
Additionally, the City charges 5.0% Utility Users Tax (UUT); thus, upon annexation, UUT revenues would come to the City instead of the County. Assuming a typical home in Mont Calabasas pays an average of $500 for monthly utility expenses (electricity, gas, and telephone), then approximately $25 per home per month would be paid in UUT. Accordingly, $2,750 would come to the City monthly, and on a yearly basis that totals roughly $33,000.
So, the total amount that the City of Calabasas would receive if Mont Calabasas is annexed would be about $123,000.

Q: How would this money be used?

A: 100% of this money would be spent locally to pay for City services, Sheriff and Fire Department services, roads, medians, community programs, and everything that makes Calabasas such a great place to live. And more importantly, money will be spent on projects in the immediate vicinity of Mont Calabasas. Currently, this local tax money is collected by the County of Los Angeles and spent throughout the County.

Q: How is the City’s Financial Condition?

A: The City’s financial condition continues to be very sound.  Standard & Poor’s, an independent investment rating service, recently upgraded the City’s underlying credit rating to “AA+” from “AA” while affirming a stable outlook.  We are very proud that at a time when many cities are facing downgrades of their municipal debt, that our City has the kind of strong financial condition that would prompt an upgrade.  You can view the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2010 at:  http://www.cityofcalabasas.com/departments/finance/cafr-2010.html
 

Q: If Mont Calabasas is annexed to the City, who will provide emergency services (fire protection and law enforcement)?

A: The Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff will continue to provide fire protection and police protection services for Mont Calabasas residents because both agencies are under contract to the City of Calabasas (e.g., there will be no change).

Q: What are the major differences in the City and Los Angeles County Municipal Codes?

A: Los Angeles County and Calabasas municipal code are actually very similar. A few points of interest in the Calabasas municipal code include a requirement that mobile car wash businesses be licensed to insure compliance with environmental protection regulations, a requirement that pet owners clean up after their pet, and the secondhand smoke control ordinance. (Please visit the City’s web site where you may peruse the Municipal Code at your leisure.)

Q: Will Calabasas exercise eminent domain over the open spaces owned by Mont Calabasas?

A: Absolutely not. The City of Calabasas is well known as a protector of open space and has never exercised eminent domain to take any property. The City will not exercise power of eminent domain over any property owned by Mont Calabasas. In fact most of the open space lands surrounding Mont Calabasas are already owned by the National Park Service and are protected accordingly. Furthermore, Calabasas Code prevents any zoned permanent open space from being re-zoned to any other land use without first subjecting any such re-zoning to a general election, at which more than a two-thirds majority must approve the change. By contrast, L. A. County can re-zone open space lands at any time without having to secure voter approval.


Need more information?
Residents with unaddressed questions are encouraged to contact the City Planner, Tom Bartlett at (818) 224-1600, or via email at: tbartlett@cityofcalabasas.com.

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