Archives: 2015-16 Legislative Session

The Fire Protection District Law of 1987

Senate Local Government Committee

The Fire Protection District Law of 1987

The Fire Protection District Law (Health & Safety Code §13800, et seq.) is the source of statutory authority for more than 380 fire protection districts. In response to many requests for copies of the law, the following pages reprint that statute as it existed on January 1, 2000.

The Legislature adopted this revised statute in 1987 after a study that culminated in Senate Bill 515. Then the Chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, State Senator Marian Bergeson, authored SB 515 which was the first complete revision of the fire district laws since 1961. In her honor, the statute is also known as the Bergeson Fire District Law (§13800).

The Committee’s staff documented that two-year effort in A New Law For A New Mission: Senate Bill 515 and the "Fire Protection District Law of 1987" (October 1987). The staff report chronicles the work of the Advisory Group that researched the old law and drafted the new statute. It also tracks the bill’s progress through the Legislature and summarizes the key statutory changes. Copies of the staff report are available for purchase from Senate Publications by calling (916) 327-2155 and requesting publication #284-S.

To facilitate your chapter or article search, use the following links to quickly find the location:

  Chapter 1, General Provisions / Chapter 2, Area / Chapter 3, Formation / Article 1, Initiation / Article 2, Election / Article 3, Selection of the Initial Board of Directors / Chapter 4, Existing Board of Directors & Officers / 
Chapter 5, General Powers & Duties / Chapter 6, Elections / Chapter 7, Finance / 
Chapter 8, Alternative Revenues / Chapter 9, General Obligation Bonds / 
Chapter 10, Service Zones / Chapter 11, Employee Relations

Part 2.7 
FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT LAW OF 1987

Chapter 1 
GENERAL PROVISIONS

13800.  This part shall be known and may be cited as the Fire Protection District Law of 1987 or as the Bergeson Fire District Law.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1195, Sec. 20.5.   Effective January 1, 1994.)

13801.  The Legislature finds and declares that the local provision of fire protection services, rescue services, emergency medical services, hazardous material emergency response services, ambulance services, and other services relating to the protection of lives and property is critical to the public peace, health, and safety of the state.  Among the ways that local communities have provided for those services has been the creation of fire protection districts.  Local control over the types, levels, and availability of these services is a long-standing tradition in California which the Legislature intends to retain. Recognizing that the state's communities have diverse needs and resources, it is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this part to provide a broad statutory authority for local officials.  The Legislature encourages local communities and their officials to adapt the powers and procedures in this part to meet their own circumstances and responsibilities.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13802.  As used in this part: 
(a) "City" means any city whether general law or charter, including a city and county, and including any city the name of which includes the word "town." 
(b) "Day" means a calendar day. 
(c) "District" means a fire protection district created pursuant to this part or created pursuant to any law which this part supersedes. 
(d) "District board," means the board of directors of a district. 
(e) "Employee" means any personnel of a district, including any regular or call firefighter hired and paid on a full-time or part-time basis, or any volunteer firefighter.  "Employee" also includes any person who assists in the provision of any authorized emergency duty or service at the request of a person who has been authorized by the district board to request this assistance from other persons. 
(f) "Principal county" means the county having all or the greater portion of the entire assessed value, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll of the county or counties, of all taxable property within a district. 
(g) "Zone" means a service zone formed pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 13950).

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13803.  (a) This part provides the authority for the organization and powers of fire protection districts.  This part succeeds the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 and all of its statutory predecessors.  Any fire protection district organized or reorganized pursuant to the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 or any of its statutory predecessors which was in existence on January 1, 1988, shall remain in existence as if it had been organized pursuant to this part,  except that when the district board is a county board of supervisors the number and method of selection of its board of directors shall continue to be governed by the provisions of Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 13831) of the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 in effect on December 31, 1987, as if that chapter had not been repealed.  Any special fire protection zone formed pursuant to Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 13991) of the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 or any of its statutory predecessors which was in existence on January 1, 1988, shall remain in existence as a service zone as if it has been formed pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 13950). 
(b) This part does not apply to any reorganization which was filed pursuant to the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 and which is pending on January 1, 1988.  Those pending reorganizations may be continued and completed under, and in accordance with, the Fire Protection District Law of 1961.  The repeals, amendments, and additions made by the act enacting this part shall not apply to any of those pending reorganizations, and  the laws existing prior to January 1, 1988, shall continue in full force and effect as applied to those pending reorganizations.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13804.  This part is necessary for the public health, safety, and welfare, and shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13805.  If any provision of this part or the application of any provision of this part in any circumstance or to any person, city, county, district, the state, or any agency or subdivision of the state is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this part which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application of the invalid provision, and to this end the provisions of this part are severable.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13806.  Any action to determine the validity of the organization or of any action of a district shall be brought pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 860) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 2 
AREA

13810.  Any territory, whether incorporated or unincorporated, whether contiguous or noncontiguous, may be included in a district.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13811.  Territory which has been classified as a state responsibility area may be included in a district, except for commercial forest lands which are timbered lands declared to be in a state responsibility area.  The executive officer of the local agency formation commission shall give mailed notice of the commission's hearing on any proposal to include a state responsibility area in a district, whether by annexation or formation, to the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection.  The commission may approve the proposal.  Upon inclusion of a state responsibility area in a district, whether by formation or annexation, the state shall retain its responsibility for fire suppression and prevention on timbered, brush, and grass-covered lands.  The district shall be responsible for fire suppression and prevention for structures in the area and may provide the same services in the state responsibility area as it provides in other areas of the district.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 465, Sec. 5.   Effective August 22, 1988.)

13812.  The Cortese-Knox Local Government Reorganization Act of 1985 (Division 3 (commencing with Section 56000) of Title 5 of the Government Code) shall govern any change of organization or reorganization of a district.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1360, Sec. 92.)

Chapter 3 
FORMATION

Article 1 
INITIATION

13815.  A new district may be formed pursuant to this chapter.  A district formed or proposed to be formed pursuant to this chapter is not subject to the District Investigation Act of 1933, Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 58500) of Division 2 of Title 6 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13816.  A proposal to form a new district may be made by petition which shall do all of the following: 
(a) State that the proposal is made pursuant to this article. 
(b) Set forth a description of the boundaries of the territory to be included in the district. 
(c) Set forth the methods by which the district will be financed. 
(d) State the reasons for forming the district. 
(e) Propose a name for the district. 
(f) Designate no more than three persons as chief petitioners, setting forth their names and mailing addresses. 
(g) State whether the formation is consistent with the sphere of influence of  any affected city or affected district. 
(h) Specify the number of members of the initial board of directors and the method of their selection, as provided by Article 3 (commencing with Section 13834). 
(i) Request that proceedings be taken for the formation pursuant to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13817.  (a) Before circulating any petition, the chief petitioners shall publish a notice of intention which shall include a written statement not to exceed 500 words in length, setting forth the reasons for forming the district.  The notice shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the territory proposed to be included in the district.  If the territory proposed to be included in the district is located in more than one county, publication of the notice shall be made in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each of the counties. 
(b) The notice shall be signed by at least one, but not more than three, chief petitioners and shall be in substantially the following form:

    "Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition

    Notice is hereby given of the intention to circulate a petition proposing to form the ______ (name of the district).  The reasons for the proposal are: 
______."

    (c) Within five days after the date of publication, the chief petitioners shall file with the executive officer of the local agency formation commission of the principal county a copy of the notice together with an affidavit made by a representative of the newspaper in which the notice was published certifying to the fact of publication. 
(d) After the filing required pursuant to subdivision (c), the petition may be circulated for signatures.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13818.  The petition shall be signed by not less than 25 percent of the registered voters residing in the area to be included in the district, as determined by the local agency formation commission pursuant to subdivision 
(h) of Section 56375 of the Government Code.  Sections 100 and 104 of the Elections Code shall govern the signing of the petition and the format of the petition.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 128.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13819.  A petition may consist of a single instrument or separate counterparts.  The chief petitioner or petitioners shall file the petition, including all counterparts, with the executive officer of the local agency formation commission  of the principal county.  The executive officer shall not accept a petition for filing unless the signatures have been secured within six months of the date on which the first signature was obtained and the chief petitioner or petitioners submitted the petition to the executive officer for filing within 60 days after the last signature was obtained.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13820.  (a) Within 30 days after the date of filing a petition, the executive officer of the local agency formation commission shall cause the petition to be examined and shall prepare a certificate of sufficiency indicating whether the petition is signed by the requisite number of signers. 
(b) The executive officer shall cause the names of the signers on the petition to be compared with the voters' register in the office of the county clerk or registrar of voters and ascertain (i) the number of registered voters in the territory to be included in the district, and (ii) the number of qualified signers appearing upon the petition. 
(c) If the certificate of the executive officer shows the petition to be insufficient, the executive officer shall immediately give notice by certified mail of the insufficiency to the chief petitioners.  That mailed notice shall state in what amount the petition is insufficient.  Within 15 days after the date of the notice of insufficiency, the chief petitioners may file with the executive officer a supplemental petition bearing additional signatures. 
(d) Within 10 days after the date of filing a supplemental petition, the executive officer shall examine the supplemental petition and certify in writing the results of his or her examination. 
(e) The executive officer shall sign and date a certificate of sufficiency.  That certificate shall also state the minimum signature requirements for a sufficient petition and show the results of the executive officer's examination.  The executive officer shall mail a copy of the certificate of sufficiency to the chief petitioners.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13821.  (a) A proposal to form a new district may also be made by the adoption of a resolution of application by the legislative body of any county or city which contains territory proposed to be included in the district. Except for the provisions regarding the signers and signatures, and the chief petitioners, a resolution of application shall contain all of the matters specified for a petition in Section 13816.  Before submitting a resolution of application, the legislative body shall conduct a public hearing on the resolution. 
(b) Notice of the hearing shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the county or city. 
(c) At the hearing, the legislative body shall give any person an opportunity to present his or her views on the resolution. 
(d) The clerk of the legislative body shall file a certified copy of the resolution of application with the executive officer of the local agency formation commission of the principal county.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 529, Sec. 16.   Effective October 4, 1995.)

13822.  Once the chief petitioners have filed a sufficient petition or a legislative body has filed a resolution or application, the local agency formation commission shall proceed pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 56825) of Part 3 of Division 3 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Article 2 
ELECTION

13823.  (a) If the local agency formation commission approves the formation of a district, with or without amendment, wholly, partially, or conditionally, the board of supervisors shall call and give notice of the election to be held in the proposed district.  If the proposed district lies in more than one county, the board of supervisors shall call and give notice of the election to be held in the territory of the proposed district which lies in that county. 
(b) The election shall be held on the next regular election date not less than 113 nor more than 150 days after the date the board of supervisors calls and gives notice of the election. 
(c) Notice of the election shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation circulated within the territory of the proposed district which lies in the county.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13823.5.  After the local agency formation commission approves the formation of the district, notwithstanding Section 13823, if the board of supervisors finds that the petition filed with the executive officer of the local agency formation commission pursuant to Section 13819 has been signed by not less than 51 percent of the registered voters residing within the territory to be included within the proposed district, the board of supervisors may dispense with an election and adopt the resolution required pursuant to Section 13829. The initial members of the board of directors of the district shall be determined pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 13834) of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of Division 12.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1558, Sec. 5.)

13824.  Within five days after the district formation election has been called, the board of supervisors which has called the election shall transmit by registered mail a written notification of the election call to the executive officer of the local agency formation commission of the principal county.  The written notice shall include the name and a description of the proposed district and may be in the form of a certified copy of the resolution adopted by the board of supervisors calling the district formation election. 
The executive officer of the local agency formation commission shall submit an impartial analysis of the proposed district formation to the officials in charge of conducting the district formation election, pursuant to Section 56859 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13825.  (a) The chief petitioners or the agency filing the resolution or any member or members of the board of supervisors authorized by the board, or any individual voter or bona fide association of citizens entitled to vote on the district formation proposition, or any combination of these voters and associations of citizens, may file a written argument for or a written argument against the proposed district formation. 
Arguments shall not exceed 300 words.  Based on the time reasonably necessary to prepare and print the text of the proposition, analysis, arguments, and sample ballots and to permit the 10-day public examination period as provided in Section 9190 of the Elections Code for the particular election, the elections officials shall fix and determine a reasonable date prior to the election after which no arguments for or against the measure may be submitted for printing and distribution to the voters pursuant to Section 13826.  Notice of the date fixed shall be published by the elections officials pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code.  Arguments may be changed until and including the date fixed by the elections officials. 
(b) If more than one argument for or more than one argument against the proposed district formation is filed with the elections officials within the time prescribed, the elections officials shall select one of the arguments for printing and distribution to the voters. 
In selecting the arguments, the elections officials shall give preference and priority in the order named to the arguments of the following: 
(1) Chief petitioners, or the agency filing the resolution. 
(2) The board of supervisors, or any member or members of the board authorized by the board. 
(3) Individual voters, or bona fide associations of citizens or a combination of voters and associations.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 129.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13826.  The elections officials in charge of conducting the election shall cause a ballot pamphlet concerning the district formation proposition to be voted on to be printed and mailed to each voter entitled to vote on the district formation question.  Section 9190 of the Elections Code shall apply to the materials required to be contained in the ballot pamphlet. 
The ballot pamphlet shall contain the following, in the order prescribed: 
(a) The complete text of the proposition. 
(b) The impartial analysis of the proposition, submitted by the executive officer of the local agency formation commission. 
(c) The argument for the proposed district formation. 
(d) The argument against the proposed district formation. 
The elections officials shall mail a ballot pamphlet to each voter entitled to vote in the district formation election at least 10 days prior to the date of the election.  The ballot pamphlet is "official matter" within the meaning of Section 13303 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 130.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13827.  The notice of election shall contain all of the following: 
(a) The date of the election. 
(b) The name of the proposed district. 
(c) The purposes for which the district is to be formed. 
(d) A statement that the first directors will be elected at that election who will take office or will be appointed as the case may be, if the district is formed. 
(e) A description of the boundaries of the proposed district.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13828.  (a) The formation election and the election of members of the district board, if any, shall be held and conducted in accordance with the Uniform District Election Law, Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code. 
(b) If less than a majority of the votes cast at the election is in favor 
of forming the district, the board of supervisors shall declare the proceedings terminated.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 131.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13829.  If the majority of the votes cast at the election is in favor of forming the district the board or boards of supervisors shall by resolution entered on its minutes declare the district duly organized under the Fire Protection District Law, giving the name of the district, and the purposes for which it is formed, and describing its boundaries.  If the district lies in more than one county, the county clerk of the principal county shall transmit a certified copy of the resolution to the county clerk of each of the other counties in which the district lies.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13830.  If the district lies in one county, immediately after entering the resolution in the board minutes pursuant to Section 13829, the county clerk shall cause to be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county for which he or she is county clerk a certified copy of the resolution forming the district.  Thereupon, the organization of the district shall be complete.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 829, Sec. 39.   Effective January 1, 1999.)

13831.  (a) No informality in any proceeding, including informality in the conduct of any election not substantially affecting adversely the legal rights of any person, shall invalidate the formation of any district. 
(b) The validity of the formation and organization of a district shall not be contested in any proceeding commenced more than 60 days after the date that the formation of the district is complete.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Article 3 
SELECTION OF THE INITIAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

13834.  The initial board of directors of a district formed on or after January 1, 1988, shall be determined pursuant to this article.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13835.  In the case of a district which contains only unincorporated territory in a single county, the district board may be elected or may be appointed by the county board of supervisors which may appoint itself as the district board.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13836.  In the case of a district which contains only unincorporated territory in more than one county, the district board may be elected or may be appointed by the boards of supervisors of the counties in which the district is located.  If the district board is appointed by the boards of supervisors, they shall appoint directors according to the proportionate share of population of that portion of each county within the district, provided that each board of supervisors shall appoint at least one director.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13837.  In the case of a district which contains unincorporated territory and the territory of one or more cities: 
(a) The district board may be elected or appointed by the county board of supervisors and the city councils in which the district is located.  If the district board is to be appointed, the board of supervisors and the city council or councils shall appoint directors according to the proportionate share of population that portion of the county and each city within the district, provided that the board of superviors and each city council shall appoint at least one director.  The board of supervisors or city council may appoint one or more of its own members to the district board.  In no case shall the number of directors exceed 11 members. 
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the county board of supervisors may appoint itself as the district board, if the city council of each of the cities consents by resolution.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13838.  In the case of a district which includes only incorporated territory within a single city, the district board may be elected or appointed by the city council which may appoint itself as the district board.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13839.  In the case of a district which includes only incorporated territory in more than one city, the district board may be elected or appointed by the city councils in which the district is located.  If the district board is appointed, the city councils shall appoint directors according to the proportionate share  of population of that portion of each city within the district, provided that each city council shall appoint at least one director. The city council may appoint one or more of its own members to the district board.  In no case shall the  directors exceed the number permitted pursuant to Section 13842.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 4 
EXISTING BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS

13840.  Every district shall be governed by a legislative body known as a board of directors.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13841.  Except in the case where a county board of supervisors has appointed itself as the district board, each member of a district board and each member of a fire commission appointed pursuant to Section 13844 shall be a resident of the district.  In addition, if the district board is elected, each member of the district board shall be a registered voter of the district.  In the case of a district board which is elected by divisions, each director shall be a registered voter of the division from which he or she is elected.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1558, Sec. 6.)

13842.  Except in the case where a county board of supervisors or a city council has appointed itself as the district board, a district board may have three,  five, seven, nine, or eleven members.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13843.  (a) The term of office of each member of a district board is four years or until his or her successor qualifies and takes office, except as provided in subdivision (b). 
(b) In the case of a district formed on or after January 1, 1988, the directors shall serve terms as provided in the Uniform District Election Law, Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 132.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13844.  If a county board of supervisors or a city council has appointed itself as the district board, the board of supervisors or city council may delegate any or all of its powers to a fire commission composed of five or seven commissioners.  In the case of a district governed by a board of supervisors, the commissioners may be councilmembers of cities which are located in the district.  The board of supervisors or city council shall determine whether the commissioners shall serve at its pleasure or for staggered terms of four years subject to removal for cause.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 45, Sec. 1.   Effective June 15, 1989.)

13845.  (a) Except in the case where a county board of supervisors or a city council has appointed itself as the district board, the number of members of a district board may be increased or decreased if a majority of the voters voting on the question are in favor of the question at a general district or special election.  The question shall specify the resulting number of members of the district board. 
(b) The district board may adopt a resolution placing the question on the ballot.  Alternatively, upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 25 percent of the registered voters of the district, the district board shall adopt a resolution placing the question on the ballot. 
(c) If the question is submitted to the voters at a general district election, the notice required by Section 12115 of the Elections Code shall contain a statement of the question to appear on the ballot.  If the question is submitted to  the voters at a special election, the notice of election and the ballot shall contain a statement of the question. 
(d) If the voters approve of increasing the number of directors, the new members shall be elected or appointed pursuant to this chapter.  If the district board is elected, the additional members may be elected at the same election. 
(e) If the voters approve of decreasing the number of directors, the members of the district board continue to serve until the end of their current terms. 
(f) The number of members of a district board may be changed by the local agency formation commission as a term and condition of approval by the commission of any change of organization or reorganization.  Unless  the Cortese-Knox Local Government Reorganization Act of 1985, Division 3 (commencing with Section 56000) of Title 5 of the Government Code, otherwise requires voter approval, the change ordered by the commission does not require approval by the voters of the district.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 133.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13846.  (a) In the case of an elected district board, the directors may be elected by divisions if a majority of the voters voting upon the question are in favor of the question at a general district or special election. Conversely, in the case of a district that has an elected district board which is elected by election division, the directors may be elected at large if a majority of the voters voting upon the question are in favor of the question at a general district or special election. 
(b) As used in this section, "election by division" means the election of each member of the district board by voters of only the respective election division. 
(c) The district board may adopt a resolution placing the question on the ballot.  Alternatively, upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 25 percent of the registered voters of the district, the district board shall adopt a resolution placing the question on the ballot. 
(d) If the question is submitted to the voters at a general district election, the notice required by Section 12115 of the Elections Code shall contain a statement of the question to appear on the ballot.  If the question is submitted to the voters at a special election, the notice of election and ballot shall contain a statement of the question. 
(e) If the majority of voters voting upon the question approves the election of directors by divisions, the district board shall promptly adopt a resolution dividing the district into as many divisions as there are directors.  The resolution shall assign a number to each division.  Using the last decennial census as a basis, the divisions shall be as nearly equal in population as possible.  In establishing the boundaries of the divisions the district board may give consideration to the following factors:  (1) topography, (2) geography, (3) cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory, and (4) community of interests of the divisions. 
(f) If the majority of voters voting upon the question approves the election of directors by division, the board members shall be elected by election divisions and each member elected shall be a resident of the election division from which he or she is elected.  At the district general election following the approval by the voters of the election of directors by divisions, the district board shall assign vacancies on the board created by the expiration of terms to the respective election divisions and the vacancies shall be filled from those election divisions. 
(g) If the majority of voters voting upon the question approves the election of directors at large, the district board shall promptly adopt a resolution dissolving the election divisions which had existed.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 134.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13847.  In the case of a district board elected by election divisions, the district board shall adjust the boundaries of the election divisions before November 1 of the year following the year in which each decennial federal census is taken.  If at any time between each decennial federal census a change of organization alters the population of the district or the district increases or decreases the number of members of the district board, the district board shall reexamine the boundaries of its election divisions.  If the district board finds that the  population of any election division has varied so that the divisions no longer meet the criteria specified in subdivision (d) of Section 13846, the district board shall adjust the boundaries of the election divisions so that the divisions shall be as nearly equal in population as possible.  The district board shall make this change within 60 days of the effective date of the change of organization or an increase or decrease in the number of members of the district board.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13848.  (a) If a majority of the voters voting upon the question at a general district or special election are in favor, a district that has an appointed district board shall have an elected district board or a district that has an elected district board shall have an appointed district board. 
(b) The district board may adopt a resolution placing the question on the ballot.  Alternatively, upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 25 percent of the registered voters of the district, the district board shall adopt a resolution placing the question on the ballot. 
(c) If the question is submitted to the voters at a general district election, the notice required by Section 12115 of the Elections Code shall contain a statement of the question to appear on the ballot.  If the question is submitted to the voters at a special election, the notice of election and ballot shall contain a statement of the question. 
(d) If a majority of voters voting upon the question approves of changing from an appointed district board to an elected district board, the members of the district board shall be elected at the next general district election.  If a majority of voters voting upon the question approves of changing from an elected district board to an appointed district board, members shall be appointed to the district board as vacancies occur.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 135.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13849.  (a) Before circulating any petition pursuant to Section 13845, 13846, or 13848 the chief petitioners shall publish a notice of intention which shall include a written statement not to exceed 500 words in length, setting forth the  reasons for the proposal.  The notice shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the district.  If the district is located in more than one county, publication of the notice shall be made in at least one newspaper of general circulation in  each of the counties. 
(b) The notice shall be signed by at least one, but not more than three, chief petitioners and shall be in substantially the following form:

       "Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition

    Notice is hereby given of the intention to circulate a petition affecting the Board of Directors of the ______ (name of the district).  The petition proposes that ______ (description of the proposal)."

    (c) Within five days after the date of publication, the chief petitioners shall file with the secretary of the district board a copy of the notice together with an affidavit made by a representative of the newspaper in which the notice was published certifying to the fact of publication. 
(d) After the filing required pursuant to subdivision (c), the petition may be circulated for signatures.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13850.  (a) Sections 100 and 104 of the Elections Code shall govern the signing of the petition and the format of the petition. 
(b) A petition may consist of a single instrument or separate counterparts.  The chief petitioner or petitioners shall file the petition, together with all counterparts, with the secretary of the district board.  The secretary shall not accept a petition for filing unless the signatures have been secured within six months of the date on which the first signature was obtained and the chief petitioner or petitioners submitted the petition to the secretary for filing within 60 days after the last signature was obtained.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 136.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13851.  (a) Within 30 days after the date of filing a petition, the secretary of the district board shall cause the petition to be examined and shall prepare a certificate of sufficiency indicating whether the petition is signed by the requisite number of signers. 
(b) The secretary shall cause the names of the signers on the petition to be compared with the voters' register in the office of the county clerk or registrar of voters and ascertain (i) the number of registered voters in the district, and (ii) the number of qualified signers appearing upon the petition. 
(c) If the certificate of the secretary shows the petition to be insufficient, the secretary shall immediately give notice by certified mail of the insufficiency to the chief petitioners.  That mailed notice shall state in what amount the petition is insufficient.  Within 15 days after the date of the notice of insufficiency, the chief petitioners may file with the secretary a supplemental petition bearing additional signatures. 
(d) Within 10 days after the date of filing a supplemental petition, the secretary shall examine the supplemental petition and certify in writing the results of his or her examination. 
(e) The secretary shall sign and date a certificate of sufficiency.  That certificate shall also state the minimum signature requirements for a sufficient petition and show the results of the secretary's examination.  The secretary shall mail a copy of the certificate of sufficiency to the chief petitioners. 
(f) Once the chief petitioners have filed a sufficient petition, the district board shall take the actions required pursuant to Section 13845, 13846, or 13848.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13852.  (a) Any vacancy in the office of a member appointed to the district board shall be filled pursuant to Section 1779 of the Government Code. 
(b) Any vacancy in the office of a member elected to the district board shall  be filled pursuant to Section 1780 of the Government Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13853.  (a) Within 60 days after their initial election or appointment and after each general district election or unopposed election, the district board shall meet and elect its officers.  The officers of a district board are a president, a vice president, and a secretary or clerk. 
(b) The secretary or clerk may be a member of the district board.  He or she may receive compensation set by the district board which shall be in lieu of any other compensation to which he or she may be entitled as a member of the district board.  The district board may employ a clerk to perform the duties of the secretary. 
(c) A district board may create additional officers and elect members to those positions, provided that no member of a district board shall hold more than one office.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13854.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the county treasurer of the principal county shall act as the district treasurer and shall receive no compensation for the receipt and disbursement of money of the district. 
(b) The district board may adopt a resolution appointing a district treasurer other than the county treasurer and defining the duties and compensation of the office.  The district treasurer, or any other person authorized by the district board, shall draw checks or warrants to pay any demands which have been audited and approved in the manner prescribed by the district board. 
(c) If the district board adopts the resolution provided by subdivision (b), the district treasurer and any other person designated by the district board shall give bonds to the district conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties.  The amount of each bond shall be at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or 10 percent of the total amount of the district's final budget for the preceding fiscal year, whichever is greater. The district board shall pay the premiums on the bonds.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13855.  A district board shall meet at least once every three months. Meetings of the board are subject to the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act, (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code).

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13856.  (a) A majority of the district board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. 
(b) The district board shall act only by ordinance, resolution, or motion. Except as specifically provided to the contrary in this part, a recorded vote by a majority of the total membership of the district board is required on each action.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13857.  Each member of the district board may receive compensation in an amount set by the district board not to exceed seventy-five dollars ($75) for attending each meeting of the district board.  The number of meetings for which a member of the board of directors may receive compensation shall not exceed four meetings in any calendar month.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 5 
GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES

13860.  A district has perpetual succession.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13861.  A district shall have and may exercise all rights and powers, expressed or implied, necessary to carry out the purposes and intent of this part, including, but not limited to, the following powers: 
(a) To sue and be sued. 
(b) To acquire any property, including water facilities for providing fire protection, within the district by any means, to hold, manage, occupy, dispose of, convey and encumber the property, and to create a leasehold interest in the property for the benefit of the district. 
(c) To acquire by eminent domain any property necessary to carry out any of its powers or functions. 
(d) To appoint necessary employees, to define their qualifications and duties, and to provide a pay schedule for performance of their duties. 
(e) To employ counsel. 
(f) To enter into and perform all necessary contracts pursuant to Article 53 (commencing with Section 20810) of Part 3 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code. 
(g) To adopt a seal and alter it at pleasure. 
(h) To adopt ordinances following the procedures of Article 7 (commencing with Section 25120) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 2 of Title 3 of the Government Code. 
(i) To establish and enforce rules and regulations for the administration, operation, and maintenance of the services listed in Section 13862. 
(j) To enter joint powers agreements pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code. 
(k) To provide insurance pursuant to Part 6 (commencing with Section 989) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 465, Sec. 7.   Effective August 22, 1988.)

13862.  A district shall have the power to provide the following services: 
(a) Fire protection services. 
(b) Rescue services. 
(c) Emergency medical services. 
(d) Hazardous material emergency response services. 
(e) Ambulance services, pursuant to Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797). 
(f) Any other services relating to the protection of lives and property.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13863.  (a) A district may enter into mutual aid agreements with any federal or state agency, any city, county, city and county, special district, or federally recognized Indian tribe. 
(b) A district may also enter into mutual aid agreements with any private firm, corporation, or federally recognized Indian tribe that maintains a full-time fire department.  The firm, corporation, or federally recognized Indian tribe, or any of its employees, shall have the same immunity from liability for civil damages on account of personal injury to or death of any person or damage to property resulting from acts or omissions of its fire department personnel in the performance of the provisions of the mutual aid agreement as is provided by law for the district and its employees, except when the act or omission occurs on property under the control of the firm, corporation, or federally recognized Indian tribe.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 17, Sec. 1.   Effective April 14, 1998.)

13864.  A district may lease or rent any property from an employee, including but not limited to, vehicles or equipment.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13865.  A district may join any local, state, or national group or association which promotes the preservation of life and property from the hazards of fire and other disasters.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13866.  A district may authorize its directors and employees to attend professional or vocational meetings and pay their actual and necessary traveling and incidental expenses while on official business.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13867.  The acquisition of any equipment for fire protection purposes shall conform to the standardization provisions of Article 1 (commencing with Section 13025) of Chapter 2 of Part 1.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13868.  (a) A district board shall keep a record of all its acts, including its financial transactions. 
(b) Unless another provision of law requires a longer retention period, a district may destroy or otherwise dispose of any paper or document filed with or submitted to the district more than one year previously, unless the district board determines that there is a need for its retention.  In determining whether there is a need for retaining a paper or document, consideration shall be given to such factors as future public need, the effect of statutes of limitation, and historical significance.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13869.  A district may adopt a fire prevention code by reference pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 50022) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.  For that purpose, the district board shall be deemed a legislative body and the district shall be deemed a local agency.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13869.7.  (a) Any fire protection district organized pursuant to Part 2.7 (commencing with Section 13800) of Division 12 may adopt building standards relating to fire and panic safety that are more stringent than those building standards adopted by the State Fire Marshal and contained in the California Building Standards Code.  For these purposes, the district board shall be deemed a legislative body and the district shall be deemed a local agency. Any changes or modifications that are more stringent than the requirements published in the California Building Standards Code relating to fire and panic safety shall be subject to subdivision (b) of Section 18941.5. 
(b) Any fire protection district that proposes to adopt an ordinance pursuant to this section shall, not less than 30 days prior to noticing a proposed ordinance for public hearing, provide a copy of that ordinance, together with the adopted findings made pursuant to subdivision (a), to the city, county, or city and county where the ordinance will apply.  The city, county, or city and county, may provide the district with written comments, which shall become part of the fire protection district's public hearing record. 
(c) The fire protection district shall transmit the adopted ordinance to the city, county, or city and county where the ordinance will apply.  The legislative body of the city, county, or city and county, may ratify, modify, or deny an adopted ordinance and transmit its determination to the district within 15 days of the determination.  Any modification or denial of an adopted ordinance shall include a written statement describing the reasons for any modifications or denial.  No ordinance adopted by the district shall be effective until ratification by the city, county, or city and county where the ordinance will apply.  Upon ratification of an adopted ordinance, the city, county, or city and county, shall file a copy of the findings of the district, and any findings of the city, county, or city and county, together with the adopted ordinance expressly marked and identified to which each finding refers, with the Department of Housing and Community Development. 
(d) Nothing in this section shall authorize a district to mandate, nor prohibit a district from mandating, the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems within newly constructed dwelling units or in new additions to existing dwelling units, including, but not limited to, manufactured homes as defined in Section 18007. 
(e) Nothing in this section shall authorize a district to mandate, nor prohibit a district from mandating, the retrofitting of existing dwelling units for the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems, including, but not limited to, manufactured homes as defined in Section 18007. 
(f) Nothing in this section shall apply in any manner to litigation filed prior to January 1, 1991, regarding an ordinance or regulation which mandates the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems within newly constructed dwelling units or in new additions to existing dwelling units. 
(g) This section shall not apply to fire and panic safety requirements for the public schools adopted by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to Section 13143. 
(h) (1) A city, county, or city and county that ratifies an ordinance relating to fire and panic safety pursuant to this section shall delegate the enforcement of the ordinance to either of the following: 
(A) The chief of the fire protection district that adopted the ordinance, or his or her authorized representative. 
(B) The chief building official of the city, county, or city and county, or his or her authorized representative. 
(2) Any fee charged pursuant to the enforcement authority of this subdivision shall not exceed the estimated reasonable cost of providing the service for which the fee is charged, pursuant to Section 66014 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 906, Sec. 13.   Effective October 8, 1993.  Operative January 1, 1994, by Sec. 24 of Ch. 906.)

13870.  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a district board or its authorized representative may issue a written order to correct or eliminate a  fire hazard or life hazard. 
(b) Any person who has been ordered to immediately correct or eliminate a fire hazard or life hazard pursuant to subdivision (a) and who believes that strict compliance with the order would cause undue hardship may, within 10 days, present a written request to the district board requesting a hearing on and a review of the order.  The request shall state the reasons for making the request. 
(c) Within 30 days of the receipt of a written request pursuant to subdivision (b), the district board or its authorized representative shall hold a hearing.  The board may modify, vacate, or affirm the order.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13871.  (a) Any citation issued by a district for violation of a fire prevention code or a district ordinance may be processed pursuant to subdivision (d) of  Section 17 of the Penal Code. 
(b) Every person who fails or refuses to correct or eliminate a fire or life hazard after written order of a district board or its authorized representative is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
(c) Every person who falsely personates a member of a district board or an officer or employee of a district is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
(d) Every misdemeanor is punishable pursuant to Section 19 of the Penal Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13872.  A district may, by ordinance, authorize its fire chief, or his or her duly authorized representative, to issue citations for the misdemeanors specified in Section 13871.  The provisions of Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.1) of Title 4 of Part 2 of the Penal Code shall apply.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 465, Sec. 8.   Effective August 22, 1988.)

13872.5.  The fire chief of a city, city and county, or county fire department, or his or her authorized representative, has the same authority as specified in Sections 13870 to 13872, inclusive, to issue a written order to correct or eliminate a fire hazard or life hazard, hold hearings and modify, vacate, or affirm those orders, and issue citations if so authorized by ordinance of the city, city and county, or county.  This section does not limit or affect any authority of a fire chief or authorized representative of a fire chief under any local ordinance.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1589, Sec. 3.)

13873.  Employees of a district shall have the powers of peace officers while engaged in the prevention and suppression of fires and the protection and preservation of life and property, including, but not limited to, actions associated with rescue services, emergency medical services, hazardous material emergency response services, and ambulance services.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13874.  If a district board has adopted regulations for the control of open fires, no person shall burn any material without a permit.  A district shall not issue a permit to burn any material which would not be permitted by an air pollution control district or an air quality management district, or any other state or federal agency.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13875.  A district may prepare and disseminate information and operate educational programs, including, but not limited to, those which help to prevent fire, eliminate life hazards, and prepare for medical emergencies.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13876.  A district board may adopt a resolution to change the name of the district.  The resolution shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 23 (commencing with Section 7530) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.  Within 10 days of its adoption, the district board shall file a copy of the resolution with the county clerk, and the board of supervisors and the local agency formation commission of each county in which the district is located.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 829, Sec. 40.   Effective January 1, 1999.)

13877.  A district board may authorize the use of any vehicle, apparatus, or equipment outside the district, subject to any terms and conditions it prescribes.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13878.  A district may contract with any person or public agency to provide district services to territory which is outside the district.  A contract shall provide for payment in advance.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13879.  A district board may abate hazardous weeds and rubbish pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 14875).  For that purpose, the district board shall be deemed to be a "board of supervisors" and district employees shall be deemed to be the "persons" designated by Section 14890.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 6 
ELECTIONS

13885.  Except as otherwise provided in this part, districts are subject to the Uniform District Election Law, Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 137.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13886.  A district board may require that its election of district board members be held on the same day as the statewide general election pursuant to Section 10404 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 138.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13887.  The expense of an election on the question of the formation of a district shall be paid by the county if the proposition fails.  If the formation is approved, the expense shall be  a charge against the district and repaid to the county from the first moneys collected by the district.  The expense of all other elections shall be a charge against the district.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 7 
FINANCE

13890.  On or before June 30 of each year, a district board shall adopt a preliminary budget which shall conform to the accounting and budgeting procedures for special districts contained in Subchapter 3 (commencing with Section 1031.1) of, and Article 1 (commencing with Section 1121) of Subchapter 4 of, Chapter 2 of Division 2 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 550, Sec. 27.   Effective September 28, 1999. Operative January 1, 2000, by Sec. 33 of Ch. 550.)

13891.  On or after July 1 of each year, the amounts set forth in the preliminary budget, except obligations for fixed assets and new permanent employee positions, are deemed appropriated until the district board adopts the final budget.  If the district board has not adopted a preliminary budget, the amounts deemed  appropriated shall be based on the budget of the preceding year, excluding fixed assets and new permanent employee positions.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13892.  If the district board determines that the amount of revenue for the coming fiscal year will be inadequate to meet the amount of expenditures needed to protect life and property, the preliminary budget shall propose methods of raising adequate revenues or reducing services.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13893.  (a) On or before June 30 of each year, a district board shall publish a notice stating all of the following: 
(1) That it has adopted a preliminary budget which is available for inspection at a time and place within the district specified in the notice. 
(2) The date, time, and place when the board will meet to adopt the final budget and that any person may appear and be heard regarding any item in the budget or regarding the addition of other items. 
(b) The notice shall be published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the district.  The first publication shall be at least two weeks before the date of the meeting.  If there is no newspaper published in the district, the notice shall be posted in three public places in the district at least two weeks before the date of the meeting.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1195, Sec. 21.   Effective January 1, 1994.)

13894.  At the time and place specified for the meeting, any person may appear and be heard regarding any item in the budget or regarding the addition of other items.  The hearing on the preliminary budget may be continued from time to time.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13895.  On or before October 1 of each year, after making any changes in the preliminary budget, the board shall adopt a final budget.  The final budget shall establish its appropriation limit pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 7900) of Title 1 of the Government Code.  A copy of the final budget shall be forwarded to the auditor of each county in which the district is located.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13896.  The auditor of each county in which a district is located shall allocate to the district its share of property tax revenue pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 95) of Part 0.5 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13897.  A district may borrow money and incur indebtedness pursuant to the authority contained in Article 7 (commencing with Section 53820), Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 53840), Article 7.6 (commencing with Section 53850), and Article 7.7 (commencing with Section 53859), of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13898.  A district may accept any revenue, money, grants, goods, or services from any federal, state, regional, or local agency or from any person for any lawful purpose of the district.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13899.  All taxes and assessments levied under this chapter shall be computed and entered on the county assessment roll and collected at the same time and in the same manner as other county taxes.  When collected, the taxes and assessments shall be paid into the county treasury for the use of the district.  Except as provided in Section 13854, the county may deduct its costs for this service pursuant to Section 29142 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13900.  At any regular meeting or properly noticed special meeting, a district board by two-thirds majority vote of the total membership of the district board may make available for appropriation any of the following: 
(a) Balances in appropriations for contingencies, including accretions from cancellations of appropriations. 
(b) Designations and reserves no longer required for the purpose for which intended, excluding the general reserve, balance sheet reserves, and reserve for encumbrances. 
(c) Amounts which are either in excess of anticipated amounts or not specifically set forth in the budget derived from any or anticipated increases in available financing.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13901.  If it finds that an emergency affects the ability of a district to furnish adequate fire protection services, rescue services, emergency medical services, hazardous material emergency response services, ambulance services, or other services relating to the protection of lives and property, a district board, by resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the district board, may provide the moneys which have been received but not specifically set forth as revenue in the adopted final budget be made available for appropriation and expenditure during the current fiscal year.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13902.  (a) A district board may establish a reserve for capital outlays and shall declare the purposes for which the reserve is to be used. 
(b) At any time, the district board may transfer to its reserve for capital outlays any unencumbered surplus reserve remaining at the end of a fiscal year. 
(c) A capital outlay reserve shall be used only for the purposes specified by the district board.  However, if a district board finds at the time it adopts its final budget that the reserve is no longer required, it may, by unanimous vote, discontinue the reserve or transfer any balance to the district's general fund.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13903.  (a) All claims for money or damages against a district are governed by Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code. 
(b) Claims against a district shall be audited, allowed, and paid by order of the district board. 
(c) As an alternative to subdivision (b), a district board may instruct the county auditor to audit, allow, and draw his or her warrant on the county treasurer for all legal claims presented to him or her and authorized by the district board. 
(d) The warrants shall be paid in the order in which they are presented.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13904.  If a warrant is presented to the district treasurer for payment and the treasurer cannot pay it for want of funds in the account on which it is drawn, the treasurer shall endorse the warrant "NOT PAID BECAUSE OF INSUFFICIENT FUNDS" and sign his or her name and indicate the date and time the warrant was presented.  From that time until it is paid, the warrant bears interest at the maximum rate permitted pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 53530) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13905.  Notwithstanding Section 13903, a district board may adopt a resolution ordering the establishment of a petty cash fund to pay small bills directly.  The resolution shall designate all of the following: 
(a) The maximum amount of the fund, not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). 
(b) The purposes for which the fund may be spent. 
(c) The officer or employee who is authorized to spend the fund and who will account for it. 
(d) The officer or employee who is authorized to draw a warrant on the district treasury to establish the fund and who is authorized to draw additional warrants to reimburse the fund.  Each warrant drawn to reimburse the fund shall contain an itemized account of expenditures.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13906.  (a) A district may acquire any necessary property by purchase or purchase on contract with money borrowed pursuant to this section. 
(b) The amount of indebtedness to be incurred shall not exceed an amount equal to three times the actual income from property taxes received pursuant to Section 13896 for the fiscal year preceding the year in which the indebtedness is incurred.  Any indebtedness shall be repaid within 10 years from the date on which it is incurred.  An indebtedness shall bear interest at a rate which shall not exceed the rate permitted under Article 7 (commencing with Section 53530) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code. 
(c) An indebtedness shall be authorized by resolution adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the total membership of the district board.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 8 
ALTERNATIVE REVENUES

13910.  Whenever the district board determines that the amount of revenue available to the district or any of its zones is inadequate to meet the costs of providing services pursuant to Section 13862, the board may raise revenues pursuant to this chapter or any other provision of law.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13911.  A district may levy a special tax pursuant to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 50075) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13912.  A district may levy a special tax pursuant to the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982, Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 53311) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13913.  A district may levy a special tax pursuant to Article 16 (commencing with Section 53970) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.  However, the tax shall not require a higher rate of payment or other measure of tax on the part of new construction than on the part of other real property.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13914.  A district may levy an assessment for fire suppression services pursuant to Article 3.6 (commencing with Section 50078) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13915.  A district may levy assessments to finance capital improvements pursuant to the Improvement Act of 1911, Division 7 (commencing with Section 5000), the Improvement Bond Act of 1915, Division 10 (commencing with Section 8500), and the Municipal Improvement Act of 1913, Division 12 (commencing with Section 10000) of the Streets and Highways Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13916.  (a) A district board may charge a fee to cover the cost of any service which the district provides or the cost of enforcing any regulation for which the fee is charged.  No fee shall exceed the costs reasonably borne by the district in providing the service or enforcing the regulation for which the fee is charged.  A district board shall not charge a fee on new construction or development for the construction of public improvements or facilities or the acquisition of equipment. 
(b) The district board shall adopt an ordinance establishing a schedule of fees.  Before either approving an increase in an existing fee or initially imposing a new fee, the district board shall publish notice of its intention to establish a schedule of fees pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code. The notice shall state the time and place of the meeting, including a general explanation of the matter to be considered, and a statement that the data required by subdivision (d) is available. 
(c) The district board shall mail the notice of the meeting at least 14 days before the meeting to any interested party who has filed a written request with the district board for mailed notice of the meeting on new or increased fees.  Any written request for mailed notice is valid for one year from the date on which it is filed unless a renewal request is filed.  Renewal requests for mailed notice shall be filed on or before April 1 of each year. The district board may establish a reasonable annual charge for sending these notices based on the estimated cost of providing that service. 
(d) At least 10 days before the meeting, the district board shall make available to the public, data indicating the amount of cost, or estimated cost, required to provide the service or the cost of enforcing any regulation for which the fee is charged and the revenue sources anticipated to provide the service or the cost of enforcing any regulation, including general fund revenues. 
(e) Any costs incurred by a district in conducting the meeting required by this section may be recovered from fees charged for the service or the cost of enforcing any regulation which were the subject of the meeting. 
(f) At the meeting, the district board shall hear and consider any objections or protests to the proposed schedule of fees.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13917.  A district board may charge residents or taxpayers of the district a fee authorized pursuant to Section 13916 which is less than the fee which it charges to nonresidents or nontaxpayers of the district.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 465, Sec. 9.   Effective August 22, 1988.)

13918.  Notwithstanding Section 6103 of the Government Code, a district board may charge a fee authorized pursuant to Section 13916 to other public agencies.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13919.  A district board may waive payment of a fee authorized pursuant to Section 13916 when it determines that payment would not be in the public interest.  Before waiving payment of any fee, a district board shall adopt a resolution which specifies the policies and procedures governing waivers.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 9 
GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

13925.  Whenever a district board determines that it is necessary to incur a general obligation bonded indebtedness for the acquisition or construction of any real property or other capital expense or for funding or refunding of any outstanding indebtedness, the district board shall adopt a resolution making determinations and calling an election on a proposition to incur indebtedness and to issue general obligation bonds.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13926.  The resolution shall state: 
(a) The purpose for which the proposed debt is to be incurred, which may include expenses for the authorization, issuance, and sale of bonds. 
(b) The amount of debt to be incurred. 
(c) The maximum term of the bonds, not to exceed 30 years. 
(d) The maximum rate of interest to be paid, not to exceed the maximum rate permitted pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 53530) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code. 
(e) The measure to be submitted to the voters. 
(f) The date the election will be held. 
(g) Any other matters that are required pursuant to the Uniform District Election Law, Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 139.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13927.  The election shall be conducted pursuant to the Uniform District Election Law, Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 140.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13928.  If two-thirds of voters voting upon the proposition favor incurring the indebtedness and issuing the bonds, the district board may adopt resolutions to issue bonds for all or any part of the amount of the indebtedness.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13929.  The district board may provide for the issuance of bonds in any amounts, in any series, and on any terms, provided that they do not exceed the limits approved by the voters.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13930.  The district board shall adopt a resolution prescribing the form and denomination of the bonds and any coupons.  The resolution shall specify the dates on which all or any part of the principal shall become due and payable. The payment of the first installment or principal may be deferred for a maximum period not to exceed five years from the date on which the district board issues the first bonds or first bonds in each series.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13931.  The district board may provide for the call and redemption of bonds before their maturity at times and prices and upon any other terms as it specifies.  A bond shall not be subject to call or redemption before maturity unless it contains a recital to that effect or unless a statement to that effect is printed on it.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13932.  The principal and interest of the bonds shall be payable in lawful money of the United States at the office of the district treasurer or any other place, at the option of the bondholder.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13933.  (a) The bonds shall be dated, numbered consecutively, and be signed by the president of the district board and the district treasurer.  The district treasurer shall sign any coupons.  Any signatures or countersignatures may be mechanically reproduced by any means, except that one of the signatures shall be signed by hand. 
(b) If the president of the district board or the district treasurer whose signature appears on a bond or coupon ceases to hold that office before the delivery of the bonds or the coupons to the purchaser, the signature is nevertheless valid and sufficient for any purpose as if the president or treasurer had remained in office until the delivery of the bonds or coupons.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.

13934.  (a) Before selling the bonds or coupons, the district board shall give notice inviting sealed bids.  At a minimum, the district board shall publish notice at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the district at least 10 days before the deadline for receiving the bids. 
(b) The district board shall award the sale of the bonds to the highest responsible bidder. 
(c) If the district board does not receive any bids or if it determines that the bids received are not satisfactory as to price or responsibility of the bidders, it may reject all bids, if any, and either readvertise or sell the bonds at private sale.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13935.  (a) All premiums and accrued interest received from the sale of the bonds shall be deposited with the district treasurer in a special bond service fund to be used for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds, and the remainder of the proceeds of the bonds shall be placed to the credit of the proper improvement fund and applied exclusively to the purpose and object recited in the proposition approved by the voters. 
(b) When the purpose and object have been accomplished, any moneys remaining in the improvement fund shall be transferred to the special bond service fund.  When the purpose and object have been accomplished and all principal and interest on the bonds have been paid, any balance of money then remaining shall be transferred to the general fund of the district.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13936.  Any general obligation bonds issued by a district have the same force, value, and use as bonds issued by a city and the bonds and the interest on the bonds are exempt from all taxation within the State of California.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13937.  A district shall not incur a bonded indebtedness in excess of 10 percent of the assessed value of all taxable property within the district.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13938.  (a) After incurring a general obligation indebtedness, and annually thereafter until the indebtedness is paid or until there is a sum in the district treasury in a special bond service fund set apart for that purpose sufficient to meet all payments of principal and interest on that indebtedness as it becomes due, the district board shall adopt a resolution directing the county tax collector to levy a tax on behalf of the district. 
(b) The tax shall be in addition to all other taxes levied by and for the district and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as county taxes.  A county may recover its costs as provided by Section 29124 of the Government Code. 
(c) The rate of the tax shall be fixed to result in proceeds which are sufficient to pay any principal and interest which will become due before the next proceeds of a tax to be levied will be available.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 10 
SERVICE ZONES

13950.  (a) Whenever a district board determines that it is in the public interest to provide different services, to provide different levels of service, or to raise additional revenues within specific areas of the district, it may form one or more service zones pursuant to this chapter.
(b) The district board shall initiate proceedings for the formation of a new zone by adopting a resolution which shall do all of the following: 
(1) State that the proposal is made pursuant to this chapter. 
(2) Set forth a description of the boundaries of the territory to be included  in the zone. 
(3) State the different services, different levels of service, or additional revenues which the zone will provide. 
(4) Set forth the methods by which those services or levels of service will be financed. 
(5) State the reasons for forming the zone. 
(6) Propose a name or number for the zone. 
(7) Fix the date, time, and place for the public hearing on the formation of the zone. 
(c) The district board shall publish notice of the hearing, including the information required by subdivision (b), pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government  Code in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the district.  The district board shall mail the notice to all owners of property within the proposed zone.  The district board shall post the notice in at least three public places within the territory of the proposed zone. 
(d) At the hearing, the district board shall hear and consider any protests to the formation of the zone.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the district board may adopt a resolution ordering the formation of the zone.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13951.  A district board may change the boundaries of a service zone or dissolve a zone by following the procedures in Section 13950.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13952.  A local agency formation commission shall have no power or duty to review and approve or disapprove a proposal to create a service zone, a proposal to change the boundaries of a zone, or a proposal to dissolve a zone.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13953.  As determined by the district board, a service zone may provide any service at any level within its boundaries which the district may provide.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.) 
13954.  As determined by the district board and pursuant to the requirements of this part, a service zone may exercise any fiscal powers within its boundaries that the district may exercise.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13955.  Any taxes, special taxes, assessments, or fees which are intended solely for the support of services within a zone shall be levied, assessed, and collected only within the boundaries of the zone.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13956.  To assist it in the operation of a service zone, the district board may appoint one or more advisory groups composed of persons who reside in or own property in the zone.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

Chapter 11 
EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

13960.  (a) The Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3500) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code applies to all fire protection districts. 
(b) Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1960) of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code applies to all fire protection districts.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13961.  (a) A district board may adopt an ordinance establishing an employee relations system. 
(b) "Employee relations system" as used in this chapter means a civil service system or a merit system.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13962.  (a) Upon receipt of a petition proposing an employee relations system for employees of the district, signed by at least 10 percent of the registered voters of the district, the district board shall either adopt an ordinance providing for the employee relations system, or adopt an ordinance subject to the approval of the voters of the district. 
(b) District employees may circulate the petitions described in subdivision (a) at any time when they are not on duty. 
(c) If the question is submitted to the voters at a general district election, the notice required by Section 12115 of the Elections Code shall contain a statement of the question to appear on the ballot.  If the question is submitted to the voters at a special election, the notice of election and ballot shall contain a statement of the question. 
(d) The question placed before the voters shall call for a "Yes" or "No" vote and shall be in substantially the following form:

    "Shall the ordinance of the Board of Directors of the ______ (name of the district), adopting an employee relations system for the employees of the district, be approved?"

    (e) If a majority of the voters voting on the question approve of the question, the ordinance shall go into effect.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 141.   Effective January 1, 1995.)

13963.  When more than one district is governed by the same board of directors, the district board may do all of the following: 
(a) Adopt the same set of employee relations rules, regulations, and procedures for any or all districts. 
(b) Authorize one examination for any or all districts for each classification of employment, establish one eligibility list, permit qualified candidates to transfer from one district to another, and allow requested changes in assignment. 
(c) Adopt one seniority list to be used in the layoff of all employees of any or all districts.  Persons laid off due to lack of work shall be eligible for reemployment and shall be reemployed in preference to the employment of new applicants.  The district board may set a time limit on the use of this seniority list.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13964.  If a county board of supervisors has appointed itself as the district  board, it may change to district status any employee of a county fire warden department and the status of any district employee may be changed to that of a county employee, subject to charter provisions relating to employee relations, and the rules, regulations, and procedures of the employee relations system of the employer county.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13965.  If the civil service commission or body performing employee relations functions for a district finds that a person has been employed by a city or another district which has, or any portion of which has, been annexed to, included within, or contracts with, the district for all fire protection, rescue, or emergency medical services, in a position classification the duties of which and qualifications for which are substantially the same as those of any position classification in the district, at the request of the district board, the civil service commission or other body may certify, without examination, that person as eligible to hold that district position classification or any lower position classification for which the person is qualified and which would not result in a lower level of salary than was received by the person immediately before the annexation, inclusion, or contract.  If a person is employed by the district after certification without examination by the civil service commission or other body because of his or her employment in a position classification of similar duties by a city or district, all time employed in that city or district shall be considered as time employed by the district, to determine seniority rights and salary rates.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13966.  (a) In the case of a district where the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara has appointed itself as the district board of a district, the district board may call an election to be held in the district for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the district the question of whether the district board may provide for a system of binding arbitration for the resolution of impasses in employer-employee relations. 
(b) Where the district has created service zones, the election specified in subdivision (a) shall be held only in those zones in which the district provides direct fire protection and not in those zones in which fire protection is provided by contract with other agencies.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13967.  A district board may require any employee of the district to be bonded.  The district shall pay the cost of the bonds.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13968.  A district board may provide for any programs for the benefits of its employees or members of the district board, pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 53200) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13969.  A district board shall train all employees of the district who are expected to provide services pursuant to Section 13862, except those whose duties are primarily clerical or administrative, to administer first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as required pursuant to Section 1797.182.  A district board may provide any other training programs for its employees.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.)

13970.  A fire protection district shall be considered a "fire district" to grant leaves of absence in lieu of temporary disability payments pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 4850) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Labor Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1013, Sec. 11.) 

[10/16/00]

Committee Address

Staff