STREETS AND HIGHWAYS
CODE SECTION 5000-5026
5000. This division may be cited as the Improvement Act of 1911.
5001. Unless the particular provision or the context otherwise
requires, the definitions and general provisions contained in this
part shall govern the construction of this division.
5002. This division provides an alternative system for doing the
work authorized by this division and the provisions of this division
shall not apply to or affect any other provisions of this code.
When any proceedings are commenced under this division, the provisions
of this division and no other shall apply to such proceedings.
5003. This division shall be liberally construed in order to effectuate
its purposes. No error, irregularity, informality, and no neglect
or omission of any officer, in any procedure taken under this division,
which does not directly affect the jurisdiction of the legislative
body to order the work or improvement, shall avoid or invalidate
such proceeding or any assessment for the cost of work done thereunder.
The exclusive remedy of any person affected or aggrieved thereby
shall be by appeal to the legislative body in accordance with the
provisions of this division.
5004. Whenever in any proceedings under this division, a time and
place for any hearing by the legislative body is fixed and, from
any cause, the hearing is not then and there held or regularly adjourned
to a time and place fixed, the power of the legislative body in
the premises shall not thereby be divested or lost, but the legislative
body may proceed anew to fix a time and place for the hearing, and
cause notice thereof to be given by publication by at least one
insertion in a daily, semiweekly or weekly newspaper, such publication
to be at least five days before the date of the hearing, and thereupon
the legislative body shall have power to act as in the first instance.
5005. "City" includes counties, cities, cities and counties
and all corporations organized and existing for municipal purposes,
together with resort districts organized and existing under the
Resort Improvement District Law (Division 11 (commencing with Section
13000) of the Public Resources Code), and any special district organized
for the purpose of aiding in the development or improvement of navigation
or commerce to, or within, the district.
5006. "Legislative body" when used with reference to
a county means the board of supervisors, and when used with reference
to a city means the body which by law constitutes the legislative
department of the government of the city.
5007. "Clerk" when used with reference to a county means
the person or officer who is the clerk of the legislative body of
the county, and when used with reference to a city means the person
or officer who is or acts as clerk of the legislative body of the
5008. "Treasurer" when used with reference to a county
means the county treasurer, and when used with reference to a city
means the city treasurer. "Treasurer" also includes any
person or officer who has charge and makes payment of the funds
of such county or city, respectively.
5009. "Mayor" when used with reference to a county means
the chairman of the board of supervisors, and when used with reference
to a city means the mayor, or if the city has no mayor, the chairman
or the president of the legislative body, the city manager or such
other person as may be the chief executive officer of the city.
5010. "Council chambers" refers to the place where the
regular meetings of the legislative body of the county or city are
5011. "Street superintendent" or "superintendent
of streets" when used with reference to a county means the
county surveyor, and when used with reference to a city means the
person or officer whose duty it is under the law to have the care
or charge of the streets or the improvement thereof in such city.
5012. If there is no street superintendent or superintendent of
streets in any city, the legislative body thereof may appoint a
person to perform the duties imposed upon the street superintendent
by this division, and all of the provisions of this division applicable
to the street superintendent shall apply to the person so appointed.
5012.5. In a city in which there is a superintendent of streets
or street superintendent, the legislative body of the city may nevertheless
appoint another person to perform the duties imposed upon the street
superintendent by this division and all of the provisions of this
division applicable to the street superintendent shall apply to
the person so appointed.
5013. "Engineer" when applied to a county means the county
surveyor, and when applied to a city means the city engineer.
5014. "Street" includes avenues, highways, lanes, alleys,
crossings, or intersections and courts which have been dedicated
and accepted according to law or which have been in common and undisputed
use by the public for a period of not less than five years next
preceding, or which have been dedicated to a semipublic use by way
of a dedication made for the exclusive use and benefit of all properties
located within the boundaries of a community services district formed
under the provisions of the Community Services District Law (commencing
with Section 61000 of the Government Code), or which are privately
owned, opened to public traffic, and located within the boundaries
of an assessment district established to provide street lighting.
5018. "Place" includes any public park or pleasure ground
and common which has been dedicated and accepted according to law.
5019. "Paved" or "repaved" includes pavement
of stone, paving blocks or macadamizing, or of bituminous rock or
asphalt, or of iron, wood or other material, whether patented or
not, which is adopted by ordinance or resolution by the legislative
5020. "Contractor" means the person, firm, partnership,
association, corporation, organization or business trust, and includes
contracting owners or their agents, to whom a contract for the performance
of any work authorized by this division is awarded.
5021. "Owner" means the person owning the fee, or the
person in whose name the legal title to the property appears, by
deed duly recorded in the county recorder's office of the county
in which the property is situated, or the person in possession of
the property or buildings under claim of, or exercising acts of
ownership over the same for himself, or as the executor, administrator,
guardian, or conservator of the owner. If the property is leased,
the possession of the tenant or lessee holding and occupying such
property shall be deemed to be the possession of the owner.
5022. "Lot," "land," "piece," or
"parcel of land" whether used singly or in combination
include property owned or controlled by any person as a railroad
right of way or as a street or interurban railroad right of way.
5022.5. "Lot," "portion of lot," "land,"
"piece," or "parcel of land," whether used singly
or in combination, may, in the discretion of the superintendent
of streets, for purposes of spreading assessments and calculating
benefits include any contiguous real property under the same ownership
as it appears on the last equalized assessment roll used by the
assessing entity in which the property is situated, whether consisting
of unsubdivided land or land subdivided into blocks or lots and
blocks or the superintendent of streets may if requested by such
owner make separate assessments against portions of such lots or
parcels of land.
5023. "Work" or "improvement" whether used
singly or in combination mean and include any work which is authorized
to be done or any improvement which is authorized to be made under
this division, as well as the construction, reconstruction and repair
of all or part of any such work or improvement.
5023.1. "Acquisition," or any of its variants, means
one or more of the following:
(a) Any works, improvements, appliances, or facilities which are
authorized to be made, constructed, or acquired under this division
and which are in existence and installed in place on or before the
date of adoption of the resolution of intention for the acquisition
thereof; any use or capacity rights in any of the above; and any
works, improvements, appliances, or facilities acquired or installed
pursuant to Sections 10109 to 10111, inclusive.
(b) Electric current, gas, or other illuminating agent for power
or lighting service.
(c) Any real property, rights-of-way, easements, or interests
in real property, acquired or to be acquired by gift, purchase,
or eminent domain, necessary or convenient in connection with the
construction or operation of any work or improvement authorized
to be acquired or to be made or constructed under this division,
except any real property, rights-of-way, easements, or interests
in real property shown on any final map filed with or submitted
to the legislative body for acceptance and approval under the Subdivision
Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410) of Title 7 of
the Government Code) and offered for dedication to public use by
the map or by any separate offer of dedication previously or subsequently
(d) The payment in full of all amounts necessary to eliminate
any special assessment liens previously imposed upon any assessment
parcel included in the new assessment district. The cost of the
payment shall be included in the new assessment on the parcel. This
subdivision is applicable only in cases where the acquisition is
incidental to other acquisitions or improvements.
5024. "Incidental expense" includes all of the following:
(a) Compensation for work done by the engineer, and attorney's
fees or services in proceedings pursuant to this division. Notwithstanding
the foregoing, if a court of competent jurisdiction renders a final
judgment that invalidates in whole or part the formation of the
assessment district or the levy of assessments, any attorney's fees
and engineering charges incurred by the city in defending that litigation
are not incidental expenses and shall not be charged against the
assessment district in any manner except as to those claims upon
which the city prevails and as allowed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) The cost of printing and advertising provided for in this
division, including the treasurer's estimated cost of printing,
servicing, and collecting any bonds to be issued to represent or
be secured by unpaid assessments.
(c) The compensation of the person appointed by the superintendent
of streets to take charge of, and superintend any of, the work.
(d) The expenses of making the assessment, of the collection of
assessments by the superintendent of streets when directed by ordinance
to receive payments pursuant to Section 5396, and of preparing and
typing the resolutions, notices, and other papers and proceedings
for any work authorized by this division.
(e) The expenses of making any analyses and tests to determine
that the work, and any materials or appliances incorporated therein,
comply with the specifications.
(f) All costs and expenses incurred in carrying out the investigations
and making the reports required by the provisions of the Special
Assessment Investigation, Limitation and Majority Protest Act of
1931 (Division 4 (commencing with Section 2800)).
(g) The cost of title searching, description writing, right-of-way
agent salaries, appraisal fees, partial reconveyance fees, surveys,
and sketches incident to securing rights-of-way for any work authorized
by this division.
(h) Any other expenses incidental to the construction, completion,
and inspection of the work in the manner provided for in this division.
(i) The cost of relocating or altering any public utility facilities
as required by the improvement in those cases where that cost is
the legal obligation of the city.
(j) The cost of planning and designing public facilities to be
financed pursuant to this division, including the cost of environmental
evaluations of those facilities.
(k) The cost of filing and recording documents when the cost is
the legal obligation of the city.
(l) The cost of any acquisition, as defined in Section 5023.1,
and expenses incidental in connection with the acquisition.
(m) If the construction of sewers or appurtenances incident thereto
has been ordered, sewer service, connection, and capacity charges
established by the city as a condition to the providing of sewer
service for the benefit of properties within the assessment district
and required for the completion and utilization of the improvement
(n) If the construction of water improvements or appurtenances
incident thereto has been ordered, water service, connection, and
capacity charges established by the city as a condition to the providing
of water service for the benefit of properties within the assessment
district and required for the completion and utilization of the
(o) All costs not identified in subdivisions (a) to (n), inclusive,
related to the issuance of bonds, including, but not limited to,
costs of obtaining credit ratings, bond insurance premiums, fees
for letters of credit and other credit enhancement costs, and initial
fees for the registration of bonds. All demands for incidental expenses
shall be presented to the street superintendent, by an itemized
bill, duly verified by the demandant.
5025. In all resolutions, notices, orders and determinations,
subsequent to the resolution of intention it shall not be necessary
to describe the work, and any description of the work in any of
the same, subsequent to the resolution of intention and the notice
of improvement, shall be sufficient, if it refers to the resolution
of intention for a description of the work or improvement.
5026. The legislative body of a county, city or city and county,
may by resolution adopt a name for any street, boulevard, park or
place which is to be improved under this division, for which a name
has not been provided under the provisions of Sections 970.5 and
971, or otherwise, and may by resolution change the name of any
such street, boulevard, park or place heretofore established; provided
further, that a copy of the resolution or order providing for such
new name or change of name made by any city shall be promptly forwarded
by the city clerk to the county clerk and county surveyor of the
county in which such municipality is situated.