54984. This chapter shall be known as the Uniform Standby Charge
54984.1. The procedures set forth in this chapter shall be available
to any local agency authorized by law to provide water, sewer, or
water and sewer service, and authorized to fix, levy, or collect
any standby or availability charge or assessment in connection with
the provision of that service. Any local agency electing to utilize
the standby charge procedures set forth in this chapter shall, in
connection with the procedures for fixing and levying of these charges
for the year in which the election is made, be governed by the provisions
of this chapter alone. Nothing in this chapter shall affect the
standby charge procedures authorized or provided for otherwise,
if the local agency elects to use those procedures. Any charges
imposed under this chapter are deemed to be assessments and, if
imposed upon public entities, are subject to Chapter 13.7 (commencing
with Section 54999).
54984.2. Any local agency which is authorized by law to provide
water, sewer, or water and sewer service, and which is providing
either or both of those services within its jurisdiction, may fix,
before either (a) August 10 of any given year with respect to local
agencies the taxes or assessments of which are collected for the
local agency by the county or (b) the start of the fiscal year with
respect to local agencies the taxes or assessments of which are
collected by the local agency, a water or sewer standby charge,
or both, on land within the jurisdiction of the local agency to
which water, sewer, or water and sewer services are made available
for any purpose by the agency, whether the water or sewer services
are actually used or not. The governing body of the agency which
fixes the charge may establish schedules varying the charge according
to land uses, benefit derived or to be derived from the use or availability
of facilities to provide water, sewer, or water and sewer service,
or the degree of availability or quantity of the use of the water,
sewer, or water and sewer services to the affected lands, and may
restrict the assessment to one or more improvement districts or
zones of benefit established within the jurisdiction of the agency.
The charge may be imposed on an area, frontage, or parcel basis,
or a combination thereof.
54984.3. The governing body of the local agency shall adopt a
resolution to initiate proceedings to fix a standby charge. The
resolution shall contain all of the following:
(a) A statement that the report of a qualified engineer is on
file with the agency and that a standby charge is proposed based
upon the report. The report shall include all of the following:
(1) A description of the charge and the method by which it will
(2) A compilation of the amount of the charge proposed for each
parcel subject to the charge.
(3) A statement of the methodology and rationale followed in determining
the degree of benefit conferred by the service for which the charge
(4) The other factors listed in Section 54984.2.
(b) A description of the lands upon which the charge is to be
imposed. Assessor parcel numbers shall constitute sufficient description
for this purpose.
(c) The amount of the charge for each of the lands so described.
(d) The date, time, and place upon which the governing body will
hold a public protest hearing regarding the imposition of the charge,
and notice that the governing body will hear and consider all objections
or protests, if any, to the proposed charges.
54984.4. (a) The local agency shall cause notice of the date, time,
and place of hearing on the charge to be published, pursuant to
Section 6066, prior to the date set for hearing, in a newspaper
of general circulation printed and published within the jurisdiction
of the entity, if there is one, and if not, then in a newspaper
of general circulation printed and published in the county.
(b) The local agency shall also cause a notice in writing of the
date, time, and place of hearing on the charge to be mailed at least
21 days prior to the date set for hearing, to each owner of land
described in the resolution initiating proceedings. The mailed notice
shall include the name and address of the local agency, a description
of the charge and method by which it is proposed to be imposed,
the amount of the charge or a schedule of charges, the address or
addresses of the place or places where the resolution adopted pursuant
to Section 54984.3 may be reviewed, and a summary of the procedures
for making a protest set forth in Section 54984.6. The notice shall
be mailed to the address shown on the last equalized assessment
roll, or known to the secretary or clerk of the local agency.
54984.5. At the time and place stated in the notice, the governing
body shall conduct the hearing, and shall hear and consider all
objections or protests, if any, to the resolution referred to in
the notice, and may continue the hearing from time to time. Upon
the conclusion of the hearing, the governing board may adopt, revise,
change, reduce, or modify, or withdraw a charge. The governing board
shall make its determination upon each assessment or charge described
in the resolution, which determination shall be final.
54984.6. (a) Any landowner desiring to make a protest shall do
so by written communication filed with the local agency not later
than the hour set for the hearing. A protest by a landowner shall
contain a description sufficient to identify the land owned by the
landowner. A written protest may be withdrawn at any time before
the determination on the charge by the governing body.
(b) If the governing body receives written protests which are
not withdrawn at the time of determination by the governing body,
which protests represent 40 percent of the parcels subject to the
charges authorized by this chapter, no further proceedings may be
had under this chapter until a period of one year shall have passed
from the time of the initiation of this procedure.
(c) If the governing body receives written protests which are
not withdrawn at the time of the determination by the governing
body, which protests represent 15 percent or more of the parcels
subject to the charges authorized by this chapter the governing
body may still adopt, revise, change, reduce, or modify a charge,
but all the charges are ineffective until collectively approved
by a majority of the vote in an election within the affected territory
in which the owner of one or more parcels may cast one vote for
each parcel owned within the affected territory.
54984.7. If the procedures set forth in this chapter have been
followed in a given year, the governing body may, by resolution,
continue the charge in successive years at the same rate and in
the same manner, but dispensing with the requirement for mailed
notice. The local agency shall cause notice of the intent to adopt
the resolution to be published pursuant to Section 6066, prior to
the date set for adoption, and shall hear any and all objections
at the time and place set forth in the notice. The governing body
shall, at the time and place specified, conduct the hearing and
consider all objections to the assessment, if any. The governing
body may, thereafter, adopt, revise, reduce, or modify the assessment
or charge, but may not increase the charge, or may overrule any
and all objections. The determination of the governing body shall
be final. This section shall not apply if the amount of the assessment
is increased, or if the governing body makes any change in the areas
subject to the assessment, compared to the prior year's assessment.
54984.8. After the making of a final determination pursuant to
Sections 54984.5 and 54984.7 and after any required majority approval
by the voter within affected territory the local agency shall cause
the charge to be collected at the same time, and in the same manner,
as is available to it under applicable law.
54984.9. (a) A local agency may, by resolution or ordinance, provide
that charges that have become delinquent, together with interest
and penalties thereon, are a lien on the property when a certificate
is filed in the office of the county recorder pursuant to subdivision
(b), which lien has the force, effect, and priority of a judgment
(b) A lien under this section attaches when the district files
for recordation in the office of the county recorder a certificate
specifying the amount of the delinquent charges together with interest
and penalties thereon; the name of the owner of record of the property
which is subject to the charges; and the assessor's parcel number
and legal description of the property. Within 30 days of receipt
of payment of all amounts due, including recordation fees paid by
the district, the district shall file for recordation a release
of the lien.