State law, SB 244 (Wolk), relative to Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (DUCs), took effect on January 1, 2012.
A DUC is defined as an area of “inhabited territory” in which the annual median household income is less than 80 percent of the statewide median household income. Pursuant to State law, an area with 12 or more registered voters is considered to be “Inhabited Territory.”
A Section of SB 244-now codified as Government Code Section 56375(a)(8)-impacts proposals to LAFCO to annex unincorporated territory into cities. This provision of the law imposes restrictions on the approval of city annexations greater than 10 acres where there is a DUC contiguous to the area of the proposed annexation. With some exceptions, LAFCO is prohibited from approving such an annexation unless an application to annex the DUC has also been filed.
A section of SB 244-now codified as Government Code Section 56425(e)(5)-impacts any proposal to update, amend, or change a Sphere of Influence (SOI) involving sewers, municipal and industrial water, or structural fire protection. For these proposals, LAFCO is required to consider the need for these services by DUCs within the agency’s SOI.
LAFCO maintains maps of all DUCs in Los Angeles County on the “Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities” section of LA LAFCO’s website (see links, below).* If your proposal includes an annexation to a city, or an SOI Update that involves sewers, municipal and industrial water, or structural fire protection, you should consult these maps prior to filing an application with LAFCO.
Cities and counties face other requirements due to the passage of SB 244, primarily related to planning for DUCs within each jurisdiction’s General Plan. These provisions of SB 244 do not directly impact LAFCO.
*LAFCO’s maps of DUCs in Los Angeles County were updated on December 8, 2022. These maps are based upon data obtained from the 2016-2020 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is compiled by the Bureau of the Census, a division of the United States Department of Commerce. The GIS data was sourced from the California Department of Water Resources Disadvantaged Communities Data layer and used to create the DUC maps. The current maps replace earlier versions of LAFCO’s maps of DUCS in Los Angeles County (originally the 2005-2009 ACS, the 2009-2013 ACS and the 2014-2018 ACS).