Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (DUCs) Definition

On October 7, 2011, Governor Brown signed SB 244 (Wolk)/ This legislation, which took effect on January 1, 2012, provides the requirement that LAFCOs, cities, and counties plan for “Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities” (DUCs). A DUC is defined as an “inhabited territory” (with 12 or more registered voters) that has an annual household income that is less than 80 percent of the statewide median household income (§56033.5). This new law requires that any city annexation proposal greater than 10 acres (or as determined by Commission policy) that is contiguous to a DUC cannot be approved without a companion annexation of the DUC unless a prior application for annexation of the same DUC area was received in the prior five years or the Commission finds that based upon written evidence that a majority of the residents within the DUC are opposed to annexation (§56375[a][8][A through B]).

It also requires that, for an update of a sphere of influence for a city or special district that provides public facilities and/or services for sewers, municipal and industrial water or structural fire on or after July 1, 2012, a written statement of the present and probable need for those services within the DUC must be reviewed and considered by the Commission (§56425[e][5]).

LAFCO Commission Adopted Policies for DUCs

  1. LAFCO shall utilize the ESRI Community Analyst Online, a web-based application, to develop the demographic data needed to define the “disadvantaged unincorporated community” as outlined in Government Code Section 56033.5. The data shall be developed and mapped every five years in years ending in 1 and 6 (for example 2011 and 2016) and made available on the LAFCO website. In addition, a community, as identified in this section, shall be defined as meaning an inhabited area that is comprised of no less than 10 dwellings adjacent or in close proximity to one another.
  2. The Commission determines that no annexation required to be submitted pursuant to this section shall create an island or peninsula of unincorporated territory substantially surrounded by the City to which the annexation is proposed or the annexing city and an adjacent city.
  3. The Commission determines that in implementing subsection (B) (2), it shall consider written evidence of opposition to include an application for sphere of influence removal or petitions for creation of a new government which were unsuccessful.