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Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities Information

Senate Bill 244 (Wolk), passed in 2011, was significant for LAFCo-related legislation.  Under SB 244, the Legislature found that cities, counties, and LAFCos need to invest in these communities and begin to address the complex legal, financial, and political barriers that contribute to regional inequity and infrastructure deficits within Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities ("DUCs").

Under SB 224, LAFCOs are required to identify DUCs as part of the following procedures:
- Municipal Service Review Determinations,
- Sphere of Influence Determinations, and
- Proposed annexations hreater than 10 acres to cities.

A DUC is defined by Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 ("CKH") as an inhabited territory (meaning territory within which there reside 12 or more registered voters), or as determined by LAFCo policy, that constitutes all or a portion of a "disadvantaged community" as defined by section 79505.5 of Water Code. The State Water Code defines a "disadvantaged community" as a community with an annual median household income ("MHI") that is less than 80 percent of the statewide annual median household income.

On January 9, 2013, Fresno LAFCo exercised its powers under CKH and adopted local policy which refined the DUC defintion within Fresno LAFCo's jurisdiction. Fresno LAFCo's DUC Policy characterizes DUCs as at least 15 dwelling units at a density not less than one unit per acre. Additionally, LAFCo's policy includes "Legacy Communities" which is defined as a geographically isolated community that meets the DUC criteria, is at least 50 years old, and is beyond the adopted SOI of any City.

In 2015, Fresno LAFCo adopted its first DUC database. On February 12, 2020, Fresno LAFCo comprehensively updated its DUC database based upon updates demographic datasets to estimate median household income levels within the County of Fresno. The 2020 DUC database relies upon information collected through the Commission's Municipal Service Review Program, sphere of influence update program, and demographic information obtained from the United States Census Bureau Americans Community Surveys, five-year reports for years 2012-2016.

If your proposal consists of either an annexation to a city, or a sphere of influence update for a local agency that provides sewer, municipal and industrial water, or structural fire protection, you are encouraged to review the 2020 DUC Database and consult with staff prior to filing an application with LAFCo. The Fresno LAFCo 2020 DUC Database is available through the link below.

Fresno LAFCo 2020 DUC Database  

Additional Resources:
Senate Bill 244 Chaptered
LAFCo - Government Code Section 56033.5
Cities - Government Code Section 65302.10
Office of Planning and Research:  Technical Advisory - SB 244: Land Use, General Plans, and Disadvantaged Communities