The City of Calabasas
welcomes Mont Calabasas residents to the Calabasas website!
provides links to information about potential annexation into the City
of Calabasas, details on the benefits to joining Calabasas, and a number of frequently asked questions
about annexation. Mont Calabasas residents are urged to
contact the City with any questions not answered on this page.
On July 13, 2011,
Formation Commission for Los Angeles County (LAFCO) approved the
Mont Calabasas annexation into the City of Calabasas.
Please click here to view the City's press
The following list is a summary of
key benefits of annexation. For details on these and other City
programs and services, please consult the City website (www.cityofcalabasas.com).
Frequently Asked Questions
(click on question for answer):
Annexation Background Information
▪ The Benefits of Annexation ▪
LAFCO Process Flowchart
Status Update - June 16, 2011:
On June 8, 2011 the Local
Agency Formation Commission for Los Angeles County (LAFCO)
conducted the protest hearing regarding the proposed
annexation. At the hearing the LAFCO Executive Officer
reported preliminary protest tallies (e.g., written
protests received to-date prior to the hearing)
a total of 177 registered voters in the community, 19
voters filed written protests (approximately 10.7%);
144 total parcels in the community, 14 property owners
filed written protests (representing approximately 12.6%
of the total assessed valuation).
At the protest hearing no
property owners nor any registered voters from Mont
Calabasas personally attended to submit additional
protest documents. LAFCO closed the hearing, which
concluded the protest period, and no additional protest
filings can be accepted afterward. Accordingly, the
final tallies are expected to be very similar to the
reported preliminary tallies. Final tallies will be
reported to LAFCO by LAFCO staff at the commission’s
next meeting, scheduled for 9:00a.m. on July 13, 2011.
Based upon the preliminary
figures and the strong likelihood they will hold true,
the final results are expected to fall far short of the
statutory thresholds necessary to push the matter to an
election (at least 25% but below 50%), or to terminate
the annexation (at least 50%). Therefore, while
official LAFCO action may take place only after LAFCO
receives the final tallies on July 13, 2011, it seems
clear that the annexation will proceed.
In the meantime, as
always, Mont Calabasas residents are encouraged to
consult the City’s web site (www.cityofcalabasas.com)
for information on city programs and events, the various
city departments, City Council and commission agendas,
and many other municipal services.
Mont Calabasas has been identified as a potential
candidate for annexation in the City’s General Plan for the past 16
years. On February 20, 2008 the City Council adopted a resolution of
annexation to formally initiate an annexation to bring Mont
Calabasas into the City under applicable state law. Then, on May 12,
2009 the City filed an application with the Local Agency Formation
Commission (LAFCO) of Los Angeles County requesting consideration of
Before LAFCO could officially consider the matter, the City
was required to accomplish several pre-requisites:
Pre-zone the proposed annexation area.
On June 4, 2008 the City passed Ordinance No. 2009-258 pre-zoning the Mont
Calabasas annexation area in conformance with land use designations in the
City’s 2030 General Plan. The pre-zoning matches the City’s zoning
districts to the existing land uses in the area and nothing will change.
For example, the city’s “Residential-Single Family” zoning is applied to the
existing single-family residential properties in the existing subdivision;
likewise, the commercially zoned site is zoned identically to the County’s
commercial zoning, and the open space areas are pre-zoned to “Open Space-
Prepare and adopt a joint tax-sharing resolution.
On November 9, 2010 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a
Joint Resolution regarding the exchange of property tax revenue, and a
similar resolution was previously adopted by the Calabasas City Council on
August 25, 2010.
Following these necessary pre-requisites, the annexation
process shifted to LAFCO in accordance with procedures specified in the
Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 (state
law). Accordingly, LAFCO conducted a public hearing on April 13, 2011, in
advance of which LAFCO mailed notices to all property owners and registered
voters in the area. At the public hearing LAFCO approved the annexation. A
second hearing will now be held by LAFCO on June 8, 2011 for the sole
purpose of calculating any written protests from property owners and/or
registered voters within the annexation area. If a sufficient number of
written protests are received, LAFCO will order an election to take place
wherein only the registered voters within the annexation area will receive
ballots. (Please see the accompanying diagram for detailed explanation of
the LAFCO public hearing and protest processes and applicable thresholds for
protest hearing and election.) The annexation will be completed if the
number of written protests fails to reach established thresholds or the
results of an election are positive in favor of the annexation. If this
occurs Mont Calabasas would be within the City on the date the annexation is
recorded by the LAFCO staff.
Synopsis of LAFCO Public Hearings Process for Annexations
NOTE: This chart is for
informational purposes only and is not intended to replicate the
precise meaning and intent of the Cortese-Knox-Herzberg Act (Cal.
Gov. Code Section 56000 et. Seq.). Interested persons are encouraged
to consult the LAFCO website for more specific information regarding
the annexation process and timelines (www.lalafco.org).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’ve heard that the City will have to
zone and/or build affordable housing on the vacant land in front of Mont
Calabasas as a condition of the annexation – is this true?
A: Absolutely not. Like all other
counties and cities in the state of California, Los Angeles County and the
City of Calabasas are required by law to plan for future growth in a manner
that includes expanded housing capacities. Calabasas has complied with
this requirement with its recently updated 2030 General Plan. The 2030
General Plan anticipates annexation of Mont Calabasas as-is, and with
the commercial site to remain 100% commercial (office and retail uses), as
entitled under the County and with no housing. Also, the negotiated
agreement between the County and the City regarding a transfer of nine
housing units from the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation
for L.A County to the RHNA allocation for Calabasas will have no impact
whatsoever on Mont Calabasas because the City has the capacity to absorb
these housing units as documented in the Housing Element of the City’s 2030
General Plan. This capacity exists throughout the city in the form of
zoned but undeveloped residential properties throughout the city, and does
not include any properties located within any proposed annexation area.
Q: How was Mont Calabasas
identified to be annexed to the City of Calabasas?
A: Two years ago
Calabasas adopted an updated General Plan which identified
several north lying areas “bookended” by Calabasas as having the
potential for being annexed in to the City. However, the
adoption of the 2030 General Plan was not the first time Mont
Calabasas had been identified for possible annexation – the
city’s original General Plan (in 1995) also identified Mont
Calabasas for annexation.
Q: What costs, if any, will
residents be required to pay if Mont Calabasas is annexed?
A: First of all, 100% of
the costs of processing the annexation are being paid by the
City of Calabasas and the property owners and residents of Mont
Calabasas will not pay any part of those costs. Also, property
taxes will not be affected at all by the annexation. There will
be a slight change in the utility user tax (UUT) rate --
currently Mont Calabasas residents pay UUT at a rate of 4.5%,
while the City charges 5.0% for UUT. However, prior to 2008 the
County rate was 5.0% but was lowered to 4.5% in 2008 via passage
of Measure U; and although the rate went down to 4.5% additional
utilities were added so the comparative cost to taxpayers is
likely a wash or only slightly higher, depending on individual
usage of the various utility services. Also, the annual lighting
district fee (currently $5.00 annually per household) will
increase to $28.00 annually (the City district rate).
Q: How much money
will the City of Calabasas receive from Mont Calabasas if it is
A: The City of Calabasas
currently receives an average of 4.7 cents from every dollar
that our residents pay in property tax. Based upon the Tax
Sharing Agreement between the City and Los Angeles County, as
approved by both the Calabasas City Council and the Los Angeles
County Board of Supervisors, the share of property tax to be
collected by the City for properties located in Mont Calabasas
will likewise be approximately 4.7% of every tax dollar.
Accordingly, and based upon the latest assessment rolls, the
amount of property tax projected to come to the City is
approximately $90,000 yearly.
Additionally, the City charges
5.0% Utility Users Tax (UUT); thus, upon annexation, UUT
revenues would come to the City instead of the County. Assuming
a typical home in Mont Calabasas pays an average of $500 for
monthly utility expenses (electricity, gas, and telephone), then
approximately $25 per home per month would be paid in UUT.
Accordingly, $2,750 would come to the City monthly, and on a
yearly basis that totals roughly $33,000.
So, the total
amount that the City of Calabasas would receive if Mont
Calabasas is annexed would be about $123,000.
Q: How would this money be used?
A: 100% of this money
would be spent locally to pay for City services, Sheriff and
Fire Department services, roads, medians, community programs,
and everything that makes Calabasas such a great place to live.
And more importantly, money will be spent on projects in the
immediate vicinity of Mont Calabasas. Currently, this local tax
money is collected by the County of Los Angeles and spent
throughout the County.
Q: How is the City’s Financial Condition?
A: The City’s financial condition
continues to be very sound. Standard & Poor’s, an independent investment
rating service, recently upgraded the City’s underlying credit rating to
“AA+” from “AA” while affirming a stable outlook. We are very proud that at
a time when many cities are facing downgrades of their municipal debt, that
our City has the kind of strong financial condition that would prompt an
upgrade. You can view the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for
Q: If Mont Calabasas is annexed
to the City, who will provide emergency services (fire protection
and law enforcement)?
A: The Los Angeles
County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff will
continue to provide fire protection and police protection
services for Mont Calabasas residents because both agencies are
under contract to the City of Calabasas (e.g., there will be no
Q: What are the major
differences in the City and Los Angeles County Municipal Codes?
A: Los Angeles County
and Calabasas municipal code are actually very similar. A few
points of interest in the Calabasas municipal code include a
requirement that mobile car wash businesses be licensed to
insure compliance with environmental protection regulations, a
requirement that pet owners clean up after their pet, and the
secondhand smoke control ordinance. (Please visit the City’s web
site where you may peruse the Municipal Code at your leisure.)
Q: Will Calabasas exercise
eminent domain over the open spaces owned by Mont Calabasas?
A: Absolutely not. The
City of Calabasas is well known as a protector of open space and
has never exercised eminent domain to take any property. The
City will not exercise power of eminent domain over any property
owned by Mont Calabasas. In fact most of the open space lands
surrounding Mont Calabasas are already owned by the National
Park Service and are protected accordingly. Furthermore,
Calabasas Code prevents any zoned permanent open space from
being re-zoned to any other land use without first subjecting
any such re-zoning to a general election, at which more than a
two-thirds majority must approve the change. By contrast, L. A.
County can re-zone open space lands at any time without having
to secure voter approval.
Need more information?
Residents with unaddressed
questions are encouraged to contact the City Planner, Tom Bartlett
at (818) 224-1600, or via email at: