Law:Division 19. Levee Districts (California)

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Contents

Part 1. Levee District Law Of 1959

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (wat:70000-70001) Water Code Section 70000-70001



70000. This part shall be known and may be cited as the Levee District Law of 1959.


70001. Nothing in this part affects the provisions of any statute in relation to levee districts now in force.


Chapter 2. Formation

Ca Codes (wat:70030-70047) Water Code Section 70030-70047



70030. The people of a county or a portion of a county, whether the portion includes unincorporated territory or not, may form a levee district for the protection of the lands of the district from overflow and for the purpose of conserving or adding water to the sloughs and drains in the district.


70031. The formation petition shall describe the boundaries of the proposed district and shall pray that it be incorporated into a district.

70032. The formation petition shall be signed by at least 50 percent of the landowners and shall also be signed by the owners of 50 percent of the land to be included in the levee district. The petition may consist of any number of separate instruments. The petition shall be filed with the board of supervisors of the county.


70033. The county elections official of the county containing the proposed district shall publish notice of a hearing on the formation petition pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code.


70034. The notice of the hearing on the formation petition shall contain all of the following: (a) The text of the petition, which need be set forth only once even though contained upon more than one instrument. (b) The number of persons who have signed the petition. (c) At least five of the names attached to the petition. (d) The time of the meeting of the board of supervisors at which the petition will be presented and considered. (e) A statement that all persons interested may then appear and be heard.

70035. No defects in the contents of the petition, or in the form of the required notice, shall vitiate the formation proceedings, if the petition has a sufficient number of qualified signatures attached.

70036. The formation petition shall be presented and considered at a regular meeting of the board of supervisors of the county in which the proposed district is to be situated.


70037. At the time stated in the notice of the hearing the board of supervisors shall hear the petition, and shall hear from any of those who signed the petition and who wish to appear, and shall consider any written protest filed with the clerk of the board prior to the hearing, by or on behalf of owners of taxable property situated within the proposed district. The board of supervisors may adjourn the hearing from time to time, not exceeding four weeks in all.

70038. At the hearing of the formation petition the board of supervisors shall determine whether or not the petition complies with this part and for that purpose shall hear all competent and relevant testimony offered in support of or in opposition thereto. The determination shall be entered upon the minutes of the board of supervisors. A finding of the board of supervisors in favor of the genuineness and sufficiency of the petition and notice shall be conclusive against all persons, except the State in a suit by the Attorney General, commenced within one year after the order of the board of supervisors declaring the district formed.


70039. At the final hearing the board of supervisors may make changes in the boundaries of the proposed district, as may be deemed advisable, and shall then describe the boundaries of the proposed district. In doing this: (a) No land included in the proposed district in the petition, which will be benefited by the district shall be excluded. (b) No land which will not, in the judgment of the board, be benefited by the district shall be included. (c) Upon the application of any person whose land was not included in the petition but whose land will be benefited by the proposed district, the land may, in the discretion of the board, be included.


70040. Upon the final determination of the boundaries of the proposed district, the board of supervisors shall call and give notice of a formation election to be held in the proposed district for the purpose of determining whether or not the district shall be formed. The date of the election shall be not less than 50 days nor more than 60 days from the date of the final hearing on the formation petition.


70041. The notice of the formation election shall contain: (a) The date of the election. (b) A description of the boundaries of the proposed district. (c) The name of the proposed district, which name shall contain the words "Levee District." (d) A statement that the first directors will be elected at that election. The county elections official shall publish the notice once a week for at least two weeks prior to the formation election in one newspaper printed and published in the county.


70041.1. Within five days after the district formation election has been called, the legislative body which has called the election shall transmit, by registered mail, a written notification of the election call to the executive officer of the local agency formation commission of the county or principal county in which the territory or major portion of the territory of the proposed district is located. Such written notice shall include the name and a description of the proposed district, and may be in the form of a certified copy of the resolution adopted by the legislative body calling the district formation election. The executive officer, within five days after being notified that a district formation election has been called, shall submit to the commission, for its approval or modification, an impartial analysis of the proposed district formation. The impartial analysis shall not exceed 500 words in length and shall include a specific description of the boundaries of the district proposed to be formed. The local agency formation commission, within five days after the receipt of the executive officer's analysis, shall approve or modify the analysis and submit it to the officials in charge of conducting the district formation election.

70041.2. The board of supervisors or any member or members of the board authorized by the board, or any individual voter or bona fide association of citizens entitled to vote on the district formation proposition, or any combination of such voters and associations of citizens, may file a written argument for or a written argument against the proposed district formation. Arguments shall not exceed 300 words in length and shall be filed with the officials in charge of conducting the election not less than 54 days prior to the date of the district formation election.


70041.3. If more than one argument for or more than one argument against the proposed district formation is filed with the election officials within the time prescribed, such election officials shall select one of the arguments for printing and distribution to the voters. In selecting the arguments, the election officials shall give preference and priority in the the order named to the arguments of the following: (a) The board of supervisors or any member or members of the board authorized by the board. (b) Individual voters or bona fide associations of citizens or a combination of such voters and associations.


70041.4. The officials in charge of conducting the election shall cause a ballot pamphlet concerning the district formation proposition to be voted on to be printed and mailed to each voter entitled to vote on the district formation question. The ballot pamphlet shall contain the following in the order prescribed: (a) The complete text of the proposition. (b) The impartial analysis of the proposition prepared by the local agency formation commission. (c) The argument for the proposed district formation. (d) The argument against the proposed district formation. The elections officials shall mail a ballot pamphlet to each voter entitled to vote in the district formation election at least 10 days prior to the date of the election. The ballot pamphlet is "official matter" within the meaning of Section 13303 of the Elections Code.


70042. At the formation election: (a) The measure "Shall the proposition to form ____ Levee District under the Levee District Law of 1959 be adopted " shall be submitted. (b) The first directors for the proposed district shall be elected.


70043. The election shall be conducted, the vote canvassed, and the result declared in the same manner provided by the Elections Code, so far as applicable, except as otherwise provided in this part. Each person who wishes to have his name printed on the formation election ballot shall comply with Section 70124. The vote shall be canvassed by the board of supervisors at its next regular meeting, five or more days after the election.


70044. If less than a majority of the votes cast are in favor of formation, the formation shall fail, but without prejudice to renewing proceedings at any time in the future.


70045. If a majority of the votes cast at the formation election are in favor of forming the district, the board of supervisors shall, by an order entered on its minutes, declare the territory formed as a district under the name designated for it, and the county clerk shall immediately cause to be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the district is situated, a certificate stating that the formation of the district was approved by the voters.


70046. No informality in any proceeding, including informality in the conduct of the formation election, not substantially adversely affecting the legal rights of any citizen shall invalidate the organization of a levee district organized under this part.


70047. Except as provided in Section 70038, any proceeding, contesting the validity of the organization of a levee district pursuant to this part, shall be commenced within three months from the date of the recordation of the certificate; subsequently, the organization and legal existence of the district and all proceedings in respect thereto, shall be uncontestable.


Chapter 3. Internal Organization

Article 1. The Board Of Directors

Ca Codes (wat:70070-70078) Water Code Section 70070-70078



70070. A district shall have a board of three directors, each of whom shall be an elector of the district. The term of office of the directors shall be four years except that the directors first elected, upon the formation of the district, who shall serve only until their successors are elected and qualified.


70071. The three directors elected at the election held pursuant to the provisions of the Uniform District Election Law (Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code), or appointed pursuant to Section 10515 of the Elections Code, shall take office at 12 o'clock noon on the first Monday after the January 1st succeeding their election. Directors shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified.


70072. Any vacancies in the offices of the directors shall be filled pursuant to Section 1780 of the Government Code.


70073. Each director shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take an oath of office and file the same with the county clerk. The directors shall, at their first meeting after taking office, elect a chairman and a clerk from their own membership.


70074. The majority of the members of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.


70075. The directors shall keep a minute book in which shall be entered the proceedings of all meetings and shall keep an office for the transaction of the district's business.


70076. The directors shall hold regular meetings on the second Monday of each and every month. Special meetings may be held when all members are present or may be ordered by a majority of the directors by an order in writing, signed by the directors calling such meeting. A one day's notice of a special meeting must be given to the member of the board not joining in the order. All meetings must be held at the office of the district.


70078. Each member of the board shall receive compensation for services actually and necessarily performed, as the board determines to be just and reasonable, and shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of his or her duties as director. The salaries of all officers and employees of the district shall be fixed and determined by the directors. The board of directors shall fix the compensation that the election officers shall receive for district elections. For purposes of this section, the determination of whether a director's activities on any specific day are compensable shall be made pursuant to Article 2.3 (commencing with Section 53232) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code. Reimbursement for these expenses is subject to Sections 53232.2 and 53232.3 of the Government Code.


Article 2. Other Officers And Employees

Ca Codes (wat:70090-70093) Water Code Section 70090-70093



70090. The treasurer of the county in which a district is located shall be the treasurer of the district. The tax collector of the county in which a district is located shall be the tax collector of the district. The auditor of the county in which a district is located shall be the auditor of the district. The assessor of the county in which a district is located shall be the assessor of the district.


70091. The treasurer, tax collector, auditor, and assessor shall each enter into a bond to the district in an amount to be determined by the board of directors for the faithful performance of their official duties and they shall be filed with the board of directors. The premiums for the surety bonds required from the treasurer, tax collector, auditor and assessor shall be paid by the district.


70092. The directors may appoint a district engineer. The construction or repair of any levees or associated works shall be under the direction, and to the satisfaction, of the engineer of the district and shall be subject to the approval of the board.


70093. The directors shall have the power to employ an attorney or attorneys for the purpose of advising them or advising other officers of the district and to prosecute or defend actions brought by or against the district, or any of its officers relative to district matters.


Chapter 4. Elections

Ca Codes (wat:70120-70121) Water Code Section 70120-70121



70120. Except as otherwise provided in this part, districts governed under this part are subject to the provisions of the Uniform District Election Law (Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code).

70121. In order to vote at any district election, including the formation election, a person must be a qualified elector of the district. A "qualified elector of the district" is one who meets all of the following qualifications: (a) He shall be a registered voter. (b) He shall reside in the district. (c) His name shall appear on the last equalized assessment roll of the county. (d) He shall own property assessed within the boundaries of the district.


Chapter 5. Powers And Purposes

Article 1. Powers Generally

Ca Codes (wat:70150-70151) Water Code Section 70150-70151



70150. The district may acquire by purchase, condemnation, gift or other action, drains, canals, sluices, bulkheads, watergates, levees, embankments, pumping plants and pipelines and to purchase, construct or otherwise acquire, maintain and keep in repair all things reasonable or convenient for the protection of the lands of the district from overflow and for the purpose of conserving or adding water to the sloughs and drains in the district.


70151. The district may co-operate and contract with the United States, the State of California, or any department or agency of either, in order to accomplish any of the purposes of the district.


Chapter 6. Financial Provisions

Ca Codes (wat:70200-70204) Water Code Section 70200-70204



70200. All claims for money or damages against the district are governed by Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code except as provided therein, or by other statutes or regulations expressly applicable thereto. Claims not governed thereby or by other statutes or by ordinances or regulations authorized by law and expressly applicable to such claims shall be prepared and presented to the governing body, and all claims shall be audited and paid, in the same manner and with the same effect as similar claims against the county. Upon request from the directors, the auditor shall draw his warrant on the treasurer for the payment of claims.


70201. The auditor shall keep all necessary and proper books of account which shall contain all receipts and expenditures with their source and nature. The books and accounts of the district shall be audited once each year.

70202. All moneys received or collected for or on behalf of the district shall be paid to the treasurer in the same manner as county money is paid to the treasurer. Upon receipt of any money from the tax collector or from any other source the treasurer shall place the same to the credit of the district.


70203. The treasurer shall pay out funds only on warrants drawn by the auditor upon district funds in the same manner as county money is paid out. Warrants presented and not paid for lack of funds shall be registered and bear interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum from date of registration to date of payment or call.


70204. Claims for salaries and services shall be sworn and approved by the board of directors before a warrant is drawn for the same.


Chapter 7. Taxes

Ca Codes (wat:70230-70244) Water Code Section 70230-70244



70230. The board of directors shall avail itself of the equalized assessment roll of the county in which the district is situated, and take such assessments as the basis for district taxation.


70231. On or before the third Monday in August each year, the county auditor shall transmit to the board of directors a written statement showing the total value of all taxable land and improvements within the district, which value shall be ascertained from the equalized assessment roll of the county.


70234. The board of directors shall meet on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of September of each year to determine the rate of tax to be levied for district purposes for the next ensuing year. The amount of money to be raised shall be estimated by including the following: (a) The amount necessary to pay the interest and the part of the principal of the funded debt that will become due in the current year. (b) The amount needed for salaries, wages, repairs, maintenance and operation. (c) The amount needed for salvage, fees and delinquencies. (d) The amount of floating debt that it may be desirable to pay during the current year.


70235. The board shall, after fixing the tax rate, certify the same to the county auditor.


70237. The county auditor shall compute the district tax on the property within the district using the rate of levy so fixed by the board and the assessed value as found in such assessment roll.


70238. The district taxes shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes.


70239. All taxes levied under the provisions of this part shall be a lien on the property on which they are levied. All of the provisions of law, relative to the collection of state and county taxes, including the time for their payment, the giving of notice as to such time of payment, when they become delinquent, the penalties, costs and interest that shall accrue for their nonpayment and the period and manner of redemption are made applicable to the collection, payment, delinquency and redemption of district taxes except when inconsistent with this part.


70240. The tax collector shall sell to the district, for the nonpayment of taxes, the property assessed at the same time and in the same manner as property assessed for state and county taxes is sold. If the delinquent property is not redeemed within the period provided for the redemption of property sold to the State, then the tax collector shall deed the property to the district in the same manner as property is deeded to the State for nonpayment of taxes.


70241. All acts of the officials of the district in the levy and collection of district taxes shall be given the same credence and shall have the same presumptions as to the regularity of such actions as are given by law to the acts of officials charged with the levy and collection of state and county taxes.


70242. All deeds executed by the officers of the district shall be conclusive as to all recitals contained therein and that all acts required by law have been regularly done, and all steps required by law have been regularly taken.

70243. The tax collector shall, when requested, furnish the board a complete list of all delinquent taxes, of the persons owing the same and a certified copy of the assessment contained in the assessment roll.

70244. In the case of a sale of property for taxes or assessments, except where the sale is conducted and the funds are accounted for as provided in Division 1 (commencing with Section 101) of the Revenue and Taxation Code, all proceeds shall be accounted for and distributed as provided in Article 12 (commencing with Section 53925) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.


Chapter 8. Reorganization

Ca Codes (wat:70270-70272) Water Code Section 70270-70272



70270. Whenever any district formed under the Protection District Act of 1880 or any other act for the protection of lands from overflow desires to reorganize under this part the district may bring itself within the provisions of this part by unanimously adopting a resolution stating that they have elected to reorganize under this part. Upon the filing of a certified copy of such resolution with the county clerk and the recording of a certified copy of such resolution with the county recorder of the county wherein said district is located the district shall thereafter be organized and shall operate under and pursuant to the provisions of this part.


70271. The original district directors shall be deemed the successors and legal representatives of the district so reorganized.


70272. This reorganization shall in no manner impair any obligation heretofore legally incurred by the reorganized levee district.


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