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California Municipal Law Blog

Under Proposition 26, Cities are Limited When Transferring Utility Receipts Into General Fund

by on February 4, 2015

posted in Propositions 13/26/218, Public Utilities,

Under a court ruling issued in January of this year, cities must be careful when transferring money from utility accounts into the general fund. The City of Redding owns an electrical utility.  Because it is publicly owned, it is exempt from the one percent ad valorem tax imposed on privately-owned California utilities.  The City requires the utility department to pay the city’s general fund a one percent “Payment In Lieu Of Taxes,” or “PILOT” fee, for the city’s general use. In Citizens for Fair REU Rates v. City of Redding, the state Court of Appeal held that the PILOT ... Continue Reading

tags: General Fund, PILOT Fee, Proposition 26,

Attorney General Interprets “Section 201” of the Emergency Medical Services Act

by on February 1, 2015

posted in Emergency Medical Services,

The Attorney General has recently issued an opinion covering questions that counties and cities have expressed concerning “Section 201” of the Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) Act. The opinion addresses some ambiguities in the administration of Health & Safety Code section 1797.201 (known as “Section 201”) concerning “grandfathered” city and fire-district EMS providers.  ... Continue Reading

tags: EMS Act, Grandfathered EMS Providers, Local EMS Agencies, Section 201,

FPPC Releases New Rule Covering Conflicts of Interests In Land Use Applications

by on January 27, 2015

posted in Ethics, Zoning,

The Fair Political Practices Commission (“FPPC”) has adopted new rules to determine whether a public official has a conflict of interest when his or her real property interest is located near to a land use application. Under the old rules, if any part of an official’s real property (or interest in real property with a fair market value of $2,000.00 or more) was located within 500 feet of the property lines of a land use application, the official was considered to have a conflict of interest because it was assumed that there would be a material financial effect (whether positive or negative) ... Continue Reading

tags: conflicts of interest, FPPC, Land Use Applications,

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies How and When Local Agencies Must Communicate Denials of Cell Tower Applications

by on January 26, 2015

posted in Recent Court Decisions, Zoning,

A cellular carrier applies for entitlements to erect a cell tower that a city council finds objectionable.  The council wishes to deny the application.  How and when must the council communicate the reasons for the denial to the applicant? In T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, the United States Supreme Court answered these questions.  It confirmed that denials of cell tower applications must be in writing, but not necessarily in a specific format, such as a formal statement of denial.  The Court also clarified that the denial must be communicated about the same time as the denial is made.  ... Continue Reading

tags: Cell Towers, Telecommunications Act of 1996,

Court Holds New Pension Formulas Do Not Constitutionally Impair Existing MOUs

by on January 24, 2015

posted in Employee Benefits, Recent Court Decisions, Retirement,

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, recently held, in Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County v. County of San Diego, that the implementation of new defined benefit formula provisions for “new members” does not impermissibly impair agreements with employee groups where the pre-existing agreements contain conflicting terms.  ... Continue Reading

tags: CalPERS, MOUs, PEPRA, retirement benefits,