Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 7. PLANNING AND LAND USE [65000 - 66499.58]

  ( Heading of Title 7 amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1536. )

DIVISION 1. PLANNING AND ZONING [65000 - 66301]

  ( Heading of Division 1 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1536. )

CHAPTER 9. Protests, Legal Actions, and Audits [66020 - 66025]
  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1572, Sec. 22. )

66020.
  

(a) Any party may protest the imposition of any fees, dedications, reservations, or other exactions imposed on a development project, as defined in Section 66000, by a local agency by meeting both of the following requirements:

(1) Tendering any required payment in full or providing satisfactory evidence of arrangements to pay the fee when due or ensure performance of the conditions necessary to meet the requirements of the imposition.

(2) Serving written notice on the governing body of the entity, which notice shall contain all of the following information:

(A) A statement that the required payment is tendered or will be tendered when due, or that any conditions which have been imposed are provided for or satisfied, under protest.

(B) A statement informing the governing body of the factual elements of the dispute and the legal theory forming the basis for the protest.

(b) Compliance by any party with subdivision (a) shall not be the basis for a local agency to withhold approval of any map, plan, permit, zone change, license, or other form of permission, or concurrence, whether discretionary, ministerial, or otherwise, incident to, or necessary for, the development project. This section does not limit the ability of a local agency to ensure compliance with all applicable provisions of law in determining whether or not to approve or disapprove a development project.

(c) Where a reviewing local agency makes proper and valid findings that the construction of certain public improvements or facilities, the need for which is directly attributable to the proposed development, is required for reasons related to the public health, safety, and welfare, and elects to impose a requirement for construction of those improvements or facilities as a condition of approval of the proposed development, then in the event a protest is lodged pursuant to this section, that approval shall be suspended pending withdrawal of the protest, the expiration of the limitation period of subdivision (d) without the filing of an action, or resolution of any action filed. This subdivision confers no new or independent authority for imposing fees, dedications, reservations, or other exactions not presently governed by other law.

(d) (1) A protest filed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be filed at the time of approval or conditional approval of the development or within 90 days after the date of the imposition of the fees, dedications, reservations, or other exactions to be imposed on a development project. Each local agency shall provide to the project applicant a notice in writing at the time of the approval of the project or at the time of the imposition of the fees, dedications, reservations, or other exactions, a statement of the amount of the fees or a description of the dedications, reservations, or other exactions, and notification that the 90-day approval period in which the applicant may protest has begun.

(2) Any party who files a protest pursuant to subdivision (a) may file an action to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the imposition of the fees, dedications, reservations, or other exactions imposed on a development project by a local agency within 180 days after the delivery of the notice. Thereafter, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, all persons are barred from any action or proceeding or any defense of invalidity or unreasonableness of the imposition. Any proceeding brought pursuant to this subdivision shall take precedence over all matters of the calendar of the court except criminal, probate, eminent domain, forcible entry, and unlawful detainer proceedings.

(e) If the court finds in favor of the plaintiff in any action or proceeding brought pursuant to subdivision (d), the court shall direct the local agency to refund the unlawful portion of the payment, with interest at the rate of 8 percent per annum, or return the unlawful portion of the exaction imposed.

(f) (1) If the court grants a judgment to a plaintiff invalidating, as enacted, all or a portion of an ordinance or resolution enacting a fee, dedication, reservation, or other exaction, the court shall direct the local agency to refund the unlawful portion of the payment, plus interest at an annual rate equal to the average rate accrued by the Pooled Money Investment Account during the time elapsed since the payment occurred, or to return the unlawful portion of the exaction imposed.

(2) If an action is filed within 120 days of the date at which an ordinance or resolution to establish or modify a fee, dedication, reservation, or other exactions to be imposed on a development project takes effect, the portion of the payment or exaction invalidated shall also be returned to any other person who, under protest pursuant to this section and under that invalid portion of that same ordinance or resolution as enacted, tendered the payment or provided for or satisfied the exaction during the period from 90 days prior to the date of the filing of the action which invalidates the payment or exaction to the date of the entry of the judgment referenced in paragraph (1).

(g) Approval or conditional approval of a development occurs, for the purposes of this section, when the tentative map, tentative parcel map, or parcel map is approved or conditionally approved or when the parcel map is recorded if a tentative map or tentative parcel map is not required.

(h) The imposition of fees, dedications, reservations, or other exactions occurs, for the purposes of this section, when they are imposed or levied on a specific development.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 549, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1997.)

66021.
  

(a) Any party on whom a fee, tax, assessment, dedication, reservation, or other exaction has been imposed, the payment or performance of which is required to obtain governmental approval of a development, as defined by Section 65927, or development project, may protest the establishment or imposition of the fee, tax, assessment, dedication, reservation, or other exaction as provided in Section 66020.

(b) The protest procedures of subdivision (a) do not apply to the protest of any tax or assessment (1) levied pursuant to a principal act that contains protest procedures, or (2) that is pledged to secure payment of the principal of, or interest on, bonds or other public indebtedness.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 689, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 1999.)

66022.
  

(a) Any judicial action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul an ordinance, resolution, or motion adopting a new fee or service charge, or modifying or amending an existing fee or service charge, adopted by a local agency, as defined in Section 66000, shall be commenced within 120 days of the effective date of the ordinance, resolution, or motion.

If an ordinance, resolution, or motion provides for an automatic adjustment in a fee or service charge, and the automatic adjustment results in an increase in the amount of a fee or service charge, any action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the increase shall be commenced within 120 days of the effective date of the increase.

(b)Any action by a local agency or interested person under this section shall be brought pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 860) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(c) This section shall apply only to fees, capacity charges, and service charges described in and subject to Sections 66013, 66014, and 66016.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 643, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2007.)

66023.
  

(a) Any person may request an audit in order to determine whether any fee or charge levied by a local agency exceeds the amount reasonably necessary to cover the cost of any product, public facility, as defined in Section 66000, or service provided by the local agency. If a person makes that request, the legislative body of the local agency may retain an independent auditor to conduct an audit to determine whether the fee or charge is reasonable, but is not required to conduct the audit if an audit has been performed for the same fee within the previous 12 months.

(b) To the extent that the audit determines that the amount of any fee or charge does not meet the requirements of this section, the local agency shall adjust the fee accordingly. This subdivision does not apply to a fee authorized pursuant to Section 17620 of the Education Code, or Sections 65995.5 and 65995.7.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (h), the local agency shall retain an independent auditor to conduct an audit only if the person who requests the audit deposits with the local agency the amount of the local agency’s reasonable estimate of the cost of the independent audit. At the conclusion of the audit, the local agency shall reimburse unused sums, if any, or the requesting person shall pay the local agency the excess of the actual cost of the audit over the sum which was deposited.

(d) Any audit conducted by an independent auditor to determine whether a fee or charge levied by a local agency exceeds the amount reasonably necessary to cover the cost of providing the product or service shall conform to generally accepted auditing standards.

(e) The procedures specified in this section shall be alternative and in addition to those specified in Section 54985.

(f) The Legislature finds and declares that oversight of local agency fees is a matter of statewide interest and concern. It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature that this chapter shall supersede all conflicting local laws and shall apply in charter cities.

(g) This section shall not be construed as granting any additional authority to any local agency to levy any fee or charge which is not otherwise authorized by another provision of law, nor shall its provisions be construed as granting authority to any local agency to levy a new fee or charge when other provisions of law specifically prohibit the levy of a fee or charge.

(h) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), if a local agency does not comply with subdivision (b) of Section 66006 following the establishment, increase, or imposition of a fee, but requires payment of that fee in connection with the approval of a development project for three consecutive years, the local agency shall not require a deposit for an independent audit requested pursuant to this section and shall pay the cost of the audit.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 357, Sec. 1. (SB 1202) Effective January 1, 2019.)

66024.
  

(a) In any judicial action or proceeding to validate, attack, review, set aside, void, or annul any ordinance or resolution providing for the imposition of a development fee by any city, county, or district in which there is at issue whether the development fee is a special tax within the meaning of Section 50076, the city, county, or district has the burden of producing evidence to establish that the development fee does not exceed the cost of the service, facility, or regulatory activity for which it is imposed.

(b) No party may initiate any action or proceeding pursuant to subdivision (a) unless both of the following requirements are met:

(1) The development fee was directly imposed on the party as a condition of project approval.

(2) At least 30 days prior to initiating the action or proceeding, the party requests the city, county, or district to provide a copy of the documents which establish that the development fee does not exceed the cost of the service, facility, or regulatory activity for which it is imposed. In accordance with Section 6257, the city, county, or district may charge a fee for copying the documents requested pursuant to this paragraph.

(c) For purposes of this section, costs shall be determined in accordance with fundamental fairness and consistency of method as to the allocation of costs, expenses, revenues, and other items included in the calculation.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1572, Sec. 22.)

66025.
  

“Local agency,” as used in this chapter, means a local agency as defined in Section 66000.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1572, Sec. 22.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV