Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 4. GOVERNMENT OF CITIES [34000 - 45345]

  ( Title 4 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 79. )

DIVISION 2. ORGANIZATION AND BOUNDARIES [34400 - 34906]

  ( Division 2 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 79. )

PART 1. ORGANIZATION [34400 - 34906]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 79. )

CHAPTER 4. Alternative Forms of Government [34851 - 34906]

  ( Heading of Chapter 4 renumbered from Chapter 7 by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1253. )

ARTICLE 2. Election of Legislative Body By or From Districts in Cities [34870 - 34886]
  ( Article 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 278. )

34870.
  

This article applies only to cities.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 278.)

34871.
  

At any municipal election, or special election held for that purpose, the legislative body may submit to the registered voters an ordinance providing for the election of members of the legislative body in any of the following ways:

(a) By districts in five, seven, or nine districts.

(b) From districts in five, seven, or nine districts.

(c) By districts in four, six, or eight districts, with an elective mayor pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 34900).

(d) From districts in four, six, or eight districts, with an elective mayor pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 34900).

The term “by districts” as used in this article shall mean election of members of the legislative body by voters of the district alone. The term “from districts” shall mean election of members of the legislative body who are residents of the district from which they are elected by the voters of the entire city. “Geographical area making up the district” shall in the case of elections by district mean the district, and in the case of elections from districts shall mean the entire city except with respect to the residence requirements imposed by Section 34882.

That ordinance may also be qualified for the ballot by means of an initiative measure in accordance with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 9200) of Division 9 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 68. Effective January 1, 1995.)

34872.
  

An ordinance shall state the number of legislative districts and whether members of the legislative body shall be elected by districts, from districts, by districts with an elective mayor, or from districts with an elective mayor.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 736, Sec. 1. (AB 278) Effective January 1, 2017.)

34873.
  

An ordinance enacted pursuant to this article may be amended or repealed in the same manner; provided, the term of office of any council member elected shall not be affected.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 699, Sec. 7. (SB 894) Effective January 1, 2011.)

34874.
  

No amendatory ordinance altering the boundaries of the legislative districts established pursuant to this article shall be submitted to the registered voters until the ordinance has been submitted to the planning commission of the city or, in absence of a planning commission, to the legislative body of said city for an examination as to the definiteness and certainty of the boundaries of the legislative districts proposed.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 745.)

34875.
  

The amendatory ordinance shall not be submitted to the voters if (a) one or more of the legislative districts do not close, (b) one or more entire legislative districts are eliminated prior to the termination of the term of office of the council member of or from the district, (c) the effect is that a greater number of council members will be qualified to hold office concurrently than are authorized by this article or the amendatory ordinance.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 699, Sec. 8. (SB 894) Effective January 1, 2011.)

34876.
  

The planning commission of the city or, in absence of such body, the legislative body of the city shall make findings as to the matters set forth in Section 34875 by resolution within 90 days after submission of the amendatory ordinance to the city clerk. Failure to make findings shall be constituted as a finding of compliance with Section 34875.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 278.)

34876.5.
  

(a) If an ordinance is submitted to the voters pursuant to Section 34871, there shall be printed on the ballots substantially as follows:

“Shall members of the legislative body of the City of ____ be elected by (or from) districts?”

or, if applicable:

“Shall members of the legislative body of the City of ____ be elected by (or from) districts, and the Mayor of the City of ____ be elected on a citywide basis by the voters of the entire city?”

followed by the words “Yes” and “No,” so printed that the voters may express their choice.

(b) If a majority of the voters voting on the proposed ordinance vote in its favor, members of the legislative body shall be elected in the manner approved by the voters beginning at the first election following approval of the district boundaries pursuant to Section 34877.5, and for which the election consolidation deadlines established in the Elections Code have not passed.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 736, Sec. 2. (AB 278) Effective January 1, 2017.)

34877.
  

The proposition of altering legislative districts shall be printed on the ballots substantially as follows:

“Shall members of the legislative body of the City of ____ be elected by (or from) districts described in Ordinance No. ____?”

or, if applicable:

“Shall members of the legislative body of the City of ____ be elected by (or from) districts described in Ordinance No. ____, and the Mayor of the City of ____ be elected on a citywide basis by the voters of the entire city?”

followed by the words “Yes” and “No,” so printed that the voters may express their choice.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 736, Sec. 3. (AB 278) Effective January 1, 2017.)

34877.5.
  

(a) After an ordinance is passed by the voters pursuant to Section 34876.5, or after an ordinance is enacted by the legislative body pursuant to Section 34886, the legislative body shall prepare a proposed map that describes the boundaries and numbers of the districts for the legislative body. In preparing the proposed map, the legislative body may seek public input, including accepting proposed maps submitted by the public.

(b) If the legislative body is changing from an at-large method of election to a district-based election, as those terms are defined in Section 14026 of the Elections Code, the legislative body shall hold public hearings pursuant to Section 10010 of the Elections Code. If the legislative body is otherwise adjusting the district boundaries, the legislative body shall hold public hearings on the proposed district boundaries pursuant to Section 21607 of the Elections Code.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 736, Sec. 4. (AB 278) Effective January 1, 2017.)

34878.
  

If a majority of the registered voters of the city, who vote, vote in favor of the ordinance, at the expiration of the terms of office of the members of the legislative body, or as provided by ordinance, members of the legislative body shall be elected by (or from) the districts described, or by or from districts with an elective mayor, and in the manner provided.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 745.)

34879.
  

The term of office of members of the legislative body elected pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be four years, unless otherwise expressly provided.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 278.)

34880.
  

(a) If the petition or proposal developed by the commission for submission to the electorate for incorporation or special reorganization of a city provides for the election of members of the legislative body by (or from) districts and includes substantially the provisions required to be included in an ordinance providing for that election, including Section 34871, the members of the legislative body shall be elected in the manner provided in the petition or proposal.

(b) The members of the legislative body shall hold office until the next general municipal election. At the next general municipal election the members elected by or from the even-numbered districts shall hold office for four years and the members elected by or from the odd-numbered districts shall hold office for two years. Thereafter the term of office is four years.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 761, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)

34881.
  

One member of the legislative body shall be elected by or from each district, or, if applicable, one member of the legislative body shall be elected by or from each district constituting a geographical division of the city, and the mayor shall be elected on a citywide basis. With the possible exception as to the number of members of the legislative body, the officers of the city remain the same.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 652.)

34882.
  

A person is not eligible to hold office as a member of a municipal legislative body unless he or she is otherwise qualified, resides in the district and both resided in the geographical area making up the district from which he or she is elected and was a registered voter of the city at the time nomination papers are issued to the candidate as provided for in Section 10227 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 69. Effective January 1, 1995.)

34883.
  

Registered voters signing nomination petitions or voting for a member of the legislative body shall be residents of the geographical area making up the district from which the member is to be elected.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 745.)

34884.
  

(a) If, at the time a vote is held on the subject of incorporation of a new city, a majority of the votes cast is for incorporation and, if, in accordance with Section 57116, a majority of the votes cast on the question of whether members of the city council in future elections are to be elected by district or at large is in favor of election by district, all of the following procedures apply:

(1) Before the first day on which voters may nominate candidates for election at the next regular municipal election, the legislative body shall, by ordinance or resolution, establish the boundaries of the districts of the legislative body. The districts shall be as nearly equal in population as may be. The districts shall comply with applicable provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10301 et seq.), as amended. In establishing the boundaries of the districts, the legislative body may consider the following factors:

(A) Topography.

(B) Geography.

(C) Cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory.

(D) Community of interests of the districts.

(2) The terms of office of the two members elected with the lowest vote shall expire on the Tuesday succeeding the next regular municipal election. At that election, members shall be elected by district in the even-numbered districts and shall hold office for four years.

(3) The terms of office of the three members elected with the highest vote shall expire on the Tuesday succeeding the second regular municipal election following the incorporation. At that election, members shall be elected by district in the odd-numbered districts and shall hold office for four years.

(b) The result of the vote cast on the question of whether members of the city council in future elections are to be elected by district or at large shall not preclude the submission to the voters at any future election of a measure in accordance with Section 34871.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 736, Sec. 5. (AB 278) Effective January 1, 2017.)

34886.
  

Notwithstanding Section 34871 or any other law, the legislative body of a city may adopt an ordinance that requires the members of the legislative body to be elected by district or by district with an elective mayor, as described in subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 34871, without being required to submit the ordinance to the voters for approval. An ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall include a declaration that the change in the method of electing members of the legislative body is being made in furtherance of the purposes of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 14025) of Division 14 of the Elections Code).

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 751, Sec. 1. (AB 2220) Effective January 1, 2017.)

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