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Unincorporated Islands

Urban unincorporated islands are unincorporated lands located within 
a city’s Urban Service Area (USA) that have not yet been annexed into the surrounding city.

In the last several years, the State of California has authorized streamlined procedures without protest hearings for annexation of islands that are 150 acres or smaller in size and that meet certain criteria. These provisions of state law were intended to sunset as of December 31, 2014. Assembly Bill 743, approved by the Governor and effective on January 1, 2014, eliminates the December 31, 2014 time limitation and makes the streamlined island annexation procedures permanent. Additionally, the bill makes islands that meet certain criteria and that are created prior to January 1, 2014, eligible for the streamlined annexation process.

The purpose of these streamlined island annexation provisions is to provide an opportunity for cities to programmatically pursue such annexations. In doing so, the state legislature and governor have recognized and supported the importance of island annexations to promote more logical jurisdictional boundaries, more efficient urban service delivery, and to provide more cohesive urban planning and neighborhood revitalization efforts for these urbanized areas.