Roll Call
1. Discuss and provide direction on the City's current annexation policy and future research to assist with evaluating the sphere of influence. The sphere of influence is a designation for land that is unincorporated, but likely to be annexed into the City in the future.


Chino’s Sphere of Influence was established in the 1970’s. The Sphere of Influence (the Sphere) is a designation for land that is unincorporated, but likely to be annexed into the City in the future. While the City is required by state law to have a plan for the Sphere, the County has sole land use authority within unincorporated areas, including Spheres of Influence. The 1981 General Plan Land Use Element illustrated a land use plan for the Sphere, which generally designated the area for rural residential at one unit per acre. When the City updated its General Plan in 2010, a majority of the property changed to a two unit per acre designation, as many properties had already been subdivided at this density in conformance with County zoning. Maps of the northern and western Sphere are attached showing the existing (2010) City land use designations.

The Local Agency Formation Commission governs the establishment and modification of Spheres of Influence. The City of Chino is the sole sewer provider within the Sphere. Chino has had a history of annexing territory adjacent to its boundaries, both to provide sewer service and facilitate development. The last major annexations, occurring in 1999 and 2003, incorporated large territory into the City from the former San Bernardino County Agricultural Preserve. Since that time, only a couple of small annexations and boundary adjustments have taken place. In the last two years, however, several formal applications for pre-zoning and annexation have been submitted to the City.

City Council Resolution 2006-028 (attached) states that properties seeking sewer service may be required to annex to the City, but at a minimum, an Irrevocable Offer of Annexation is required to be executed, and if the connection is for a proposed development project, it must be consistent with the City’s General Plan and development standards. Since December of 2015, however, the City Council has insisted on annexation as a prerequisite for sewer service. This is due to that fact that Irrevocable Offers have been executed on many properties over the years, but these properties have yet to annex into the City.

There are currently four applications for annexations and development in the County that were submitted prior to Measure H:

  1. A proposed General Plan Amendment and Pre-zone on the north side of Riverside Drive between Pipeline and Roswell Avenues. The land is zoned Mixed-Use, 20 units per acre, but the developer is seeking to lower the density.
  2. A proposed General Plan Amendment to Commercial for an Assisted Living Facility on the north side of Chino Avenue, between Serenity Trail and the 71 Freeway.
  3. A proposed Pre-zone and General Plan Amendment to RD 4.5 for a 4.4-acre lot at the northwest corner of Francis and Telephone.
  4. Chino-Francis Estates, a proposed tract map for 43 single-family homes developed at a density of 3.2 units per acre, and a General Plan Amendment and Pre-zone to RD 4.5.

In order to provide for due process rights, the City cannot reject these applications, but must process them and allow the applicant a public hearing before the City Council. Additionally, since these applications are pending a hearing, the Council may not comment on or deliberate on these applications at this time, but must wait for an agendized public hearing on the item.





Staff is seeking direction on the necessary information to gather to help the Council make a decision regarding annexation of the Sphere in the future. This could include:

·         A demographic analysis;

·         An existing land use analysis;

·         An economic analysis, including property tax data and cost for services;

·         A statistically significant public opinion survey, to test the Sphere residents’ desire to annex to the City; and

·         An infrastructure analysis, looking at existing and future backbone streets, storm drain, and sewer.


Attachments:              Sphere of Influence Maps

                            Resolution No. 2006-028


a. 1a West SOI Map
b. 1b_North SOI Map
c. 1c_R2006-028
2. Discuss and provide direction on Chino Municipal Code Chapter 20.15 that serves to establish maximum densities for residential lands in Chino pursuant to Measure M, passed by the voters of the City of Chino on November 8, 1988.


Measure M was adopted by the voters of Chino in 1988. It is a growth-control measure that prevents the City from increasing the residential density of land, unless approved by the voters of Chino and is codified at Chino Municipal Code §§ 20.15.010 (and following sections). 

In relevant part, the code provides “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of the general plan, the maximum density of any land designated for a residential use within the city shall not exceed the density for such land established by the zoning map and the zoning ordinance of the city, or any development agreements in effect on November 8, 1988, excepting senior housing projects.”  (Emphasis added.)

Measure M as adopted by the votes only applies to territory that was “within the [C]ity” of Chino’s geographic boundaries as of November 8, 1988. Territory subsequently annexed into the City, as well as the territory not within the City but within its “Sphere of Influence” (as determined by the Local Agency Formation Commission (“LAFCO”) are not subject to this measure.

Since Measure M was enacted, all voters of Chino have been deemed eligible to vote on all ballot measures that would permit density increases on residential property above that allowed by Measure M.

Because Measure M was adopted by the voters, any changes to the prohibitions in Measure M require voter approval and would be subject to the requirements of the state Elections Code.



As a result of the recent election for Measure H, the City Council has requested a review of Measure M. The City Attorney’s Office has been tasked with evaluating some options and reached the following preliminary conclusions:

Permissible changes to Measure M:

·         Measure M could be changed, consistent with recent actions of the City Council to elect councilmembers by district, to require that applications to increase permissible zoning beyond the limits set by Measure M be submitted only to the voters within the council district where the property proposed for increased zoning density is geographically located.

Prohibited changes to Measure M:

·         Measure M could not be amended to apply to some or all of the unincorporated County territory within the City “Sphere of Influence” either prior to or as a condition of annexation into the City.  Such a change would be pre-empted by state law.

·         Measure M could not be amended to apply to prohibit any General Plan amendments for some or all of the unincorporated County territory within the City “Sphere of Influence” either prior to or as a condition of annexation into the City.  Such an amendment would be pre-empted by state law.

·         Measure M could not be amended to limit the right to vote on increasing the residential density of territory subject to Measure M to voters within the geographic boundaries of the City (or of a council district) as of the adoption of Measure M in 1988.  Such an amendment would likely violate the Federal Voting Rights Act.

Uncertain Issues

·         Amendments to Measure M that would make it inconsistent with requirements for providing the City’s share of the Regional Housing Need, as required by state Housing Element laws.

·         Other issues to be determined at the workshop, based on discussion.

Ultimately, staff is seeking direction from the City Council on whether they desire any changes to Measure M, and if so, to prepare a referendum to submit to the voters of Chino the proposed changes. Should the Council want to make any changes, the City Attorney will prepare ballot measure language for Council consideration, in order to place the measure on the November 2018 ballot.


Attachments:              Measure M Resolution No. 1988-40

Measure M History - Election Results from 1988 through 2017

No on H Voting Percentages by Precinct


a. 2a_R1988-040
b. 2b_Measure M Election Results
c. 2c_Measure H Districts Map