What are the costs associated with forming a road zone of benefit? Are there other fees required once the zone is established?

A $350 non-refundable application fee is required. This deposit will be used to defray the initial costs associated with zone formation. Formation charges exceeding the initial deposit can be recovered from the zone's first-year assessment. There may be additional costs incurred in order to meet formation requirements, such as charges by an engineer to prepare a map or legal description. These charges are paid directly to the service provider. The zone must also pay a fee to the California State Board of Equalization, based on its fee schedule. If funding is to be by a special tax, election costs would be payable to the County.

Once established, a zone will be charged annually as follows:

  • A negotiated fee (approximately $2.00 to $3.00 per parcel) to the Auditor for processing costs;
  • A proportionate amount of the cost of a liability insurance policy covering the zone's roads based on the miles of road in each zone;

Administration fees which are specific to the work required in each zone, fees include:

  • The cost of staff time spent administering the zone is paid to the Administration Division of Public Works. Administration includes such activities as processing purchase orders, preparing bid documents and contracts, and reviewing and monitoring the budget for each zone. Because this is a direct billing for time worked, this cost will vary greatly with each zone and is dependent upon the number of calls and issues requiring staff involvement;
  • The cost associated with the budget preparation, monthly reconciliation, and general zone activities are spread to all zones

While there is no "average" zone, annual zone administration fees usually range from $500 to $2000 per zone per year.

Any and all road work is paid from each respective zone's account. Road work within a zone of benefit is governed by the County's Informal Bidding Procedure Ordinance and Public Works contract law. Licensing, bonding, and compliance with prevailing wage standards are required.

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1. I live on a private road that needs to be maintained. The neighbors don't agree on what needs to be done or how much each of us should pay; what can be done?
2. What is a zone of benefit?
3. What are the costs associated with forming a road zone of benefit? Are there other fees required once the zone is established?
4. If some people don't support the formation, can they prevent the zone forming?
5. Who sets and approves our per parcel fee?
6. If a vote is conducted for a benefit assessment and an individual has four contiguous parcels, are they entitled to four votes?
7. If a benefit zone is formed, will the road in the zone be subject to the same regulations that the Streets and Highways Code provides for County-maintained roads?
8. If there are two components to the assessments, capital improvements and maintenance, and the assessment for maintenance is dependent upon whether the parcel is developed?
9. How is approval calculated in a benefit assessment election?
10. Who determines what work needs to be done? Who pays for these services?
11. Are we required to bring our road up to any particular standards? Is there a requirement as to the level of maintenance and/or improvements we must provide?
12. What happens to the money collected from a zone of benefit?
13. What happens to our money if we don't use it all during the year?
14. Can an existing Road Association still levy charges for private road maintenance after a zone of benefit is formed for road maintenance purposes?
15. What about back assessments owed to a Homeowners Association?
16. Are there any restrictions on what can be done on our road?
17. Once a road zone of benefit is established, can it be dissolved?
18. Will an existing Homeowners Association be eliminated when a zone of benefit for road maintenance is formed?
19. Is one of the benefits of being included in a zone of benefit being included in the County self-insurance program?
20. If the design of a road is alleged or proven as casual or contributory to an accident will this type of liability be covered by the County's self-insurance program?
21. Are there any programs available for senior citizens where they can defer their annual payments associated with the CSA?
22. Why were some private roads built to County standards and others were not and since we are already paying taxes for roads, why do we need to pay another tax to maintain our road?