Special Districts

The Special Districts Department is a relatively little known yet highly active and dynamic department of San Bernardino County. As stated in our Mission Statement, “The Special Districts Team, under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, set the standards for excellence in local government.” We do this through the formation, management and administration of Districts, County Service Areas (CSAs) and Improvement Zones to meet the individual needs of communities, neighborhoods and new developments in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County.

Districts, CSAs and Improvement Zones provide tailored municipal-type services to unincorporated areas. They can provide one or all of the following services depending on needs and financial feasibility:

  1. Extended police protection
  2. Structural fire protection
  3. Local park, recreation, or parkway
  4. Extended library facilities and services
  5. Television translator station facilities
  6. Low power television services
  7. Miscellaneous extended services:
    • water service
    • sewer service
    • pest or rodent control
    • street & highway sweeping
    • street & highway lighting
    • refuse/garbage collection
    • ambulance service
    • area planning
    • soil conservation & drainage control
    • animal control
    • transportation services
    • geologic hazard abatement
    • road maintenance
    • open space and habitat conservation

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is the governing body for all Board governed Districts, CSAs, and Improvement Zones. The day to day management and administration is done through the Special Districts Department.

The County Board of Supervisors and the Special Districts Department depend quite heavily on input from the community. The successful operation of a District, CSA and Improvement Zone is a team effort between County staff and property owners. We like to say that we are here to help you help yourself. Where needed, the Board of Supervisors will set up a property owner Advisory Commission or Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) to work with and make recommendations to the Board and County staff.3

The formation process begins with a request from property owners and then involves a feasibility study performed by the Special District Department with the assistance of many other County Departments. The final approval of the District, CSA and Improvement Zone is done by the County Board of Supervisors at a public hearing. Depending on the complexity of the issues the process can take from three (3) months to one (1) year to complete.

The staff of the Special Districts Department is available to answer questions, attend community meetings and assist in the preparation of necessary documents.  Please visit our contact page for more information.

Yes, the Special Districts Department has an experienced team of staff and consultants that can assist with the formation and administration of public finance districts as such Community Facilities Districts and Assessment Districts to fund your infrastructure needs.

There are various forms of financial mechanisms that can be used to fund services such as fees, special taxes, assessments, etc. Prior to a new funding source being implemented, it must receive approval from either the property owners or the registered voters in the area. It is important to understand that all funding is generated through the Districts, CSAs, and Improvement Zones. No County general funds are used or are available.