Sacramento County v. Local Agency Formation Commission

(1992) 3 Cal.4th 903

The California Supreme Court ruled that the rational relation test must be applied to a statute defining the appropriate voters in an incorporation election. In so doing, the court upheld a statute limiting voters to those within the boundaries of the proposed area to be incorporated. In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court was required to overrule another recently written Supreme Court case. The Appellate Court had applied strict scrutiny in reviewing the statute and concluded that in a municipal election where the record demonstrated potential impacts to voters countywide, registered voters in the entire unincorporated area of the county were eligible to vote.

The Appellate Court had also upheld the lower court’s determination requiring preparation of an environmental impact report. The lower court applied the “fair argument” test and determined that evidence in the record of potential environmental impact required preparation of an EIR. The Supreme Court did not reverse that part of the Appellate Court decision.

[TLG counsel of record: Tina A. Thomas.]

Full court decision available at