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San Gabriel Valley Digest

San Marino : City Fights Annexations

August 19, 1993

Saying that increased costs for fire, police and other services would burden city finances, San Marino officials are taking steps to block further annexation attempts by residents of nearby unincorporated areas.

San Marino, which has spent more than $100,000 fighting three annexation attempts, is asking the Local Agency Formation Commission to change its "sphere of influence" to prevent unincorporated areas to the north from trying to join the city. The county commission oversees city boundaries and annexation matters.

A San Marino address can boost a homeowner's property value. The median house price in the city is $500,001, compared to $284,000 in Pasadena.

"The city has to protect itself against more annexation attempts," said Debbie Bell, assistant city manager.

Last month one homeowners association for the Greenwood neighborhood took its case all the way to the state Supreme Court, only to have its arguments for annexation rejected.

If the Local Agency Formation Commission approves San Marino's request to change its sphere of influence, Greenwood and the unincorporated San Pasqual area, which had its bid blocked by the city in 1991, could not petition to be annexed.

But an area to the east known as Sunnyslope, which gave up a 1990 effort to join the city, could still become part of San Marino. Students in that neighborhood attend San Marino schools.

"Basically we want our sphere of influence to be school district boundaries," Bell said.

Commission officials have not set a hearing date for San Marino's request.

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