De Kamp, 062383 CAAGO, AGO 83-205
|Docket Nº:||AGO 83-205|
|Case Date:||June 23, 1983|
"Section 1. No low rent housing project shall hereafter be developed, constructed, or acquired in any manner by any state public body until a majority of the qualified electors of the city, town or county, as the case may be, in which it is proposed to develop, construct, or acquire the same, voting upon such issue, approve such project by voting in favor thereof at an election to be held for that purpose, or at any general or special election."Succeeding paragraphs define for purposes of the provision the terms "low rent housing project," "persons of low income," "state public body," which would include a housing authority, and "Federal Government." Shortly after the adoption of article XXXIV this office issued an opinion as to the manner in which this constitutional provision should be implemented where a county housing authority proposed "to establish low rent housing projects in unincorporated areas of the county but within or near unincorporated centers of population bearing place names." (18 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 103 (1951).) Stated otherwise, we were required to interpret article XXXIV insofar as its election requirements apply not only to the electorate of a city or of a county, but of a "town." At such time, and now, there was and is no legal unit of government in California which is an unincorporated "town." Accordingly, the basic question resolved itself into whether the requisite election to establish housing projects in population centers with commonly accepted place names, but in unincorporated territory, required a vote of the electorate of the entire county, or only a vote of the voters residing in such unincorporated place (or "town"). We resolved this dilemma by resort to the apparent purpose of article XXXIV as gleaned from the voters' pamphlet for the November 1950 general election. This was to require that proposed housing projects be approved by "interested citizens," who we concluded were "members of the particular community in which the project is to be established, not . . . the citizens of another community in another part of the same county." (Id., at pp. 106-107.) Noting that the constitutional provision used both the terms "city" and "town" we ultimately concluded that the election need not nor should not be county-wide, stating:
"Primarily, however, we are persuaded by the apparent intent of Article XXXIV to require the submission of each such proposal to the electors...
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