Neighborhood Council

On October 9, 2013, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners adopted a recommendation for creating an official Neighborhood Council subdivision process, which would allow a new Neighborhood Council to be created within the boundaries of an existing Neighborhood Council.  This subdivision process allowed for new Neighborhood Councils to be formed from existing Neighborhood Councils without going through a decertification and recertification process.  The Los Angeles City Council adopted Ordinance 12-1681 on September 27, 2016 allowing for implementation of a Neighborhood Council subdivision process. 

What is a subdivision petition?

A subdivision petition is an application to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (Department) requesting to form a separate certified Neighborhood Council within the boundaries of one or more existing certified Neighborhood Councils, i.e. the proposed boundaries of the new Neighborhood Council can cross through several existing certified Neighborhood Councils.

Who can file a subdivision petition?

A stakeholder(s) within an existing certified Neighborhood Council.  A stakeholder is defined as any individual who lives, works or owns real property in the neighborhood and also to those who declare a stake in the neighborhood as a community interest stakeholder, defined as a person who affirms a substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries and who may in a community organization such as, but not limited to, educational, nonprofit and/or religious organizations.

What qualifies for a new subdivided Neighborhood Council?

Any proposed new subdivided Neighborhood Council must meet the components of a regular Neighborhood Council Certification Application stated in Article III, Section 2 of the Plan for a Citywide System of Neighborhood Councils (Plan). This list summarizes the basic requirements, but please refer to the Plan for more details:

  1. Boundaries – a detailed written description of proposed boundaries within the City of Los Angeles, including rationale for drawing the proposed boundaries.  The boundaries should be comprised of no less than 20,000 Neighborhood Council stakeholders unless exceptions apply.
  2. Outreach – the outreach process used to identify stakeholders within the proposed Neighborhood Council boundaries must be described in detail and 200 to 500 signatures from stakeholders that have an interest within the proposed Neighborhood Council boundaries must be submitted and should reflect the broadest array of stakeholders who will actively participate in the proposed Neighborhood Council.  Stakeholder signature petitions must include the stakeholder’s first and last name, a contact email and/or phone, type of stakeholder (live, work, own real property or community interest) and the physical address associated with their stakeholdership.  The physical address cannot be a post office box.  The petition should also include language that states that the stakeholders understand that they are signing to support the creation of a new Neighborhood Council via the subdivision of existing Neighborhood Councils.  Please include the names of the proposed and existing Neighborhood Councils.  
  3. Bylaws – bylaws for the proposed Neighborhood Council must be submitted.  The Department will provide a bylaws template for petitioners.
  4. Financial Accountability – standard language for financial accountability and the position of a Treasurer must be included in the petition.
  5. Ethics – acknowledgement that all applicable laws of local, state and federal government shall be the minimum ethical standard for a certified Neighborhood Council.
  6. Contacts – pursuant to the subdivision policy, the petition shall identify five stakeholders who are authorized to receive notice and make decisions regarding the subdivision petition, including any bylaw changes.  

What is the time frame for filing subdivision petitions?

 Currently, the  Department will accept subdivision petitions from November 17, 2017 to January 15, 2018.  We will only process the first five complete petitions we receive in the order of receipt, i.e. we will reject any incomplete petitions and will not count them towards the final five for processing.  

What happens after I file the petition?

If the petition is complete, meets the requirements for a certified Neighborhood Council and is one of the first five petitions processed, the Department shall conduct an election within the boundaries stated in the subdivision petition within 90 days of the Department’s approval of the subdivision petition.  A stakeholder is eligible to vote in the election if the person is a stakeholder in the proposed area for subdivision or in any of the Neighborhood Councils that are proposed for subdivision.  A majority of the voters from the entire Neighborhood Council or Neighborhood Councils being subdivided must approve the subdivision in order to create the new Neighborhood Council.  The term “majority of voters” refers to those stakeholders who participate in the subdivision election and does not mean a majority of total stakeholders in the Neighborhood Council boundaries.

If a majority of the stakeholders at the election approve the subdivision, then the existing certified Neighborhood Council or Neighborhood Councils being subdivided shall amend their bylaws within 30 days of the election to reflect changes to the boundaries and, if applicable, the board structure.  The Department shall forward the bylaws for any Neighborhood Council that is being subdivided and the subdivision petition to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (Commission) for approval of the bylaws.

Once the Commission approves the bylaws, then the Neighborhood Council listed in the subdivision petition shall be deemed a certified Neighborhood Council within the City of Los Angeles.  The five stakeholders listed in the subdivision petition shall be authorized to work with the Department and make decisions regarding the initial election or selection of the newly certified Neighborhood Council’s governing board.  This initial board shall be an interim board until the elections in spring of even number years.  The Neighborhood Council or Neighborhood Councils being subdivided are not required to recertify and continue to remain certified after approval by the Commission of the bylaws.

When does a new Neighborhood Council receive City funding?

Newly certified Neighborhood Councils only receive their yearly allocation from the City once the initial Neighborhood Council governing board has been elected or selected, seat and trained, and upon the start of the new fiscal year, July 1st.  If funding is delayed because the above criteria of the board has not been met in the new year, the yearly allocation may be prorated based on the time the new initial governing board has met all of the requirements.   

How do I file a subdivision petition?

All subdivision petitions will only be accepted online.  Once a petition has been submitted, the Department will notify the applicant(s) within 14 working days if the petition is complete and will be processed.

What if I have more questions?

For more information, please contact Mike Fong of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment at or
(213) 978-1551.