North Richmond Annexation information

North Richmond is a mostly unincorporated community located on the west edge of Contra Costa County between the City of San Pablo and the San Pablo Bay. It is entirely surrounded by the municipal boundaries of the City of Richmond. A portion of North Richmond is already in the City of Richmond, meaning many neighbors have different governments with which to interact in accessing services.

For annexation to occur, the City of Richmond’s City Council must approve annexation, followed by reviews and approvals by LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) and the voters and land owners in unincorporated North Richmond.

Richmond and Contra Costa County have jointly funded a study into the financial issues surrounding the potential annexation of unincorporated North Richmond into the City of Richmond. This study was authorized by the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council (MAC).

Our office strongly believes that the informed opinions of North Richmond residents and property owners should be the driving consideration into whether North Richmond should be annexed by the City of Richmond.

In the interests of providing some history and context, our office has prepared a memo (link below) to lay out some of the issues and considerations.

Unincorporated North Richmond is an isolated pocket of roughly 1.5 square miles and 3,700 residents and is totally surrounded by the City of Richmond. The geographic area of North Richmond also includes a small pocket of about 1,500 residents within the City of Richmond. The City of San Pablo lies directly to the east of a narrow railroad strip of City of Richmond land that separates North Richmond from San Pablo.

Contra Costa County currently provides municipal government services to unincorporated North Richmond, including pubic works, planning, law enforcement, and fire services. These services would be provided by the City of Richmond if annexation occurred. Health and social services would not be affected by annexation. The County would continue to provide them.

Civic leaders and community members have grappled with the question of North Richmond’s unincorporated status since World War II, when the community was rapidly populated by the influx of wartime workers into the local shipyards. Since then, North Richmond been characterized as a community with poverty and crime rates among the highest in California, and deteriorating infrastructure.

The goal of those who have supported annexation is to achieve a better, safer and more prosperous future by becoming integrated with the City that totally surrounds it. One Richmond, with sensible boundaries, better opportunities for political engagement, and more seamless services, could benefit both the residents of Richmond and North Richmond.


For details on this issue, click on these items below: