(a) At any time not later than the hour set for hearing objections to the proposed work, any owner of property liable to be assessed pursuant to this chapter may make a written protest against the proposed work, the extent of the territory to be assessed, the proposed rate and method of apportionment of any contingent assessments, any levy proposed to be made pursuant to a financing act, any agreement entered into pursuant to the financing act or pursuant to this chapter, or any combination thereof. Any protest pertaining to a levy made pursuant to a financing act shall be heard and shall have the force and effect provided in the financing act. Any protest pertaining to a contingent assessment shall be in writing, contain a description of the property in which each signer is interested, sufficient to identify the property, and, if the signers are not shown on the last equalized assessment roll as the owners of the property, contain, or be accompanied by, written evidence that the signers are the owners of the property. All of the protests shall be delivered to the clerk and no other protests or objections shall be considered.
(b) At the time set for hearing protests, the legislative body shall proceed to hear and pass upon all protests so made and its decision shall be final and conclusive. The legislative body may adjourn the hearings from time to time. Any protest may be withdrawn, in writing, by the owner making the protest at any time prior to the conclusion of the protest hearing.
(c) In lieu of hearing and passing upon protests, the legislative body may continue the hearing of protests to a day certain and refer the protests to the superintendent of streets for investigation, report, and recommendation as to the improvement and matters included in the protests. The report and recommendation of the superintendent of streets shall be in writing, and a copy thereof shall be mailed not less than five days prior to the continued hearing date for protests to each person owning property liable to be assessed who has made a written protest. At the time set for the continued hearing, the legislative body shall hear and pass upon the report and recommendation of the superintendent of streets and its decision shall be final and conclusive. The legislative body may adjourn the hearing from time to time. Protests may be withdrawn in the same manner as provided in subdivision (b).
(d) If the protest is against the proposed contingent assessment and the legislative body finds that the protest is made by the owners of more than one-half of the area of the property within the proposed integrated financing district which is proposed to be subject to the contingent assessment immediately or in the future, or which is proposed to be subject to a levy made pursuant to a financing act immediately or in the future, and protests are not withdrawn so as to reduce the same to less than a majority, no further proceedings to levy the specified contingent assessment shall be taken pursuant to this chapter for a period of one year from the date of the decision of the legislative body on the hearing.
(e) If it is necessary to determine whether any or all of the signers of written protests are the owners of property to be assessed, in order to find whether a majority protest exists, the legislative body shall make that determination from the last equalized assessment roll, any written evidence submitted with a written protest, and any other evidence received at the hearing. The legislative body shall be under no duty to obtain or consider any other evidence as to ownership of property and its determination of ownership shall be final and conclusive.
(f) If no written protests have been delivered to the clerk up to the hour set for hearing protests, if protests have been found by the legislative body to be insufficient or have been overruled, or if protests against the extent of the proposed district have been heard and denied, the legislative body shall immediately have jurisdiction to order the contingent assessment to be levied, and to enter into a proposed reimbursement agreement.
(g) Nothing in this chapter prohibits the legislative body, within the one-year period referred to in subdivision (d), from commencing and carrying on new proceedings for the levy of the proposed contingent assessment or entry into the proposed reimbursement agreement which was subject to protest if the legislative body finds, by the affirmative vote of four-fifths of its members, that the owners of a majority of the property within the area of the integrated financing district are in favor of commencing and carrying on those proceedings.
(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1011, Sec. 4.)