Every individual, company or government entity, not specifically exempted by California law, must obtain a franchise from the County to install underground pipeline or conduit or overhead lines on County road right-of-ways. Typically, this includes oil and gas companies, utility companies, private electricity producers and farming companies.
Application for a franchise is made by calling (661) 868-3000 and asking for Property Management. An application must be completed and submitted along with an accurate drawing showing details of the proposed road right-of-way to be used. An administrative fee of $1,200 is also required with the submittal of the application. The applicant is responsible for the cost of public notice publications and all required environmental documentation.
The master Franchise Ordinance contains the basic requirements and responsibilities of a franchise holder (Franchisee). Some of these are shown here:
- The Franchisee shall maintain during the term of the franchise, a surety bond or other specified faithful performance security in the amount specified by the Board of Supervisors. The surety bond amount is typically between $10,000 and $50,000 and is primarily determined by the length of the right-of-way used.
- The Franchisee shall obtain a liability insurance policy in the amount specified by County that protests County against damages which may arise from the operations of the Franchisee’s facilities.
- The Franchisee shall pay an annual fee for the use of the road right-of-way. The fee paid is based on the use for which the franchise is granted. If the Franchisee is a Public Utility, Publicly Regulated Utility, or Common Carrier the fee is set by the State of California Public Utilities Code, (Division 3, Chapter 2, Article 1, Section 6201, et seq.)
Master Franchise Ordinances
- Franchise Ordinance F-3 (Second Revision)
Ordinance for all franchises granted before March 21, 2011.
- Franchise Ordinance F-3 (Third Revision) (PDF)
Ordinance for all franchises granted on or after March 21, 2011.
- Non-Potable Water (Ag, Drainage, Non-Hydrocarbon Waste Water)
Use this application if you are transporting water for industrial, agriculture, or drainage usage.
- Oil, Gas, Produced Water, and other Hydrocarbons
Use this application for new oil, gas and or hydrocarbon franchises even if you will also be transporting water for steam or produced water.
- Potable Water
Use this application if your company delivers potable water to homes or businesses.
- Publicly Regulated
Use this form if your company is regulated by the Public Utility Commission.
- Renewable Energy Transmission
Use this application if you are transporting electricity from the production source to a point of interconnection with the power grid.
- Environmental Information - Form 123
This form must be submitted with all franchise applications.
- Request to Amend Franchise
Use this application to amend an existing franchise.
- Request to Assign Franchise
Use this application to request the assignment of your current franchise to another entity.
- Request to Renew Franchise
Use this application to renew any type of existing franchise.
To submit an application for a franchise:
- Fill out the appropriate application form.
- Fill out the Environmental Form 123.
- Create an accurate drawing showing details of the proposed road right-of-way use.
- Write a check or acquire a money order for the $1200.00 franchise administration fee.
- Mail or drop off the application form, completed Environmental Form 123, right-of-way drawing, and check or money order to:
County of Kern - General Services Division
1115 Truxtun Ave., 3rd Floor
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Attn: Property Management
Note: The applicant is responsible for the cost of required notice publications and all required environmental documentation.
If you have any questions about the franchise process, contact Lee Rangel, Real Property Agent at (661) 868-3071.