The Permanent Road Division (PRD) concept enables counties to provide a guaranteed level of services where requested by property owners. This allows any neighborhood within the County to establish a "Division" to obtain increased services to that neighborhood. Each of these divisions includes properties directly benefitted by the service rendered. The laws regulating the creation and operation of Permanent Road Divisions were enacted into law by the California State Legislature and are found in the California Streets and Highways Code.
The level of service is usually one agreed upon by the affected property owners, with input by the Public Works Department staff to assure that a minimum of safety and liability requirements are met.
The level of service in a PRD is determined by the revenue derived from a special tax raised within the Division. A special tax requires approval by two-thirds of the individuals who are registered to vote within the Division boundaries.
Often, larger up-front costs are required to pay for improvements to bring the road surfaces (which may have declined from years of neglect) up to a maintainable standard, and cover Division formation costs and interim maintenance costs until the tax role taxes can be collected. The County is currently considering a means to loan these up-front costs to a Division, with repayment of some of these costs over a number of years at the County's normal interest earnings rate (very reasonable rates compared with conventional financing).