A special district is an agency of the State formed under general law or a special legislative act to provide governmental services such as sewer, water, fire protection, recreation, healthcare, police protection, mosquito and vector control, and other services. There are three main types of special districts:

  • County-governed special districts are governed by the Board of Supervisors and are operated by the County of San Mateo.
  • Independent special districts have locally elected board members and their own employees.
  • Subsidiary special districts are governed by their respective city councils.

Select service type below to find district profile.

Community Services Districts County Service Areas Drainage Districts Fire Protection Districts Health Care Districts Maintenance Districts Lighting Districts Municipal Improvement Districts Sewer and Sanitary Districts Water Districts Miscellaneous
Community Services Districts

Community Services Districts are a form of independent local government used to provide services to unicorporated areas of a county. 

Granada Community Services District

Highlands Recreation District

Ladera Recreation District


County Service Areas

County Service Areas (CSAs) are entities that provide governmental services by counties within unincorporated areas. It allows for for communities to fund a service by charging a direct assessment or property-related fee for services such as water and/or sewer service, road and/or drainage maintenance, street lighting, fire protection and/or landscaping.

The County Board of Supervisors acts as the governing body for the County Service Areas.

County Service Area No. 1 (Highlands)

County Service Area No. 6 (Princeton-by-the-Sea)

County Service Area No. 7 (Sam McDonald Park)

County Service Area No. 8 (North Fair Oaks)

County Service Area No. 10 (Montara Parks)

County Service Area No. 11 (Pescadero)

County Service Area No. 12 (Montara/Moss Beach)

Drainage Districts
Fire Protection Districts

Fire Protection Districts provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the residents of the District. 

Belmont Fire Protection District

Coastside Fire Protection District

Colma Fire Protection District

Menlo Park Fire Protection District

Woodside Fire Protection District

Health Care Districts

Health Care Districts establish, maintain, and operate, or provide assistance in the operation of, one or more health facilities or health services.

Peninsula Health Care District 

Sequoia Healthcare District

Maintenance Districts

Maintenance Districts are assessment districts created by a county board of supervisors or a city council for the landscape, storm drain and road improvements, and other improvements.

Highlands Landscape Maintenance District

Los Trancos County Maintenance District

Lighting Districts
Municipal Improvement Districts

Municipal Improvement Districts provide municipal services such as police fire, water, and sewer to incorporated cities.

Estero Municipal Improvement District

Guadalupe Valley Municipal Improvement District

Sewer and Sanitary Districts
Water Districts

Water Districts develop regulations for the distribution and consumption of water; sell water; collect and dispose sewage, garbage, waste, trash and storm water; store water for future needs.

Coastside County Water

Mid-Peninsula Water District 

Montara Water and Sanitary District

North Coast County Water District

Westborough Water District



Harbor Districts build, operate, and maintain harbor and marina facilities.

San Mateo County Harbor District 

Mosquito Abatement and Vector Control Districts conduct effective programs for the surveillance, prevention, abatement and control of mosquitos and other vectors.

San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Police Protection Districts provide police service to a community.

Broadmoor Police Protection District

Regional Park, Park and Open-Space, and Open-Space Districts acquisition of open space land; protection, restoration, and enhancement of natural resources; planning for and management of land for low-intensity recreational use by the public.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Resource Conservation Districts manage a diversity of resource conservation projects, including soil and water conservation projects, wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration, control of exotic plant species, watershed restoration, conservation planning, education, and many others.

San Mateo Resource Conservation District