Burbank as a County Pocket or Urban Island

The Burbank Community is located in Santa Clara County, entirely surrounded by the City of San Jose, hence its description as a “County Pocket” or “Urban Island“. However due to annexation in recent years, part of Burbank is now within the City of San Jose. The remaining parts of unincorporated Burbank consist of two areas -“SJ19” 47.6 acres north of Stevens Creek, and “SJ20” 389 acres south of Stevens Creek – West San Carlos.

Burbank as a Census Designated Place

Burbank is also described as a “Census Designated Place” (CDP) by the US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau. This means that you can get statistical data on what the Census Bureau describes as Burbank from the US Census web site. Burbank is recognized as a “Populated Place” and a Census Designated Place by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names.

The geographic coordinates of the Burbank CDP are 37.32 degrees north and 121.93 degrees west. The 2010 Census reports that Burbank contains 1982 household units with a population of 4926. The total land area is 0.403 square mile.

The web site for the Census block maps is http://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/maps/reference.html

Keep in mind that the US Census Bureau maps are not definitive as to jurisdictional boundaries. That is, the Census Bureau’s map merely outlines the area in which data is gathered. On their web site the Census Bureau states:

The boundaries shown on this map are for Census Bureau statistical data collection and tabulation purposes only; their depiction and designation for statistical purposes does not constitute a determination of jurisdictional authority or rights of ownership or entitlement.


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Burbank Annexation?

The County of Santa Clara favors the annexation of County pockets because the County is not structured to provide city services. Over the years there have been discussions of annexing the Burbank Community by the City of San Jose. According to State law, Government Code Section 56375.3, a city may annex an area less than 150 acres without a vote or approval (“protest proceedings”) of the affected area. That part of Burbank described as “SJ20”, at 389 acres, is not eligible under State law for this type of annexation.(That part of Burbank described as “SJ19” is subject to annexation according to the above cited Government code.)

In the current economic environment, annexation seems less likely than ever. Still, annexation seems to be a topic of concern for Burbank residents. Here, then, is a link to a San Jose City publication with some answers to this question:

San Jose City Annexation Answer Book (updated April 2010) (PDF)

See also this San Jose City web page for a Comparison of County of Santa Clara and City of San Jose Services.

Read more about Urban Island Annexation at the Local Agency Formation Commission of Santa Clara County (LAFCO) web site.