Frequently Asked Questions
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What is LAFCO?
LAFCO is an acronym for Local Agency Formation Commission. It is a regulatory agency with county-wide jurisdiction, established by state law (Cortese-Knox Hertzberg Act) to discourage urban sprawl and to encourage orderly and efficient provision of services, such as water, sewer, fire protection, etc. Alameda LAFCO is a state-mandated agency and is not a county department.
What does LAFCO do?
LAFCO is responsible for reviewing and approving proposed jurisdictional boundary changes, including annexations and detachments of territory to and/or from cities and special districts, incorporations of new cities, formations of new special districts, and consolidations, mergers, and dissolutions of existing districts. In addition, LAFCO must review and approve contractual service agreements, determine spheres of influence for each city and district, and may initiate proposals involving district consolidation, dissolution, establishment of subsidiary districts, mergers, and reorganizations (combinations of these jurisdictional changes).
Who are the members of LAFCO?
The Alameda County LAFCo is composed of seven regular Commissioners: two members from the Board of Supervisors; two members who represent the cities in Alameda; two members who represent special districts; and one public member. There are four alternate Commission seats; one from each of the above-membership categories.
When and where does the Commission meet?
Regular LAFCO meetings are scheduled for 2:00 p.m., on the second Thursday of every odd month (January, March, May, July, September and November). Meetings are held at the Dublin San Ramon Services District Board Room, 7051 Dublin Blvd. in Dublin.
How long will it take to process my proposal?
If your proposal is considered routine and is non-controversial, processing time is approximately 3 to 4 months after a complete set of application materials have been submitted to the LAFCO office. More complex proposals may take additional time to process.
Is the public notified about LAFCO actions?
State law requires that LAFCO notify affected agencies and the public regarding most jurisdictional boundary change proposals. Notification of a pending proposal is made to County departments, interested individuals, and local governmental agencies. In addition, comments are solicited from community groups as well as agencies that may potentially be affected by a LAFCO project. LAFCO must also wait until information is returned from the County Assessor, Auditor, and various state agencies before a proposal may be scheduled for a public hearing.
Does LAFCO charge a fee to process jurisdictional boundary change proposals?
State law authorizes LAFCO to charge the estimated reasonable cost to process jurisdictional boundary change proposals. Processing fees vary depending on the type of proposal (i.e., district formation, merger, reorganization, etc.). Annexation and detachment fees are also based on acreage. Please refer to LAFCO’s fee schedule located on-line at this website or contact the LAFCO office at (510) 271-5142 for fee information.
What is a sphere of influence?
A sphere of influence is a planning tool adopted and used by LAFCO to designate the future boundary and service area for a city or special district.
Can a sphere of influence be changed?
Yes. LAFCO may amend and update spheres of influence.
Is LAFCO required to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?
Yes. LAFCO must comply with CEQA.