SPHERES OF INFLUENCE,
MUNICIPAL SERVICES REVIEWS, & SPECIAL STUDIES
Spheres of Influence (SOI)
LAFCOs are required by law to establish spheres of influence (SOI) for cities and special districts under LAFCO jurisdiction (Government Code Section 56425). Alameda LAFCO has established a SOI for each of the 14 cities, 15 independent special districts, and 18 dependent special districts under LAFCO jurisdiction in Alameda County. SOIs are planning tools and are defined as a plan for the probable physical boundaries and service area of a local agency, as determined by the Commission.
Municipal Services Reviews (MSRs)
Pursuant to Government Code Section 56430, LAFCO conducts municipal services reviews (MSRs) to study specific services within a designated geographic area. The MSRs provide information about service providers’ service levels/adequacy, financing, and governance, as well as opportunities to improve efficiency of service provision. The MSRs contain determinations made by LAFCOs on specified factors and they serve as guidelines to inform and support the Commission’s decisions about SOIs.
LAFCOs are also authorized to initiate special studies (Government Code Section 56378). Such special studies may be used as a basis for LAFCO-initiated actions specified in Government Code Section 56375 (e.g., special district consolidations, dissolutions, mergers, formations, etc.). Public agencies, interest groups or individuals may request that LAFCO initiate a special study if evidence is provided that such study is needed.