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LAFCo stands for Local Agency Formation Commission. LAFCos were created in each county in California by the State Legislature in 1963 to discourage urban sprawl, preserve agricultural land resources and encourage the orderly formation and development of local government agencies. The law that governs LAFCo is known as the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000. Learn more about the
Learn more about what LAFCo does by visiting our
Yes, LAFCo must comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when acting on boundary change proposals. For more information, view
Marin LAFCo is a seven-member Commission, comprised of two county supervisors, two city council members, two independent special district members and one member of the public. Each category has an alternate member.
The County Board of Supervisors chooses two of its members and an alternate to serve on LAFCo. The Council of Mayors chooses two city council members and an alternate to serve on LAFCo. The two special district members and alternate are elected by vote of the Marin independent special districts. The public member and alternate apply and are chosen by the LAFCo Commissioners.
For more information, view Chapter 2, Section 1 of the
The Marin LAFCo Commission meets on the 2nd Thursday of the even months at 7 p.m. The meetings are held at:
San Rafael City Council Chambers
1400 5th Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94903
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Yes. Please consult with the LAFCo Executive Officer or the current fee schedule. The preparation of map and legal description by a qualified surveyor or civil engineer also represent costs to the applicant but are not included in the LAFCo fees.
Maps and legal descriptions used in LAFCo applications must be prepared by a qualified surveyor or civil engineer.
The timelines permitted for each step in the application process under the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act allow for broad variation in processing time. In practical terms, depending upon the nature of the proposal, processing can take as little as 3 to 4 months after submission of completed application materials, or more than a year for more complex proposals.
The Commission makes decisions on boundaries and organization of local government with the authority of the State Legislature applied at the local level. Except for the reconsideration and protest steps built into the LAFCo process, there is no appeal process for a Commission decision. LAFCo decisions are not subject to initiative or referendum.
Judicial review of LAFCo decisions is only granted in cases of abuse of the Commission's discretion or if the Commission's actions are shown to be arbitrary and capricious. We don't act that way.
A sphere of influence is defined as "...a plan for the probable physical boundaries and service area of a local agency as determined by the commission." Adopted spheres of influence are a key factor used by LAFCo in consideration of boundary proposals. The Commission may only approve proposals that are consistent with adopted spheres of influence.
Learn more by reading Chapter IV of our
Yes. LAFCo is required to review spheres of influence every five years. In addition, any interested party may apply for an amendment to a sphere.
Learn more by reading Chapter IV, Section 4 of our