- Understanding and Working
with the Contra Costa LAFCO
FIRST, THE LAW... LAFCO IMPLEMENTS
GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION ACT OF 2000
(Government Code Section 56000 et seq.)
LAFCO’s responsibilities are defined by this statute
that creates the Commission, mandates its activities
and grants it legal authority.
THE RALPH M. BROWN OPEN MEETING LAW
(Government Code Section 54950 et seq.)
LAFCO meetings are subject to this State Open
Meeting Law. The Commission conducts its business in
CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA)
(Public Resource Code Section 21000 et seq.)
LAFCOs are subject to State environmental policies,
procedures, and public participation rules in
CALIFORNIA REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE
(Revenue & Taxation Code Section 99 et seq.)
LAFCOs commence property tax negotiations among
agencies affected by a change of organization and
establish the amounts of property tax revenues to be
distributed to new cities and districts.
NOTE: To access State Codes on the Internet go to www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html and follow the instructions for locating specific sections.
NEXT, THE COMMISSIONERS...
Two City Council Members (selected by the cities in
Two County Supervisors (selected by the Board of
Two Special District Members (selected by
independent special districts in the County),
One public member (selected by the other six LAFCO
Alternate members – one in each category – are also
appointed and vote whenever a regular member is
absent or disqualified from participating. All
members serve four-year terms.
Members of Contra Costa LAFCO are:
| CITY MEMBERS
||Don Tatzin - Term expires 5/4/20
Rob Schroder - Term expires 5/6/19
Tom Butt - Alternate, Term expires 5/6/19
| COUNTY MEMBERS
Candace Andersen – Term expires 5/4/20
Federal Glover – Term expires 5/7/18
Diane Burgis – Alternate, Term expires 5/7/18
Donald A. Blubaugh – Chair, Term expires 5/4/20
Sharon Burke – Alternate, Term expires 5/4/20
|SPECIAL DISTRICT MEMBERS
Michael R. McGill – Vice Chair, Term expires 5/4/20
Igor Skaredoff – Term expires 5/7/18
Stanley Caldwell – Alternate, Term expires 5/7/18
Regular meetings are at 1:30 PM, generally on the second Wednesday of each month, in
the Board of Supervisors Chambers in Martinez.
The public can attend meetings and give testimony.
...AND THE STAFF
The Commission’s appointed Executive Officer conducts its day-to-day
business and prepares staff reports and recommendations on proposals
submitted to LAFCO.
The Commission also appoints its legal counsel.
Contra Costa LAFCO staff members are:
||Lou Ann Texeira
||Nat Taylor, Lamphier-Gregory
REGULATORY POWERS AND DUTIES...
LAFCO is a regulatory agency
charged by the State legislature with “discouraging urban sprawl and
encouraging the orderly formation and development of local agencies” based
on “local circumstances and conditions.” To meet its responsibilities, LAFCO
reviews and approves or denies proposals to:
▪ Annex land to cities
or special districts,
▪ Detach land from cities or special districts,
▪ Consolidate two or more cities or two or more special districts,
▪ Form new special districts and incorporate new cities,
▪ Dissolve special districts and disincorporate cities,
▪ Merge cities and special districts,
▪ Allow cities or special districts to provide services outside of their
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE...
LAFCO is charged by the State Legislature to determine and update at least every five
years the “sphere of influence” of each city and special district.
A sphere of influence is a plan for the probable physical boundaries and
service area of a local agency. Factors that LAFCO must consider in
determining spheres of influence are:
▪ The present and planned land uses,
including agricultural and open space lands,
▪ The present and probable needs for public facilities and services in the
▪ The present capacity of public facilities and adequacy of public services
that the agency provides or is authorized to provide,
▪ The existence of any social or economic communities of interest in the
area if the Commission determines that they are relevant to the agency.
LAFCO is required to review and update spheres of influence every five
AUTHORITY TO CONDUCT STUDIES AND INITIATE CHANGES...
The Commission is authorized to inventory and study governmental agencies.
In updating spheres of influence LAFCO must prepare Municipal Service
Reviews of relevant local agencies and services.
Based upon the spheres of influence or special studies, the Commission may
initiate proposals to consolidate special districts, merge a special
district with a city, dissolve a special district, establish a subsidiary
district or any combination of these changes.
FACTORS LAFCO MUST CONSIDER...
While LAFCO cannot impose conditions that directly regulate land use or
subdivision requirements it must consider specific factors when it reviews a
proposal. These factors include but are not limited to:
▪ Land area and land
use, topography, natural boundaries and drainage basins, population,
population density, and proximity to other populated areas,
▪ Likelihood of significant growth in the area and in adjacent
incorporated and unincorporated areas during the next ten years,
▪ Effect of the proposed action and of alternate actions on adjacent
areas, mutual social and economic interests, and the local governmental
▪ Need for organized community services, the present cost and adequacy,
and probable future needs for governmental services and controls in the
▪ Probable effects of the proposal and of alternatives on the cost and
adequacy of services and controls in the area and adjacent areas,
▪ Ability of the entity to provide services to the area, including the
sufficiency of revenues for those services,
▪ Timely availability of water supplies adequate for projected needs,
▪ Extent to which the proposal will assist the entity in achieving its
fair share of regional housing needs,
▪ Consistency with appropriate city or county general and specific plans
and the sphere of influence of any local agency, which may be applicable
to the proposal,
▪ Definiteness and certainty of the boundaries of the territory, the
non-conformance of proposed boundaries with lines of assessment or
ownership, the creation of islands or corridors of unincorporated
territory, and other similar matters affecting the proposed boundary,
▪ Conformity of the proposal and anticipated effects with adopted
Commission policies on providing planned, orderly efficient patterns of
PERMITTED TERMS AND CONDITIONS...
When it approves a proposal LAFCO can apply various
conditions. These include but are not limited to:
Payment for acquisition of existing property;
levying or fixing and collecting special or
extraordinary taxes, assessments or service charges
for payment for acquired property,
▪ Disposition of responsibility for outstanding
bonds or contractual obligations as well as the
amount of responsibility,
▪ Formation of new improvement district(s) and
annexations to or detachments from existing
▪ Incurring of liability or bonded indebtedness on
behalf of the territory annexed or the agency as a
whole, and the issuance and sale of bonds,
▪ Acquisition, improvement, disposition, sale,
transfer, or division of property,
▪ Fixing the use or right-of-use in any public
improvement, facility, or property,
▪ Disposition of any office, department, or board
within the affected agency and determination of the
rights of employees affected by a proposal,
▪ Designation of a successor agency to any agency
▪ Method for selecting the members for an agency
formed or reorganized,
▪ Fixing the effective date for any change,
▪ Continuation or provision of any service provided
or authorized by the agency,
▪ Levying a benefit assessment or calling an
election to decide a special tax.
YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE...
LAFCO considers and decides public issues and its
processes are open to the public.
All members of the public are welcome and encouraged to
attend LAFCO meetings and comment during public hearings
on proposals before the Commission.
LAFCO meetings are an excellent opportunity for citizens
to familiarize themselves with land use, public service,
and interjurisdictional issues facing their county.
County residents may be appointed to serve as the public
member of the Commission.
Information about the Commission, including notices of
LAFCO meetings, staff reports, application materials,
and procedures are available at the LAFCO office.