Objectives of LAFCo
To Encourage the Orderly Formation of Local Governmental Agencies
LAFCo's review proposals for the formation of new local governmental agencies and for changes in the organization of existing agencies. There are 58 LAFCo's working with nearly 3,500 governmental agencies (400+ cities and 3,000+ special districts). Agency boundaries are frequently unrelated to one another and sometimes overlap at random, often leading to higher service costs to the taxpayer and general confusion regarding service area boundaries. LAFCo decisions strive to balance the competing needs for efficient services, affordable housing, economic opportunity, and conservation of natural resources.
To Preserve Agricultural Land Resources
LAFCo must consider the effect that any proposal will have on existing agricultural lands. By guiding development toward vacant urban land and away from agricultural preserves, LAFCo assists with the preservation of California's valuable agricultural resources.
To Discourage Urban Sprawl
Urban sprawl can best be described as irregular and disorganized growth occurring without apparent design or plan. This pattern of development is characterized by the inefficient delivery of municipal services (e.g., police, fire, water, and sanitation) and the unnecessary loss of agricultural resources and open space lands. By discouraging sprawl, LAFCo limits the misuse of land resources and promotes a more efficient system of local governmental agencies.
LAFCos are responsible for coordinating logical and timely changes in local governmental boundaries, conducting special studies that review ways to reorganize, simplify and streamline governmental structure and preparing a Sphere of Influence for each city and special district within each county. The Commission's efforts are directed to seeing that services are provided efficiently and economically while agricultural and open-space lands are protected.