Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is LAFCO?
The Local Agency Formation Commission of Monterey County is an independent
countywide body created by the State Legislature.
The Commission makes
decisions about the boundaries and services of cities and special
districts. Statutory purposes are to encourage the orderly formation and
development of local governments; preserve agricultural and open space
lands; discourage urban sprawl, and ensure the efficient delivery of
2. What does LAFCO do?
a regulatory agency, the Commission forms new cities and special districts,
approves changes in boundaries (annexations, consolidations, mergers,
dissolutions, etc.), and allows cities or special districts to provide
services outside their boundaries. As a planning agency, LAFCO determines
and updates the Spheres of Influence of each city and district, conducts
studies of the public services provided by local agencies, and may initiate
proposals to change boundaries based upon the Spheres of Influence or
special studies. LAFCO implements the
Local Government Reorganization Act, the California Environmental Quality
Act, open meeting laws, the Revenue and Taxation Code, and local policies
The Commission is
composed of two Members of the County Board of Supervisors, two City Council
Members, two Independent Special District Members, and one voting Public
Member (the current vacancy). Alternate members are also selected for each
membership category. Public Members are selected by County, City and
Special District Members. All seats have four-year terms. Established in
1963, the Commission is served by an Executive Officer and staff, and is
funded by local governments.
3. Who are the members of LAFCO?
LAFCO of Monterey County is composed of seven regular Commissioners: two
members from the Board of Supervisors; two representatives from the
cities within Monterey County; one public member;
and two Independent Special District Members. There are
alternate Commissioners, which reflect the above membership categories.
4. When and where does the Commission
LAFCO meetings are generally scheduled for 4:00 pm, on the fourth Monday of each
month, in the Monterey
County Government Center, 168 W. Alisal St.
1st Floor, in Salinas.
A full list
of regular meeting dates, for the year, are listed under "Meetings
& Broadcasts" button.
5. How long will it take to process
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.
6. Is the public
notified about LAFCO actions?
law requires that LAFCO notify affected agencies and the public
regarding jurisdictional boundary change proposals. Notification of a
pending proposal is made to County departments, interested individuals,
and local governmental agencies potentially affected by a LAFCO
proposal. LAFCO must also inform the County Surveyor, Assessor, and
Auditor before a proposal is scheduled for a public hearing.
7. Does LAFCO charge a fee to process
jurisdictional boundary change proposals?
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 see the "Application and Fees"
8. What is a sphere of influence?
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
9. Can a sphere of influence be
LAFCO may amend and update spheres of influence.
10. Is LAFCO required to comply with
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?
LAFCO must comply with CEQA.