2016 Conference Materials

By 2050, California’s population will reach 50 million. In the age of climate change, the question is how best to accommodate this growth in a sustainable manner while preserving our precious farmlands and open space and enhancing our quality of life. As agencies charged with curbing urban sprawl, preserving open space and agricultural lands, and promoting the efficient delivery of services, LAFCos can play a major role in addressing this question. Learn about urban planning and agricultural preservation trends/practices and the analysis and consideration used by one LAFCo to evaluate a controversial city expansion proposal.
Speakers:  Neelima Palacherla, Executive Officer, Santa Clara LAFCo; Serena Unger, Sr. Planner/Policy Assoc., American Farmland Trust; Susan Vicklund Wilson, Commissioner, Santa Clara LAFCo; Randall Winston, Executive Director, CA Strategic Growth Council. Moderator:  Sblend Sblendorio, Alameda LAFCo

LAFCos, which typically serve as responsible agencies under the California Environmental Quality Act, have few options when it comes to dealing with inadequate environmental documents prepared by lead agencies.  Can we refuse to accept the document?  Doubtful.  Can we challenge the document in court? Maybe. Can we prepare our own CEQA document?  Perhaps.  Can we deny the proposal? Yes.  Join us to hear about how three LAFCos used different approaches to address the inadequacy of CEQA documents prepared by lead agencies.  
Scott Browne, Attorney, P. Scott Browne, Esq.; Malathy Subramanian, Attorney, Best Best & Krieger; Michael Walker, Chief Asst. County Counsel, Ventura County. Moderator: Susan Vicklund Wilson, Commissioner, Santa Clara LAFCo

Recent changes to state law impacted the prospects for city incorporations. Four experts describe the city incorporation process and provide details of two unsuccessful proposals (Olympic Valley in Placer County and East Los Angeles in Los Angeles County) and one successful proposal (City of Jurupa Valley in Riverside County).
Speakers:  Kris Berry, Executive Officer, Placer LAFCo; Jim Simon, Principal/President, Rosenow Spevacek Group, Inc.; Gary Thompson, City Manager, City of Jurupa Valley. Moderator: Paul Novak, AICP, Executive Officer, Los Angeles LAFCo

New Laws. New Tools. New Beginnings: From the latest features in mapping software to recently- adopted Commission policies, this session will showcase how the hottest trends in local government are assisting with the ever-growing role of LAFCo. Join us as we explore the current and future challenges affecting LAFCos and learn how you can utilize in-house tools already implemented around the State.
Speakers: Sam Martinez, Asst. Executive Officer, San Bernardino LAFCo; Mike Ott, Executive Officer, San Diego LAFCo;  Andy Vanderlaan, Commissioner, San Diego LAFCo. Moderator: Joe Serrano, Analyst, San Diego LAFCo

LAFCo staff will provide a recap of some of the Central Valley LAFCos’ programmatic efforts to identify and evaluate Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (DUCs), including “lessons learned” following the 2012 implementation of SB 244. We will hear about Census data regarding American Community Survey 1-year estimates and 5-year average estimates and their applicability for identification/mapping of DUCs within different population levels; and, we will discuss the (failed) SB 1318 effort to require inclusion of DUCs in Special District annexations and what to expect for the concept’s anticipated return next legislative session. Speakers:  David Fey, Executive Officer, Fresno LAFCo; Steve Lucas, Executive Officer, Butte LAFCo; Bill Nicholson, Executive Officer, Merced and San Benito LAFCOs. Moderator:  Robert Barry, AICP, Chief Analyst, San Diego LAFCo.

For those who like the quantitative side of LAFCos...this session tracks and discusses key demographic and governance changes underlying growth and development in California since the enactment of the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000. We will explore changes in population, household, and economic indicators across the state and within regions as well as corresponding trends in LAFCo activities, such as agency formations, boundary changes, and outside service extensions. Speakers: Dr. David Lopez Carr, Professor of Geography, UCSB; Keene Simonds, Executive Officer, Marin LAFCo. Moderator: Julie Allen, Commissioner, Tulare LAFCo.

Passed in the early 1980s as a means to implement Proposition 13, AB 8 sets the basic parameters for both the allocation of the property dollar and the means by which that formula may be changed. Thirty years after AB 8, California has a local government funding problem.  The discussion will focus on whether it makes public policy sense to re-visit who gets a portion of property taxes and/or the means by which the formula is set.
Speakers:   Carolyn Chu, Sr. Fiscal and Policy Analyst for the Legislative Analyst’s Office; Michael Latner, Assoc. Professor of Political Science/Director Masters in Public Policy. Moderator: Allen Settle, Commissioner, San Luis Obispo LAFCo

This informative presentation is intended to assist elected officials and staff members of counties, cities, and special districts who may be new to the LAFCo process. Panelists will discuss the basics: the LAFCo review process; required Spheres of Influence and Municipal Service Reviews; and requirements for Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities. They will also review legal counsel and commissioner perspectives on what makes an effective commission.

Speakers:  John Leopold, Commissioner, Santa Cruz LAFCo; Patrick McCormick, Executive Officer, Santa Cruz LAFCo; Nancy Miller, Attorney, Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai. Moderator: Kate McKenna, Executive Officer, Monterey LAFCo

This session explores the status of California’s water resources from a variety of viewpoints, including implementation of the new groundwater management law known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the continuing drought, infrastructure challenges, legal challenges, climate change, impacts from population changes, conservation efforts, and more.   We will explore where we are today and what the future holds.  A panel of experts will explore where California is with water and where LAFCos fit into the discussion. Speakers:  Michael Colantuono, Attorney, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley PC; David Inouye, CA Dep. of Water Resources; Kelley Dyer, Water Supply Manager, City of Santa Barbara; Ron Greenwood, Director, Carmichael Water District; Commissioner, Sacramento LAFCo. Moderator:  Gay Jones, Commissioner, Sacramento LAFCo