Attorney General Opinion

An alternate member of a LAFCo, when not serving in place of a regular member, may participate in public hearings and deliberations of the commission but may not participate in closed sessions.

An MOU between a county and cities within the county, under which the county would agree to implement certain land use development standards within each city’s sphere of influence in exchange for the cities’ agreement to adopt resolutions in support of a multiple species habitat conservation plan, would not, in itself, amount to an illegal exchange of votes within the meaning of Penal Code section 86. 

County Maintenance Districts formed under the Streets & Highways Code (5820-5856) are not subject to LAFCo because they are merely financing entities. This AG opinion also concluded that County Service Areas are not subject to LAFCo jurisdiction, however this opinion resulted in legislation putting CSAs under LAFCo jurisdiction in 1967 (AB 1620-Knox).

Where voters are asked to dissolve an existing community services district and, in the same election, to establish a new city encompassing the same territory as the district and providing all services presently provided by the district, an individual may stand for election on the same ballot to both the existing district board of directors and the proposed city council, because only one of the two offices could exist after the election.

A Local Agency Formation Commission has the authority to enlarge the boundaries of a proposed incorporation beyond those set forth in the petition for incorporation.

A local agency formation commission may condition its approval of the incorporation of a city upon voters within the proposed city approving a general tax.

A LAFCo may require the payment of a mitigation fee (either on a one-time basis or a recurring basis) to a public agency as a condition of approval of a boundary change among public agencies. In this case a city taking over fire service from a district may be required to pay a mitigation fee to the district.

If a LAFCo conditions that the subject agency levy or fix and collect a previously established and collected tax, benefit assessment, or property-related fee
or charge on parcels being annexed to the agency, the voter and landowner approval requirements of Prop 218 do not apply.

In the absence of a jurisdictional change, a city council and a county board of supervisors may execute an agreement that changes the allocation of property tax revenues as between the city and the county, where the change would not affect the allocation for any other public entity.