Frequently Asked Questions

LAFCO is an acronym for Local Agency Formation Commission. It is a regulatory agency with county-wide jurisdiction, established by state law (Cortese-Knox Hertzberg Act) to discourage urban sprawl and to encourage orderly and efficient provision of services, such as water, sewer, fire protection, etc. Alameda LAFCO is a state-mandated agency and is not a county department.
LAFCO is responsible for reviewing and approving proposed jurisdictional boundary changes, including annexations and detachments of territory to and/or from cities and special districts, incorporations of new cities, formations of new special districts, and consolidations, mergers, and dissolutions of existing districts. In addition, LAFCO must review and approve contractual service agreements, determine spheres of influence for each city and district, and may initiate proposals involving district consolidation, dissolution, establishment of subsidiary districts, mergers, and reorganizations (combinations of these jurisdictional changes).
The Alameda County LAFCo is composed of seven regular Commissioners: two members from the Board of Supervisors; two members who represent the cities in Alameda; two members who represent special districts; and one public member. There are four alternate Commission seats; one from each of the above-membership categories.
Regular LAFCO meetings are scheduled for 2:00 p.m., on the second Thursday of every odd month (January, March, May, July, September and November). Meetings are held at the Dublin San Ramon Services District Board Room, 7051 Dublin Blvd. in Dublin.
If 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.
State law requires that LAFCO notify affected agencies and the public regarding most jurisdictional boundary change proposals. Notification of a pending proposal is made to County departments, interested individuals, and local governmental agencies. In addition, comments are solicited from community groups as well as agencies that may potentially be affected by a LAFCO project. LAFCO must also wait until information is returned from the County Assessor, Auditor, and various state agencies before a proposal may be scheduled for a public hearing.
State 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 refer to LAFCO's fee schedule located on-line at this website or contact the LAFCO office at (510) 271-5142 for fee information.
A 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 district.
Yes. LAFCO may amend and update spheres of influence.
If you have additional questions, please contact the LAFCo office at (510) 271-5142 or by e-mail. Thanks you for your interest in the LAFCo of Alameda County.