LAFCOs regulate, through approval or denial, the boundary changes proposed by
other public agencies or individuals. Any proposal to add land to a city or
special district (annexations), create a new city or special district
(incorporation or formation), remove land from a city or special district
(detachment), consolidate, merge, or dissolve cities or special district must be
reviewed and approved by LAFCO. LAFCOs do not have the power to initiate
boundary changes on their own, except for proposals involving the dissolution or
consolidation of special districts and the merging of subsidiary districts.
Typical applicants might include:
- Individual property/homeowners requesting annexation to a sewer district
due to a failing septic system.
- Developers seeking annexation to cities in order to obtain urban services
for new housing.
- Cities wishing to annex pockets of unincorporated land, or “islands,”
located within their borders in order to avoid duplication of services with
- Special districts or cities seeking to consolidate two or more government
agencies into one, in an effort to streamline their services and reducing the
cost to the local taxpayer.