To encourage the orderly formation of local governmental agencies
LAFCOs review proposals for the formation of new local governmental agencies and changes of organization in existing agencies. In California, there are 58 LAFCOs working with over 5,500 governmental agencies in 58 counties, 500+ cities, and 5,000+ special districts. Agency boundaries are often unrelated to one another and sometimes overlap at random. This complexity of local government can lead to higher service costs to the taxpayer and general confusion with regard to service jurisdictions. LAFCO decisions strive to balance the competing needs in California for affordable housing, economic opportunity, and conservation of natural resources.
To preserve agricultural land resources
LAFCO must consider the effect that any proposal will produce on existing agricultural lands. By guiding development towards vacant urban land and away from agricultural preserves, LAFCO assists with the preservation of our valuable agricultural resources.
To discourage urban sprawl
Urban sprawl can best be described as irregular and disorganized growth occurring without apparent design or plan. This pattern of development is characterized by the inefficient delivery of important urban services (police, fire, water, and sanitation) and the unnecessary loss of agricultural land. By discouraging sprawl, LAFCO discourages the misuse of land resources and promotes a more efficient system of local governmental agencies.