Founded in 1963, the Local Agency Formation Commission of Orange County (Orange LAFCO) strives to ensure the delivery of effective and efficient public services such as water, sewer, public safety, and parks by local governments to Orange County residents.
How We Do It
- Oversee Geographic Boundaries
Provides oversight of geographic boundaries of public service providers (e.g., the County, cities, and special districts).
- Evaluation of Public Service Delivery
Prepares special studies, called Municipal Service Reviews (MSR), that evaluate the efficient and cost-effective delivery of public services .
- Bring Local Government & Communities Together
Engages and collaborates with local governments, other service providers, and the public to explore potential alternatives to best meet the service demands of the existing and future County population.
5 Key Historic Milestones
The evolution and history of LAFCOs span over 60 years. Key historical milestones for LAFCOs are illustrated on the timeline below.
Studying Boundaries & Resources
Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown appointed the Commission of Metropolitan Area Problems (The Commission) to study the complexities of local government boundaries and the misuse of land resources.
LAFCOs Established To Regulate Boundaries
The Commission’s recommendations were translated into the Knox-Nisbet Act of 1963 which established LAFCOs and provided LAFCOs with regulatory authority of local agency boundary changes.
Laws Governing City & District Boundaries Are Unified
The Legislature enacted the Cortese-Knox Local Government Reorganization Act of 1985, repealing three previous acts (the Knox-Nisbet Act of 1963, the District Reorganization Act of 1965 and the Municipal Organization Act of 1977) and bringing the state’s boundary laws for cities and districts together into a single, unified statute.
Commission Established Review & Revise Boundary Laws
The Legislature established the Commission on Local Governance for the 21st Century to review current statutes and recommend revisions to laws that govern city, county and special district boundary changes.
Boundary Reform Bill Makes LAFCOs More Independent & Creates Review Process
The Commission on Local Governance for the 21st Century released its recommendations in a report entitled Growth Within Bounds. The Legislature responded by passing the most important boundary reform bill since creating LAFCOs – the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000. This legislation empowered LAFCOs to become more proactive in addressing municipal service issues, required LAFCOs to be independent from counties, changed how LAFCOs were funded and required the preparation of Municipal Service Reviews.