Fiscal Year 2020-2021, Effective March 1, 2021
Where indicated in the Fee Schedule, deposits toward the actual cost of processing applications must be paid at the time an application is submitted. Applicants must sign an At-Cost Fee Agreement, consenting to pay LAFCO for all costs incurred in processing. Staff work time on applications, which includes overhead costs, is tracked on an hourly basis. Periodic invoicing of costs can be provided.
If actual costs exceed the deposit amount, LAFCO will invoice an applicant for the additional costs. Processing of an application may be suspended until payment is received. LAFCO must receive payment for any outstanding fee amount due, prior to the closing of an application file. Any portion of a deposit not used for processing will be refunded.
Outside Agency Fees:
If the Executive Officer determines that the processing of an application requires LAFCO to contract with another agency, private firm or individual for services that are beyond the normal scope of LAFCO staff work (e.g., preparation of an Environmental Impact Report or Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis), the applicant shall be responsible for all costs associated with that contract or service. The applicant shall provide LAFCO with a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the contract or an amount determined by the Executive Officer to be a reasonable estimate of the costs.
Legal Counsel Fees:
Applicants will be charged the actual cost for legal consultation or review if the Executive Officer determines that significant legal issues with the application require legal counsel involvement. In such cases, the applicant will be assessed the standard LAFCO fee and an additional fee for legal counsel work, with the minimum amount equivalent to two (2) hours of legal counsel time at the rate in place at that time. All legal counsel fees must be paid in full prior to the closing of an application file.
Pre-Application Review Fee:
Prior to the receipt of an application, LAFCO staff will allocate up to two (2) hours of time, via telephone or email, at no additional cost, to discuss the application and/or work with an applicant, an applicant’s agent, and/or affected agencies. If the applicant requests a meeting with LAFCO staff, LAFCO staff time will be assessed at actual cost, including overhead, for any time beyond a 30-minute meeting. For flat-fee applications, this fee will be added to the standard cost, with payment required at the time of application. When a deposit toward the actual cost of an application is paid, pre-application review fees will be added to the charges assessed.
Payment of Fees; Refunds:
Payment of fees is not a guarantee of approval of a submitted application. Except for unused portions of deposits, all fees paid to Sonoma LAFCO are non-refundable. All outstanding fee amounts due to Sonoma LAFCO must be paid prior to the closing of the application file.
Waiver of Fees:
The Commission may waive or reduce a fee in special circumstances or if it finds that payment would be detrimental to the public interest. Fees may also be waived or reduced for applications filed in response to a condition imposed by, or a recommendation made by, the Commission. A request for waiver, including an explanation for the request, must be submitted in writing to the Commission. Staff will present the request to the Commission, along with analysis and recommendation, for its determination.
Note: Check should be made payable to the County Clerk. If the application is denied, the check will be returned to the applicant.
* A California Department of Fish and Wildlife fee may be charged when LAFCO is the lead agency for environmental review or when LAFCO determines that such a fee has not been paid previously during consideration of the application. The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife fees are subject to change.
* If an application for a change of organization or reorganization contains more than one area, applicant will be charged a fee for each area based on the total number of acres within that area. Fees are subject to change.