Sonoma LAFCO Local Agency Formation Commission

Sonoma LAFCO Fee Schedules

Fiscal Year 2018-2019, Effective July 1, 2018


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 reimburse 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 is provided.

If actual costs exceed the deposit amount, LAFCO will invoice the applicant for the additional costs. Processing of the application may be suspended until payment is received. Any portion of the deposit not used for processing is 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 costs of fees associated with legal consultation or review. While most applications do not require legal review, occasionally an application will develop significant legal issues that require considerable legal counsel involvement. In the event the Executive Officer identifies significant legal issues associated with the application, the applicant will be assessed, from that point forward, an additional minimum fee equivalent to two hours of legal counsel time at the current rate and any additional cost accrued above the minimum fee amount. Legal fees must be paid in full prior to the final processing of an application.

Pre-Application Review Fee

Prior to the receipt of an application, LAFCO staff will allocate up to two (2) hours of time, at no additional cost, to discuss the application and/or work with an applicant, an applicant’s agent, and/or affected agencies via telephone, fax, or email. Beyond that, or if the applicant requests a meeting with LAFCO staff, LAFCO staff time is assessed at actual cost, including overhead. For flat-fee applications, this fee is added to the standard cost, and payment is required at the time of application. Where a deposit toward the actual cost of an application is paid, pre-application review fees are added to the charges.

Payment of Fees

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 recordation of a certificate of completion or administrative approval.

Waiver of Fees

The Commission may waive a fee in special circumstances or if it finds that payment would be detrimental to the public interest. Fees may 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.

Fee Schedules

Applications Involving Annexation, Detachment or Combination Fees
With 100% landowner consent - all owners within the affected territory have provided written consent to the proposed action $ 5,500
+ Environmental document review fee
+ CA Dept. of Tax & Fee Administration fees
+ Legal Counsel’s Time and Materials
Without 100% landowner consent and with fewer than 50 registered voters – not all owners within the affected territory provided written consent to the proposed action $9,900
+ Environmental document review fee
+ CA Dept. of Tax & Fee Administration fees
+ Legal Counsel’s Time and Materials
Without 100% landowner consent and with more than 50 registered voters $5,000deposit towards actual costs
+ CA Dept. of Tax & Fee Administration fees
+ Legal Counsel’s Time and Materials
Complex application, as determined by EO, including but not limited to, an EIR, the potential for substantial development with 50 or more units, significant effect on the community and/or amendment to the sphere of influence $5,000 deposit towards actual costs
+ CA Dept. of Tax & Fee Administration fees
+ Legal Counsel’s Time and Materials
Sphere of Influence Updates or Amendments Fees
Standard Update or Amendment (with or without a Municipal Service Review) $5,000 deposit towards actual costs
Sphere Amendment concurrent with annexation, detachment, or reorganization $775
(includes Environmental document review fee)
Applications Involving Fees
District Formations, Dissolutions, Consolidations $10,000 deposit towards actual costs
City Incorporation $10,000 deposit towards actual costs
Fire Protection Contract $5,000 deposit towards actual costs
Outside Services Area Agreements (OSAA) Fees
Application Fee - Administrative Determination $2,200
+ Environmental document review
+ Legal Counsel’s Time and Materials
Application Fee - Commission Determination $4,300
+ Environmental document review
+ Legal Counsel’s Time and Materials
Appeal Fee of Administrative Determination $2,300
Review of Environmental Documents Related to Application Fees
Categorically Exempt $335
Initial Study and Negative Declaration/ Mitigated Negative Declaration $1,175
Initial Study and Environmental Impact Report $2,400
Preparation of environmental documents when LAFCO is the Lead Agency $4,000 deposit towards actual costs
California Fish and Wildlife Fees Fees

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, are as follows:

Negative Declaration/Mitigated Negative Declaration $2,280.75
Environmental Impact Report $3,168.00
Miscellaneous Fees

Pre-Application Review Fee

Actual cost of staff time via telephone, fax, or email, after two hours

Pre-Application Meeting

Actual cost of staff time, added to application fee

Request for Reconsideration


Special or Supplemental Studies

Actual cost of staff and consultant services

Request for Activation or Expansion of District Latent Powers

$1,000 deposit towards actual costs

Special Meeting or Hearing

$1,000 deposit towards actual cost

Municipal Service Review (not initiated by Commission )

$ 5,000 deposit towards actual cost of staff and consultant

Application Referral to Legal Counsel

Equivalent of two hours of legal counsel time at the current rate plus actual costs above the minimum

Petition Signature Verification

Costs assessed by Registrar of Voters

Copies of documents

$.10 per page (after 10 pages)

Copy of audio recording of meeting


Annual Agenda Mailing Fee


Archive Retrieval Fee

Actual cost of staff time

County Clerk Environmental Document Processing Fee (All Applications)

$ 50.00

Note: Check should be made payable to the County Clerk. If the application is denied, the check will be returned to the applicant

California Department of Tax & Fee Administration Fees Fees
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.
Less than 1 acre $300
At least 1 acre up to including 5 acres $350
At least 6 acres up to including 10 acres $500
At least 11 acres up to including 20 acres $800
At least 21 acres up to including 50 acres $1,200
At least 51 acres up to including 100 acres $1,500
At least 101 acres up to including 500 acres $2,000
At least 501 acres up to including 1000 acres $2,500
At least 1001 acres up to including 2000 acres $3,000
At least 2001 acres and above $3,500