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Policy: Duplication of Authority

Legal Authority

The Legislature provided each LAFCO with the authority to “establish written policies and procedures and exercise its a manner consistent with those policies and procedures and that encourages and provides planned, well-ordered, efficient urban development patterns with appropriate consideration of preserving open-space and agricultural lands within those patterns.” (Government Code Section §56300) This policy implements the intended goal of well-ordered growth.

As defined by Government Code Section §56061, “overlap” or “overlapping territory” means “territory which is included within the boundaries of two or more districts or within one or more districts and a city or cities.” The policy includes both the sphere of influence and territory within the boundary of a city or district.

Background and Discussion

Several areas within Sonoma County have agencies with overlapping spheres of influence. Generally, these areas are unincorporated territory located within a city’s sphere of influence where services are being provided by an independent special district. For example, the City of Rohnert Park’s sphere of influence includes territory in both the Rancho Adobe and Rincon Fire Protection Districts.

The Commission discourages these overlaps. If, after review of the city and district’s spheres of influence, the Commission determines that service is better performed by the special district, then the territory may stay within the district until it is annexed into the city.

Adopted: 2006
Amended: June 5, 2013