The Local Agency Formation Commission was created by the California Legislature in 1963 to discourage urban sprawl and encourage the orderly formation and development of local government agencies.
There is a LAFCO in each county in California. Marin LAFCO is a seven-member Commission comprised of two city council members (chosen by the Council of Mayors), two county supervisor members (chosen by the Board of Supervisors), two special district members (chosen by Independent Special District election), and one public member (chosen by the members of the Commission). Marin LAFCO currently oversees 65 local government agencies divided between 11 cities and 54 special districts. LAFCO's oversight includes the following duties:
- To review and approve or disapprove proposals for changes in the boundaries or organization of cities and special districts in the county (including annexations to or detachments from cities and districts, incorporation of cities, formation of districts, and the dissolution, consolidation or merger of special districts), applications for activation of special district latent powers, and applications to provide service outside of a city or district boundary;
- To establish and periodically update the sphere of influence or planned service area boundary for each city and special district;
- To initiate and assist in studies of existing local government agencies with the goal of improving the efficiency and reducing the costs of providing urban services; and
- To provide assistance to other governmental agencies and the public concerning changes in local government organization and boundaries.
The Marin Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) promotes and coordinates the efficient delivery of local governmental services and encourages the preservation of open space and agricultural lands.