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LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commissions)


RWG lawyers represent cities, districts and other public agencies on all aspects of the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 (California Government Code Section 56000 et seq.).

We advise public entities on the formation of new districts, incorporations, annexations, detachments, and consolidations of territory before local agency formation commissions (LAFCOs) throughout the State. 

Our expertise includes the incorporation of many cities including the City of Jurupa Valley, California’s newest city.  The legal issues involved in incorporations require the analysis of tax revenues, the allocation of those revenues between the jurisdictions, and the application of the revenue neutrality statutes.  An important part of our practice also includes the complex issues raised by the application of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to these reorganizations. 

Additionally, we combine our expertise in land use and represent many cities in large residential and mixed-use projects that require the annexation of the project area to the city along with approval of specific plans and development agreements.

LAFCOs are required to prepare in the preparation and review of spheres of influence that plan for the probable physical boundaries and service area of a local agency under Government Code Section 56076.  In addition to representing clients with respect to the spheres of influence, we also advise clients concerning LAFCO review and update of spheres of influence required every five years under Government Code Section 56425.

Our lawyers advise cities, districts and other public agencies on the provisions of Government Code Section 56133.  This statute requires that a city, district or other public agency must obtain approval from LAFCO before providing new or extended service by contract outside of its jurisdictional boundaries.


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Richards, Watson & Gershon delivers practical advice and solutions tailored to the unique needs of public entities. Working seamlessly across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, Temecula, the Central Coast, and Sacramento, and our dedicated team of experts provides the full scope of public law services.

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