Sphere of Influence Update and Municipal Service Review Program
Approved Municipal Service Reviews
The Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 (Act) requires LAFCo to review and update, as necessary, each local agency’s Sphere of Influence (SOI) before January 1, 2008, and every five years thereafter. As part of the SOI update,
the Commission must consider and prepare a written statement of its determinations
which are summarized as follows:
- The present and planned land uses in the area, including agricultural and open-space lands.
- The present and probable need for public facilities and services in the area.
- The present capacity of public facilities and adequacy of public services that the agency provides or is authorized to provide.
- The existence of any social or economic communities of interest in the area if the commission determines that they are relevant to the agency.
- For a city or special district that
provides public facilities or services related to sewers,
municipal and industrial water, or structural fire
protection, the present and probable need for those public
facilities and services of any disadvantaged
unincorporated communities within the existing sphere of
Prior to, or in conjunction with an agency’s SOI update, LAFCo is required to conduct a Municipal Service Review (MSR) for each agency. A MSR is a comprehensive review of an agency’s ability to provide service(s) to those persons and businesses within its current boundaries.
Per the Act, the Commission prepares written statements of its
determinations with respect to each of the following factors:
- Growth and population projections for
the affected area.
- The location and characteristics of
any disadvantaged unincorporated communities within or
contiguous to the SOI.
- Present and planned capacity of public
facilities and adequacy of public services, including
infrastructure needs or deficiencies.
- Financial ability of agencies to
- Status of, and opportunities for,
- Accountability for community service
needs, including governmental structure and operational
- Any other matter related to effective
or efficient service delivery, as required by commission
The Commission's Municipal Service Review
Policy establishes the MSR Program's goal:
"...To provide cities and special
districts with an assessment on their provision of services,
make recommendations regarding areas of improvement, and
determine whether or not an agency is equipped to
effectively provide services within its existing or expanded
The Commission determines the SOI
boundary for local agencies under LAFCo's jurisdiction. The
SOI is a planning boundary outside an agency's service area
that means, a plan for the probable physical boundaries and
service area of a local agency. The Commission adopts,
updates, and evaluates an SOI using a 20-year planning
horizon. An SOI is the Commission's best estimate of
the probable service area for an agency over time, depending
upon information collected during the MSR update process.
(For text of the law, see the Government Code, Sections
56425; 56430; and Fresno LAFCo Policies, Standards and
Procedures Manual - Policy 107.)