Resources - Definitions of Common LAFCO Terms
(See California Government Code Section 56010 et seq. for more terms and definitions.)
"Agricultural lands" means land currently used for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity for commercial purposes, land left fallow under a crop rotational program, or land enrolled in an agricultural subsidy or set-aside program.
"Annexation" means the inclusion, attachment, or addition of territory to a city or district.
means any of the following:
(a) A resolution of application or petition initiating a change of organization or reorganization with supporting documentation as required by the commission or executive officer.
(b) A request for a sphere of influence amendment or update.
(c) A request by a city or district for commission approval of an extension of services outside the agency's jurisdictional boundaries.
(d) A request by a public agency for commission approval of an extension of services outside the agency's jurisdictional boundaries.
"Certificate of completion" means the document prepared by the executive officer and recorded with the county recorder that confirms the final successful completion of a change of organization or reorganization.
"Certificate of filing" means the document issued by the executive officer that confirms an application for a change of organization or reorganization has met submission requirements and is accepted for filing.
"Change of organization" means any of the following:
(a) A city incorporation.
(b) A district formation.
(c) An annexation to a city.
(d) An annexation to a district.
(e) A detachment from a city.
(f) A detachment from a district.
(g) A disincorporation of a city.
(h) A district dissolution.
(i) A consolidation of cities.
(j) A consolidation of special districts.
(k) A merger of a city and a district.
(l) Establishment of a subsidiary district.
(m) The exercise of new or different functions or classes of services, or divestiture of the power to provide particular functions or classes of services, within all or part of the jurisdictional boundaries of a special district.
"Commission" means a local agency formation commission.
"Consolidation" means the uniting or joining of two or more cities located in the same county into a single new successor city or two or more districts into a single new successor district.
“Contiguous” means territory that abuts or shares a common boundary with territory within a local agency. A territory is not contiguous if only contiguity is based upon a strip of land more than 300 feet long and less than 200 feet wide at its narrowest width, that width to be exclusive of highways.
"Dependent special district" or "dependent district" includes any special district that has a legislative body that consists, in whole or part, of ex officio members who are officers of a county or another local agency, or who are appointees of those officers, and who are not appointed to fixed terms. (See definition of District/Special District)
"Detachment" means the exclusion, deletion, or removal from a city or district of any portion of the territory of that city or district.
"Disincorporation" means the dissolution, extinguishment, or termination of the existence of a city and the cessation of its corporate powers, except for the purpose of winding up the affairs of the city.
"Dissolution" means the disincorporation, extinguishment, or termination of the existence of a district and the cessation of all its corporate powers, except as the commission may otherwise provide pursuant to Section 56886 or for the purpose of winding up the affairs of the district.
"District" or "special
district" are synonymous and mean an agency of the state, formed pursuant to general law or
special act, for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions within limited boundaries and in
areas outside district boundaries when authorized by the commission pursuant to Section 56133. District or
special district includes a county service area, but excludes all of the following:
(1) The state.
(2) A county.
(3) A city.
(4) A school district or a community college district.
(5) An assessment district or special assessment district.
(6) An improvement district.
(7) A community facilities district.
(8) A permanent road division.
(9) An air pollution control district or an air quality maintenance district.
(10) A zone of any special district.
"Formation" means the creation of a district.
"Incorporation" means the creation or establishment of a city. Any area proposed for incorporation as a city shall have at least 500 registered voters residing within the affected territory at the time the proposal is initiated.
"Independent district" or "independent special district" includes any special district having a legislative body all of whose members are elected by registered voters or landowners within the district, or whose members are appointed to fixed terms, and excludes any special district having a legislative body consisting, in whole or in part, of ex officio members who are officers of a county or another local agency or who are appointees of those officers other than those who are appointed to fixed terms. (See definition of District/Special District)
"Inhabited territory" means territory within which there reside 12 or more
registered voters. The number of registered voters as determined by the elections officer, shall be established
as of the date a certificate of filing is issued by the executive officer. All other territory shall be deemed
"Initiate" or "initiation" means the issuance of a certificate of filing by the executive officer.
"Joint powers agency" or "joint powers authority" means an agency or entity formed pursuant to the Joint Exercise of Powers Act that is formed for the local performance of governmental functions that includes the provision of municipal services.
"Landowner" or "owner of land" means any
of the following:
(a) A person or persons shown as the owner of land on the last equalized assessment roll prepared by the county at the time the determination is required to be made pursuant to the requirements of this division. Where that person or persons are no longer the owner, the landowner or owner of land is any person or persons entitled to be shown as the owner of land on the next equalized assessment roll.
(b) Where land is subject to a recorded written agreement of sale, any person shown in the agreement as the purchaser.
(c) Any public agency owning land other than highways, rights- of-way, easements, waterways, or canals.
"Landowner-voter" means any person entitled to vote in a landowner-voter district, or the legal representative of that person or, in the case of an election, the proxy of that person if authorized by the principal act.
"Landowner-voter district" means a district whose principal act provides that owners of land within the district are entitled to vote upon the election of district officers, the incurring of bonded indebtedness, or any other district matter.
"Latent service or power" means those services, facilities, functions, or powers authorized by the principal act under which the district is formed, but that are not being exercised, as determined by the commission.
"Merger" means the termination of the existence of a district when the responsibility for the functions, services, assets, and liabilities of that district are assumed by a city as a result of proceedings taken pursuant to this division.
"Open space" means any parcel or area of land or water which is substantially unimproved and devoted to an open-space use, as defined in Section 65560.
"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.
"Prime agricultural land" means an area of land, whether a single
parcel or contiguous parcels, that has not been developed for a use other than an agricultural use and that
meets any of the following qualifications:
(a) Land that qualifies, if irrigated, for rating as class I or class II in the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service land use capability classification, whether or not land is actually irrigated, provided that irrigation is feasible.
(b) Land that qualifies for rating 80 through 100 Storie Index Rating.
(c) Land that supports livestock used for the production of food and fiber and that has an annual carrying capacity equivalent to at least one animal unit per acre as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture in the National Range and Pasture Handbook, Revision 1, December 2003.
(d) Land planted with fruit or nut-bearing trees, vines, bushes, or crops that have a nonbearing period of less than five years and that will return during the commercial bearing period on an annual basis from the production of unprocessed agricultural plant production not less than four hundred dollars ($400) per acre.
(e) Land that has returned from the production of unprocessed agricultural plant products an annual gross value of not less than four hundred dollars ($400) per acre for three of the previous five calendar years.
"Principal act" means, in the case of a district, the law under which the district was formed and, in the case of a city, the general laws or the city charter.
"Proceeding," "proceeding for a change of organization," or "proceeding for a reorganization" means proceedings taken by the commission for a proposed change of organization or reorganization.
"Proposal" means a desired change of organization or reorganization initiated by a petition or by resolution of application of a legislative body or school district for which a certificate of filing has been issued.
"Protest proceedings" means proceedings taken by a commission, or its executive officer when authorized by the commission, as the conducting authority.
"Public agency" means the state or any state agency, board, or commission, any city, county, city and county, special district, or any agency, board, or commission of the city, county, city and county, special district, joint powers authority, or other political subdivision.
"Registered voter" means any elector registered under, and pursuant to, the Elections Code.
"Registered-voter district" means a district whose principal act provides that registered voters residing within the district are entitled to vote for the election of district officers, incurring of bonded indebtedness, or any other district matter.
"Reorganization" means two or more changes of organization contained within a single proposal.
"Service" means a specific governmental activity established within, and as a part of, a general function of the special district as provided by regulations adopted by the commission.
"Sphere of influence" means a plan for the probable physical boundaries and service area of a local agency, as determined by the commission.
"Subject agency" means each district or city for which a change of organization or reorganization is proposed or provided in a plan of reorganization.