About Modoc LAFCo
Our name may not be self-explanatory (most people refer to us as "LAFCo"), but a quick tour of this site will hopefully provide a good introduction into the work of this Commission, and a better understanding of the county, cities, and special districts that serve the citizens of Modoc County.
Within Modoc County, the city of Alturas is the only the incorporated city and the county seat. Modoc County also contains the communities of Adin, California Pines, Canby, Cedarville, Daphnedale Park, Davis Creek, Eagleville, Ft. Bidwell, Lake City, Likely, Lookout, Newell, New Pine Creek, Stronghold and Tionesta.
Those interested in LAFCos throughout the State of California may wish to visit the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO) web site at www.calafco.org for further information.
History of LAFCO After the end of World War II and throughout the 1950’s, California experienced a tremendous population increase, which resulted in a number of illogical and "special interest" incorporations of new cities and formations of new special districts. In addition, a number of cities engaged in "annexation wars" with one another, resulting in haphazard, illogical, and inefficient service boundaries.
This development boom not only resulted in the proliferation of inefficient service agencies, but it also led to premature conversion of prime agricultural land to urban/suburban uses, premature and unplanned development, and urban sprawl.
Governor Edmund G. Brown, Sr. responded to this problem in 1959 by appointing the "Commission on Metropolitan Area Problems." The Commission’s charge was to study and make recommendations on the "misuse of land resources" and the growing complexity of overlapping governmental jurisdictions. The Commission’s recommendations on local governmental reorganization were introduced in the Legislature in 1963, resulting in the creation of Local Agency Formation Commissions (or "LAFCo’s) in every county in the state, and delegated much of its authority over local government boundaries and structures to them.
Until 1985, LAFCo's operated within three statutory frameworks (the Knox-Nisbit Act of 1963, the District Reorganization Act, and the Municipal Organization Act of 1977). A major overhaul of the LAFCo law occurred in 1985, with the unification of these three major statutes into the Cortese-Knox Local Government Reorganization Act.
In 1997, Assembly Bill 1385 (Hertzberg) established a fifteen-member Commission on Local Governance for the 21st Century (CLG21) to examine governance issues with special attention to the Local Government Reorganization Act.
The Commission’s recommendations and proposed statutory language were incorporated into Assembly Bill 2838, authored by Assembly Speaker Hertzberg. A diverse group of stakeholders including representatives from city, county, and special district associations, as well as from the Farm Bureau, the Building Industry Association, and the Realtors’ Association, worked together to polish the legislation. The bill cleared the Legislature and was signed by the Governor on September 27, 2000. Since 2000 there has been significant legislative changes enhancing LAFCo's role and function.