Powers + Responsibilities

Marin LAFCO

has direct jurisdiction over 65 current local governmental agencies located throughout Marin County. These agencies include 11 cities and towns, 30 independent special districts (i.e., directly elected board members), and 24 dependent special districts (i.e., appointed board members from other governmental agencies).

Cities and Towns
  • 11 incorporated communities in Marin County as of 2017
  • Incorporation dates range from 1874 (San Rafael) to 1964 (Tiburon)
  • Boundaries and service areas determined by LAFCO
  • Services determined by the agency
  • Primary functions generally include land use control and police protection 
Special Districts
  • 54 special districts in Marin County as of 2017
  • Formation dates range from 1899 (Ross Valley Sanitary District) to 1999 (Tomales Community Services District)
  • Boundaries and service areas determined by LAFCO
  • Services determined by LAFCO
  • Primary function is to provide urban services in support of development planned and approved by the County of Marin and 11 cities and towns

Marin LAFCO

also has indirect oversight of joint-power authorities (JPAs); legally separate government agencies authorized under State law to provide contract  municipal services - such as water, wastewater, and fire - on behalf of two or more member agencies, and typically consisting of counties, cities, towns, and special districts.    Beginning in 2016 all JPAs providing a local municipal service as defined by LAFCO must file their agreements and any subsequent amendments with LAFCO. 

It is important to note there are additional "districts" in Marin County that are legislatively exempted from LAFCO oversight.  Most commonly, this includes all school districts and community facilities districts.