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Fallbrook CPG informed of Dec. 6 LAFCO hearing on MSR updates


Last updated 11/26/2021 at 1:40am

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission will hold a Dec. 6 hearing on municipal service review updates for Fallbrook special districts, and LAFCO analyst Priscilla Allen provided a presentation on LAFCO, municipal service reviews, and the context of the hearing during the Nov. 15 Fallbrook Community Planning Group meeting.

“We are in the process of coming forward to the commission with this study,” Allen said.

LAFCO is responsible for jurisdictional changes including consolidations, detachments, annexations, and city incorporations. The San Diego County LAFCO board consists of two county supervisors (currently Nora Vargas and Jim Desmond), one city council representative from San Diego (currently Chris Cate), two city council members from the county's other 17 incorporated cites (currently Mary Salas of Chula Vista and Paul McNamara of Escondido), two members from special districts (currently Jo MacKenzie of the Vista Irrigation District and Barry Willis of the Alpine Fire Protection District), and one public member (currently Bonsall resident Andy Vanderlaan).

A municipal service review evaluates services and anticipated needs. A sphere of influence study determines the boundaries best served by a particular agency. Municipal service review and sphere of influence updates are prerequisites to a jurisdictional change other than annexation of land within the sphere of influence, and LAFCO also periodically conducts municipal service review and sphere of influence updates for all cities and special districts.

The municipal service review for Fallbrook will cover the North County Fire Protection District, the Fallbrook Public Utility District, and the Rainbow Municipal Water District. “The study itself focuses on the active service functions of each of the agencies,” Allen said.

(The planning group itself is a public agency but not a special district. LAFCO does not have jurisdiction over school districts. In February, LAFCO approved a municipal service review update for the county’s three resource conservation districts including the Mission Resource Conservation District and the Upper San Luis Rey Conservation District. Fallbrook’s special districts also include County Service Area No. 81, which covers parks in Fallbrook, Rainbow, and DeLuz; the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is the governing body of a county service area although the CSA has an advisory board of local residents.)

FPUD and RMWD are seeking to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority and annex into the Eastern Municipal Water District. LAFCO approval will be a prerequisite for that. “That would be separate from the study,” Allen said. “For the coming meeting it will just focus on the MSR.”

FPUD's May 2018 meeting included a presentation by the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce and other community groups proposing the possibility that FPUD might take responsibility for community maintenance. That could include a community benefit district to handle community beautification and maintenance items.

Voter approval would be required to create a community benefit district which would also include an assessment, although a LAFCO board action to expand FPUD's latent powers would only require a public vote if sufficient protest signatures were gathered and submitted to LAFCO so an expansion of FPUD's latent powers to form a community benefit district will only happen if public support at the ballot box is expected.

In July 2019, the FPUD board voted 5-0 to authorize the preparation of the application to LAFCO, although the application itself will be reviewed prior to a separate FPUD vote.

“It would be great if we could have a follow-up on the community benefit district,” said planning group member Stephani Baxter.


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