The City of Arcata (City) retained LACO to prepare CEQA documents and the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) application materials for a City-sponsored annexation of a small residential neighborhood that included 17 developed parcels in Humboldt County, CA. The neighborhood primarily relies on municipal water and individual on-site septic systems. In recent years, several homes in the neighborhood have experienced septic system failures and have requested connection to municipal sewer service. The City was seeking to annex the area to facilitate the extention of sewer service to reduce potential long-term water quality impacts.
Our project team prepared informational guides for affected residents that outline the implications of annexation, including additional services that would become available and changes in taxes and fees. The residents were supportive of annexation after reviewing the materials and attending public hearings.
LACO prepared a CEQA Initial Study that analyzed the effects of annexation and provision of sewer service to the residents. Our project team participated in informational hearings with neighbors as well as public hearings of the Planning Commission and City Council. We also advised City staff regarding their options for pre-zoning.
Our project team prepared a complete LAFCO application package including a plan for services, precise annexation map, legal description, and other application materials. The City Council approved a CEQA Negative Declaration, prezoned the property pursuant to our recommendations, and adopted a resolution of application to LAFCO. Based on initial conversations with LAFCO staff, we expect LAFCO to approve the application when they consider the annexation on July 17, 2013.
LACO’s expertise in LAFCO policies and procedures supported an expedient LAFCO process. Our team completed this project on time and on budget, promptly addressed neighborhood concerns, responded to City questions, and ensured a time and cost efficient review process.