Through adoption of AB 2838, the State of California established the requirements for LAFCOs to conducting Service Reviews (Government Code Section 56430) as well as requiring sphere of influence updates for all agencies under LAFCO purview (Government Code Section 56425).
In 2003 the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) issued Municipal Service Review Guidelines that provided a step-by-step approach to understanding the service review process as established by the Legislature. On May 21, 2003, the San Bernardino LAFCO adopted the OPR MSR Guidelines by reference for its use during the conduct of its service reviews and adopted local policies related to the processing of service reviews and review requirements for sphere of influence amendments. While the requirements of Section 56430 have changed over time, the Commission has maintained this document as its policy guidelines.
San Bernardino LAFCO conducted its initial round of service reviews and sphere of influence updates on a community-by-community basis (e.g. San Bernardino, Apple Valley, Yucca Valley, Lake Arrowhead) packaged by region (Valley, North Desert, South Desert, Mountain) in keeping with adopted Commission policy on spheres of influence. This practice of looking at a total community also considers the existence of inter-related economic, environmental, geographic, and social interests, and attempts to harmonize the conflicting plans and services of the various service entities within a defined community.
The following are the service reviews and sphere of influence updates for the first round:
In April 2016, in an effort to more efficiently conduct the mandatory service reviews along with the passage of legislation since 2008 affecting service reviews and sphere of influence updates, the Commission modified the scope of all of the second round service reviews to address individual services on a countywide basis. This included the direction that the report would maintain an internal segregation of the four regions due to the differences in service delivery patterns and needs. The following are the Service Reviews in process or conducted to date for the second round:
- Water Conservation (focus on area of water conservation districts) – completed May 2015
- Water (Retail, Wholesale, Recycled) – completed July 2017
- Wastewater – completed August 2018