21.†††††† Consider Establishing Interest Group for Seaside Ground Water Basin Management Ordinances and concur with representation agreement of subconsultant
Meeting Date:†††††††††† January 30, 2003††††††††††††††††††† Budgeted: N/A
Program/Line Item No.:† N/A
Staff Contact: ††††††††††† Joe Oliver†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Cost Estimate: N/A
General Counsel Approval: Counsel recommended Board consideration of representation agreement matter.
CEQA Compliance: N/A
SUMMARY:† At the December 16, 2002 meeting, the Board authorized a contract with Jones & Stokes (J&S) for technical assistance to facilitate public outreach and environmental review for interim ordinances regarding Seaside Ground Water Basin management.† An optional task in the J&S proposal is for establishment of an interest group comprised of agencies and entities most likely to be affected by adoption of the proposed ground water management ordinances.† Focused meetings with this interest group would be conducted on a regular basis (i.e., quarterly or more frequent if needed) during the ordinance development and environmental review process.† These meetings would be in addition to the planned quarterly public information workshops on this topic.† It is envisioned that the focused interest group meetings will serve to educate and disseminate the latest information, and will enable expanded communications, thereby diffusing potentially unproductive dialogue at regular monthly Board meetings and quarterly public workshops.
In addition, the J&S proposal includes an optional task for legal review of the draft interim ordinances.† This work will be subcontracted to the firm of Ellison, Schneider & Harris (ES&H) in Sacramento.† As part of the conflict of interest check at their office, they identified one existing client, Rancho San Carlos, that will require them to obtain an informed written consent with the District regarding dual client representation.† Both ES&H and District staff believe that, because the work that would be undertaken is in the hydrologically disconnected Seaside Basin, this dual representation does not pose a problem in this case.
RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the Board concur with establishment of an interest group as part of the Seaside Ground Water Basin management ordinances process.† This will enable focused meetings with those most interested and potentially affected by adoption of the proposed interim ordinances.† It is also recommended that the General Manager be authorized to execute the consent to representation agreement with ES&H for their work in reviewing the interim ordinances.
BACKGROUND:† Development of a Seaside Basin Ground Water Management Plan was prioritized by the Board as part of its strategic planning process.† The need for ground water management plan development has been highlighted by recent increased production and corresponding declining water levels in the basin.† In addition, the existence of an adopted local ground water management plan is a key criterion in the evaluation of ground water assistance applications by state grant funding agencies.† The proposed ground water management plan scope and implementation process were reviewed at the Boardís January 16, 2002 workshop, and alternative management options were explored at the February 21, 2002 workshop.† At the April 25, 2002 workshop, the Board directed that a time line and plan for preparation of an ordinance be developed as an interim measure to help protect the basinís resources until a comprehensive ground water management plan can be developed.† Two conceptual draft ordinances that address new and existing uses in the basin were reviewed at the June 17, 2002 Board meeting.† This approach is consistent with the structure and format of the District Law.† Given the potential for changes to the timing, location and quantity of water production from the basin as a result of ordinance implementation, District counsel advised that an EIR will likely be needed to satisfy the environmental review requirement.† At the June 17, 2002 meeting, the Board requested that the RFP for technical assistance on the ordinance development and environmental review process be solicited to interested consulting firms.† The proposal from J&S was approved for this work at the December 16, 2002 Board meeting.† Optional Task 4.3 of the proposal called for development of a selected group of stakeholders comprised of municipal purveyors, resource agencies and local public advocacy groups.† At a recent orientation meeting with J&S, it was determined that the list of interested parties should be expanded to include, at a minimum, the following entities, given the overlapping jurisdictions of each with respect to the Seaside Basin boundaries:
Notices of meetings would be sent out in advance along with materials pertinent to the agenda for each meeting.
IMPACT ON STAFF/RESOURCES:† Development of ordinance and environmental review documents regulating Seaside Ground Water Basin management are anticipated to require considerable District staff and consultant effort.† Consultant† assistance to facilitate public outreach and environmental review for the proposed interim ordinances, including work with the Seaside Basin interest group, has been included in the District Fiscal Year 2002-2003 Budget (Summary of Project Expenditures, 2002-2003 year Budget, Objectives 2-6-2 E.).† The additional staff effort for work with the interest group has not been determined.