ITEM: PUBLIC HEARINGS
4. CONSIDER APPLICATION BY CHUGACH & COMPANY TO AMEND CHUGACH WELL #2 WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM --APN 189-111-024
Meeting Date: January 31, 2002 Budgeted: N/A
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
Staff Contact: Henrietta Stern Cost Estimate: N/A
Committee Recommendation: N/A
CEQA Compliance: Notice of Exemption (Class 1 Categorical Exemption, ref. Guidelines Section 15301, Existing Facilities)
SUMMARY: The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) Board will consider whether or not to approve Application #20011012CHU by Tim Condon on behalf of Chugach & Company to Amend the Chugach Well #2 Water Distribution System (WDS) from a single-connection water system to a multiple-connection system near Garzas Road in Carmel Valley. One existing parcel presently served by Well #2 is proposed to be subdivided into two residential parcels of roughly seven acres each for family residential use.
This application was first considered by the MPWMD Board at its January 31, 2002 meeting. The Board voted to continue consideration until additional analysis of the potential effects of Well #2 on Garzas Creek and other information was provided. This public hearing was scheduled once adequate technical and other information were received from the applicant.
The basic application information is provided as Exhibit 4-A. A location map of existing wells and proposed parcels is provided as Exhibit 4-B. The entire package of application materials has been provided under separate cover to MPWMD Board members. A copy of the complete application package is available for public review at the District office and the Carmel Valley library. The full set of application materials include:
MPWMD Application Form;
Location maps of existing parcel, with existing wells and proposed system;
Well #1 and Well #2 information, including Monterey County water well permit, well seal confirmation, pumping test results, and water chemistry analyses;
Potential water use calculations based on District worksheets;
Hydrogeologic Evaluation Report for the Chugach & Company Well No. 2 Water Distribution System prepared for the applicant by URS Corporation, dated April 24, 2003;
Monterey County zoning information for subject property;
Proof of ownership of property (grant deed) and description of legal parcel;
Confirmation of existing system and other information from MPWMD;
Correspondence between MPWMD and applicant, including a technical review memorandum prepared by District staff and other information.
Notice of this Public Hearing has been advertised in The Herald and District website as part of the agenda for the August 28, 2003 Board meeting, and notices have also been posted at the project area and the District office. In addition, property owners within 300 feet of the subject parcel have been mailed notices of this hearing.
RECOMMENDATIONS: District staff recommends that the Board take the following actions:
R1. Based on the CEQA Guidelines, zoning for the subject property and the information provided in the application package, the Board should concur with the proposed Notice of Exemption shown as Exhibit 4-C, and direct staff to file the notice with the County Clerk.
R2. The Board should adopt the Findings of Approval shown as Exhibit 4-D.
R3. The Board should approve the application to amend the Chugach Well #2 WDS, including the 21 Conditions of Approval provided as Exhibit 4-E. These include an annual system capacity (water production) limit of 4.4 acre-feet per year (AFY), an expansion capacity (water connections) limit of four connections, and several other mandatory conditions as required by MPWMD Rule 22. The applicant has confirmed in writing that the 4.4 AFY amount is an acceptable production limit, even though it is lower than the 7.14 AFY limit recommended in 2002.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION:
The Chugach property is comprised of one legal parcel; this single legal parcel is assessed at two different tax rates, resulting in two Assessor’s Parcel Numbers for the property (APN 189-111-022 and APN 189-111-024). As shown on the map in the application package (Exhibits 4-A and B), both Well #1 and Well #2 were properly registered and metered, and existed on parcel APN 189-111-024 prior to October 15, 2001. These wells met the exemption requirements specified in MPWMD Rule 20-A (most recently amended by MPWMD Ordinances Nos. 96 and 105). A long-standing well, labeled “Original Well” has served the property for many years. Since one legal parcel is involved, the existing situation is considered to be a “single-parcel connection system” by the District.
The matter before the MPWMD Board is focused on APN 189-111-024 and Well #2, which currently provides water for minor irrigation use. Allowed uses on the subject property pursuant to Title 21/Monterey County Zoning Ordinance (LDR Districts, Section 21.14.030 and RDR Districts, Section 21.16.030) include single-family homes and guest houses, various types of farming and live-stock husbandry, and water system facilities including wells and storage tanks serving four or fewer service connections, among other uses.
In a letter to the applicant dated December 5, 2001, District staff confirmed that the existing two wells (Well #1 and Well #2) are considered to be part of an existing water distribution system in compliance with District regulations. This application only addresses Well #2 because Well #1 will continue to serve only one parcel in the future. The December 5, 2001 letter also confirmed that the wells are outside of the Carmel Valley alluvial aquifer based on an August 2001 field inspection and September 2001 written assessment by the District’s Water Resources Manager. Thus, the wells are outside the jurisdictional area of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
Exhibits 4-A and 4-B describe the potential small subdivision that is contemplated. Well #1 would serve proposed “Parcel A” of roughly six acres and would remain a single-connection system. Well #2, the subject of this application, would serve proposed “Parcel B” and “Parcel C”, which would be each roughly seven acres in size. The primary purpose of the proposed water system is to serve as a source of water for residential use and landscape/agricultural irrigation for Parcels B and C. Because more than one parcel is proposed to be served by Well #2 in the future, this situation is considered to be a “multiple-parcel connection system” by the District. District Rule 22 requires a permit to amend a water distribution system, in this case, changing it from a single-parcel connection system to a multiple-parcel connection system.
This application was first considered by the MPWMD Board at its January 31, 2002 meeting. The Board voted to continue consideration until additional information was provided, including: hydrologic evidence on the potential effects of Well #2 on Garzas Creek; projected water requirements; and property ownership confirmation. A February 15, 2002 letter to the applicant from MPWMD itemized the specific hydrologic and other information needed. The applicant submitted the Hydrogeologic Evaluation Report prepared by URS Corporation dated April 24, 2003, along with other supporting information. A June 27, 2003 from the District advised the applicant that certain information was either missing, incomplete or unclear. The District Water Resources Manager, a Certified Hydrogeologist, prepared a technical review memorandum that calculated that production of up to 4.40 AFY from Well #2 would not adversely affect Garzas Creek. This quantity is less than the 7.67 AFA estimated annual demand for the two proposed parcels in the Hydrogeologic Evaluation Report, but is acceptable to the applicant.
District Counsel discussed the application with District staff, and recommends that a Notice of Exemption to CEQA, Class 1 Categorical Exemption, Existing Facilities, be filed. [A Class 15 Categorical Exemption, Minor Land Divisions, pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15315 is also applicable.] The proposed Notice of Exemption to be signed by the General Manager upon approval of the application by the Board is provided as Exhibit 4-C. Approval of this application involves the District permitting use of private water system facilities that involve negligible expansion of existing facilities (Well #2 and appurtenant structures). The proposed amended water distribution system uses appear to be consistent with existing zoning regulations, and a similar quantity of water could be produced with the existing single-parcel connection system as for the proposed multiple-parcel connection system.
Findings of Approval
The Findings of Approval (Exhibit 4-D) are based on evidence provided in the application materials, particularly the Hydrogeologic Evaluation Report, as well as referenced information on file at the District office. District staff and the consultant who assisted in the technical review believe the application meets the criteria and minimum standards for approval of water distribution systems required by District Rule 22, and responds to the direction of the Board in January 2002. It is notable that approval of the amended water distribution system by MPWMD does not constitute approval of the proposed land use changes (i.e., the small subdivision). That decision is solely the purview of Monterey County.
A variety of factors are considered in setting water production limits, as identified in MPWMD Rule 40 (as amended by Ordinance No. 105). Factors include anticipated future water use, zoning and land use regulations of the applicable jurisdiction, the physical capacity of the well to deliver a reliable yield, water rights, and environmental factors.
The applicant originally requested 30.98 AFY based on uses allowed by current zoning and land use regulations, and specific water use factors provided in District worksheets for various residential and agricultural uses. The production limit recommended by staff in January 2002 was 7.14 AFY, based on well capacity test data submitted by the applicant and factors used by the Monterey County Health Department for wells in a hard-rock environment. The Hydrogeologic Evaluation Report prepared in April 2003 estimated 7.67 AFY of demand for the two parcels. The District’s Certified Hydrogeologist recommends a production limit of 4.40 AFY, based on the data in the Hydrogeologic Evaluation Report as well as data on file at the District office in order for Well #2 to not adversely affect Garzas Creek.
This lower production limit equates to 2.2 AFY each for planned parcels B and C. This quantity is considered to be adequate for a main house, guest house, landscaping/garden, pets, and limited livestock. This reduced limit would not enable the applicant to carry out more intensive types of irrigation that were listed as possible uses in the application and/or would decrease the acreage of those types of uses. The applicant confirmed on July 3, 2003 that he is amenable to this reduced limit (Exhibit 4-F).
Connection Limits, and Other Conditions of Approval. The application describes the potential to construct one main house, one guest house with kitchen, and barn/irrigation facilities on each of the two parcels. Based on this information, the applicant requested six connections. According to the MPWMD Water Demand Division, separate connections are not counted for barn/irrigation uses. Thus, staff recommends a connection limit of four connections, two for each parcel. If the applicant wishes to track irrigation water use, an in-line meter or other measuring devices are available. Other conditions imposed are consistent with MPWMD Rule 22 governing approval of water distribution systems. They include monitoring and reporting, conservation requirements, and approvals by the District and other entities such as Monterey County or fire authorities before certain types of future uses are carried out.
It is notable that the proposed well is located as far away from Garzas Creek as possible; the creek flows along the opposite side of the property. This location, along with the substantially lower production limit than requested, reduces the potential for indirect effects of water extraction on the creek. Please refer to the findings in Exhibit 4-D for reference information.
Exhibit 4-A: Application 20011012CHU
Exhibit 4-B: Location maps
Exhibit 4-C: Notice of Exemption from CEQA
Exhibit 4-D: Draft Findings of Approval
Exhibit 4-E: Draft Conditions of Approval
Exhibit 4-F: Applicant acceptance of production limit