17. WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT
A. DISCUSS DIRECTOR PENDERGRASS’ REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION OF OCTOBER 23, 2003 LETTER TO THE JURISDICTIONS REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF ORDINANCE NO. 98 AS IT APPLIES TO MASTER BATHROOM ADDITIONS
Program/Line Item No.: NA
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: Water Demand Committee concurred with the administrative action
CEQA Compliance: N/A
SUMMARY: At the October 30, 2003 Board meeting, Director Pendergrass requested that the entire Board consider implementation of new rules mandated by Chair Henson at a Water Demand Committee regarding the installation of bathrooms under Ordinance No. 98. Specifically, a letter was sent to the jurisdictions describing an administrative change that does not allow a permit applicant to install a separate bathtub and shower in the Ordinance No. 98 bathroom. A copy of the letter is attached as Exhibit 17-A-1.
The Water Demand Committee reviewed the provisions of Ordinance No. 98, the District’s second bathroom ordinance, on June 24, 2003. The goal of the review was to prepare recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Ordinance calls for an annual Board review of the District Rule enacted by this ordinance to determine whether or not amendment or revocation is warranted. The full review of the ordinance by the Board was delayed to allow staff time to gather water consumption records from Cal-Am and for the committee to complete its review of the issues and to formulate recommendations. The Water Demand Committee was able to provide guidance to staff on several interpretation issues that could be addressed administratively. Further consideration of the issues was scheduled for the September 23, 2003 Water Demand Committee meeting, but the item was continued to a future date.
The Water Demand Committee was able to clarify Ordinance No. 98’s relationship to the “master bathroom” provision. Ordinance No. 80 allows a separate tub and shower in the master bathroom for a “discounted’ rate (e.g. three fixture units versus five fixture units). Ordinance No. 80 also allowed a second washbasin in the master bathroom at no cost. The Water Demand Committee clarified that the Ordinance No. 98 bathroom was not intended to facilitate the installation of a “luxury” bathroom that would include a separate tub, shower and two sinks. The concept of Ordinance No. 98 was to allow the addition of a second bathroom with a toilet and sink, and tub or shower or combination unit. The Committee determined that a bathroom added under Ordinance No. 98 should not be designated as a master bathroom, so a separate shower and tub would not be allowed, neither would the installation of two sinks be permissible. This action is in keeping with the provisions of Ordinance No. 98 which states: “No on-site, off-site or transfer of credit shall be granted for removal or retrofit of any fixture added pursuant to this second bathroom accounting protocol.”
Due to the complexity of the master bath fixture unit count and Ordinance No. 98, staff had inadvertently been allowing the Ordinance No. 98 bathroom to include a discounted rate for the separate tub and shower, as well as allowing a second washbasin at no charge. As the water fixtures allowed by Ordinance No. 98 are in a sense “invisible” (e.g. there is no credit for these fixtures), the master bathroom tub/shower discount should never have been applicable. Furthermore, staff had been allowing retrofit of the Ordinance No. 98 toilet to facilitate additional water credit to offset the master bathroom fixture unit count. The Water Demand Committee’s guidance was consistent with the ordinance.
RECOMMENDATION: The Board has yet to review the provisions enacted by Ordinance No. 98 to determine whether or not amendment or revocation of the ordinance is warranted. Therefore, staff recommends that the current practice remain in place pending the Board’s review of a number of issues related to this ordinance that have been identified by staff.
Staff further recommends that the 2004 Water Demand Committee review this item prior to its coming before the full Board. The issues related to Ordinance No. 98 that need to be resolved are complex in nature and require a fairly thorough knowledge of the Ordinance and how it impacts other rules. It is recommended that this item be calendared for the first Water Demand Committee and that the committee formulate recommendations for the full Board. In that event that the Board recommends it review the item without committee review, staff recommends this item be considered at a Board workshop prior to action.