ITEM: ACTION ITEM
18. DISCUSS IMPLEMENTATION OF ORDINANCE NO. 98, SECOND BATHROOM ORDINANCE, AND PROVIDE DIRECTION TO STAFF ON PREPARATION OF AN ORDINANCE
Meeting Date: February 19, 2004 Budgeted: N/A
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
General Counsel Approval: NA
Committee Recommendation: The Water Demand Committee reviewed this item on January 20, 2004. Committee action is discussed under Recommendations.
SUMMARY: Ordinance No. 98 (Exhibit 18-A) allows the addition of a second bathroom to an existing one bathroom single-family dwelling without debiting the jurisdiction’s water allocation. The ordinance was adopted on April 16, 2001 to respond to modern quality-of-life standards that recognize that a second bathroom in a home is primarily for convenience and would not add significant water use. Ordinance No. 98 is scheduled for its annual review by the Board in February 2004 to determine whether or not amendment or revocation is warranted. Although the ordinance contains an annual review provision, this will be the first review in the three years since adoption.
The Water Demand Committee began reviewing the provisions of the ordinance in June 2003 with a number of issues related to administration of Ordinance No. 98. The Water Demand Committee provided guidance to staff on several interpretive issues that could be addressed administratively, but the Committee delayed final review of the ordinance until water consumption records for program participants could be obtained from Cal-Am. The Ordinance No. 98 discussion was scheduled to continue on September 23, 2003, but the item was postponed due to time constraints. The Water Demand Committee completed the review of the general provisions of Ordinance No. 98 in January 2004.
Partially complete water consumption records for participants of the first two years of the program were obtained from Cal-Am in October 2003. Some consumption information was missing due to Cal-Am’s inability to access its own records from 1997-1999, account holder names being different than the name of the person who authorized access, and in some cases there was no account information available (e.g. the property may have been vacant during the timeframe requested). After inputting the information into a spreadsheet, staff determined that no definite conclusions could be drawn with the limited data, as too little time had passed since the permit was issued. Evaluation of the pre- and post-permit water consumption will be of value several years after the second bathroom is added. Staff estimates that it will take until at least 2005 (two years) to begin to see a statistical value in the consumption records.
The access problems that prohibit the District from obtaining Cal-Am consumption information when the customer’s name differs from the name on the District’s authorization to obtain water records need to be resolved. At this time, although the District has deed restrictions on the property that run with the land authorizing access to all water consumption records for a specified period of time, Cal-Am will not provide the records if the account is in a different name from the name on the deed restriction. Similarly, Cal-Am will not provide historic information if the account was in a different name. This has resulted in data gaps that make it difficult to sufficiently analyze consumption trends. Staff will work with Cal-Am to resolve the access issues.
RECOMMENDATION: Ordinance No. 98 was specifically adopted to allow the addition of a second bathroom to a single-family residence to improve the qualify-of-life standards. The ordinance was not intended to facilitate more than a second bathroom. The CEQA finding stated: “The addition of a second bath responds to modern quality-of-life standards in California that recognize that a second bathroom to an existing residence with only one bathroom is primarily for the purpose of convenience (e.g., to accommodate the privacy concerns of parents with growing children or busy working couples) and would not add significant water use.”
Keeping the intent of the ordinance in mind, staff recommends the Board continue Ordinance No. 98 with several modifications and direct staff to draft an ordinance to address the clarifications discussed below. The Water Demand Committee concurred with all but recommendation No. 4, where they had no recommendation. If the Board agrees with the recommendations, staff will prepare an ordinance for further consideration.
1. Persons taking advantage of Ordinance No. 98 to add a second bathroom should be limited to two bathrooms. A deed restriction should enforce the two-bathroom limitation provision. If a person desires to add multiple bathrooms, they should not meet the criteria for the “free” Ordinance No. 98 second bathroom.
2. Applicants who added a second bathroom prior to Ordinance No. 98 by replacing the existing toilet with a half-gallon-per-flush model and by installing a half-gallon-per-flush toilet in the new bathroom, in addition to installing all the conservation incentives available, such as low-flow dishwashers and washing machines, should be allowed to upgrade the toilets to the current standards (1.6 gallons-per-flush) of Ordinance No. 98, as long as they meet the other criteria of the ordinance.
No. 98 allows a second bathroom that contains a toilet, a single tub, or a
single tub/shower, or a single shower, and one or two washbasins. Ordinance No.
80 amended the fixture unit count for Master Bathrooms, and allows a large tub
and a single-stall shower to be installed in a Master Bathroom for three
fixture units, rather than four or five fixture units if the fixtures are
calculated separately. Ordinance No. 80
also allows a second washbasin in the Mater Bathroom at no additional
charge. As the water fixtures allowed
by Ordinance No. 98 are in a sense “invisible” (e.g. there is no credit for any
of these fixtures), it stands to reason that the master bathroom
tub/shower/washbasin discount (Ordinance No. 80) cannot apply to an
Ordinance No. 98 bathroom. The
ordinance states: “No on-site, off-site or transfer of credit shall be granted
for the removal or retrofit of any fixture added pursuant to this second
accounting protocol.” An applicant may, however, obtain a water permit for the a separate tub, shower, or sink in the Ordinance No. 98 bathroom by permitting the fixture’s full fixture unit value.
4. Amend Rule 24 to specify that the provisions of Ordinance No. 98 should only apply to single-family dwellings on single-family residential sites that met that definition as of the effective date of the ordinance (May 16, 2001). Using a loophole, Ordinance No. 98 is being used to add second bathrooms to houses that were previously on “multi-family residential sites” according to the Rules and Regulations. This is being accomplished by lot line adjustments and subdivisions, and by demolitions of multiple units on a property prior to application under Ordinance No. 98. The ordinance states: “Special fixture unit accounting shall apply to any expansion application that proposes to add a second bathroom to an existing single-family dwelling unit on a single-family residential site that, prior to the application, has only one bathroom.” The makers of the ordinance did not contemplate the possibility of future subdivisions and lot line adjustments. The ordinance was directed at the existing housing stock.
5. Modify the language to clarify that the Ordinance No. 98 bathroom cannot be used for a second unit of any kind by requiring installation of the second bathroom within the existing primary habitable dwelling unit. The second bathroom should be installed in the primary habitable space and should not be available for secondary uses. The ordinance was intended to respond to modern quality-of-life standards that recognize that a second bathroom in a home is primarily for convenience and would not add significant water use. Allowing the Ordinance No. 98 bathroom to be added to a portion of the property that is not within the primary habitable space has the potential of the bathroom being used in a secondary living unit. The possibility of creating secondary living units was not considered in the CEQA review of Ordinance No. 98.