Meeting Date:

November 16, 2004





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:


Prepared By:


Gabriela Ayala

Cost Estimate:


General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY: PRI, LLC is requesting Board approval of a variance to allow a single Cal-Am connection to supply water to 18 affordable housing units at 410 Alvarado Street, Monterey.  A variance from the District’s requirement for individual water meters is requested due to the cost and hardship caused by limited sidewalk space for meters and construction constraints of apartments over commercial multi-story construction.   All units in the project are affordable apartments.  PRI, LLC has indicated that they are willing to provide in-line meters for each unit.  PRI, LLC has informed staff that the in-line meters will be read monthly and the tenants will be billed for their own use and that the District may have access to the consumption records.  PRI, LLC’s variance application is provided as Exhibit 10-A. 


District Rule 23-A (3) (Exhibit 10-B), requires that each water user have a separate water meter.  However, the District has granted variances to this rule when there are special circumstances or undue hardship.  The applicant has indicated that there are special circumstances which merit consideration of a variance to the rule for this particular affordable housing project.  As stated in the variance request, the requirement to install individual water meters in this project would increase both the project costs and the utilities costs for the limited income residents.  PRI, LLC has indicated that the affordable housing project could be compromised if required to install separate water meters to each residential apartment. 


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends the Board approve the variance and adopt the Findings of Approval attached as Exhibit 10-C with the condition that this request is acted upon within one year from the date of approval.  District Rule (23-A (3)), requiring individual water meters was adopted to encourage conserved water by making each water user accountable for their consumption.  Individual water meters also facilitate compliance with water use reductions during rationing periods.  PRI, LLC has agreed to install in-line meters for each unit (sub-metering), to read and bill tenants for their water use, and to make those records available to the District.  The proposed action by PRI, LLC to sub-meter the units supports the District=s goals. 


In approving this request, the Board should place the following conditions on the approval:

1.      The applicant shall implement the variance by commencing construction of the project within one year of the date of approval.

2.      The applicant shall install in-line meters to each residential unit in the project.  The meters shall be read monthly.

3.      Each commercial use on the site that meets the District’s definition of “user” shall have a separate Cal-Am water meter installed pursuant to District Rule 23-A (3).

4.      The applicant shall agree to provide the District access to all water consumption records for the site for the life of the project and shall allow the District to record a document on the title of the property that authorizes the District to obtain the water consumption information from the current and any future owner or tenant.


BACKGROUND: There have been five similar situations in the past 15 years in which the District Board has granted variances for in-line meters:  (1) the use of one meter for each building was authorized for the Pacific Meadows senior housing complex in Carmel Valley; (2) individual in-line meters were allowed at the Naval Postgraduate School for new buildings on the main campus; (3) Santa Catalina School received a variance from the separate water meter requirement for new dormitory/faculty apartments with the condition that the school install in-line meters to monitor water use; (4) the City of Monterey received a variance from the separate water meter requirement for the Osio Plaza affordable housing units in 1997, and; (5) South County Housing Corporation received approval of a variance to allow a single Cal-Am connection to supply water to 49 affordable senior housing units in October 2002.



10-A    Application for Variance

10-B    District Rule 23-A (C)

10-C    Findings of Approval