Meeting Date:

September 18, 2006





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:

Robert Cline

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  Yes

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  Denial does not constitute a Project.  Approval would be exempt under Section 15301, Class 1.


SUMMARY:  Patrick D. Craig and Kathryn A. Craig appealed the General Manager’s decision to deny a credit for exterior use for one parcel of 802 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove (Assessor’s Parcel Number 006-611-035).  The site consists of two parcels, one with a single-family dwelling and the other vacant.  The Application for Appeal received May 23, 2006 is provided at Exhibit 9-A. 


District Rule 25.5-C (adopted May 17, 2004), describes the process for documenting historic exterior water use on vacant lots to avoid a separate calculation for exterior use when a new connection (i.e. new single-family dwelling) is proposed.  Rule 25.5-C requires a site owner to submit clear and convincing evidence of historical landscaping and irrigation that was installed and consistently maintained since March 11, 1985, which is the date the District’s current water permit process was established by Ordinance No. 21.   District Rule 25.5-C is attached as Exhibit 9-B.  Examples of acceptable evidence are dated photographs, official documents, permits or correspondence of the Jurisdiction, receipts or invoices for gardening services or purchases related to Landscaping and maintaining Landscaping on the Site.  The applicant contends that the Rule 25.5-C documentation requirements are unreasonable.  The applicant has provided documentation that both lots/parcels have historically been part of the same “site”, as defined by District Rule 11 (i.e. contiguous and under identical ownership and use).  


The Board will need to decide whether or not the decision to deny the Craig’s exterior water credit was correct.


DISCUSSION:  Jeanne Byrne, the agent for the applicant, met with District Staff in April of 2006 to find out how the property owner could establish water credit for exterior water usage on the vacant parcel.  After the meeting, staff received a letter with several attachments from Ms. Byrne (Exhibit 9-C).  Photographs of the vacant parcel were included and show the vacant parcel with no evident landscaping or irrigation system.  The letter requested a written determination from the District staff regarding the “transfer of water units from the existing residence, to be used for a future residence on Parcel C, and the ability to utilize outside water that has historically been used for that site.”  Based on the information submitted by Ms. Byrne in her April 22, 2006 letter, the District denied credit for exterior water usage on the vacant parcel by letter dated May 3, 2006 (Exhibit 9-D).


A subsequent District staff inspection specific to the vacant parcel was performed by District staff on May 11, 2006.  The second inspection was conducted to specifically examine the vacant parcel.  During the second inspection, staff observed significant changes to the landscaping that was shown in the photos submitted to the District in April 2006.  The overgrowth was trimmed, there were new palm trees and plants, drip lines were photographed on the newly planted trees, and a single hose bib was documented in the middle of the vacant parcel.  A copy of the second inspection report is shown as Exhibit 9-E. 


On July 14, 2006, the District received several pieces of supplemental information to the appeal (Exhibit 9-F).  According to District General Counsel, the two written statements affirming the use of the vacant parcel do not establish clear and convincing evidence of historical landscaping and irrigation.  A revised Disclosure Statement (Ex Parte Communications) was also submitted, which included two additional people.


Finally, on August 9, 2006, the District received a Water Release Form & Water Permit Application and building plans for a remodel/addition to the existing single-family residence on the adjacent parcel (APN 006-611-034).  The proposed remodel/addition will establish Water Use Credits of 11.1 fixture units that are proposed to be used on the parcel that is the subject of this appeal.  The appeal application (Statement of Appeal Request, Question #5) indicates that the two parcels were purchased with the intent of using credits from the existing residence to building a new home on the vacant parcel.  As of September 11, 2006, Mr. and Mrs. Craig have not submitted an application for the new home.


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends the Board deny the appeal due to the lack of clear and convincing evidence of historical exterior water usage on APN 006-611-035.  In taking this action, the Board should adopt the Findings of Denial shown as Exhibit 9-G. 


In denying this appeal, the applicant would have the ability to install ultra-low consumption appliances to generate sufficient water credits, in combination with the Water Use Credits obtained under the current remodel permit, to build a new one-bathroom single-family dwelling with a kitchen sink and a washing machine on the vacant parcel.     



9-A      Application for Appeal

9-B      District Rule 25.5-C

9-C      April 22, 2006 letter from Jeanne Byrne

9-D      May 3, 2006 District letter denying historic exterior water credit

9-E      District Inspection Report, dated May 11, 2006, with photographs

9-F       July 14, 2006 letter from Jeanne Byrne

9-G      Findings of Denial


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