ITEM:†††

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

15.

CONSIDER APPEALS OF GENERAL MANAGERíS MARCH 20, 2009 DECISION REGARDING HIDDEN HILLS UNIT OF CALIFORNIA AMERICAN WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM Ė NOTICE OF VIOLATION OF DISTRICT RULE 40-D AND SUSPENSION OF RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS FOR NEW OR INTENSIFIED WATER USE

 

A.CALIFORNIA AMERICAN WATER

B.JAMES DOUGLAS MEADOR AND LUANN MEADOR

C.GARY E. WIEGAND

 

Meeting Date:

May 21, 2009

Budgeted:

N/A

 

From:

Darby Fuerst,

Program/

N/A

 

General Manager

Line Item No.:

 

 

 

Prepared By:

 

Darby Fuerst and

Stephanie Pintar

Cost Estimate:

N/A

 

General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:N/A

CEQA Compliance:N/A

 

SUMMARY:On March 20, 2009, the District General Manager issued a Notice of Violation of Rule 40-D to California American Water for exceeding its Pro Rata Expansion Capacity in the Hidden Hills Water Distribution System (Exhibit 15-A).District Rule 40-D requires that when a water distribution system with ten or more connections and with 50 percent active connections exceeds its Pro Rata Expansion Capacity, the General Manager must initiate a number of steps, including suspending receipt of applications for new or intensified water use. The Pro Rata Expansion Capacity is defined as the projected water use anticipated to meet the water needs of each connection, as determined by the approved system limits.For example, if the annual production limit for a system is 10 acre-feet and the connection limit for the system is 20 connections, then the Pro Rata Expansion Capacity for the system is 0.50 acre-feet per connection per year.A courtesy letter was sent to California American Water regarding this situation on July 29, 2008.

 

Three appeals were filed regarding the General Managerís decision.Under the general heading of the appeal, the Board will consider three separate appeals from:

 

A.California American Water

B.James Douglas Meador and LuAnn Meador

C.Gary E. Wiegand

 

 

 

California American Water

California American Water is appealing the General Managerís decision on the grounds that (1) exceeding the Pro Rata Expansion Capacity is not a violation of the Rules and Regulations; (2) the Notice of Violation is vague and ambiguous; (3) Rule 40-D violates California Code or is preempted by other laws; (4) California American Water is in substantial compliance with Rule 40; and (5) California American Water has already established a plan for reducing water consumption in the Hidden Hills Water Distribution System, including changes in water rate structure and system improvements to reduce unaccounted-for-water Uses.California American Waterís appeal application is included at Exhibit 15-B.California American Water requests the Board reverse the General Managerís determination and/or remove the restrictions imposed by Rule 40-D.

 

James Douglas Meador and LuAnn Meador

Mr. and Mrs. Meador are appealing the General Managerís decision on the grounds that the amount of time provided to applicants who were in the process of obtaining permit from the County of Monterey prior to the decision to suspend receipt of application for new or intensified water use in the Hidden Hills Water Distribution System was unreasonable and that the decision will result in significant hardship due to the loss of more than $450,000 and nine years of planning and design. Mr. and Mrs. Meadorís appeal application is included at Exhibit 15-C.†† Mr. and Mrs. Meador request that their application for 37.7 fixture units of water for their proposed project be approved.††

 

Gary E. Wiegand

Mr. Wiegand is appealing the General Managerís decision on the grounds that (1) the action to suspend receipt of applications for new or intensified water use in the Hidden Hills Water Distribution System, i.e., ďconnection moratoriumĒ, is based on arbitrary limits, (2) the connection moratorium in the Hidden Hills Water Distribution System is unfair with respect to the Pro Rata Expansion Capacity value that has been approved for California American Waterís neighboring Bishop Water Distribution System and (3) the connection moratorium will result in significant hardship due to the loss of property value and inability to construct a residence on his property.Mr. Wiegandís appeal application and addendum letter are included at Exhibit 15-D and 15-E. ††Mr. Wiegand requests that the Board rescind the Hidden Hills connection moratorium and amend the Pro Rata Expansion Capacities in the Hidden Hills and Bishop systems so that all users in the two systems have the same allocation of water.

 

As required by Rule 40-D-1, California American Water, as owner and operator of the Hidden Hills Water Distribution System, was notified of the imbalance between the current average amount of production per connection per year (0.521 acre-feet per connection per year) and the permitted average amount of production for each connection (0.482 acre-feet per year) on March 20, 2009.At that time, pursuant to Rule 40-D-1, California American Water was asked to prepare and implement a plan to bring the Hidden Hills system back into balance. Suggested plan measures included installation of low water-use fixtures, landscape audits, removal of turf and landscape acreage, and modification of rate structure.To date, California American Water has not submitted the requested plan to bring the Hidden Hills system into balance.

 

RECOMMENDATION: The Board should address each appeal separately.Individual motions regarding each appeal should be made and voted upon.Based on water production and connection information provided by California American Water and criteria specified in District Rule 40-D, District staff recommends denial of each appeal.If this recommendation is accepted, staff will develop findings of denial for Board approval at the June 15, 2009 meeting.

 

EXHIBITS

15-A††† March 20, 2009 Notice of Violation from Darby Fuerst to California American Water

15-B††† Application for Appeal -- California American Water

15-C††† Application for Appeal -- James Douglas Meador and LuAnn Meador

15-D††† Application for Appeal -- Gary E. Wiegand

15-E††† May 7, 2009 Addendum letter -- Gary E. Wiegand

 

 

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