Study next step in dissolving water district

December 22, 2006 11:00 pm

By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

Local Agency Formation Commission members agreed Friday to pay $1,400 to a Humboldt County firm for a California Environmental Quality Act study of the Pacific Shores Subdivision area.

The study is necessary because of a board of supervisors resolution to dissolve the subdivision's water district.

That resolution was sent to the commission for its recommendation in the matter in September for its study, but cannot clear a procedural hurdle until the study is finished.

The commission has jurisdiction over numerous entities, such as small fire and water districts, in Del Norte County.

A couple recent developments underscore the need for a more speedy decision about Pacific Shores' water district.

The first is an apparent change of heart on the part of the water district itself.

Earlier this fall district President Dwayne B. Smith suggested to county supervisors that they work with the 23-year-old entity to find ways to craft a "common-interest development" area lot owners might share the use of.

About a month later Smith wrote the board to say he'd received "legal advice" that the district could not "spend any of our taxpayers money" for any effort that wasn't related to its "duty" to provide the subdivision with water and sewer service.

Because of the developments, the board unanimously amended Tuesday a plan for alternative development that it roughed out after Smith's visit.

The new plan notes that "environmental, engineering, and financial realities: indicate there will never be a water system distributing water ... nor a sewer system conveying sewage from individual lots."

The new plan notes that the Pacific Shores area, whose elevation is low, "is a mosaic of wetlands in the wet winter months and contains a number of sensitive species and habitats."

The district, supervisors said, cannot and will not perform any useful function.

Their new Plan for Services reflected the group's opinion.

It replaces the old plan with one that highlights "no service" when or if Pacific Shores district is dissolved.

Earlier this week the California Coastal Commission, under whose jurisdiction Pacific Shores lies, wrote commission and county supervisors stating it "fully supports" the county's effort to dissolve the subdivision's water district.

The morning meeting was sparsely attended. Sandra Jerabek, one of two in the audience, told the group that she supported their "doing this right now."