Archive for August, 2008
It is said that all real estate is local and that point is demonstrated by this story in our local newspaper. The article concerned a local dispute by a homeowners association group with a local school board district. I guess it is not all that uncommon but tax paying citizens who are assessed special taxes for designated projects in their area expect the projects to be built ( eventually at least). In this case it was a Middle School.
At a local school district board meeting recently a case where a Community Facilities District , a CFD ( Taxing Authority where bonds are generated to pay for infrastructure in a specific area. The Tax is called Mello Roos) was established to build a new middle school and the board announced that it did not now plan to build a school on the parcel that was procurred for the school. The funds from the bond are currently being used to support other nearby schools in the district.
It seems that even though residents have to pay the special add-on taxes due the school district, the school district now reports that the enrollment projections made back in the 90’s ( when the CFD was formed) for a new middle school in the area has not panned out and now there is now no need for the school.
A local homeowners association is demanding a guarantee in writing from the school district that if it ever intends to sell the land that is currently not being used that was procured for the intended Middle school, that no commercial or residential development may ever be built there.
And it wants it in writing, not just for assurance but as a legally binding restriction on the deed to the parcel. It was also reported that the school district has been paying the state of California a hefty non-use fee on the land, a policy that the state set up decades ago as a way to help recover some of the tax revenue that it might have otherwise collected had the land not been originally procured by a school district.
As a means to possibly curtail the on going fee, the school district has suggested it may consider using the land for a school lab for studying environmental and ecological subjects.
A dispute like really does make the point clear that all real estate is local and that tax payers care very much that land use that they pay for in these CFD’s should be used as it was intened and designated.
I am sure that everyone involved had the best intentions but often ” Life Happens” and gets in the way of these ‘Best Intentions’ and then as is often the case, it becomes riddled with all sorts of the possible unintended consequences.
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Earlier this year San Diego in confirming its effort to move on it’s plan for indirect potable reuse ( toilet to tap), may require another rate increase of about 6.5% of the current rates to fund the pilot program.
San Diego in it’s effort to offset the diminishing supply of potable water, estimated what a toilet to tap supplementation pilot project to our our current water supply would cost using the reservoir augmentation method. This toilet to tap purifying of waste water has its share of opposition but the city council seems determined that with the drought and continually escalating costs of water ( 90% of San Diego’s water has to purchased), this is the method that seems to make the most sense to them.
This is said to be the first first system of its kind in the California. Another notable reclamation system is that of Orange County. Their system is different than what is proposed for San Diego in that it uses an aquifer system for recycling its waste water. The program San Diego is interested in is called Reservoir Augmentation.
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The California Coastal Commission has now approved the revised plan for Poseidon Resources to construct the long awaited Desalination plant to increase the water availability in San Diego County. I wrote a post on this last year “ Is Desalination In The Cards For San Diego “ and the obstacles have now been overcome, though there is always a chance of a late court action that could delay construction again.
Environmentalists are opposed to this plant for various reasons and the Poseidon Resources rendered numerous compromises that finally got approval yesterday, pleasing the proponents of the new facility for Carlsbad. Poseidon has in mind numerous other coastal sites for desalination plants and this new approval will give them a sort of track to run on of what will be expected in any other proposals that might be being contemplated.
The one of the two major stumbling blocks that was overcome with the new agreement is to reduce its carbon debt by subtracting the current amount of energy used to pump the equivalent amount of water that the desalination would produce by the Metropolitan Water Department . But the carbon debt would be reduced even further with it’s plan to add solar energy devises for it power and the 1 million dollar plan for re-forestation of areas burned in the 2007 wildfires. The plan also calls for the Poseidon plant to purchase about 15 tons of available carbon offsets from other sources. Read the rest of this entry »
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