The 2009-10 Local Agency Formation Commission budget approved unanimously February 2 by the LAFCO board includes work to consider the potential future of the San Luis Rey Municipal Water District.
A municipal service review and a sphere of influence update of the Bonsall and Pala Hydrologic Subarea, which also includes the Rainbow Municipal Water District and the Valley Center Municipal Water District, is listed as an anticipated jurisdictional proposal.
Although various factors may prevent any decisions or even LAFCO hearings by the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year, the LAFCO review will assess options including annexation of the San Luis Rey district to one of the other districts while dissolving the San Luis Rey district, retention of the San Luis Rey district but annexing the territory to one of the other districts for purpose of County Water Authority annexation of the area, and retention of the San Luis Rey district as is.
The municipal service review and sphere of influence study are prerequisites to any consolidation or annexation, although the completion of the municipal service review and sphere of influence updates do not automatically lead to annexation.
The fact that annexation of the territory to the County Water Authority could provide the necessary water for a controversial Pardee Homes development project within the San Luis Rey Municipal Water District boundaries creates various complications.
Although LAFCO staff or consultants can work on a municipal service review or a sphere of influence study update prior to the completion of environmental review, the approval of those tasks cannot go to the LAFCO board until an environmental document is included.
Additionally, the applicant of an annexation request is responsible for processing fees to cover LAFCO costs, so the depressed housing market may delay Pardee’s timetable.
“This is still in the preliminary research stages,” said LAFCO executive officer Mike Ott.
Even without the annexation request or the potential of the new homes, LAFCO periodically undertakes municipal service review and sphere of influence study updates for various special district areas.
“The review of services that we’re conducting is something that needs to be completed,” Ott said.
Pardee Homes is currently working with LAFCO on the studies. The approval of the 2009-10 LAFCO budget left processing fees themselves unchanged from the 2008-09 levels.
The 2009-10 LAFCO budget includes $200,000 in processing fee revenues while estimating 35 jurisdictional proposals based on anticipated proposal submittals and a three-year summary of recent workload indicators.
The LAFCO budget includes $25,000 for sphere of influence updates and service reviews while projecting five sphere of influence amendments.
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