Local citizens are aware that at least two major and increasing concerns – water use and fire protection are connected and increasingly problematic. Both concerns have been the subjects of recent news.
In the case of water-using development, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) recently issued a demand as a formal Notice of Violation that the County and Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) no longer accept permit applications for any new water-using development. In its letter to the County, the CCC wrote that it considers all new water-using development to be guesthouses; hotel, motel, or home expansions; accessory dwelling units; and any development that would “lead to an increase in water use on a given site.”
In its Notice of Violation to the CCSD, the CCC not only enjoined the District to stop issuing “will-serve” letters for any new water-using development but also to retract will-serve letters for properties that lack a Coastal Development Permit. The CCSD has indicated, however, that it has a legal obligation to serve water to certain properties due to contractual water-service commitments for development put in place before the moratorium of 2001.
At the May NCAC meeting, Wednesday May 18, at 6:00 p.m., a public discussion will be convened on the current status regarding the CCC’s Notice. The NCAC will not take a specific position on the issue, as the CCSD, the County, and the CCC already have expressed their positions. This will be an opportunity for the public to learn about and discuss the issues, as water use and fire protection will continue to have a major impact on our community.
The other concerning element in the news related to water is the increasing number of cancellations of fire insurance policies, especially in the agricultural and business sectors within the North Coast area. To follow up on this, NCAC is planning to have a presentation by a fire insurance industry expert at the June meeting, together with an update on current status and projections.