After July 9 2013, greatly increased fees will be assessed by the Soquel Creek Water District on developers and new business owners. The District’s board of Directors is expected to pass significant increases in Water Capacity fees and Water Demand Offset (WDO) fees which are assessed before the developer or a new business owner will be allowed to use the district’s water.
Commercial Service connection fees will essentially double from $5,600 to $11,200. With a variance, the increase would be reduced to $8,400.
Water Demand Offset fees will also essentially double from factor of 1.2 to 2.2, an increase of over 80 percent.
One of the projects that will be seriously affected is the Aptos Village project, a development that has been over 12 years in the making partially because of the dip in the economy but primarily in the effort to meet all the bureaucratic regulations and oversight required.
According to Jesse L. Nickell III, Senior Vice President of Barry Swenson Builder, “We have spent years making this project (Aptos Village) as green as possible. We have made a major effort over the years to accumulate Water Demand Offset Credits, which now total 30 acre-feet. Our credits even included buying low water consumption flush toilets and showerheads for Soquel Creek Water District customers. We have mitigated runoff from the project by installing collection and holding ponds and French drains in order to recharge the aquifer. Under the district new policies, we estimate that a new Four thousand square foot restaurant will have to pay the district an additional $100 S.F. fee just to hook up to get water. These new fees will almost kill any economic growth within the SqCWD.”
Soquel Creek Water District Board Meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 at the District Office, 5180 Soquel Drive., Soquel, CA.