Rumored Developments in the Rocky Creek area and at the end of Redmond Rd appear to be the driving force behind a push to bring water service to these areas. Water connections would mean that subdividing into small parcels would be possible and likely. It’s ironic that Dave Tyson and Dave Hull, local developers best friends, would be pushing this.
From Sundays Times-standard:
The Humboldt Community Services District Board of Directors is looking into expanding water services in the Indianola area along Old Arcata Road between Arcata and Eureka, but area residents have expressed concerns over water services being the first step of urbanizing their beloved rural community.
The district’s general manager David Hull said this issue dates back two decades.
“The residents, landowners out in the Indianola area, were having problems with their wells,” he said.
Wells were running dry, not working or polluted, Hull said.
“It actually turned into a health and safety issue,” he said.
Some residents came to the district’s board to ask for the area to be annexed so they could be hooked into the water system, Hull said. But Humboldt Local Agency Formation Commission rules at that time would have required the services district to provide other services, such as emergency services, to annexed areas.
Hull said the district dealt solely in water and wastewater services.
“That made it costly and near impossible,” he said about the annexation. “Since that time those rules have changed so we can do water service expansion out there.”
So the district board started talking about the annexation again and sent out 439 survey letter to gauge public opinion on the annexation, Hull said. Only 141 surveys were returned with 100 respondents interested in the annexation and 41 not interested in it, according to a staff report.
In November the board directed district staff to prepare a second survey letter that would be sent out to the 298 residences that didn’t respond to the first survey letter, according to a staff report.
“That’s what the discussion was [on] Tuesday night,” Hull said.
On Tuesday evening the district board met and heard input from members of the public and instead of voting to send out the second letter as drafted gave staff direction to add to it.
“Based on public input we’re going to add more detail into the public letter,” Hull said.
About 16 residents came in with concerns about how the district would be profiting or benefitting on the annex, he said.
“I was directed to prepare a second letter to all landowners detailing the entire annexation process by bullet point stating there is no profit to the district, the district will not proceed unless there is the majority of the public interested, that we don’t know what the cost per parcel will be at this time but there will be a cost to landowners most of which would be added to property tax bills under a special assessment,” Hull said.
But this staff direction from the board didn’t quell all the concerns of at least two Indianola area residents.
Indianola resident Aryay Kalaki said he thinks the survey process should start all over again — meaning the second letter CSD staff is in the process of drafting should be considered the first survey letter — because the letter sent out in October only contained the positives of the annexation.
“The problem is they already sent out an initial letter that didn’t have any of the pertinent information that could affect them,” he said.
Kalaki said he’s concerned what annexation and water service expansion could mean in the future.
“Water is the crucial factor in development,” he said.
County Planning and Building Department director John Ford said anytime utilities already installed make that development in that area easier and more attractive.
“That doesn’t translate into planned development at this point,” he said.
Ford said he’s not aware of any future development plans in the Indianola area but that doesn’t preclude any from happening further down the road.
“The first step in all likelihood would be to create new parcels,” he said.
But this would require a subdivision map and public input so concerned citizens would have to opportunity to be heard, Ford said.
Hull said the services district is only focused on providing water to Indianola if the majority of residents want it.
“The Humboldt Community Services District doesn’t do land planning,” he said.
The district board is also in the midst of annexing a separate piece of land along Redmond Road that abuts the southern-most edge of the proposed Indianola annexation area. Redmond Road resident Jonathan Weber said he’s not against the idea of him and his neighbors being hooked up to the water system but is against what development could be put in after water service expansion and how the board went about notifying stakeholders.
“They had very little information in the first [letter],” he said.
But Weber said it’s a good thing that the services district is redrafting the second letter.
“We really want the public to make an informed decision,” he said.
Humboldt Community Services District was created in 1952 to provide water services to the unincorporated areas surrounding Eureka. It maintains 160 miles of water and wastewater pipes, 10 water tanks and 40 water and wastewater pumping stations over 15 square miles, according to the district’s March 2017 water and wastewater rate study. The proposed Indianola expansion area would add 1,090 acres to the district, Hull said in an email.
The Humboldt Community Services District Board of Directors publicly meets twice a month. The redrafted letter will be up for further discussion and possible approval on Jan. 9 at 5 p.m. in the boardroom next to the facility lobby at 5055 Walnut Drive, Eureka, according to the Humboldt Community Services District website.
The proposed annexation of the Indianola area would add 1,090acres to the Humboldt Community Services District, which currently services 160 miles of water and wastewater pipes, 10water tanks and 40water and wastewater pumping stations over 15square miles
MAPS CONTRIBUTED BY THE HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT
The Humboldt Community Services District board is also in the midst of annexing a piece of land along Redmond Road that abuts the southern-most edge of the proposed Indianola annexation area.