Council looks grim on Monday as water issues loom on the horizon – Pasadena Now
There is no city council meeting on Monday, but some important local matters are scheduled for the June 7 meeting.
The council is expected to approve the annual action plan (2021-2022) and related funding requests for the Community Development Block Grant, the Housing Investment Partnership Act, and the Solutions Grant programs. emergency.
The council will also consider adopting the 2020 urban water management plan and the water shortage emergency plan.
Pasadena Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) is prepared every five years in accordance with the Urban Water Management Planning Act.
According to the city’s website, the plan is an analysis of long-term water supply and demand planning for PTPs, and includes a description of the water system, demographic and socio-economic statistics. , reliability of water supply, drought risk assessment, demand management measures and impacts of climate change. .
City Council will also review a Zoning Appeal Board decision on the amendment of a conditional use permit for properties related to the Arroyo Seco Canyon project.
In 2015, the Pasadena Department of Water and Energy (PWP) commissioned a CUP to repair and replace facilities in the Arroyo Seco Canyon area that were damaged or destroyed by the events. related to the fires at the station in 2009.
But in 2017, a judge sided with conservationists who said the EIR was insufficient.
The city has the right to divert water from the Arroyo Seco to the Raymond basin. Currently, 35% percent of the city’s water comes from the basin, but now the city wants to increase the basin allocation to 50%.
According to the city, recent droughts have had a significant impact on water resources.
Droughts have caused the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) to reduce water allocations to its member agencies in response to state demands and have contributed to increased regulation for water use and water management underground throughout the state.
Droughts, combined with several other factors, including climate change, have contributed to the decline in groundwater levels in the Raymond Basin.
The city gets 65% of its water from MWD.
To maintain and increase groundwater levels, the Raymond Basin Management Board (RBMB) initiated a voluntary 30% reduction in groundwater production rights for all pumpers in the Pasadena subzone in 2009.
Earlier this year, a city hearing officer dismissed claims by local conservationists that he failed to properly review an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before approving a change to a conditional use permit that would allow the city to repair and replace water infrastructure in Arroyo Seco, according to a report from Zoning Appeals Commission staff.
According to city officials, damage to these structures has significantly reduced the city’s ability to divert water from the Arroyo Seco. The proposed improvements would allow for increased use of the city’s pre-1914 surface water rights on Arroyo Seco.
“The Hearing Officer did not address many of the points of contention set out in the comments on the Arroyo Seco Foundation’s Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), Ken Kules, Hugh Bowles and Pasadena Audubon Society, stating that he had not invested the time to understand the arguments underlying these comments and recklessly chose not to question City staff on how the FEIR and the staff report and presentations addressed FEIR’s comments, ”the conservationists say in their appeal.
According to Paul Novak, who served as the city’s hearing officer for almost 20 years, has conducted more than 150 hearing officer hearings and reviewed several hundred land use claims.
“The appellant’s assertion that ‘I ignored the material shortcomings of FEIR’ is incorrect,” Novak wrote in response to the appeal. “The concerns expressed in the appeal were expressed in the letters I reviewed and in the public testimony provided at the hearing – again, this project has a comprehensive administrative record relating to environmental issues, which I have all considered before the hearing, and / or considered part of the testimony at the hearing.
“Based on these documents and testimony, I found that the appellant’s arguments were not convincing and / or refuted by other parts of the public record (documents / testimony provided by city staff, environmental consultants and / or legal counsel). ”