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23.14.130 Groundwater recharge fees – Requirements.
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A. The purpose of this section is to make provisions for accessing and collecting fees as a condition of approval of a final map or as a condition of issuing a building permit for the purpose of defraying the actual or estimated cost of groundwater recharge facilities as authorized by Cal. Gov’t. Code § 66484.5.

B. The Board may adopt a groundwater recharge facility plan for any area within the county. Prior to adopting the plan, the Board shall give notice to, and consult with, the water agency then obligated to furnish water to the area to be benefited and the water agency has formally and in writing approved the plan.

C. Prior to adopting the plan, the Board shall hold a public hearing for the proposed area of benefit.

Notice of the hearing on a proposed area of benefit shall be given pursuant to SCC 20.05.110 and shall include preliminary information concerning the groundwater recharge facility plan, including the proposed boundaries of the area of benefit, the availability of surface water, the planned facilities for the area of benefit, estimated costs, and the proposed method of fee apportionment.

Written notice of the public hearing shall be given by personal service or mail to the water agency responsible for furnishing water to the area of benefit involved in the hearing prior to or at the time notice is given by mail or by publication and posting. The proposal contained in the mailed, published or posted notice shall be jointly prepared and agreed upon by the local agency and the water agency before that notice is given. The water agency may participate in the hearings.

D. The plan shall include the boundaries of the area of benefit, the availability of surface water, the planned facilities for the area of benefit and the estimated cost thereof, a fair method of allocating the cost within the area of benefit, and the apportionment of fees within the area. The plan, as adopted by the county and approved by the water agency, shall be incorporated in a resolution of the Board and a certified copy of the plan shall be recorded with the County Recorder. The apportioned fees shall be applicable to all property within the area of benefit and shall be payable as a condition of approval of a final map or a parcel map or as a condition of issuing a building permit for the property or portions of the property. Where the area of benefit includes lands not otherwise subject to the payment of fees pursuant to this section, the Board shall make provision for payment of the share of improvement costs apportioned to that land by other means.

E. Written protests may be filed with the clerk no later than 10 days before the public hearing. If owners of more than one-half of the area of the property to be benefited by the improvement, and sufficient protests are not withdrawn so as to reduce the area represented to less than one-half of the property to be benefited, then the proposed proceedings shall be abandoned, and the legislative body shall not, for one year from the filing of that written protest, commence or carry on any proceedings for the same improvement or acquisition under the provisions of this section.

F. Any protests may be withdrawn in writing by the owner who made the protest, at any time prior to the conclusion of a public hearing held pursuant to the ordinance.

G. If any majority protest is directed against only a portion of the improvement, then all further proceedings under this section as to that portion of the improvement so protested against shall be barred for a period of one year. The Board, however, may commence new proceedings which do not include the area, acquisitions, or improvements which were the subject of the successful protest.

H. Subsequent to the adoption of a plan, the county may itself construct, operate, and maintain the groundwater recharge facilities, or it may designate the water agency furnishing the water or designate or create another agency to do all or any one of these things as authorized by law.

I. Fees paid pursuant to this section shall be deposited in a planned recharge facility fund. A fund shall be established for each area of benefit. Money in the fund shall be expended solely for the construction or reimbursement for construction of the improvement serving the area to be benefited.

J. The Board may accept land improvements, fees, or both, in satisfaction of any fee charged pursuant to this section.

K. Recharge facilities shall not be constructed unless the water agency approves the design of the facilities to be constructed and has reached an agreement with the county establishing the terms and conditions under which the water will be furnished. If the water agency finds that the facilities have been constructed in accordance with the approved design, the agency shall furnish water for the groundwater recharge facilities.

L. The term “construction,” as used in this section includes design, acquisition of land or easements, administration of construction contracts, and actual construction. (Formerly 23.14.013)

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