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Nava Puts Santa Ynez Valley Water District Legislation on Hold

The move allows for more local review, including by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday's meeting.

Assemblyman Pedro Nava announced Monday that he will hold Assembly Bill 2686, which would create the Santa Ynez Valley Water District, on the Senate floor to allow time for community questions to be answered.

“After speaking with Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf and community leader Doreen Farr, I feel there are misconceptions about this legislation,” Nava said. “By allowing for additional time at the local level to review the measure, I am confident the residents of the Santa Ynez Valley will receive the information they need.”

AB 2686 would establish the Santa Ynez Valley Water District as a successor in interest to the powers, duties, responsibilities, obligations, liabilities and jurisdictions of the existing Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No. 1 (Improvement District). As such, the bill would continue uninterrupted the powers and purposes of the Improvement District, which was established in 1961 to designate the upper Santa Ynez Valley as an assessment area to generate funds to build and operate water transmission and distribution facilities relating to the Cachuma Project.

Throughout the past few years, the Improvement District, its parent district and the Santa Barbara LAFCO have worked together to develop a strategy to eliminate the districts’ jurisdictional conflicts and issues. After extensive stakeholder discussions, the language contained in AB 2686 was developed. This measure would bring the newly structured Santa Ynez Valley Water District under the jurisdiction of LAFCO, and ensure that the residents of the area receive efficient water services in the years ahead.

AB 2686 has received public review and support by local agencies including the Santa Barbara County LAFCO, the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, the city of Solvang and the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No. 1, and has received five open legislative hearings at the state level since the bill was introduced in February. In addition, the measure is slated to be reviewed at Tuesday’s Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting.

“I want to again thank Supervisor Wolf and Ms. Farr for expressing their concerns,” Nava said. “I value their input on such important community issues.”

John Mann represents Assemblyman Pedro Nava.

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