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Date Set for Voters to Decide Los Olivos Community Services District Formation

The future of Los Olivos and creation of a community services district from the community as a solution to wastewater woes will be decided during a Jan. 30 vote-by-mail election.

At the direction of the Local Agency Formation Commission, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a resolution establishing the election date and deadlines. 

The balloting will determine whether residents support the formation of the Los Olivos Community Services District and creation of an annual special tax not to exceed $200,000 with yearly increases based on the Consumer Price Index.

To be approved, the CSD will require approval from more than two-thirds of voters.

The election also will selection the initial five board of directors members for the new district.

Candidates for the proposed CSD board can file candidacy papers between Oct. 9 and Nov. 3 at the Santa Barbara County Elections Division office in Santa Barbara, 4440-A Calle Real, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Appointments can be made by online scheduling system available by clicking here.

The mailed-ballot election will only involve the approximately 488 registered voters in the proposed district’s boundaries, which includes most of Los Olivos.

The election will culminate a grassroots efforts by Los Olivos residents seeking to create the agency to address collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater for the community.

Efforts began amid concerns about the septic systems in the community and problems cited by regulators.

Concerns include a high groundwater table that allows discharge of some septic effluent into the water table, small lots unable to properly accommodate an on-site septic system, and existing septic systems that don’t meet current standards and don’t treat water properly due to age or failure.

A protest hearing earlier this year at LAFCO drew opposition from 80 people, short of the majority needed to stop the formation process.

The total protests amounted to 16.39 percent, far short of the 50 percent or more registered voter objections needed to terminate proceedings, authories said.

The vote-by-mail election will cost between $11,000 and $20,000, but expenses could be recovered from the new district, if formed, county staff said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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