Stop the RCWD Building Moratorium

In  a recent Community Forum for The Californian, Jack Hoagland, a Director with the Rancho California Water District, posted a piece entitled “What part of ‘water crisis’ escapes understanding?’ In his post, Hoagland details his proposal for Rancho Water to ‘temporarily stop issuing water supply letters (necessary in the approval process for new development) and to stop installing water meters.’

Translation: BUILDING MORATORIUM.

I’m not sure if Hoagland actually believes the specious arguments he puts forward or if the whole scheme is his attempt to shock the community into a response. As he summarizes, “We need action from our development community to pressure the Legislature to resolve the state water issues.”

Perhaps he believes his plan to hold the community hostage is what it will take. Perhaps he hasn’t been aware of, or participated in, the numerous efforts by local businesses (including developers), municipalities and Rancho Water District customers to effect comprehensive change with the legislature through numerous letter writing campaigns and personal visits.

Or perhaps he truly is that out of touch with the community he purports to serve. The ‘if we don’t build it, they won’t come’ philosophy went out of favor during Jerry Brown’s last term.

What we do not need is an attempt by Rancho Water or any other group to stifle legitimate development in this economic climate. While Hoagland alludes to ‘vacant malls and commercial centers’ and the high residential foreclosure rate, he doesn’t seem to grasp that these have already had a severe dampening effect on development. Considering that demand for new resources is at a virtual standstill due to the housing and commercial meltdown, this call for a moratorium accomplishes no positive purpose. It’s only apparent purpose is to heap insult onto an already severely injured party – namely the citizens, businesses, municipalities and ratepayers of RCWD.

Yet with our residential housing market carrying an active inventory of just over 1 month, the need for additional housing stock will become apparent before long. Similarly with the lack of funding mechanisms currently available for commercial development, only well conceived and funded projects are going forward, the rest are waiting until the current glut of available space is reduced. At a time when everybody from our President to our Governor to our city leaders understand the need to create job opportunities to return our economy to a more robust footing, Rancho Water is proposing to literally turn off the spigot on the cities efforts to attract new jobs to our region.  This is counter-productive at best, idiotically negligent at worst.

We are joined in our efforts by the Cities of Temecula and Murrieta, by our County Supervisor, the Southwest California Legislative Council, The Murrieta Temecula Group, the Building Industry Association and other business and advocacy groups throughout Southwest California.

If you agree that the last slap our community needs right now is a building moratorium, please join me at a public hearing at 6 p.m. on November 9th at the Rancho Water District board room at 42135 Winchester Ave in Temecula (Winchester West of Diaz). Hoagland claims he would like to ‘hear our ideas and views’. Let’s make sure he does – politely and concise.

In addition to our SRCAR email campaign, our partners at the Southwest California Legislative Council have also instituted a letter writing campaign which you can participate in by clicking below.

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  • IStopping building and restricting water supplies is like sticking your finger in the dam after the leak has been made! It is high time that CA take a stand and create desalinization plants all up and down the coast regardless of what the “save the world eco nuts”. Without this critical resource any state and its population will suffer, California needs to build enough of these plants to provide water for the entire state and it’s growing population. If this is done smartly, we can then stop taking as much water from the Owens River and other areas that we have been depleting for decades.
    We also need new building requirements to funnel off any rain water into holding tanks on every property built in the state, just like in the Caribbean Islands who conserve as much rain water as they can for watering yards etc. Cost to do this would be minimal, and provide enough water for each new household to offset any over usage issues.

    Obviously this Director has no idea of the impact on life in the area now hit by the largest number of home foreclosures in the state. Again, another “out of touch” person with the public needs not in the best interest.

    It is time to “Build It Now” or face the future of a dry state in more than one way!

    • Absolutely agree. There are many simple, common sense & inexpensive ways to improve out usage of this scarce resource – all we get is political squabbling and threats (and higher bills).

  • Diane Restad

    Instead of a building moritorium, a increase in rates where consumers are over using water would be a better solution.

  • Here is an answer…..PRIVATIZE Rancho Water…..sell the whole system to a FOR-PROFIT private company…….here is an example of what a Privately Held (NYSE traded) looks like: http://www.calwater.com/conservation/index.php check their Conservation Page….free water saving items … nothing like that on Rancho Water’s site!

  • I agree with what Ken Dreger says in his post. De-salinization plants would be the answer to most of the problems we face now with our water supply and distribution capabilities. Let’s face it, we are all going to pay higher and higher rates as the years go by. Building desalination plants with the revenue produced by higher rates would be money well spent rather than continuing to dump the money down the “well “of old technology and antiquated systems.