Virgin Valley Water District took action April 2 to allow a temporary window of opportunity for active developers who have paid development fees (EDUs) that they had previously been unable to use due to amended lot maps or transfer to another property according to VVWD regulations.
Virgin Valley Water District has taken a number of steps in recent years to bring order and standard practices to its overall regulations for land developers, providing a more stable environment for budgeting and delivery of water service. VVWD is the sole supplier of culinary water within its boundaries. Accurate control of permitted “will-serve” obligations it grants to developers wishing to tap into the district’s culinary water system is essential for planning and paying for expansion of water supply and infrastructure.
Equivalent development unit fees (EDUs) are levied on developers when they seek permission to build at a specific property location, as shown on their approved development map. Development plans are frequently changed or delayed, potentially leaving in question when and where the district will be asked to provide water hook-ups. The district board adopted its twelfth revision of its Rules, Regulations, and Rates at its last meeting on March 19, 2019, reining in unused water service permits that might be reactivated at an indefinite time.
The current policy (sec. 4-8-4) requires that a developer transfer any unused EDU permit to a new property within a year, and pay renewal fees on an annual basis until the EDU can be designated for another property under all district rules and regulations. If the conditional commitment for water service (CCWS) is not renewed as required, it will be terminated null and void, along with all unused EDUs. This policy disallows indefinite, unpaid holding of “will-serve” rights that the district might be asked to honor after years of inactivity. Honoring inactive permits could cause oversubscription of water services and inability of the district to plan and pay for the infrastructure needed to service future users.
The March 19 policy adoption brought forward a request from developer Bruce Milyard who had abandoned a total of six paid EDUs in the Royal Vista Development in 2012 and 2015. He decreased the number of lots in that development without owning another property where he could transfer the permits. In 2017, he purchased land for townhomes on Marilyn Parkway, and now requests transfer of those unused EDUs. His request falls outside the one year limit on transfer of EDU permits.
Wishing to address Milyard’s request in a manner fair to other potential situations among active developers, the board voted to provide a temporary window for action. Without opening the door to retroactive waiver of regulations, the board voted to set a one-time 45-day calendar period from April 3, 2019 to May 20, 2019 to allow any active developer to request renewal of a CCWS involving any “unused EDU” or transfer of outstanding unusable EDUs or any unused EDU to a new property, as provided in the revised regulations. After that stated period such unused EDUs will be terminated, null and void. Any such request must be filed with VVWD for review.
In other business, the board was informed by district manager Kevin Brown that the water line replacement and repaving on Kitty Hawk Drive is currently slated for completion in April. Hydrologist Aaron Bunker reported that work on Wells 31, 28 and 1A are progressing toward anticipated completion by early May. Those wells will then be available for return to water production for the system.
The board voted to make adjustments in the tentative budget for fiscal year 2020 that it will present to the State, adding a total of roughly $500,000 to budgeted cash outlays in the fiscal year. The additional budgeted expenses will be covered by VVWD cash reserves and liquid investments. The revised budget would draw $7,573,129 from the cash reserve balance, which will still hold over $7.8 million at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2020. The board will finalize its FY2020 budget in late May. FY2020 runs July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.