Hey DDR! No water!


May 28, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

A tip of the fedora to Mark Scaramella for reporting on one of the most critical issues in our county.

We finally find some knowledgeable information at a Board of Supervisors meeting about our water situation in Mendocino County. Mark Scaramella in the Anderson Valley Advertiser reports that the Executive Director of LAFCO, Frank McMichaels, gave a report to the supervisors about the obvious situation we all are faced with in terms of water: We don’t have enough.

I’ve met Frank McMichaels several times and have seen him to be a no-nonsense, straightforward, conservative person. If Frank gives us (and the Supes) a report, it’s probably the real deal.

The report fully evaluates our water situation and contains the following:

-“The Ukiah Valley is presently overbuilt as to water resources.”

– Reserves are maxed out.

– The Russian River Flood Control District is fully contracted and is now under a 50% conservation order.

– Redwood Valley is on a court imposed moratorium – no more hookups for water.

– Calpella has the same constraints.

As Scaramella said, “the facts just kept on coming”…

“McMichaels said that ‘DDR owners (and would-be developers of the Masonite site) seek to bypass these laws. Present service recipients would see dramatic reductions. It would put them in a drought regimen even in non-drought years. And the costs of dealing with these impacts (water, sewer, fire, police, etc) will be imposed on existing ratepayers and districts. DDR wants to bypass the rule of law –especially on water’”

There is no water in the Ukiah Valley for large scale development. Even developers with their capacity to ignore contradictory evidence and hot-to-trot shoppers must try to look for some common sense. There is not enough water.

McMichaels is right.

Michael Maltas, with 30 years experience in landscaping, at the same meeting, let us know that when DDR says they only need is 2oo gallons a minute – the amount that supports 3 popup sprinklers… Why, they might be actually shrinking the truth here.

Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) is telling the people of this county that: We don’t care what your laws and rules are, we are going to get what we want — a zone change that says we can do whatever we want. And this zone change is a blank check, as Guinness McFadden noted, regardless of the resources Mendocino County might have and the costs to the people of the County.

DDR, (recently downgraded again by Fitch Ratings on May 19, 2009 with a Negative Rating Outlook.), you are insulting our intelligence. I hope by now, no one has their head so far in the sand that they can’t see that THERE IS NOT ENOUGH WATER.