Extension of Negotiation Agreement with Clark Colony Water Company

Summary

SCH Number
2010018235
Lead Agency
Marina Coast Water District
Document Title
Extension of Negotiation Agreement with Clark Colony Water Company
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received

Document Description
This Notice of Exemption (NOE) concerns the extension of a negotiation agreement between Marina Coast Water District (MCWD) and Clark Colony Water Company (CCWC) in Monterey County, California. CCWC claims a perfected pre-1914 surface water right to divert up to 13,500 acre feet per year of water from the Arroyo Seco River (a tributary of the Salinas River, in Monterey County) for irrigation uses in CCWC's service area in and in the vicinity of the City of Greenfield, CA. CCWC is willing to sell its water right to MCWD. MCWD wishes to carefully analyze and consider purchasing the water right in order to supplement and augment urban water supplies, and as one of a number of alternative means of facilitating mitigation of potential environmental effects associated with groundwater use in its service area. CCWC and MCWD executed a negotiation agreement on December 13, 2007, which is provided MCWD with the exclusive right to negotiate for CCWC's water right. The agreement in question would extend the original negotiation agreement between CCWC and MCWD for an additional 12-month period, to December 31, 2010, allowing extended time for MCWD to analyze the effects of acquiring the water right.

Contact Information
Carl Niizawa
Marina Coast Water District
11 Reservation Road
Marina, CA 93933

831-384-6131

Location

Counties
Monterey

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Other
Type, Section or Code
15378(b)
Reasons for Exemption
This extension of a negotiation agreement is exempt from CEQA because it is not a "project" per CEQA Guidelines [Section 15378(b)]. This agreement only extends a negotiation period between two parties and does not commit a public agency to a specific project that may result in physical environmental impacts. CEQA Guidelines Section 15378 (b) stipulates that, amongst other examples, "Creation of government funding mechanisms or other government fiscal activities that do not involve any commitment to any specific project that may result in physical environmental impacts," or "Organizational or administrative activities of governments that are political or that are not physical changes in the environment," do not qualify as CEQA "projects." Therefore, signature of the agreement to extend a negotiation period does not represent a project as it does not commit any agency to physical project development, nor would signature of the agreement result in any physical changes in the environment. See also Citizens to Enforce CEQA v. City of Rohnert Park (1st Dist. 2005) 131 Cal. App. 4th 1594 [33 Cal. Rptr. 3d 208]. This agreement is not an approval of the transfer of water rights from CCWC to MCWD. In the event that such transfer of water rights would be considered for actual approval and execution, CEQA compliance would be conducted, if required, at that time.
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