As many of you know, I have been working on wastewater issues in Sonoma County for quite a while. We are at the time where this has reached it’s head. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take action Tuesday May 22 at 9am. Please send a letter before Monday at 5pm and show up at 9 am at the Board of Supervisors Chambers. This action will impact all 45,000 septics in Sonoma County. The current proposal is extreme. Below is information put out by Norbar which provides great information on this issue:
Sonoma County OWTS Policy Revisions
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (Septic)
“The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will consider approving revisions to the countywide OWTS policy on Tuesday, May 22 at 9:00am. This revision as proposed would have significant impacts on both property owners and our housing economy, and we are urging the County to extend the deliberation and outreach process prior to moving forward. NorBAR and our industry partners have significant concerns about several components and ask that you consider emailing the BOS before close of business on Monday using the draft language below. Read the proposal summary and key points here. If you are only able to send one email, please send it to Supervisor James Gore, Chair.
Draft Language: (copy/paste/personalize)
Members of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors,
As a local property owner, I am writing to share my concerns with the proposed revisions to the OWTS Manual and implore you to help the thousands of local property owners who will be impacted. Many interested parties – from residents to advocates – have had little capacity to participate in this complex process since the North Bay fires. This proposal includes major revisions – many of which are dramatic shifts from prior framework.
I urge you to work with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWB) to secure an extension for approval of our LAMP. Please take seriously the input offered by the North Bay Association of REALTORS®, industry groups and related stakeholders calling for public education, and expert/technical input. As we pursue the protection of water quality and public health, please ensure the adoption of a practical, legal OWTS Manual that meets state requirements without unduly burdening property owners and compromising our housing economy.
Key Questions & Recommendations
Extension & Engagement: We urge you to work with the RWB to secure a 6-month extension to allow for much needed technical evaluation and stakeholder education.
Emergency/Standard Repairs & Replacements: We have tremendous concerns that the revisions could displace renters and/or homeowners. Failure to provide a specific and rapid process can expose occupants and the public to health hazards and compromise habitability, sale and/or transfer.
Housing: What will be the impact of this revision on affordable housing, and how can this be mitigated? Many property owners facing substantial repair/replacement costs will have much difficulty meeting these new requirements. We must do our due diligence to create a policy that captures high-risk OWTS while avoiding burdening low-risk, functioning systems.
Funding: What funding will be available, and how can it be accessed? The RWB and Permit Sonoma have both indicated that different types of financial assistance will be available. We urge the County to refrain from mandating compliance prior to a clear plan of financial assistance being described.
[Affiliation, (your business)]”
Supervisor James Gore, Chair, District 4, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Susan Gorin, District 1, email@example.com
Supervisor David Rabbitt, District 2, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Shirlee Zane, District 3, email@example.com
Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, District 5, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your house matters,
K Y L A