Nevada County LAFCo, Truckee Donner PUD settle lawsuit
December 19, 2011
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212;-Nevada County Local Agency Formation Commission and the Truckee Donner Public Utility District announced a settlement last week to a lawsuit recently filed by the Truckee governing body.
According to a press release from Switchback Public Relations + Marketing, TDPUD sued the commission on Sept. 20 for its decision to minimize the sphere of influence of the Truckee Sanitary District. The suit challenged both the adequacy under the California Environmental Quality Act of LAFCoand#8217;s Supplemental Environmental Impact Report and the process of its adoption.
Nevada County LAFCo is a public agency composed of elected officials from Nevada County cities, special districts and the county board of supervisors. LAFCos were established to promote efficient public services, logical government boundaries, to preserve open space and agricultural lands and to discourage urban sprawl.
According to various interviews with officials, the Truckee PUD filed the lawsuit because LAFCo would likely use a similar adoption process to determine its sphere of influence.
According to the press release, LAFCo reviewed its document and process and concluded there were administrative procedural errors and is willing to prepare an enhanced analysis of Greenhouse Gases emissions to address TDPUDand#8217;s concerns. The parties met and agreed it was in the public interest to settle the litigation, rescind the challenged approvals and focus on developing improved processes and environmental documentation.
According to the settlement, LAFCo will proceed with dissolving its approval of the Truckee Sanitary District sphere and the SEIR, a decision considered at the Dec. 15 LAFCo meeting in Nevada City. Upon completion, TDPUD will dismiss its lawsuit and waive its claim for legal costs, according to the press release.
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LAFCo will then proceed to prepare a new environmental analysis in connection with the sanitary districtand#8217;s sphere. TDPUD has agreed to work with Nevada County LAFCo to provide data and support on the new Greenhouse Gas analysis, which will also be relevant to LAFCoand#8217;s review of the TDPUDand#8217;s sphere.
The goal is for LAFCo to fulfill its statutory obligations to update special district spheres, while complying with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act,and#8221; the press release reads.