Dry facts; wet topic
WHEN SOMEBODY PRINTS SOMETHING IN CAPITAL LETTERS, YOU KNOW IT'S IMPORTANT.
So when the Plumas Elementary School District released the prospectus for its $4.5 million bond issue last month, it had something very important to say:
”FUTURE FLOODING AND THE POSSIBILITY OF FUTURE FLOODING MAY SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THE VALUE OF PROPERTY IN CFD NO. 1.“
That definitely would get your attention. So does the eye-popping valuation of Community Facilities District No. 1, which is a 1,263-acre slice of the Plumas Lake Specific Plan area.
It's zoned for nearly 3,300 lots. Total appraised value: $396.2 million.
So there's plenty at risk in this slice of the Plumas Lake area, for the school district, the developers, the folks who have bought homes and those who will in the future.
CFD No. 1, the document notes, ”is located in a geographic flood plain.“
The levees ”do not currently meet federal safety standards for height and stability, according to a report recently released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,“ the document says.
The Army Corps ”considers levee protection along portions of the Bear River and Western Interceptor Canal as nonexistent. Land in CFD No. 1 is currently subject to significant flooding from breached levees, which flooding could destroy all of the homes in CFD No. 1. Efforts to fix the levees are under way, but there is presently no certainty as to when repairs will be completed or the extent to which development may be precluded,“ the document continues.
The language is stark, but that's the way these bond-offering documents have to be when they're circulated to potential investors.
Oh, and then there's the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
”FEMA may at any time take action to map RD 784 (and thus all of the land in CFD No. 1) into the ‘base flood' (a flood that has a 1 percent chance of occurring each year) flood plain. This would indicate that land in CFD No. 1, which has experienced significant flooding in the past, has no protection from a flood which has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any year.“
RD 784 is, of course, Reclamation District 784.
And, again, here are those capital letters:
”SUCH REMAPPING WOULD EFFECTIVELY STOP DEVELOPMENT IN CFD NO. 1 UNTIL LEVEE ISSUES COULD BE RESOLVED AND SUBSEQUENT REMAPPING OF THE PROPERTY COULD BE COMPLETED BY FEMA.“
As for the school district, it ”is not responsible for and makes no representation regarding the design and adequacy of the existing levees, nor is the district engaged in the process for the study, financing, and upgrade of the levees,“ its document said.
It makes for fascinating reading, in a dry sort of way.
Harold Kruger's column, Off Beat, appears Sundays. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, call him at 530-749-4717; or fax him at 530-741-0140. You can also write him at the Appeal-Democrat, P.O. Box 431, Marysville, CA 95901-0431.