Sutter Pointe water pact filed with PUC
A water settlement agreement for south Sutter County's Sutter Pointe development has been filed with the state Public Utilities Commission.
The 204-page pact, filed Monday in San Francisco, would clear the way for Golden State Water Co., to move ahead with building infrastructure and providing water service for the 17,000-home project.
"This will benefit agriculture, economic development, the county and new and future residents," said Roland Tanner, vice president of customer support services with Golden State Water Co.
The settlement is signed off by several parties, including the water company, Sutter County, Sutter County Water Agency and Sutter Pointe developers.
In the settlement, which still must be approved by the PUC and is subject to additional comments, Golden State would get the go-ahead to acquire the Robbins Water System from the Sutter County Water Agency and provide the unincorporated community of Robbins with water service in the future.
Those portions would be subject to future county approval. Representatives from Robbins, which has been plagued by financial and water quality issues, are also party to the settlement.
Other parts of the settlement cover how the plan to provide service would be paid for, structured and mitigated.
A division of the PUC, the Division of Ratepa er Advocates, had previously opposed the settlement and encouraged the state to dismiss the entire process, but the settlement states concerns raised by the division have been addressed.
The Division of Ratepayer Advocates, however, can still lodge comments opposing the settlement before the utilities commission issues a final ruling on the settlement and Golden State Water Company's application to provide water service.
Joe Karp, a San Francisco-based attorney with Golden State, said he expected it would be several months before the commission does so.
"This took a long time, with a lot of elements involved," he said. "We believe we've presented a very good solution, and we hope they'll see it that way."
Michael Day, an attorney representing Sutter County, said he's been instructed not to comment on the settlement.
If the PUC signs off on the settlement, it won't mean Sutter Pointe will immediately get off the ground.
Because of flood control concerns, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency have instituted a moratorium on new construction in the area including Sutter Pointe, which would be built near the junction between Highways 99 and 70.
As well, Sutter Pointe's developers state in the settlement that economic conditions aren't right for immediate development of new homes, and target 2014 as a beginning point for home construction.
CONTACT reporter Ben van der Meer at 749-4709.