CCSD directors extend pair of intent-to-serve letters

Property owners get additional time to use existing commitments for water service

The CambrianDecember 26, 2013 

Two holders of about-to-expire intent-to-serve letters from Cambria’s services district now have more time to complete the sale of their properties, district directors recently decided.

One of the extensions granted by the Cambria Community Services District board gave Pacific Western Bank another four months to sell its lots on Green Street and Londonderry Lane to Jeff Borges, who has reduced the project to 12 from 16 multi-family units on the property, according to bank representative Mike Hodge. He said the project’s application for a building permit was submitted to county planners.

The issue would return to the board’s February meeting — for a fourth time — after project plans are finalized. The board had turned down the extension in August and September.

Hodge called the project’s units “low profile, and we’re saving as many trees as possible.” The bank and Borges had previously pledged to employ as many local workers as possible on the project.

While district directors expressed concerns about approving another extension on the intent-to-serve letter, they ultimately did so Nov. 21 on a 4-1 vote, with Director Amanda Rice opposed.

She said that “retaining the value of the land for the bank is not in any way the responsibility of the district or the community.”

The other extension gives the county library department three years to sell a lot on Cornwall Street, a commercial property originally purchased as a site for a new library.

Directors had said in the past that extending the permit so the county gets more money when it sells the property isn’t their responsibility. But county officials have said that the purchase and remodeling of the new library building and its conversion from empty shell into a functional library — which is scheduled to open today, (Dec. 26) — was done on the premise that Friends of the Cambria Library would pay half the costs.

Those costs rise could rise if the county doesn’t realize as much from the sale of the Cornwall lot, according to recently appointed Library Director Chris Barnickle.

As a result, the Friends group would have to raise more money to compensate for the loss.

Director Muril Clift was feeling the pressure.

“I’m extending this letter to the county for one reason, and one reason only,” she said. “This community would be harmed if we . … I don’t want the (Friends of the) Library to have to raise another half million or quarter million dollars. We’re being held hostage.”

Directors voted unanimously to approve the extension.

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