Arroyo Grande extends moratorium on building

No new development projects will be approved in Arroyo Grande until July, as the City Council voted Tuesday to extend a moratorium to give staff more time to evaluate its water supply needs and develop solutions.

The ban, originally passed in November, will expire July 21. City Manager Steve Adams said city staff will present recommendations at the council’s June 8 meeting and the moratorium could be eliminated before it expires.

The extension passed 4-0; Councilman Ed Arnold was absent.

The ban does not affect development projects that have already been approved, those with submitted applications that have been deemed complete or multi-family projects, Adams said.

Sixty-one percent of the city’s water allocation comes from the Lopez Lake reservoir; the rest comes from local aquifers.

Arroyo Grande has had mandatory conservation rules since August 2008, after staff determined the city was using 99 percent of its water entitlements.

In January, the city approved a new agreement to purchase water through 2014 from the Oceano Community Services District.

The council has discussed several long-term solutions to find additional water, including a comprehensive groundwater study, further study of two recycled-water projects and a preliminary study of raising the Lopez Lake Dam spillway to increase the reservoir’s capacity.