Improvement District limits water

KINGMAN – The Golden Valley Improvement District, as parcels outnumber available water allocations, has decided to limit the amount of water given to parcels within the district.

In a decision made June 19 to change district policy, the district limited the sale of unassigned water allocations to properties already zoned within the district.

“The District will continue to sell unassigned service connections or water access rights on a first-come, first-served basis to owners if properly zoned parcels of ministerial land divisions, determined on the basis of zoning classification of June 19, 2006, within the District,” the revised policy said.

Steve Latoski, Public Works engineering manager, said what they mean by properly zoned parcels are parcels that have appropriate zoning for splits prior to June 19. Any rezones occurring after that date would not be eligible for any unassigned water allocations.

According to Public Works Assistant Director Nick Hont, applicants of new rezones have two options to get water to newly created parcels. They could either petition the district to drill a well or purchase an assigned, unused allocation.

When the district created water allocations in 1990, Latoski said, parcels were allocated water connections by their size. Larger parcels, he said, were allocated more than one water allocation; however, not all allocations are in use, leaving them eligible for purchase by other landowners.

The problems within the district began, Hont said, when state laws were changed in 1994 allowing more legally zoned parcels to be created.

For example, he said, a 40-acre parcel could only be split down into three parcels in 1990. After the laws were changed in 1994, the same piece could be split down into five parcels. The consequence of this, Hont said, was that the owners within the district have the potential to create more properly zoned parcels than the district has allocations.

In 1990, a hydrological study was completed within the boundaries of the 40-square-mile Golden Valley Improvement District. The study, submitted and approved by the Arizona Department of Water Resources, resulted in ADWR determining that there were 6,200 water allocations in the district, Latoski said. Of those, 4,985 water allocations were assigned to district parcels. The remaining 1,215 allocations were held in reserve for future sales.

As of June 28, 573 of those allocations were sold, leaving 642 still available for sale.

Public Works Director Mike Hendrix said that it was initially intended for every parcel within the district to have one allocation.

“We needed to come up with a game plan,” Hendrix said, “that would protect the current residents and address the goals of the district while protecting the water.”