The Orchard City Town Board meeting on Feb. 8 adopted an emergency ordinance placing a moratorium on issuance of building permits or water taps for parcels located in the 17-lot LaHabra II subdivision.
As an emergency ordinance, the moratorium took effect immediately upon adoption: the moratorium is "immediately imposed upon the submission, acceptance, processing, and approval of application for permits to the Town of Orchard City for the issuance of domestic water taps, and for the issuance of building permits for any properties within the LaHabra II subdivision."
The moratorium will remain in effect until such time as infrastructure for the subdivision is installed in accord with current town rules. The planning commission and staff are specifically directed "to reject any applications for building permits in LaHabra II until otherwise directed by the town board."
The subdivision was approved by the county in 1977 at a time when the town did not have a planning department. The development was never completed and today lacks roads and domestic water infrastructure.
In 2008, the town board adopted a policy that a developer or the lot owners themselves would have to install roads and infrastructure per town rules. The moratorium adopted last week puts an exclamation point to that policy.
In other action at its regular Feb. 8 meeting, the Orchard City town board dealt with the following business:
• Trustees referred a variance request for additional access for a parcel to the town planning commission.
• Trustees received a trustee water committee report on the need and difficulties of re-calibrating flow meters at the treatment plant. Variant readings are skewing treated water loss figures in the monthly water audit.
• Trustees received a report that in light of new information given at the Leon Lake shareholders annual meeting, the town should consider holding on to its 90 shares of Leon Lake water. There are 3,180 shares in the company, and so trustees are considering that any liability to the town for needed repairs to the water conveyance tunnel will be smaller than feared.
• The road committee reported that engineers have done subsurface survey of Austin Road and will provide a 20-year pavement design for the failing sections of the road.
• Trustees noted a lack of public participation in the budget process with some saying they were offended by suggestions at the Feb. 1 town meeting that trustees "aren't doing their job" on managing the budget.