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TRABUCO CANYON : Water District Will Get Panel’s Advice

Amid customer criticism of its plans to build a new headquarters in a rural area, the Trabuco Canyon Water District has created a community advisory committee.

District officials hope the group will improve communication between the district’s 4,000 customers and its board of directors.

“This advisory committee is designed to represent the customers’ perspective on the key activities and long-term projects that the district undertakes on their behalf,” said Charles Wall, board president.

Lack of communication was one of the main complaints leveled against the district in a lawsuit filed by a group of homeowners who live near the planned construction site.

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The two-building, 13,800-square-foot headquarters complex is to be built beside the district’s water reclamation plant in the Trabuco Highlands community.

The 660-home Trabuco Highlands Community Assn. claimed that the district provided inadequate notice on hearings set to present the project to the public.

They also said that environmental studies on the construction’s impact were inadequate.

Forming the advisory committee “is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” said Mike Safranski, vice president of the homeowners association.

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“My opinion of the committee is that it’s a nonentity. Their scope is very limited.”

However, last month an Orange County Superior Court Judge allowed the district to move ahead with the headquarters project.

Project opponents said they have filed an appeal of the decision.

“Our decision to move ahead reflects the board’s belief that this project will provide the most benefit to the entire community and to our customers,” Wall said.

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