Calabasas : Hearing Slated on Renewing Parcel Tax


A public hearing will be held Tuesday on Las Virgenes Municipal Water District’s proposal to renew a controversial parcel tax implemented last year to raise money for the fiscally strapped agency.

Since July, the district has charged landowners $10 for any one-acre or smaller parcel, and $10 per acre for parcels larger than one acre. The district says the $500,000 it expects to take in annually from the tax will go toward upkeep of drinking-water delivery facilities.

District officials say they need the money because revenues have fallen sharply over the past few years due to a decline in construction. At the same time, the district says, it must continue to pay to maintain 250 miles of water line, 22 storage tanks, 20 pump stations, Las Virgenes Reservoir and Westlake Filtration Plant.


Much of the money has traditionally come from water rates, the district says, but that has been an unreliable source.

But Ralph Enderle, president of the board of directors of the Greater Mulwood Homeowners Assn., said he believes that the tax is unnecessary. Among other things, the district has wasted money by financing a new $8-million headquarters under construction on Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas, he said.

Enderle accused the agency’s board of ignoring its customers’ wishes in voting for the tax, which was opposed by the Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation, an umbrella organization of area homeowners groups.

Under state law, the district must vote on the $10 charge each year for three years, according to Dennis Ross, director of planning and engineering for the district. At the end of that time, he said, it would automatically become permanent.

Tuesday’s public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at district headquarters, 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas.