On September 14, 2021, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors denied Crestview’s application for a key permit to drill a new at 191 Alviso, Well #7. There is no appeal, no plausible court challenge, and no feasible way to redesign the project and submit a new application. The 2022 budget, presented at the October 28 Crestview board meeting, contains no spending on this project except for debt service. A 10-year $1.5 million secured loan was taken out in April 2019 at 5.5% to pay for the construction. In response to a question from a shareholder, directors said there is no plan to sell the land the Company purchased for Well #7 in August 2016 for $505,000 “because land prices are rising.” Our water company is now in the land speculation business. Crestview has not reported the total professional fees, interest, and other costs incurred over five years to design the project and to try to get it approved.
To replace Well #7, it appears Crestview is reconsidering alternative sites it had previously rejected. One of them in particular seems superior to 191 Alviso. The land cost would be much lower, there is plenty of room for the driller to work and erect effective noise barriers, and it would take a cheaper pipeline to get water to the treatment plant. There are only a handful of nearby septic systems (compared to up to 30 near 191 Alviso), and there is a nearby sewer line. We have no information about whether there are any CC&Rs. Water quality would be about the same as Well #4 and Well #7.
In addition, a group of shareholders is privately funding a feasibility study of another potential well site that is expected to compare favorably to 191 Alviso as to water quality and cost.
Mr. Eranio told the board that it will take a minimum of two years to get any new well into production.