GRASS VALLEY, Calif. March 9, 2017 – At yesterday’s Nevada Irrigation District (NID) board meeting, directors discussed an expansion of the district’s sphere of influence (SOI.) The revision to the 2007 sphere would add close to 7,400 acres to the district’s sphere.

Adding 5,122 acres in Cascade Shores, 1,550 acres in the northwest area of the sphere and another 700 acres in the Dog Bar area is the current plan for expansion that has to be approved by LAFCo.

Several so-called service islands already receiving treated water would be included in the official sphere. Expanding the sphere to include the Cascade Shores area will require approval from the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to expand its beneficial use area. The application will adjust the service area and place of use for existing water rights, not add new water rights. The application has not been filed, NID is holding off until the Centennial dam project has been approved.

The map presented at the meeting is not publicly available, NID staff stated the maps were preliminary and therefore would not be made available. The map below shows NID’s five districts and an approximation of the proposed additions, created by YubaNet.

Sphere does not guarantee water delivery

The addition of the 7,200 acres to NID’s sphere will not guarantee water delivery to the parcels or change any planning or zoning. A sphere of influence is a representation of an agency’s expected growth in the longterm – 20 years or more.

Public outreach before finalizing the application? Maybe.

Once the new additions are formally submitted for approval to the Local Area Formation Commissions (LAFCo) of both Placer and Nevada Counties, changes to the area will have to be a separate process. Therefore, District 1 Director Nancy Weber suggested holding a public meeting before the application is finalized. If residents outside the current sphere are interested in an eventual annexation, this would be a good time to consider such requests. Response from her colleagues on the board was tepid. Public hearings will be held by LAFCo once the application is submitted, so why have another meeting? “These are the people we serve,” Weber said. Discussion ensued with Director Miller saying he was confused, “those people are not the people we serve, they are not in the sphere.” Weber responded that she expects to serve the people of the area and they should be notified of the proposed changes.

The board agreed to send out a notice via the media, discarding a suggestion from the public to mail postcards to the affected property owners.