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Circling The Toilet

POSTED February 9, 2010 4:07 p.m.

The Oakdale City Council doesn’t like it.

Unfortunately, there is not much they can do about it.

The issue?

More regulations and bureaucracy from the state in the form of new water landscape requirements, resulting in more costs to cities — including Escalon and Riverbank in addition to Oakdale — businesses, and taxpayers.

As much as there is to like about living in California — the weather, the attractions, both the beach and mountains close by — it is our state politicians that are hastening the decline of our once great state.

The past 20 years have found a statist mentality infect our state assembly and senate.

Environmentalists currently have a stranglehold on many of the politicians in our state, and one of the results of this can be found in an issue the Oakdale City Council was forced to address at the Feb. 1 meeting.

The Water Conservation Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 1881) mandated cities and counties adopt a landscape water conservation ordinance. Sounds good; everyone can agree water conservation is an important issue.

In a free market, water costs will often prompt conservation. Indeed, this has been occurring in the state’s agriculture industry, where water conservation has become common as farmers and dairies try to cut costs.

Of course, as is true of virtually all government regulations and requirements, these costs are passed on to consumers and taxpayers.

But controlling the state’s ag industry is not enough for state bureaucrats. In typical fashion, they now feel the need to impact individual businesses and citizens.

Under AB1881, a business or public agency must ensure water-efficient landscaping when installing, or revamping, landscape in any area 2,500 square feet or larger.

Single family and multi-family residential projects 5,000 square feet or larger must also follow the new state regulations.

What are the requirements under AB 1881?

In a document that runs 15,000 words, the state Department of Water Resources provides a sample ordinance for cities and counties to implement. Its requirements are far beyond the knowledge of a typical homeowner or small business owner, including an ‘irrigation water use analysis,’ ‘infiltration rate,’ and a soil management report, among hundreds of similar requirements.

Homeowners will be required to file a soil management report, a landscape design plan, an irrigation design plan, an irrigation schedule, an irrigation audit, and a grading design plan.

The state is out of control, folks.

Obviously, property owners and those who own small businesses will need to hire water and environmental ‘experts’ to prepare their landscape irrigation plans. Cities and counties, of course, would need to hire employees to monitor public and private property owners to gain compliance.

And the taxpayers will continue to fund this nonsense.

A brief examination of the California Department of Water Resources reveals an extended bureaucracy, with numerous deputy directors and offices. Some of these offices include the Office of Workforce Equality, the Internal Audit Office, and the Public Affairs Office.

A lack of funds is causing cities to lay off police officers and prisons to release felons, and yet the state continues to seize city and county funds to operate the state apparatchik.

Business continues to flee the state as more and more environmental requirements and labor laws continue to hamstring those entrepreneurs and others who pay the majority of taxes in this state.

California is circling the toilet. And the state bureaucracy continues to flush as politicians seek their version of utopia.

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