By Allison Jarrell
After more than four years of battling over tiered water rates, the San Juan Capistrano City Council announced May 19, following a closed session vote, that the city settled the lawsuit filed by the Capistrano Taxpayers Association.
The choice to settle the suit means the city cannot appeal the April 20 decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal, which ruled that San Juan Capistrano’s 2010 tiered water rate system was unconstitutional and did not sufficiently show that each tier was based on usage and the actual cost of water delivery. In July 2014 the city adopted a new tiered water rate structure.
“The City of San Juan Capistrano is committed to remain compliant with the law,” Mayor Derek Reeve said in a statement. “While any settlement involves give and take, this overall is a positive development for our residents as we put this litigation behind us.”
According to the press release, the city will “institute a streamlined process for crediting customers who were overcharged under the previous water rate structure.”
Jim Reardon of the Capistrano Taxpayers Association said in the release that he’s “delighted” to see the city avoiding further litigation and instead focusing on “urgent water conservation issues.”
To read the full settlement, visit www.sanjuancapistrano.org/index.aspx?recordid=5299&page=29.
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