A Petition for Inclusion to the West Jefferson County Metro District was to be heard at the Evergreen Metro water board meeting on July 21. It was incorrectly advertised, and the hearing was poorly attended.

The petition was made by Foothills Fire Protection District to include the property they, with Alpine Rescue Team, occupy at Hwy 40 & Hwy 74. The current occupants already receive water from Lookout Mountain Water District. The fact behind this petition is that it was made to enable a rezoning application that would result in those same emergency services being removed from that property and replaced by commercial development. The developer is Northstar Ventures, which initiated the petition and paid the associated legal fees. He had previously filed under this corporate name but failed to obtain the FFPD’s signature prior to the original scheduled hearing on May 16.

One half of the proposed development is already within the WJCMD and thus will receive Evergreen water. Its use if developed as proposed, by the developer’s own estimates, is projected to be about 3.1 million gallons per year, requiring the equivalent of 60 “taps” to meet its demand.

This petition is about the other half of the same proposed development that is not already in the WJCMD. It is not about providing water and sewer service to the current occupants of the less than 2-acre property. Rather, the proposed commercial development on just this parcel would, by the developer’s own estimates, increase consumption by 100 times that of the current occupants’ needs.The projected use isestimated to total 2.4 million gallons per year, also requiring the equivalent of 60 “taps” to meet its demand.

Beyond consumptive use, the WJCMD has already said that it lacks capacity to meet firefighting requirements for existing properties in this part of its district near El Rancho.Any new development here will be required to build their own water storage for that purpose. Additional, zoned but vacant commercial and residential properties in this area that are already within the WJCMD will exacerbate this capacitydeficitwhen built out. Fire suppression is relevant not only to individual properties, but to protection of the surrounding area.

Adding this parcel, with its huge proposed demand, is unnecessary and disproportionately burdensome. West Jeff and Evergreen’s water come from the same source. It’s all your water, Evergreen.

Kathryn Mauz, Evergreen