Green Valley Landowners Ass'n v. City of VallejoAnnotate this Case
The Lakes Water System (LWS), created in the late 1800s-early 1900s, provides Vallejo with potable water. After completing a diversion dam and the Green Line for transmission, the city created two reservoirs, Lake Frey and Lake Madigan, which were soon insufficient to meet demand. The city began storing water in hills above Napa County’s Gordon Valley and constructed the Gordon transmission line. The city acquired easements from some property owners by agreeing to provide “free water.” The city also agreed to provide potable water to other nonresident customers. In the 1950s, the city obtained water rights from the Sacramento River Delta and contracted for water from the Solano Project. In 1992, water quality from Lake Curry ceased to meet standards and the city closed the Gordon Line. In 1992 the city passed an ordinance shifting the entire cost of LWS to 809 nonresident customers, so that their rates increased by 230 percent. The city passed additional rate increases in 1995 and 2009. Plaintiff, representing a purported class of nonresident LWS customers, alleges the city has grossly mismanaged and neglected LWS, placing the burden on the Class to fund a deteriorating, inefficient, and costly system, spread over an “incoherent service area” and plaintiff did not become aware of unfunded liabilities until 2013 The court of appeal affirmed dismissal; plaintiff cannot state any viable claims alleging misconduct by the city.