San Simeon CSD votes to pay the Hearst Ranch for encroachment

By KAREN VELIE

The San Simeon Community Services District Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to approve an agreement with the owners of the Hearst Ranch, which allows the district’s water treatment plant to remain temporarily on the ranch.

In 2016, San Simeon officials began construction of a new water treatment plant even though they had been warned they were constructing a portion of the facility on the Hearst Ranch. Then earlier this year, Hearst Holdings conducted a survey and determined 560 square feet of the district’s reverse osmosis facility is located on the Hearst Ranch Conservation Easement, according to the Aug. 18 surveyor’s summary.

Hearst Holdings sent a temporary Revocable Encroachment License Agreement to the district board that allows the building to remain in the current location. The agreement requires the district to pay nearly $30,000 for survey and legal expenses along with with an annual $5,000 charge as long as the building is located on the ranch.

Hearst retains the right to terminate the license “at any time and for any reason,” according to the agreement.

The board approved the terms of the agreement and will need another encroachment agreement prior to placing two large water tanks they are also planning to store on the Hearst Ranch.

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