About 10 days ago, a Westlake Village resident has filed an action against LVMWD to stop construction of the controversial water tank project at the Westlake Reservoir.

As a matter of balance, below are two press releases, in their own words. You should read both.

First one from LVMWD
Second one from the opposition

Request for Tank Restraining Order Withdrawn; LVMWD Continues to Proceed With Project

(CALABASAS, CA May 5, 2014) The request for a Temporary Restraining Order seeking to stop construction of a 5-million gallon storage tank at Las Virgenes Reservoir in Westlake Village was withdrawn by the plaintiff at a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing conducted Monday, May 5. As a result, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) continues to move ahead with the project, which is on schedule.

As a follow-up, a hearing for a Preliminary Injunction has been scheduled for June 4. At that hearing, the court will consider a motion to stop the project pending a trial. At the same time, LVMWD will request that if such a request is granted, a bond be posted to cover expenses rising from time lost on the project. Those losses are estimated to accumulate at a rate of $56,000 per week.

In the interim, legal counsels for both sides have agreed to meet and confer over the plaintiff’s issues and discuss any additional measures that may overcome his concerns with the project.

“We are pleased the project is able to continue, as it benefits the ratepayers of the entire District,” said David W. Pedersen, LVMWD’s General Manager. “We will continue working closely with residents of the Three Springs community and the City of Westlake Village, sharing project updates and working to minimize inconveniences while completing the project as quickly as possible.”

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District provides potable water, recycled water, wastewater treatment services and biosolids composting for some 70,000 residents of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village and surrounding unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

Date Set For Injunction Hearing On LVMWD’s Controversial Water Tank Project

Westlake Village — May 6, 2014 — Yesterday, Hon. Joanne B. O’Donnell of the Los Angeles Superior Court heard ex parte requests regarding a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) seeking to stop construction of the 5-million gallon water storage tank located next to the 3 billion gallon reservoir in Westlake Village. On the day of the hearing, the parties stipulated to set a briefing schedule to a date convenient for the court and all parties to fully hear the request for a preliminary and permanent injunction to stop the project. A full hearing on the matter is set for June 4, 2014.

Originally filed as a separate TRO and permanent injunction to be heard by the Court on separate dates, the suit continues to seek both a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction of the project. Now, the court, based on its own schedule, has set the date for the full hearing of both injunctions on June 4, 2014. In addition, LVMWD has now agreed to participate in private negotiations to resolve the plaintiff’s and community’s objections to continued Water Tank construction.

“I am hopeful the Court will conclude what our LVMWD customers already know — that the water tank is an unnecessary and dangerous project that was approved in violation of the State’s CEQA Public Notice and Environmental requirements,” said Frank Bonvino, the plaintiff in the case representing the concerns of local ratepayers. “Las Virgenes Municipal Water District is not above the law, and I believe the Court will order a halt to this unlawful and reckless project that is a waste of ratepayer dollars.”

Last week, LVMWD stopped work on the project and re-scheduled multiple times due to lack of documentation from the contractor for approval, high winds, and contractor availability.

“Through it’s actions, the District has continually demonstrated to the community a disregard for proper public process. Throughout its latest filing with the court, it conveniently omits references to the law and process, and contnues to misrepresent the facts,” said Neil Ticktin, Westlake Village resident and community leader. “I’m not surprised. It’s, unfortunately, what we’ve come to expect from our water district.”

Case Number: BC543637 has currently been assigned to the Honorable Joanne B. O’Donnell of Los Angeles County Superior Court at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.