Construction is now completed. All residents participating in this programs may contact the Resilience Permit Center to pull permits and connect.
For permitting questions, please contact:
The Resilience Permit Center at 707-565-1788
For paying off your sewer loan, please contact:
Kevin Booker: firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-975-4395
Following the tragic wildfires of October 2017, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors directed Sonoma Water to explore the possible extension of sewer service to residents of the Larkfield Estates neighborhood who lost their homes in the fires.
The Airport/Larkfield/Wikiup Sanitation Zone (ALWSZ) is owned and operated by Sonoma Water to collect and treat wastewater. Sonoma Water is planning to (1) make sewer service voluntarily available to current property owners within the ALWSZ boundary that were impacted by the Tubbs Fire, and (2) provide low cost financing for property owners wishing to connect. It is anticipated that sewer service will be available in 2020. Permit Sonoma has indicated that 'properties with compliant septic systems will not be compelled to connect' to the new sewer system. For more information please visit the Permit Sonoma website at www.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Permits/Well-Septic-Sewer/.
On Feb. 5, 2019, the Board of Directors of Sonoma Water approved the Larkfield Estates Sewer project, which will bring sewer service to willing property owners in Larkfield Estates. The Board’s action starts the clock running for property owners to participate in the sewer project. Participation in the sewer project is entirely voluntary.
Project Update - September 2020
Permit Requirements: Once construction and sewer system testing is completed, Sonoma Water will send a letter to property owners giving the “green light” to connect to the system. At that point property owners will need to secure the below three permits from the Sonoma Resilience Permit Center:
- Sewer Construction Permit: This permit is for the installation of the sewer line from the building to the sewer lateral cleanout or to the main line.
- Septic Tank Destruct Permit: This permit is for the destruction of an existing septic tank which is required to connect to sewer.
- Sewer Fee Only Permit: This permit is for the assessment and collection of any required connection and service fees. No permits will be issued until Sonoma Water sends a connection letter to property owners.
The permits do not require mandrel testing as previously stated in a letter issued by our organization to you last month.
Construction update: Construction is now complete on all phases.
- Phase one is now completed and residents can connect once all permit and testing requirements are met and approved by the County. Property owners will receive a letter from Sonoma Water when the system is finished, and connection can be made.
- Phase Two is now completed and residents can connect once all permit and testing requirements are met and approved by the County. Property owners will receive a letter from Sonoma Water when the system is finished, and connection can be made.
- Phase three is now completed and residents can connect once all permit and testing requirements are met and approved by the County. Property owners will receive a letter from Sonoma Water when the system is finished, and connection can be made.
Sewer Construction Costs and Financing Program
The costs for design and construction of the new sewer system in the public streets would be paid for by the ALWSZ and then allocated to each parcel within the area served by the sewer collection system.
The bids for construction of the Larkfield Estates Sewer Collection System project were opened on September 17, 2019 and came in well below our previous estimates. While the precise amount that will be used for the signing of final documents by property owners is still being calculated, we can announce that this cost will not exceed $42,000.
The actual costs will be determined based on actual sewer construction costs.
- Available to current Larkfield area property owners who execute the Notice of Intent agreement.
- The loan principal amount will be based on the actual design and construction cost for the sewer system.
- Each property will be allocated a pro-rata share of the entire design and construction cost based on the total number of parcels (143) that would be able to connect to the system.
- The loan term is 30 years and would include a 10-year grace period during which no payments would be required. There would be no deferred interest added to the principal of the loan. Following the 10-year grace period, property owners would begin payments which would be based on a 20-year, fixed 2.5% interest rate loan. The estimated annual loan payments would be between $3,210 and $4,170 per year for construction costs of $50,000 and $65,000 per parcel. Loan payments will be included in property tax bills.
View the October 2, 2019 Community Meeting presentation, which explains the cost schedule.
Connection Fee Loan and Annual Service Charges
In addition to each property owner’s share of construction costs, property owners connecting to the sewer system will pay a connection fee and an annual sewer service charge:
- Connection Fees: FY2018/2019 are $11,940 per single family dwelling unit
- Annual Sewer Service Charge: FY2018/2019 are $941 per single family dwelling unit
Property owners in ALWSZ will have the option of a 20-year, 2% interest loan, to pay connection fees. The estimated annual connection fee loan payments, based the FY 2018/19 Connection Fee ($11,940), would be about $731 per year. An Accessory Dwelling Unit of up to 1,200 square feet would pay a connection fee of $9,552.
The loans will be secured by a lien against the property and shall be repaid over a period not to exceed 30 years for the construction and design costs, and 20 years for the connection fees.
If participating in the financing program for construction and connection fees, please consult your mortgage holder as the financing is considered a lien on your property, much like a property assessed clean energy (PACE) loan. Sewer financing will not subordinate to your mortgage.
Construction of the sewer system is expected to begin in December 2019 and be completed by August 2020.
Construction costs per parcel will be determined by September 24, 2019 when the lowest qualified bidder for the project is confirmed.
Participation in this project is strictly voluntary. There is no requirement to connect to the sewer upon transfer or sale of the property. Property owners who have functioning septic systems approved by Permit Sonoma may continue to use those, subject to requirements of Permit Sonoma.
However, if property owners choose not to participate at this time, future connection to the constructed sewer collection system will be possible, but financing under this program will not be available at that time:
- Property owners will still owe the sewer construction costs and connection fees before they are allowed to connect.
- Sewer construction costs and connection fees will increase annually at the SF Bay Regional Construction Cost Index (CCI).
- Property owners connecting to the sewer at a later date will also be responsible for constructing a sewer lateral from their home to the sewer main in the street, including the repaving that must follow construction.
- (10/14/20) - Welcome Letter to Larkfield Estates
- (9/4/20) - Letter to Phase 3 Project Participants Phase 3 can now pull permits to connect to the sewer system. Construction of the sewer system is now officially completed.
- (8/18/20) - Letter to Larkfield Estate Sewer Phase 2 Project Participants
- (8/4/20) - Letter to Larkfield Estates Sewer Project Participants
- (6/8/20) - Video of construction progress
- (5/28/20) Letter Sent to All Property Owners - Construction Update
- (1/11/20) Construction begins - Construction has begun in Larkfield Estates. View photos of the groundbreaking ceremony on Facebook. Construction is expected to conclude by October 2020.
- (10/2/19) Community Meeting - A Community Meeting was held on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Water offices. Sonoma Water staff answered questions about the project and the current schedule for signing up for the project, financing, and the construction schedule View Meeting presentation
- (9/17/19) Bid Opening - The bids for construction of the Larkfield Estates Sewer Collection System project were opened on September 17, 2019 and came in well below our previous estimates. While the precise amount that will be used for the signing of final documents by property owners is still being calculated, we can announce that this cost will not exceed $42,000.
- (3/25/19) Letter Sent to All Property Owners - Certified letter mailed to property owners with updated signup deadline of 9/16/19.
- (2/28/19) Community Meeting - A community meeting was held regarding the sewer project. The deadline to sign up of March 31 has been extended to late summer 2019 after the final cost of the project is known. Property owners can still sign up for sewer today.
- (2/19/19) Letter Sent to All Property Owners - Certified letter mailed to property owners regarding the upcoming community meeting and steps on how to sign up for sewer.
- (2/5/19) Board of Supervisors Approves Project - The Board of Supervisors approves the project, in addition to consideration of a financing program that will allow property owners to finance the construction costs over a 30-year period (with no interest or payments until 2030) and to finance connection fees over a 20-year period (with payments starting upon connection). The financing of connection fees will be available to fire impacted properties in the Airport-Larkfied-Wikiup Sanitation Zone that will be making new connections to the sewer system.
- (6/29/18) Geotechnical Assessment Gets Underway with Borings - Crews from GHD, the engineering firm designing the sewer collection system, were in the Larkfield Estates neighborhood on Friday, June 29 (see photos below). They worked with drillers from Clear Heart Drilling to conduct geotechnical borings at six locations. The soil samples gathered from the borings will undergo laboratory testing as part of the environmental site assessment that will analyze soil integrity and the presence of any potential contaminants.
- (6/20/18) Site Assessment Work Scheduled - Crews from GHD (the engineering firm designing the sewer collection system) will be in the Larkfield Estates and Ramsgate Court neighborhoods on Friday June 22nd to mark utilities and mark the six geotechnical boring locations. After the boring locations and underground utilities are marked, a drilling crew is anticipated to be on site starting June 29 to drill the borings. During that time, soil samples will be also be taken for laboratory testing as part of the environmental site assessment. View a map of the proposed boring locations.
- (6/18/18) June 2018 Community Update - Updates about the hiring of a sewer collection system design consultant, an estimated sewer design timeline, financing loan order, and a new Sonoma Water point-of-contact.
- (6/5/18) - Board Approves Larkfield Sewer Extension - On Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 Sonoma Water's Board of Directors approved the plan to extend sewer service into Larkfield Estates and directed Sonoma Water staff to develop a financing program to ease the financial burden of sewer construction and connection. A video of the Board Meeting along with the meeting materials and staff report can be found by visiting: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/Calendar/Board-of-Supervisors-Meeting-June-5-2018/.
- (5/31/18) Board Meeting Agenda - The agenda for the June 5th, 2018 Board of Directors meeting where an item on the Larkfield Estates sewer expansion and financing project has been posted to www.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/Calendar/Board-of-Supervisors-Meeting-June-5-2018/. A live-stream video of the meeting will also be available at that link.
- (4/9/18) Update from Assistant General Manager Mike Thompson - Comments which address key questions raised at Supervisor Gore's Community Meeting on April 2, 2018.
- (4/3/18) Temporary Holding Tank Information from Permit Sonoma - Permit Sonoma has released information describing how temporary holding tanks may be used by homes that plan to connect to sewer service after sewer service becomes available. The use of temporary holding tanks will allow property owners to build in the footprint of their existing septic system and inhabit their home even if sewer service is not yet available. For more information please visit the Permit Sonoma website at www.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Rebuild/Permits/Well-Septic-Sewer/.
- (3/22/18) Point of Sale Requirement Removed - Based on recent feedback, Sonoma Water has removed the point of sale requirement under this revised proposal. The revised proposal, outlined below, does not require connection to the sanitation system at the time of sale or transfer of property ownership. There is no requirement to connect to the sanitation system under this proposed program.
- (3/22/18) Assumable Loans – Based on recent feedback, Sonoma Water is working to make all loans associated with this program assumable and transferrable to new property owners.
- (3/22/18) Letter from Assistant General Manager Mike Thompson - Comments and revisions following the community meeting at Mark West School on March 21, 2018.
For More Information
To ensure that you will be successfully contacted as information becomes available, please provide us with your contact information and property address:
Contact Andrea Rodriguez: email@example.com