Sunday, March 31, 2013

Loch Lomond Use Study Offers Three Options

The City of Santa Cruz Water Commission is being asked to choose among three options so that staff can begin to develop a master plan for the Loch Lomond Recreation Area in Lompico.  A Use Study was requested and begun in March 2012 to explore ideas and develop plans to increase use of the City owned property. Visits and therefore admission and other fees collected have been down in recent years and the City wants ideas on increasing revenues.

(The Commission has a lot on their plate and will likely not spend much time deliberating the fate of what is arguably their crown jewel if not their supply solution.  Also on the agenda will be a review of a proposed "methodology for conservation measure screening for the purpose of generating a list of water conservation measures to be considered for detailed water savings and cost benefit evaluation. "
A list of 54 potential types of conservation measures has been identified for possible inclusion in a final  Water Conservation Master Plan with a planning horizon to 2030.

The Santa Cruz City Council hopes to have a completed plan by the end of 2013.)

Link to the Use Study
Excerpts from the cover memo:

"The study’s goal was to explore a suite of recreational opportunities that could restore visitor counts and improve the Recreational Area’s financial situation while balancing the protection of natural resources."

Option 1. Maximizing Opportunities and Access

 Policy Statement: Maximize opportunities to serve the community with a wide level of
activities and facilities.
 Impact: This approach would increase overall use of the Recreation Area and create the
highest potential impacts for cost recovery as well as the highest potential environmental

Option 2. Restoring Balanced Use

 Policy Statement: Strive to balance the number of users and use of the facilities with the
protection and maintenance of the environmental resources.
 Impact: This approach would come closest to restoring use/visitors to historic levels
before changes to boating and fishing came into place.

Option 3. Minimal Recreation and Use

 Policy Statement: Maintain services at a minimum level to provide the highest level of
protection of the reservoir, water and other natural resources.
 Impact: This approach will result in overall reduction of use of the recreation area, a
continual reduction of visitors and the lowest cost recovery possibility.

The Commission staff has expressed concerns about choosing option 3.  After the Commission weighs in a master plan for the area will developed.

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