Calabasas council rescinds septic law – Calabasas Real Estate News

Calabasas council rescinds septic law

2012-02-02 / Community
By Sylvie Belmond

The Calabasas City Council has closed the book on a controversial septic tank inspection law that was accused of creating stress and hardship over the past year for some homeowners in the rural parts of town.

Last week, the council overturned the law and restored the regulations to what they were before the adoption of the septic tank ordinance, a law that was pushed heavily by former Councilmember Barry Groveman.

“ This rescinds the codes passed two years ago and takes us back to that date,” Mayor James Bozajian said. In the future, the city will abide by septic tank regulations that are being developed by the state.

In 2009 the city passed an ordinance requiring property owners who have on-site wastewater treatment systems to obtain operating permits and to make sure their septic tanks working properly.

Building officials inspected 138 septic systems in Calabasas. Twenty of those properties subsequently hooked up to sewers. Of the 118 that remained, 31 received violation notices stating that their septic tanks were failing.

The city will work with the property owners who have notices of violation to help them make their systems work. If a faulty tank only affects private property and not creeks or public rights of way, the city will dismiss the notice of violation without further inspection.

The city will also accept inspections recently performed by a licensed inspector who can confirm that a system is working properly.

But if a code enforcement complaint comes from a third party, the city will investigate, as it would with any other building violation. If the system is found to be defective or overflowing and poses a health risk, it must be repaired, city officials said.

Councilmember Fred Gaines says he’s not opposed to the septic systems.

“But septic systems in our city, as far as I’m concerned, have to work,” Gaines said.

Bozajian, who initiated the repeal, apologized to the community for the trouble the city septic ordinance may have caused.

“I’m very pleased tonight that the council is taking this direction,” he said.

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