Clarification on SB 1405 – Bill could lead to AWAC-LACSD merger

Apr 2, 2023 | Communities

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

This article was published in 2022.

Because there were additional questions and concerns about Senate Bill 1405, the Government Affairs Committee of the Lake Arrowhead chamber held a special Zoom meeting on July 21 with representatives of Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh’s office, Catherine Cerri, general manager of the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District, and Stacey Lippert, executive director of the Arrowhead Woods Architectural Committee.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Ochoa Bogh, would pave the way for AWAC to become a subcommittee of LACSD and is required for that to happen. It passed in the Senate and was on the consent calendar in the Assembly. However, after being made aware of questions that had arisen, the senator pulled it from the calendar.

Lippert reiterated that she was looking for a partner and a succession plan. She felt that LACSD, with its checks and balances, would be the preferable choice. And she added that, even if LACSD is granted the right to take over AWAC’s duties, that doesn’t mean it will happen as a vote by residents would be required.

As she had said at a previous meeting, Cerri noted that LACSD would not be able to use any funds collected from water or wastewater customers to enforce CCRs in Arrowhead Woods.

In a clarification of how the enforcement would be funded, Cerri confirmed that LACSD would review permit applications for such things as tree removal or additions to homes. Those fees, she said, would pay for the inspectors who would enforce the CCRs.

“We expect that the permit fees will fund the additional personnel LACSD would need to enforce the CCRs similar to the way it works now,” Cerri said after the meeting. “No funding for AWAC may come from water or wastewater fees.”

The language in SB 1405 is purposefully vague, said Scott Terrell, the senator’s legislative director, to allow for local control.

“From the senator’s perspective,” Terrell said, “she will want to make sure we maintain an element of local control. She is open to looking at the language.”

Should the Government Affairs Committee members develop language for amendments to the bill, it would have to go through the Senate committees again and then the Assembly committees prior to being voted on. That would have to be accomplished prior to the end of August, when this legislative session concludes.

Committee member Scott Rindenow said what he is missing is a business plan that would spell out how the merger would work “and answer most of our questions.

“I can get behind the senate bill as a vehicle to bring AWAC into LACSD,” Rindenow said. “That I get. What I can’t get behind right now is not seeing answers to all our questions.”

Lippert is looking ahead to the renewal of many of the CCRs in 2025. AWAC, she said, is using the same database they had 18 years ago. It has no addresses or phone numbers, she said, just the permits that have been applied for. The merger would give AWAC access to LACSD’s database.

“If this bill doesn’t pass,” Lippert said, “I don’t know what AWAC will look like.”


  1. Nicholas Sevilla

    I sent an email to both AWAC and Senator Ochoa Bogh, asking them too clarify more on this Bill, and on my CC&R, for Track 6782. I asked them too provide the signed document from the residents in 2009, which gave them the authority to extend the CC&R. I hope they have those signatures, else the current CC&R is null and void.

    As to LACSD absorbing AWAC, that act requiring a State Bill, I simply do not understand why. So I hope they can clarify that as well.

    • Garin Vartanian

      Hi Nicholas. We have audited the votes in two tracts in Arrowhead Woods and awac did not get the 55% required signatures of the record property owners to renew the CCRs in 2010. They collected signatures for 6 years starting in 2005. There were duplicate signatures and signatures that were not from the record property owners when the CCRs were renewed in 2010. We have asked other homeowner to get the signatures from their tracts but awac says they can’t find them.

      Please visit to get the complete facts.


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