Noticing Error Bumps Shelter Cove Water Tank Project

County sign-offs on a Shelter Cove Resort Improvement District water tank replacement project have run into an unexpected speed bump — the county’s public notice of the project mistakenly listed a tank’s height as being half of what’s proposed.

The district is replacing seven of its aging water tanks, including one whose capacity will be expanded from 30,000 gallons to 100,000 gallons. The tank will be 32 feet tall and 24 feet in diameter but the public notice for project listed it as being 16 feet tall and 32 feet in diameter.

The error was discussed at the March 3 county Planning Commission meeting as permits for the project were considered. Commission Chair Bob Morris noted that two letters of opposition to the project were submitted and he asked other commissioners if they wanted to pull the permit approvals from the meeting’s consent agenda.

Supervising Planner Steve Werner said the height of the tank is 32 feet and the zoning for the parcel it’s on allows structures up to 35 feet in height. Commissioner Lee Ulansey called attention to the erroneous listing of the height in the public notice.

“We’ve got two letters from the public this evening, both opposing a tank of the magnitude that they thought was being proposed and now we’ve got a tank that’s twice as high,” he said, asking staff members if they’re confident the project was adequately noticed.

Werner said that the letters did mention height but he reiterated that the site’s zoning allows the proposed height. A coastal development permit is also being sought, however, and commissioners ultimately decided to continue the hearing to next month due to the error in the notice.

The seven water tanks being replaced are located on six different sites within the district, on both sides of Shelter Cove Road, High Court, Beach Road, Cook Road, Muskrat Circle, Wolverine Way, Heather Court and Toth Road.

The only tank that’s being expanded is the one whose dimensions were listed in error in the notice.

According to a written staff report, the project will “improve the safety and reliability of the district’s water system by reducing leakage, installing equipment that meets modern seismic safety standards, creating system redundancy and improving worker safety.”

The staff report also describes the tank capacity expansion as being necessary to provide backup water service if a million-gallon main tank’s operation is disrupted.