OPINION: Water district should consider agricultural rate for groves and farms

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The following letter was addressed to the Santa Fe Irrigation District board and sent to this newspaper for publication.

Re: Our opposition to your proposed three-year plan to increase water rates. Please consider an agricultural rate for groves and farms.

Unable to attend your Oct. 21 hearing on the proposed water rate increases, we wish to express our consternation and our opposition to the rates you are planning.

The punitive increases will have a devastating effect on groves, pastures and landscaping in Rancho Santa Fe as greenery is abandoned. The resulting dry brush will be both an eyesore and an additional fire hazard in an area that is already high risk.

If approved, the new rates will oblige us to abandon our lemon grove of 140 trees along El Camino del Norte near the reservoir. This loss-making grove has been kept up to contribute to maintaining the rural tone so characteristic of Rancho Santa Fe. Many other groves will disappear.

We hope that you will reconsider this plan and revise it to benefit the entire community, but at the very least, we request that you consider a special agricultural rate.

Patricia and Jean-Louis Astier

Residents, Rancho Santa Fe

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