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Local News in Brief : End to Building Ban Sought in Agua Dulce

November 20, 1987

Abusload of angry Agua Dulce residents urged the Board of Supervisors on Thursday to end a building moratorium imposed last winter after concerns were raised that development would endanger the supply of drinking water.

The supervisors, however, postponed a decision until Dec. 17.

High nitrate levels found in a few Agua Dulce wells prompted the county to prohibit new septic systems, which effectively has frozen construction. Physicians believe high nitrate levels could pose a danger to infants by interfering with their ability to carry oxygen in their bloodstreams.

But moratorium opponents contend that the decision was hasty and based on inadequate data. They noted that only 17 wells were tested, even though there are hundreds in the affected area.

"You shouldn't conduct a moratorium in the whole community. It's overkill," said homeowners' attorney John B. Murdock.

Residents also complained that a more extensive study of the area's drinking water, approved in July, has not begun.

Supervisor Pete Schabarum suggested the county might be guilty of using a "sledgehammer" approach to the problem.

"I don't like moratoriums unless there is a real solid reason," he said.

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