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Sewer Assessments Reveals Future Depressed Real Estate Market for Yucca Valley

By   /   March 26, 2014  /   7 Comments

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Yucca Valley, Ca.,- Better sit down folks! If you live in Yucca Valley, your pocketbook is going to take a hit by the Hi-Desert Water District.

If you don’t know what sewer phase you are in…you’d better find out. Go to their sewer website and click on the GIS portal…enter the address or parcel# to confirm what phase you are in.  There are no sewer assessment costs at this time, but staff will soon make arrangements to post the individual assessment to each parcel.

Here is the GIS portal>LINK

Let’s get to the bottom line for residential and vacant lots in Phase One.



Single Family Residence            $17,404     $702.00 annual bill on taxes (fixed for 30 years)

Vacant Lot/Undeveloped            $12,809     $516.00  annual bill on taxes (fixed for 30 years)

Deferred Parcels(Phase One) $ 7,994    $322.65 annual bill on taxes (fixed + future assessment)

PHASE TWO and PHASE THREE- Current assessments towards main line/treatment plant)

Single Family Residence      $4,627     $$186.75 annual bill on taxes (fixed PLUS future assessment)

Phase One must be up and running by May 2016, Phase Two by 2018 and Phase Three by 2020.

It is anticipated Phase Two and Phase Three will be combined with Deferred properties in a second assessment vote after the collection systems are calculated for the cost factor to link to main sewer line.

The figures above are the worse case scenario.  The presentation to the Board of Directors used a  1.5% interest rate while staff is applying for 1/2%.  Another factor is whether or not there will be 5% or 10% grants applied.  And a real bad proposal to do the whole project in-house which will take 5 years to complete compared to 2 years by hiring the professionals.

ALSO- Add $2,000 to each single family residence (probably more like $3,500) to abandon the private septic tank (fill with sand) and install individual connections (laterals) to the main sewer line.

The $125 million project breaks down to Sewer Plant 28%, Collection System 43% and Road Restoration 29%.

I’ll let those number sink in for awhile until the next post.  For anyone who still has their nose bent about Measure U being defeated, please know the State Revolving Fund lowered their 30 year interest rate as a result of that sales tax not being approved.

Here are the calculations for other property types PHASE ONE only:

Multiple Family Units, Duplex, Triplex, Apartment Units  apply .72% of above residential X EACH unit.

Mobile Home, apply .60% of above residential costs

Commercial, Based on actual water usage.  (1 EDU x 365 divided by Actual water use. Call Mark Ban for further details)

Here is the link to the HDWD agenda to understand more background and using the EDU, Equivalent Dwelling Unit, a baseline value based upon water use.  One EDU=175 gallons   Agenda>LINK

PHASE ONE- Sample Monthly Costs/Single Family Residence

Additional sewer costs: Operation/Maintenance per month=$35  +monthly assessment $58.54 +lateral financing $8.00

Then add: HDWD water costs: Service charge $20.00 PLUS water usage







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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell


  1. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Great info Margo. Are these rates the one’s that have been approved by the Water District or are there more steps before it goes to a vote?

  2. Hi Larry,
    There are actually four scenarios presented that the Board will have to decide on. Scenario three and four would “save”(perhaps or maybe) $20 million dollars if constructed in-house. Leasing multimillion dollar equipment, hiring,training 3 crews of 16 new employees and 3 project managers is a potential nightmare as I see it. They estimate these scenarios would take FIVE years to complete the project and were not sure if Regional Board would allow any further extension of time. Who among us possess the experience and knowledge to build a waste water treatment plant? No one for sure on the HDWD.

    That’s why my husband doesn’t try to repair any plumbing in our house…no experience and doesn’t own the proper tools. I say let the experts do it and be done in two years. The price difference is a couple of dollars per month…for 30 years.

    So the HDWD must select scenario one or two, both to be outsourced with the difference being the amount of grant funds applied.

    The outreach is ready to roll out to educate the public now that the preliminary numbers are in. Each community will have a door hanger placed on their property to announce the date, time and place to meet with neighbors to understand the information.

    Other steps needed before the vote in July or August are going to happen in rapid succession to prepare for the vote.

    The HDWD needs 50%+1 to pass and ONLY the ballots received will be counted.

    The figures in my post are based on 1.5% interest rate and the paperwork has been submitted for the 1/2% loan for 30 years.

    The expiration date for the 1/2% loan is December 1st. After that it will be bumped up to 1%.

    I own a commercial property purchased with a credit card when I had cash flow. The first numbers rolled out were pegged at 1/2 EDU per vacant lot. The new calculations are a full EDU (same as an occupied single family residence) which is more than I paid for the lot and more than doubles my annual taxes. Please know, 60% of all the parcels in Phase One are vacant lots.

    Say, Larry would you like to buy a commercial lot in the heart of Old Town Yucca Valley? There may be several hitting the market as well as many residential homes being dumped out. Apartment units will be forced to raise their rents and I believe there will be a high vacancy factor which drags down the values.

    Sorry for the long response. I just hope it will help our readers understand what I have been tracking for many years now.

    Glad to see you back on Cactus Thorns. Bye for now!

    • Steve Whitten Steve Whitten says:

      What ever happened to the Citizen’s Initiative that was supposed to follow the Measure U defeat?

      • Hi Steve,

        As luck would have it, the State Revolving Fund dropped the interest rate by one full percent when they found out Measure U did not pass.

        Key persons on the sewer project have requested the CSI, Citizen’s Sewer Initiative Committee,to lay low until the 1/2% interest rate is locked in.

        Lori Herbel is the Chair and has been securing Yucca Valley Citizens to form a coalition from both sides of the Measure U issue as a step to heal our community. I’m just in the background as logistics and Facebook Administrator. Besides, I have too much on my plate attending meetings and CT.

  3. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Thanks for the details Margo. I’m “lot” heavy here in 29 so I’ll pass on any YV parcels.

  4. Tim Humphreville Tim Humphreville says:

    I really wish more people would have shown , for this very important meeting! A couple of corrections are needed to this ” report” . Funny Margo did not report that she made a real fool out of herself,(as is the usual) during public comment, accusing someone in the staff, or the board, of lying about the cost of repairing the roads, verses replacing them , this because she does not understand simple English. Next I find it interesting she feels like she has to defend her lies, misinformation, and flat out false allegations, she and the anti measure U crowd put out! I will be reminding people of their names as the election gets closer! But for easy numbers they cost each single family residence 5,000 dollars, that is the 30% that would have been paid from measure U ! The state revolving fund, makes the decision on the interest rate, based on whether we are a disadvantaged community, or not. Next up is the misinformation about the in house construction, The treatment plant will NOT be done in house, only the collection part of the system, should that be the direction they go. That is a big decision that needs input from the public for sure. Please people, Don’t take anyone’s blog as fact or true information, got to the web site, or better yet go to a meeting put on by the HDWD.

    • Tim,
      You are a confused fool not worth my time.

      Your first meeting of the HDWD and now you think you know the finite details. I have attended all the Waste Water Public Advisory meetings. One time they were given a report it would ONLY be $5 million dollars more to repair the roads curb-to-curb versus the cost of “trench restoration.” That figure has been inflated to a total cost of $41 million dollars…

      I spoke with TWO engineers employed by the State Water Agency and they both told me the State Revolving Fund will NOT pay for anything but trench restoration. I called the project manager of the Los Osos sewer who confirmed the same information.

      Yep! You go ahead and blab all you want against the sewer project to point out the cost difference by defeating Measure U. But first, where is that pesky lease agreement that you swore by which never materialized?

      The HDWD Board said the SRF reduced the interest rate by ONE FULL PERCENTAGE POINT because Measure U failed. Go ask your twin brother, who ended up with all the brains and muscle, to calculate that for you. (1% of $125 million reduction)

      I have spent days with the sewer manager for the Cove project in Cathedral City and understand the great task and proper equipment required by the professionals. Maybe you are first in line to dig ditches but it is very dangerous with walls caving in by do-it-your-selfers. I would hate to see anything happen to you…you are such fodder the this blog!

      I think you are angry that I possess a great degree of knowledge. It comes with experience and having attended both HDWD and Council meetings since July 7, 2007 and reading the entire agenda packets provided to me by both agencies. I’ve paid my dues, you are still wet behind the ears and in yer britches too!

      I doubt you are capable of ever growing up…just look at you now and how you conduct yourself.

      Thanks for your comments just the same…the readers can always sort things out.

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