RULES AND REGULATIONS
This is a digest of the Forest Lakes Mutual Water Company (FLMWC) rules and regulations from our Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and resolutions and actions by the Company Board of Directors. FLMWC is a privately-held mutual water company operating a public water system regulated by the California Dept. of Public Health. Questions about the regulations below can be posed to the FLMWC Board of Directors at our monthly meetings.
1. ORGANIZATION: FLMWC was incorporated on January 1, 1925 with corporation bylaws adopted on March 16, 1925. Bylaws have undergone periodic amendment. Forest Lakes consists of an area of 616 acres with water rights vested in the Company. FLMWC was formed for the purpose of serving water to properties held by Company Stockholders.
2. STOCKHOLDERS: Property owners are issued one share of stock in the Company for each parcel purchased within our water service area. Upon sale of a parcel, the seller cannot be compensated for stock. A stock transfer fee is paid to FLMWC.
3. ASSESSMENTS: FLMWC is a non-profit, mutual corporation operating a public water system; however it is not a municipal or special district public utility. It cannot sell water, but can only supply water service to properties of bona fide Stockholders. Water cannot be served to anyone not owning a share of stock, to those whose assessment and charges are not current, nor to lots not within or adjacent to the FLMWC water rights area. The sole source of income to operate the Company is derived from yearly assessments, fees and penalty payments.
4. OPERATION: The business of the Company is conducted by a Board of Directors consisting of seven members who must be Stockholders. These Directors are elected for alternate two-year terms at an annual meeting of the Stockholders. Directors receive no compensation for their work on the board. The FLMWC Board of Directors may, at its sole discretion, make rules and regulations to preserve healthy and safe water distribution and road systems.
5. WATER SERVICE: Water supplied to stockholders shall be used for residential uses. Any commercial use or reuse of the corporation's water, either direct or indirect, is prohibited. A second, attached residential unit or second, detached dwelling for which the Stockholder receives compensation, shall be assessed an additional yearly assessment.
Water service is brought to the Stockholder’s property line. Water lines from this service connection to required locations on the property are the responsibility of the Stockholder. Water shall not be put to use outside the boundaries of the lot or lots owned by the Stockholder. Only FLMWC, in compliance with applicable State Health Codes, shall enable the supply of water from one residence to another, to meet emergency demands.
6. WATER QUALITY: Water served by the Company must meet or exceed the quality standards established by the California Department of Public Health. A State Certified Laboratory regularly analyzes samples for water quality compliance.
7. WATER CONSERVATION: Water service is presently connected to 327 households. Current source availability is adequate; however, a Moratorium on new service connections was enacted by the Board of Directors on January 1, 2004. Water conservation is expected. The Board of Directors reserves the right to issue water use restrictions during a regional drought or if there is a localized general shortage. Refer to the “Water Awareness Plan” for more information.
8. WATER METER SERVICE: All FLMWC service connections are metered. Currently, unless under temporary stages of water restrictions with lower limits, a baseline of 300-gallon per day average use has been established in our service area. Meters are installed to confirm restriction-limited or baseline water use. When water use exceeds the current allotted amount, an Excessive Use fee is charged. These fees are not set to be a means to simply allow for paid use over the limits, but are in place to be a deterrent to excessive use. Chronic excessive use can result in other measures to compel limit compliance, as determined by action of the Board of Directors, including additional penalties, placement of a water restrictor on the service line, or service disconnection until conservation measures are enacted by the Shareholder.
9. RECREATION: Water in Boulder Brook is seasonally diverted for fire protection purposes by placement of a dam under permit by the State Water Resources Control Board. The resulting “Lake” is also used for recreation during the summer months by Stockholders and their guests when a qualified lifeguard is on duty. The California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) also regulates diversion from Boulder Brook. In recent years, CDFW regulation of stream flows and other measures for protection of fish and wildlife have increased, requiring greater efforts by FLMWC to maintain diversion rights.
A Lake Swim ID card is issued to each Stockholder once at no charge, upon application, to enable use of the Lake by Stockholders and their guests. The definition of “guests” is anyone living outside Forest Lakes boundaries who is visiting a Stockholder or persons renting from Stockholders. Non-Stockholders within the Forest Lakes boundaries may use the Lake but are required to purchase a swim card each season.
Lost or stolen ID cards can be replaced for a fee. Unauthorized persons and those not in possession of a valid ID card are prohibited from using the Lake. Failure to obey all instructions given by the FLMWC lifeguards can result in temporary or seasonal loss of swimming privileges. Refer to “List of Lake Rules”.
The basketball court and play area around the FLMWC office are open for use by Stockholders, their guests, and Forest Lakes year-round residents. Park recreation activities, such as festivals and movie nights, are available to all Forest Lakes residents; however, park closing hours and parking restrictions must be observed and late night (after 10 p.m.) noise will not be permitted.
10. TREE CUTTING: Cutting of trees must comply with Santa Cruz County Code. Permits may be required.
11. HEALTH & SAFETY:
Firearms. The discharge or use of any type of firearms, including pellet or “BB” guns, is prohibited.
Fireworks. Per County Code, “the possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited.”
Garbage. FLMWC does not provide garbage removal or litter cleanup. Per County ordinance, owners must provide and maintain suitable containers of sufficient capacity to store trash, recyclables, and greenwaste between collections or disposal.
Waste Water. The tract is subject to regular inspection by the County Health Department for faulty septic tanks. Any use of “gray water” must comply with County regulations. Consult with FLMWC staff if considering a gray water system to ensure adequate back-flow protection of our water system.
Animals. Per County ordinance, dogs must be licensed and on leash when not on the owner’s premises. For regulations pertaining to animal noise, waste, or fowl as pets, see the County Code for more information or contact County authorities.
12. USE OF ROADS: County Ordinances governing the use of motorized and non-motorized vehicles apply to all Forest Lakes roads. They include, but are not restricted to: Vehicle/Driver Licensing, Speed Limits, Parking and Noise Ordinances. The recommended speed limit on FLMWC service area private roads is 15-mph. Always exercise caution and courtesy when driving. Due to the narrow roads in Forest Lakes and the need for emergency vehicle access, parking on the roadway is prohibited.
13. ROADSIDE MAINTENANCE: In our water service area, FLMWC maintains private roads, FLMWC waterlines under the roads, and drainage culverts crossing beneath private roads. It is the stockholder’s responsibility to maintain ditches and drainage culverts along their property boundaries, including beneath their driveways, keeping all clear of accumulated sediment and plant material to insure proper drainage. Shareholders are responsible to keep bushes and trees trimmed back from roadways and all signage to allow safe passage of pedestrians and increase visibility. Staff can remove shareholder’s minor fallen tree branches across service area roads; however, shareholders are responsible for the cost of contractors called for removal of shareholder’s large trees falling across service area roads.
14. CONSTRUCTION: New construction, alterations and improvements must have approval of County Planning and meet all ordinances and codes. Prior to installing or improving driveways, contact FLMWC to obtain written permission and to coordinate with staff to ensure clearance of FLMWC service lines and proper drainage.
15. PRIVATE PROPERTY: All property in Forest Lakes is privately owned. The only route of travel by vehicle or foot is the roadways. FLMWC owns the property at the office park, lake and associated parking areas. The Company has regulations for park and lake use. Contact FLMWC for more information.
16. SIGNS: Name standards at road intersections are the property of FLMWC and can only be installed by the Company. Contact FLMWC for a name sign application. Signs of direction, sales, or other notifications may not erected except on the owner’s private property, or by consent of FLMWC Board of Directors.
17. RENTERS AND GUESTS: Stockholders are responsible for notifying their renters and guests of all FLMWC rules and regulations. Should an infraction occur, the Stockholders shall be held accountable.
18. HOME BUSINESSES: Stockholders operating a business from his/her home must meet current County Zoning requirements.
19. REGULATION ENFORCEMENT: Regulations may be enforced by contacting the County Planning, Zoning, Law Enforcement, or Animal Control authorities; by direct assessment of fees and penalties; and/or by discontinuance of water service. Contact the office if you have additional questions.