Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Seeks Input on Proposed Sewer Lateral Inspection Ordinance

Published Monday, August 12, 2019

The Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District is seeking feedback from homeowners on a proposed Sewer Later Inspection ordinance.  A letter was sent to LGVSD customers; Click HERE to see the letter with details about the proposed ordinance. Click HERE for LGVSD’s frequently asked questions document.

The Marin Association of REALTORS will be submitting feedback on the draft ordinance and encourages Marin REALTORS members to do the same.  The ordinance would trigger an inspection at the point of sale or upon a remodel of $15,000 or more.  In most cases, the homeowner would have a 2 year grace period to make repairs. Homeowners could qualify for low interest loans for sewer lateral repairs.

MAR Input:

While we appreciate the LGVSD’s proposed grace period, we have concerns about the inspection triggers.   We believe that enforcing sewer lateral upgrades at the point of sale is an inefficient way to get all residents to comply to new standards.  

  • It takes years to turn over the bulk of the housing supply. Some homes may sell multiple times, while others may not sell for decades.
  • Concentrating on the homes that sell may not target the homes that have problems. For example, older homes, homes on slopes, homes with many trees on the lot, etc.
  • Adding another step to the home sale can delay the process and adds more stress to the homebuyer and seller trying to negotiate a fair market price.
  • The cost of retrofitting or of an inspection can cause the home sale price to increase drastically, leaving the potential homebuyer with an added expense, and possibly, unable to purchase a home. 

Furthermore, the size of the remodel that would trigger the inspection is very low. 

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