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APPELLATE COURT CLARIFIES EBMUD SERVICE CENTER STATUS

 OAKLAND, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- An appellate court ruled yesterday that the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) cannot build a service center in Lafayette in its proposed configuration, but said the largest component of the project is an "integral and vital part" of the district's water system in the east area of the district and is exempt from the city's zoning and building constraints.
 The three-judge panel said the essential function of the proposed facility off Mt. Diablo Blvd. across from Lafayette Reservoir "is to provide a base of operations for field services necessary for effective maintenance and repair of the District's water system in the East Area."
 The First Appellate District ruling, which upheld a Contra Costa Superior Court decision, rejected EBMUD's plea for exemption of the entire project, saying that a proposed warehouse and a vehicle maintenance bay "do not directly facilitate water transmission or storage functions and are expressly delineated as nonexempt by the statute."
 EBMUD officials said they will consider a new project that contains only the components the court identified as exempt. "We are pleased that the court has expressly ruled that EBMUD has the right to make local site decisions for facilities that are essential to the provision of regional water service," said Cheryl Farr, assistant general manager for Customer and Community Services.
 The appellate court said the East Area Service Center project "has significant nonexempt components which may be eliminated from the proposal and located elsewhere without severely compromising the District's essential function of providing water to its customers."
 EBMUD now is considering a project in Oakland which will include warehouse and motor vehicle repair facilities that could be expanded to include those originally planned for Lafayette.
 If re-designed, the Lafayette facililty could replace a small outmoded service center on North Main Street in Walnut Creek.
 The opinion was signed by Justice William Newsom and concurred in by Justices Gary Strankman and William Stein.
 -0- 6/24/93
 /CONTACT: Gayle Montgomery of East Bay Municipal Utility District, 510-287-0141, or home, 510-689-2327/


CO: East Bay Municipal Utility District ST: California IN: UTI SU:

LH-SG -- SF015 -- 5555 06/24/93 19:51 EDT
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Date:Jun 24, 1993
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