Saturday, June 19, 2010

Antelope Valley Groundwater Case Flows On…

There is a class action lawsuit, which is about a land owners right to pump groundwater in the Antelope Valley. This lawsuit addresses a property owner’s right to pump their own water beneath their property. Currently State Law allows property owners to pump and use groundwater beneath the surface on their land. In Los Angeles County, however, the naturally available supply of water in the Antelope Valley Basin may not be adequate to satisfy everyone who wants to use that water.
The suit is the Willis Class Action which requests the Court to rule that private landowners in the Antelope Valley who do not presently pump water on their properties retain the right to use the water underlying their properties. The Court has not yet ruled on these claims. This will affect land owners who wish to build custom homes on county land, but not city residents. Most of Antelope Valley is rural residential and agricultural land, so the ruling targets private land owners and farmers.
The Case Number is 1-05-CV-049053 at Santa Clara County Court under Judge Komar, with the next calendar date set for July 15, 2010. The schedule indicates that this will be the deadline for expert witness disclosure and exchange of expert witness information, including any reports prepared by such experts, and any party who intends to call non-expert witnesses to provide percipient testimony must file their statements listing such witness(s). The court calendar is set through Sept. 27, 2010 where the Court Trial Phase 3 takes place, (Status of Valley Aquifer and Issue of Overdraft)10 days with all discovery to be completed 30 days before trial and all motions shall be heard no later than 15 days before trial date.
The lawsuit has been dragging on for years now with the essential position by Los Angeles County claiming adverse possession, and rescinding property owner and residents' rights to their own water? We will keep you updated here as this litigation progresses.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Solar Land Grab Continues As Two Los Angeles County Solar Projects Have Been Purchased by First Solar

The San Fernando Valley Business Journal has indicated that First Solar Inc. recently acquired a current project undertaken by Nextlight Renewable Power LLC (a solar module company). First Solar is reported to have acquired the project in a deal worth $285 million. The purchase of NextLight Renewable Power project at 170th West at Ave D near Lancaster, Ca. is the latest by First Solar as part of its strategy to acquire companies with projects already in development.
NextLight’s project AV Solar Ranch One is a 230-megawatt photovoltaic solar panel facility west of Lancaster, which they only recently started in late 2009. This project compliments some existing solar facilities that First Solar has in Riverside County and in Blythe. According to First Solar’s press release the Riverside County project will produce enough power for 160,000 homes.

The Antelope Valley Press reported earlier this year that First Solar Inc. had acquired a couple of solar power projects in their early development by Edison Mission Energy, which is the power generation division of Edison International. These two projects acquired by First Solar are photovoltaic projects one near Lake Los Angeles at 240th East at Ave S and the other near Mojave in Kern County.
According to AVPress, Allison Gatlin’s report "They purchased the entire development pipeline," said Bob Steins, public affairs manager for Edison International. The 150-megawatt Gray Butte plant (240th East at S) is in the permitting process with Los Angeles County. These latest acquisitions are private land purchases on previously farmed land. The company has previously purchased public land under the Bureau of Land Management which has fast tracked the permit process. These two projects in Antelope Valley are only in the planning and permitting stages, so the plants can be built to suit First Solar’ project needs. These solar projects should compliment the landscape of Antelope Valley as they will be situated on Los Angeles County Land outside the city limits of Lancaster and Palmdale, Ca. and primarily be invisible to residents.

These solar companies have bought low priced land at the low end of the market paving the way for reduced prices for other land investors. Land investment has been a great hedge against inflation and over the years has proven to be a fantastic long term investment. Ideal developable parcels have been bought by housing and solar companies leaving great opportunities for IRA investments to buy land near these developments.