In what could be the final word on a prolonged effort to stop construction of a new well outside Point Reyes Station, the California Coastal Commission rejected an appeal by Inverness Park resident Gordon Bennett.

The commission declined to take jurisdiction over the permit issued by Marin County to North Marin Water District to build a new well on the Gallagher ranch that would help make up for salinity intrusion at existing wells on the former Coast Guard property.

“We believe that Marin County did its due diligence here to approve a critically needed infrastructure project in a way that appropriately respected creek habitats and water resources as required by the [Local Coastal Program],” coastal planner Sara Pfeifer said. “Staff believes that the county-imposed conditions would adequately protect coastal resources.” The coastal commissioners voted unanimously to reject the appeal.

Yet Mr. Bennett does not see the decision as the end of the road. “My next stop is to the regulatory agencies,” he said. “I’m going to write to the state water board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife and inform them of the information.”

In his appeal, Mr. Bennett argued that N.M.W.D.’s proposal would have significant impacts on stream flows in Lagunitas Creek, endangering sensitive salmon spawning grounds. He said the new wells wouldn’t be necessary if the district focused more on conservation; North Marin customers have already reduced their usage by about 40 percent.

The water district has contended that the new well is vital, not only to address salinity issues for its 1,800 West Marin customers, but to make up for the low output of the first well built on Gallagher ranch, which only produces half of its expected capacity. General manager Drew McIntyre said the utility is committed to implementing all of the required California Environmental Quality Act mitigation measures in the county’s permit and working with Fish and Wildlife to protect fish.

Mr. Bennett said he wasn’t surprised by the commission’s decision, but had hoped for a re-evaluation of the appeal, which was rejected by the Marin County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors before reaching the coastal commission. “No one wants to step in front of a fellow agency,” he said. “All the lower agencies just deferred up the chain to them.”

Dan Carl, the commission’s North Central Coast district director, told the commissioners he believes the conditions of the county’s permit protect the creek in exactly the ways Mr. Bennett requested. “[Mr. Bennett] apparently doesn’t trust the North Marin Water District, and doesn’t trust the permitting agency, which is Marin County, to actually follow through on these requirements,” he said.