Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
January 17, 2007     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:34 p.m.

2.    Roll

    Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith present; Director Siedman presiding.

3.    Manager’s Report

    Staff reported that activities on the water side of operations have been relatively quiet in the last month, due to the holidays and typical reduced consumption during the rainy season.  Maintenance staff have taken advantage of the quiet period to take filters off-line at the Woodrat  Water Treatment Plant to perform needed repairs.  Also, the fence separating the Woodrat 2 Reservoir and the Niman Ranch grazing lands has been replaced per a previously approved agreement with Bill Niman.  All customers received a mailing on January 18th notifying them of the district’s inadvertent failure to collect a full set of three samples in November following a notice from the testing lab that a prior sample tested positive for coliform; the follow-up sample that was taken was negative for coliform and re-training has been conducted to ensure that the repeat sample violation will not recur.

    Kim Bender, Project Manager for the Bolinas Firehouse & Clinic Project, has requested that the BCPUD write a letter to the County Building Department waiving any requirement for a “storm drain separator” at the Project site for a wash-off area for trash bins; the wash-off area will be enclosed and connected via a floor drain to the sewer system—no hazardous or medical waste will be permitted in the wash-off area, which is strictly limited to office trash bin clean-up.  Staff has requested that Kim provide copies of the architectural plans for the wash-off area.  The Board approved the issuance of the requested letter, as long as staff is satisfied that the wash-off area is sufficiently enclosed and sealed against storm water intrusion.

    On the wastewater side of operations, the ponds are in good shape and the spray fields are also draining well due to the ditching project conducted last year and heightened management of the facility.  Staff currently plans to replace the damaged motor at the irrigation pumps and pull both pumps for full inspection before spray season begins again in April.

    Staff reported a request from the Mesa Park Board to conduct a subsurface investigation of the BCPUD’s sewer pond property to determine if sufficient subsurface water is available to reclaim via the proposed Reclamation Project at Mesa Park; this is a potential redesign of the proposed project to reclaim partially treated wastewater from Pond 3 via the Reclamation Project and the redesign is under consideration as a means by which to reduce the anticipated annual operating costs of the Reclamation Project.  After further discussion, it was agreed that staff will cooperate with the Mesa Park Board and that all facets of this investigation will be conducted under BCPUD’s supervision (with appropriate notices to the Regional Water Quality Control Board).

    Staff is in the process of obtaining a bid from the fence company that replaced the fence adjoining Bill Niman’s property to install new fencing on the south side of the ditch along Mesa Road adjacent to the spray fields.  Staff also is obtaining bids to remove the dead and dying pine trees along the footpath, which currently pose a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received by the BCPUD since the most recent Board meeting, including but not limited to an e-mail from Doug Ferguson, attorney for Michael Moritz, confirming that the fence has been constructed on BCPUD lands per previous agreement with the BCPUD and the County to ensure that cattle will no longer enter Pine Gulch Creek. 
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover, who is currently on vacation.

4.    Community Expression

    -- Update on Mesa Park’s Acquisition of Tacherra Property on Wharf Road.

    Director Siedman reported that escrow has closed and title to the Tacherra property on Wharf Road known as “Burnt Park” is now in the name of Mesa Park.  A design committee has been appointed (five community members plus the members of the Mesa Park Board) from 17 applicants and work is underway to complete the design and installation of the park amenities within the one-year deadline stipulated by the donor. 

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.  Director Kimball suggested that the Board consider reconstituting the committee in light of renewed interest in alternative energy issues in the community.

-- Beach:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that the committee has a meeting scheduled for the following Wednesday evening.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report
-- Community Paths Group:  Director Smith reported that he has resubmitted all drawings and plan documents requested by the County and is hopeful that the coastal permit will be issued shortly.  With regard to the need to put the bike path installation project out for public bid, staff said that research is on-going into possible exemptions given the “design-build” nature of the project. 
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Nothing to report.

-- Resource Recovery:  Receive November Minutes; Receive December Financial Report.  The Board received the November minutes and the December financial report; there was nothing further to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Smith reported that the Committee has formed two sub-committees: an “alternate route” subcommittee and a “Save Terrace Avenue” committee.  The alternate route subcommittee has received a contour map with parcel numbers identified on it and the save Terrace subcommittee has a meeting scheduled in February with Supervisor Kinsey and DPW staff to discuss what is and what is not feasible to do in the near term to stabilize Terrace Avenue.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the Task Force will not meet again until March or April.  On the other hand, the Council will meet next Monday at the Dance Palace church space in Point Reyes Station at 3:30 p.m. with “special guest” Jim Wanderscheid to discuss a possible extension to the existing agreement with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District regarding mosquito control in West Marin.
6.    Simac Ag Structure Coastal Permit and Design Review (CP 06-32 & DC 06-143), Fern Road (no assigned address) (APN: 192-111-15)

    Stephen Simac said that at the prior month’s meeting he had requested that the Board send another letter to the County about his pending permit application; he said he had submitted a letter reflecting changes he would like to see made to the Board’s original letter and he had asked that the Board act on his request, but no action has been taken.  Director Siedman pointed out that Mr. Simac presented his letter of proposed changes at the meeting itself, so there was no time for the Board to consider his request at the meeting.  After some additional discussion, staff was directed to review the BCPUD’s prior original letter, review Mr. Simac’s requested changes, review the tape of the meeting at which Mr. Simac’s application was discussed and draft a second letter to the County with any necessary corrections.

7.    Fletcher Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 317 Mistle Road

Alethea Patton was present on behalf of the applicant, Robert Fletcher.  She confirmed that the increase to the footprint of the habitable portion of the house structure is limited to ten percent, per the Bolinas Community Plan requirements for construction in the bluff erosion zone, in addition to an expanded outdoor deck and a covered front porch.  In response to questions, she confirmed that a repair septic permit has been approved by the County’s Environmental Health Services department and that the house will be raised by 15 inches to accommodate a new foundation.

J. McClellan/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve an unconditional Expanded Water Use Permit for 317 Mistle Road.

8.    Hollander Request to Transfer Water Service and Sewer Connection from 3 Spring Road to 3 & 7 Wharf Road (APN 193-072-05)

Albert Hollander explained that he is requesting that the BCPUD Board approve the relocation of his water and sewer services from their present location at 3 Spring Road to a new location at 3 & 7 Wharf Road; he reminded the Board that in 2003 it had conditionally approved the relocation of these services for health and safety reasons.  Director Amoroso said that he spoke recently with Peter Harris, the current owner of the subject parcels on Wharf Road, and was told that there are significant potential engineering challenges to locating a home on the site due to the steep slope of the property.  Director Amoroso noted that the suitability of the proposed relocation site is a factor for the Board to consider in approving a proposed service relocation.  Director Siedman concurred, noting that the Board cannot act on a service relocation request until it knows whether the County and/or Coastal Commission will approve the relocation of the structure.  The Board agreed that there is no objection in principle to Albert’s proposal to relocate the services to Wharf Road, but that he needs to present evidence to the Board that the applicable permitting agencies approve of the site in light of the parking, walkway and slope considerations, among other things.

9.    Resolution 541:  Stating BCPUD’s Intent to Adopt an Ordinance Regulating Water Wells within the Boundaries of the District.

Director Siedman reported that he, director Kimball and BCPUD staff met with several County representatives the prior week to discuss community concerns about proposed wells in the district, the potential impact of such wells on neighboring properties and the current lack of public notice in the well permitting process.  Based on this meeting, the BCPUD is considering the adoption of a permitting process for proposed wells within the boundaries of the district; for example, the County will retain the technical permitting role but perhaps the BCPUD would undertake a role in the community notice and comment process.  Director McClellan voiced concerns about possible liability issues for the BCPUD if it were to undertake a permitting role.  Director Kimball concurred that all implications and associated details need to be worked out, but said she feels it is very important to ensure that there is public notice and an opportunity to be heard with regard to well permit applications in the district; director Amoroso agreed.  Director McClellan said he thinks that the County could delegate the BCPUD the authority to conduct the initial public notice and comment work and then forward this on to the County for its consideration in connection with the actual permitting process, but that he remains reluctant to have the BCPUD undertake a separate permitting role.  Director Kimball said she would like to review how water wells are handled in other Marin communities and understand why so many other communities have a permitting procedure for wells before she would be willing to abandon the idea of a permitting role for the BCPUD.

Lyndon Comstock endorsed a role for BCPUD in the permitting process, noting that the County currently does not seek neighbor input and does not take into consideration specific environmental and/or community plan provisions when permitting wells.  Director Smith agreed that the BCPUD should be involved in the process with the County to ensure that adequate oversight and review occurs, but said he also is not sure whether the BCPUD needs to conduct a separate permitting process.  Director Amoroso said the BCPUD should find out what other water districts are doing with regard to well permitting; he noted that septic system implications and setbacks from any proposed well sites on the Bolinas Mesa need to be thoroughly analyzed, including the fact that presently undeveloped lots may need to be used as future leachfields. 

Director Siedman said there is a community concern that the County currently does not pay sufficient attention to septic system implications, the Bolinas Community Plan, the Gridded Mesa Plan policies or other local issues when permitting wells.  Director McClellan stated that the BCPUD could make “findings” on behalf of the County, if the County so delegates that role to the BCPUD in connection with its well permitting process, much as the BCPUD does already with regard to building permits.  Director Siedman emphasized that the County affirmatively wants the BCPUD to participate in the permitting process – the County will stay in control of the technical permitting process, but the BCPUD can and should have a role in the community and environmental implications.
    Discussion turned to the text of the proposed resolution.  After further discussion, it was agreed that the resolution would be revised to indicate the BCPUD’s intent to adopt an ordinance regulating wells within 120 days of the effective date of the resolution, rather than 90 days; to delete the reference to the “quiet and peaceful environment of the neighboring property” because it is covered by the Bolinas Community Plan reference; to add a reference to the compatability of the proposed well with the requirements of the Local Coastal Plan; to include a reference to “existing or potential” onsite wastewater disposal systems that must be evaluated as a part of the regulatory process; and to make clear that the intent is for the BCPUD to participate in the County’s permitting process rather than adopt its own permitting process.  Staff was directed to work with County staff to draft an appropriate MOU to govern the County-BCPUD cooperation on well permits effective immediately and until such time as the ordinance becomes effective.

Director Kimball moved to approve Resolution 541, as amended, and director Amoroso seconded the motion.  Marc Dwaileebe stated that he feels that any action by the BCPUD to become involved with well permit applications already in process is focused on his projects.  He said that he understands the environmental and septic system concerns and would be happy to work with the BPCUD to address these concerns.  However, he feels it is inappropriate for the BCPUD to intervene to try and stop his projects.  Director Siedman told him that the Board is not trying to “stop his projects” but rather is responding to community requests that the BCPUD become involved in the well-permitting process in light of the current lack of public notice and implications for neighboring property owners.  Cela O’Connor expressed concern that environmental considerations are not sufficiently articulated in Resolution 541.  John Norton said he is concerned about the neighborhood peace and quiet issues, particularly if a generator is used to keep a well pumping all night; Cela O’Connor confirmed that her own well is extremely noisy.  She noted that most wells are “demand wells” and therefore run all of the time and pump water constantly.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor      to approve the Resolution 541, as amended.

    Staff was directed to transmit the resolution to the County Environmental Health Services Division and implement an appropriate MOU.

10.    Resolution 542:  Approving the Retrofit of Filters and Conversion of Control Panels at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.

Staff requested that the Board approve Resolution 542 and approve the retrofit of the existing filters and conversion of the associated control panels at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant because the district’s filter manufacturer has advised that the existing filter technology at the treatment plant is outdated and in need of upgrade to a low-pressure process.  The total cost is approximately $110,000 and can be paid by drawing down the district’s reserves.  The alternative is to replace the existing filter membranes at a cost of approximately $20,000 and make do with the existing high-pressure technology for as long as possible, with the understanding that the manufacturer is no longer servicing this technology.  

    Director Smith agreed that the proposed technological upgrade is a preferable choice because it will be more effective and that the improved membranes should produce cleaner water, but said he is concerned that the manufacturer has not provided a very meaningful guarantee on performance.  He raised specific questions about the manufacturer’s performance specs, which were included in the Board binders.  Director Amoroso said that given the potential cost savings on energy and maintenance, as well as the potential increase to production, it seemed prudent to make the switch to the new technology, but he agreed that director Smith’s questions should be addressed – he inquired whether director Smith would be willing to work with staff to communicate his concerns to the manufacturer.  Director Smith said he would do so.  Director Kimball suggested that staff also request references from the manufacturer and then follow-up with those references as to whether they are satisfied with the new technology.  The item was continued until the next Board meeting pending resolution of outstanding issues.

11.    Update on Tomales Bay Watershed Council progress on an Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan.

Staff reported that the consultants to the Tomales Bay Watershed Council (“TBWC”) Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan (“ICWMP”) process have advised the BCPUD that the State Water Resources Control Board staff are “expecting” a project proposal from the TBWC regarding the Duxbury Reef ASBS in Bolinas.  The consultants encouraged the BCPUD to sponsor a potential project proposal, which staff drafted and included in the Board’s binders. directed at water quality monitoring at the outfall points on the reef.  After further discussion, the Board agreed that it preferred to submit a proposal of the district’s own design rather than be subject to a project proposed from the outside; staff was directed to submit the draft proposal for consideration by the TBWC Technical Advisory Committee, as appropriate. 

12.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Staff reported that a Proposition 218 notice and timeline will be circulated within the next few days to Board members for review concerning the BCPUD’s intention to raise the metered water delivery charges.

-- Legal:  Director Siedman reported on the status of two issues previously referred to the committee: (1) he and director McClellan drafted a letter of response to a letter that was sent last month to the Board from Barry Kahn, attorney for Marc Dwaileebe and (2) he and director McClellan disagree as to whether revisions to Ordinance 30 are necessary.  Director Siedman feels that the ordinance needs “fine-tuning” to address the issue of abandoned or paper rights-of-way, whereas director McClellan believes no revisions are necessary because the requirement that a right-of-way proposal be evaluated for whether it is “in the public interest” should protect community interests.  Director Siedman said he feels the ordinance needs clarification as to what is (or is not) “in the public interest.”
Lyndon Comstock commented that the issue has been presented because of Mr. Dwaileebe’s proposal to create a road on the Locust right-of-way off of Opal, but that a general policy on unused, or paper rights-of-way is warranted because similar issues likely will arise in the future.  He noted that Mr. Dwaileebe’s attorney referred to his client’s “presumptive right” to use the Locust paper right-of-way as a road and that Mr. Dwaileebe himself did not ask for the BCPUD’s permission to use the right-of-way, but only requested that the BCPUD enforce the removal of an alleged “obstruction” at the intersection of Locust and Opal.  Lyndon urged the BCPUD, as owner of the public rights-of-way, to articulate a policy as to whether there is an inherent right to drive over BCPUD land, even if said land is not developed into a road.

Director Smith observed that Mr. Kahn claims that Mr. Dwaileebe’s title to a lot embraces the right to use all easements on the Mesa’s subdivision map and he said the draft letter from BCPUD does not address this contention, but it should.  Director McClellan said that he thinks the public has a right to access the public rights-of-way, but whether the public has a right to improve the public rights-of-way is another question. 
After further discussion, staff was directed to seek independent legal advice regarding the public rights-of-way issues.  Staff was further directed to research the Bolinas traffic plan and determine whether the status of the paper rights-of-way were addressed when that plan was prepared.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Nothing to report.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b.    Minutes of the November 15, 2006 Regular Meeting, Minutes of the December 20, 2006     Regular Meeting

Director Amoroso commented that he proposed changes to the November minutes regarding the discussion of the Beach Committee’s final report.  He requested that staff contact the Beach Committee chair and remind him to proceed with the scheduling of a town meeting to review the committee’s final report and receive comments; the BCPUD will pay the reasonable expenses of a meeting facilitator, 

D. Smith/B. Kimball        all in favor    to approve the November 2006 meeting minutes, with the changes proposed by director Amoroso.

Director Amoroso offered two corrections to the December 2006 meeting minutes.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the December 2006 meeting minutes, with the changes proposed by director Amoroso.

c. Warrants

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

The Board agreed to schedule the next meeting on February 28, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. to accommodate staff and Board member vacation schedules.

Director Kimball requested that the Board consider revising the membership of the Alternative Energy Committee at the next meeting.  She suggested that director Smith replace her as the Board member and that Tom Williard and perhaps additional other community members be added to the committee.  Director Smith indicated he would be happy to serve on the committee.

13.    Adjournment

11:04 p.m.