Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting
Of The Board Of Directors
January 17, 2007 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
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
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
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
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
7. Fletcher Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 317
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
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 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
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.