Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
August 17, 2011 Firehouse Public Meeting Room, 100 Mesa
1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project: Accept
Final Technical Report: Coastal Bluff Evaluation & Stabilization Alternatives
Analysis, prepared by Sanders & Associates Geostructural Engineers (“SAGE”)
The Bolinas Working Group met on August 16, 2011 to discuss SAGE’s
final draft report. The Group generally supports SAGE’s proposed repair
alternative for the upper (road level) retaining walls to buy time to design,
fund and construct a comprehensive bluff stabilization project and to preserve
the sewer collection main and the integrity of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s
Overlook. A majority of the Group supports the relocation of the water
main at this location given the consequences of a failure of that high pressure
line and because low-interest state loan funds have been awarded for the
project. The estimated cost of repairing the upper retaining walls
is $175,000 - $200,000. The Group feels that the water line relocation
project is the BCPUD’s responsibility, whereas the road stabilization is
the County’s responsibility. However, given the County’s decision to
repair Terrace at Overlook Road, it is unclear to what extent the County
will participate in a repair of the upper retaining walls. It also
is unclear why the County has advised that a coastal permit will be required
to repair the upper walls at Surfer’s Overlook when the law does not seem
to say so and given that the County is doing the repair of Terrace at Overlook
without such a permit. Finally, the Group feels it is important to
know exactly where the County stands on the bluff stabilization project from
the standpoint of the County’s participation in this effort.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor
to accept SAGE’s Final Technical Report.
As for the repair of Terrace at Overlook Road, staff met earlier in
the day with Anita Tyrrell-Brown, Bryan Lee and County Department of Public
Works (“DPW”) representatives regarding the location of the spoils from the
repair project. DPW has offered to pay a fee or upgrade the Mesa Park
soccer field in exchange for being allowed to use it as a spoils site during
the repair project. The County is using an expedited 10-day bidding
process for this project with an estimated start date of September 12, 2011;
50,000 cubic yards of material will be excavated, but only 15,000 cubic yards
will be placed at Mesa Park. DPW has provided a draft “Right of Entry”
document for BCPUD and Mesa Park to consider. Staff already has advised
DPW that the district and Mesa Park will need to be named as additional insureds
under the County’s insurance policy and that the County’s contractor must
implement satisfactory dust control measures. Bryan Lee emphasized
that Mesa Park would prefer that the County repair and upgrade the soccer
field after the project is completed rather than pay Mesa Park a set fee.
Staff noted that additional topics discussed at the meeting included an alternative
landing spot for emergency medical helicopters; a prohibition on any construction
trucks using lower Terrace; the importance of contractor personnel observing
the 25 MPH speed limit on Overlook Road; and the availability of BCPUD water
for construction purposes. On the latter topic, staff advised the County
of the district’s bulk water rate and estimated the likely cost of the water
needed for the project at approximately $5,000.
-- Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project
Staff reported that August 12th was the deadline for the district’s compliance
with the labor compliance plan rules under state and federal law pursuant
to the terms of the loan funding documents for this project. The district
timely engaged an outside third-party firm for this purpose and submitted
the required paperwork to the state.
-- Update on the BCPUD Office Building Accessibility Improvement Project
The project is close to completion. Nearly all exterior and building
work is done, with subcontractors coming in over the next few days to complete
electrical and plumbing work; in addition, the floors will be sanded and
refinished next week. The planned move-in date is scheduled for the
end of August. On a related note, the district is replacing the toilets
in the Bolinas Children’s Center due to leak issues that cannot be corrected.
Staff is also repairing some dry rot on the bathroom floors.
-- Update on Evergreen Road Improvement Project (see item 9, below)
-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property):
Accept Biological Opinion Letter prepared by WRA Environmental Consultants
Staff presented a biological opinion letter from WRA Environmental
Consultants concerning the district’s fire fuel reduction project.
WRA conducted a site visit on June 29, 2011 and prepared an opinion letter
confirming that no special status plant or wildlife species will be impacted
by the project. The district similarly has received a cultural resources
opinion from Tom Origer and Associates finding no impact on cultural resources
from the project. Staff, Anita Tyrrell-Brown and Max Korton from
the Conservation Corp North Bay will have a walk-through of the project area
tomorrow with the local people who have requested to participate, including
Ilka Hartmann, Dale Polissar, Judy Molyneaux, Bob Cart and Eleanor Lyman.
The project is scheduled to begin within the next 1-2 weeks.
-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade
Nothing to report.
On the water side of operations, consumption declined
on the mid-Mesa in the most recent quarter to historic low levels.
The district experienced a major leak in its water distribution line at the
site of the district’s old water storage tanks (across Mesa Road from the
current tank location); this leak likely was happening for some time and
may partly explain why consumption in the district has been increasing in
recent months. Staff discovered the leak on a quiet weekend morning
two weekends ago when on a routine systems check and heard water gurgling
while at the current storage tank site. Upon investigation, it seems
that the leak is on the pipe from the water main to the old storage tank
site, which evidently was never decommissioned when the new tanks were installed.
To repair the leak, it was necessary to extensively mow the area due to an
extraordinary amount of poison oak.
Staff reported that agreement has been reached with the contractor on all
amounts due for the Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension Project and
that agreement is being documented.
Staff met with Anita Tyrrell-Brown and Cicely Muldoon and Gordon White from
the Point Reyes National Seashore on July 27th at the Firehouse to get acquainted
with the new superintendent and discuss issues of mutual concern.
Staff reported that the clean-up of the tree that fell across Olema-Bolinas
Road last month cost $2,644. As it turns out, the tree clean-up work
was going on at the same time that the district’s arborist was on site to
evaluate the other trees in the area; the arborist indicated that two leaning
eucalyptus in the area posed an extreme hazard and they also were removed.
In addition, two dead eucalyptus hanging over the bike path were removed
at the arborist’s recommendation. The arborist subsequently submitted
his report and it concludes that the tree that fell across Olema-Bolinas
Road failed due to poor root zone conditions, root dieback and massive leverage;
the report indicates that the neighboring trees have the same problem and
potential for failure and recommends their removal. The report reaches
the same conclusion with regard to the tree that fell across Mesa Road last
winter – the report notes that the fallen tree’s roots were heavily decayed
and the roots on the windward side toward the bike path were completely destroyed;
in fact, the tree had almost no root ball. The district also has commissioned
a survey to determine ownership of the trees nearest the County roads; the
preliminary survey results are in and it seems additional research will be
needed to explain a 12.36 foot gap in the right-of-way delineation near the
intersection of Mesa and Olema-Bolinas Roads.
On the wastewater side of operations, spray season continues
and staff has mowed the ditch parallel to Overlook Road and revealed some
interesting encroachments – several residents have planted trees on the district’s
property and have been asked to relocate them. One property owner has
removed the district’s fence and moved barbeque equipment onto the district’s
property – this resident has been asked to remove the equipment and restore
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since
the most recent regular meeting, including a notice of upcoming hearings
on the Local Coastal Plan Update and a notice from the U.S. Department of
Transportation regarding an air tour program for the Golden Gate National
Recreation Area and the National Park – the latter seeks comments through
September 28, 2011. After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff
to agendize the U.S. Department of Transportation notice for the September
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
Staff directed the Board’s attention to an e-mail from
Matt Lewis with questions about the recent Poplar Road drainage improvement
project and reported that Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover had a lengthy
conversation with Matt to respond to his concerns. Staff noted that
the district has not typically issued itself a permit to do drainage projects
after the Board approves the work at a duly noticed public meeting.
Staff said that the purposes of the permits for private projects are: to
serve as evidence of approval from the district to show neighbors; to specify
the materials that should be used, to require USA notice, to require confirmation
of elevations with the BCPUD, and, to ensure neighborhood notification.
Staff noted that the district as the enforcer of private permits follows
all of these steps and inquired whether the Board would like the district
to issue itself permits as well. After a brief discussion, the Board
indicated no, the district need not issue itself a permit. Staff volunteered
to revise Ordinance 30 to make this intent clear.
4. Community Expression.
Cela O’Connor submitted comments on the County’s proposed amendments to the
Marin County Development Code. In addition, Cela noted that the Board
at a prior meeting had requested that she find out what role other towns
in unincorporated Marin play in the design review phase of a proposed project
and she has learned that the BCPUD’s role in Bolinas already is more extensive
than in other communities, so she does not intend to pursue her request for
an independent design review committee “unless the LCP update process completely
5. Coastal Permit and Address Change (Project ID:
2011-0224), APN # 191-271-24 (currently 280 Ocean Parkway; new address proposed
is 20 Nymph Road): deconstruct an existing 1,301 sq. ft. single-family residence
threatened by bluff erosion and construct a new 1,588 sq. ft. single family
residence; Application for Expanded Water Use Permit (Bransten).
Roger Peacock stated that he was present as the applicant’s contractor to
answer any questions that he can on the Branstens’ behalf. Kathryn
Cirincione-Coles said that she lives across the street and empathizes with
the situation the Branstens’ face with a threat to their home due to the
eroding bluff. However, she does have concerns about the proposed project
that she has detailed in a letter, copies of which she provided to Roger
and to the BCPUD Board. She summarized the concerns in the letter,
which are focused on the size of the replacement home and landscaping plans
that could affect neighboring views. She noted that Nymph Road is very
quiet and she also is concerned about noise and dust; she said she hopes
there will be sensitivity to those issues. Roger said that the Branstens’
definitely will keep trees and vegetation trimmed so that they do not block
views – he noted that the Branstens’ own view similarly would be impacted
if the trees and vegetation get too tall. He said the Branstens’ will
take all concerns in to consideration and he will pass on the Coles’ letter;
he noted the County is looking at the project very carefully and that the
Branstens’ are trying their best to keep the house as unobtrusive as possible
and minimize impact on neighbors. Roger also confirmed that storey
poles will be erected and that he would be happy to discuss the project with
anyone who is interested.
Director Kimball noted that the Board received correspondence from neighbors
at 35 Maple Road respectfully requesting storey poles be erected so that
neighbors can better assess the impacts of the project and expressing concerns
about landscaping and views; she noted that the BCPUD has the Branstens’
proposed plans at the office and the public is welcome to come review them.
Director Kimball said that the proposed size of the new home appears to be
in excess of the 10% or 125 square feet allowed by the Gridded Mesa Plan
and inquired whether the Branstens’ intend to seek a waiver of this requirement.
Roger said that he believes that the issue is under discussion with the County.
Director Siedman directed staff to submit a letter conveying the public comments
on the proposed project to the County.
The Board then turned to the expanded water use
application. Director Amoroso suggested that the district condition
the permit on a requirement that water consumption at the property not exceed
the property owner’s average annual consumption from the last year, plus
50%, and director Kimball seconded the motion. Average water consumption
at the property over the last year was 1,200 cubic feet per quarter.
Roger Peacock inquired why the Board did not issue an unconditional permit,
as the Branstens’ have now; director Kimball responded that when there is
an expansion of a property which could impact water use, such as the case
here, the Board must issue a conditional permit under Resolution 173.
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve an expanded water use permit subject to the condition that water
use at the property not exceed the historical average annual use plus 50%,
or 1,800 cubic feet per quarter.
6. Coastal Permit (CP 12-4) and Minor Design Review (DM
12-6), APN# 191-261-21 (15 Oak Road): legalize a new, 50-foot long
retaining wall constructed to repair a failed hillside and preserve homeowner
Jim Wintersteen said that he has applied to the County for a coastal permit
to legalize a retaining wall he installed on an emergency basis to protect
his home and preserve his access; he said he had to pay a double fine to
the County for the permit application. In response to questions from
the Board, Mr. Wintersteen explained that he first took action when a big
fissure in the bluff emerged close to his front door – he installed some
piers and a concrete cap; when that appeared to be undercut, he installed
a secondary retaining wall with horizontal tiebacks. No one from the
public commented on the application. After a brief discussion, the
Board directed staff to advise the planner that there were no comments on
the permit application.
7. Coastal Permit, Land Division and Development Plan (Project
ID 2009-0377), APN# 188-100-35 (5959 State Route One, Bolinas/Dogtown):
divide an existing 10-acre parcel into two lots; no construction proposed
in application but land division would create a new building site (Kirschman).
Cela O’Connor said that the Kirschmans years ago bought a 3 acre portion
of the former Full Circle property and annexed it into their existing 10
acres; she said the Kirshmans have an easement across her property to their
original 10 acre property, but this easement does not allow the Kirschmans
to access the new portion. The O’Connor’s therefore have challenged
the subject proposal to divide the property on the grounds that the access
issues need to first be resolved; Cela requested that the BCPUD support this
position. Director Siedman noted that the subject property is outside
of the district and that the Board therefore is not in a position to make
such a recommendation; Director Amoroso agreed. Director Kimball noted
that the proposed land division does not appear to be consistent with the
applicable zoning and that the Board could point this out in a letter to
the planner; there was no objection and staff was directed to submit this
8. Right-of-Way Permit Application: Install Culvert
Across Iris on South Side of Elm (BCPUD).
BCPUD staff proposes to install a culvert across Iris Road parallel to Elm
Road on the south side of Elm Road to improve drainage. Director Kimball
noted that as this is a BCPUD project, by approving the project, the Board
approves its installation consistent with standard permit requirements.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve the installation of a culvert across Iris on
the south side of Elm Road,
9. Approve Removal of Eucalyptus Trees in the Evergreen
Road Right-of-Way between Alder and Larch Roads (R. Johnson), Mowing
of Encroaching Vegetation and Re-establishment of Road.
Staff reported that the district is ready to proceed with
the project; the district has a commitment of $2,000 in contributions from
neighbors for the requested tree work and the bid is $9,860 for the job –
as such, staff recommends approval. Staff noted that last month the
Board approved a smaller scope of work due to minimal neighborhood participation;
now that the neighbors have increased their contribution, staff has included
this item on the agenda for the Board to approve the full project.
Al Hettich expressed concern that if the road is improved it will become
“Evergreen freeway.” Director Smith said that this is one of the worst
roads on the Mesa and the district simply is trying to make it passable.
Staff asked Mr. Hettich if he would move the vehicles currently parked in
the project area and he said that he would do so.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor
to approve the project as original scoped, subject to
the $2,000 contribution from the residents requesting the work.
10. Revised Agreement with CalTrans for Placement of Construction-Related
Material (Asphalt-Concrete Grindings) Outside of State Right-of-Way.
Staff has apprised the contractor offering the asphalt-concrete grindings
that the district has ongoing concerns about accepting this material; staff
recommended the district seek legal advice to better understand the regulatory
framework. The item was deferred for future consideration.
11. Update on Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation Project.
The Board previously approved the CEQA documentation for
this project via Resolution 598, with the exception of the biological resources
section of the Initial Study. Since then, Mesa Park (via Geoff Geupel)
communicated with Fish & Game, which is the agency that commented on
the biological resources section, and satisfied their concerns; this is documented
in a letter from Mesa Park to Fish & Game and in a follow-up letter from
Mesa Park to the BCPUD. The next step is to re-circulate the biological
resources section of the Initial Study for any further public comment and
then adopt negative declaration after expiration of comment period, assuming
no other comments are received. Staff will re-circulate the paperwork
next week. In related news, the district has received a letter from
the California Department of Parks and Recreation that the deadline for this
project has been extended by three years, from 2012 to 2015, by action of
the state legislature.
12. Proposed Resolution Establishing Procedures for Suspension
and Reinstatement of Water Service.
Director Smith said that he has researched the district’s records and believes
that the district’s process of suspending and reinstating water service should
be “cleaned up” for consistency and understandability and presented a proposed
resolution for the Board’s consideration. Director Kimball asked staff
to provide a listing of the current suspended water meters, the date of suspension
and reason for suspension so that the Board can better understand how the
proposed resolution would impact meter owners. A lengthy discussion
then ensued about the difference between “suspended” meters and meters which
are active but currently not in use – in the former case, the owner is not
paying the annual service fee but rather those fees are accruing and must
be paid if the owner wishes to reinstate the meter; in the latter case, the
owner is paying the annual service fees. Director Amoroso said that
to his knowledge, there are three suspended meters in the district; he noted
that suspended meters cannot be transferred.
After further discussion, the Board agreed to defer consideration of this
item until more information can be supplied by staff concerning the existing
suspended meters and for further consideration by director Smith of his proposed
13. Resolution 603: Cites Board of Directors’ Choices
for Determining Fiscal Year 2011-12 Appropriations Limits.
K. Bender/V. Amoroso all in favor
to approve Resolution 603.
14. Resolution 604: States District’s Appropriation
Limits for Fiscal Year 2011-12.
K. Bender/V. Amoroso all in favor
to approve Resolution 604.
15. Association of California Water Agencies (“ACWA”) Region 1 Election
of Officers and Board Members for 2012-2013.
K. Bender/D. Smith all in favor
to cast the district’s vote for ACWA’s recommended slate
16. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Community Path Update: Director Kimball reported that the plants
are being watered every three weeks at this point, thanks to the foggy weather.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Staff spoke with the County’s
traffic engineer about the district’s request for implementation of the Downtown
Parking and Traffic Plan and he is going to discuss the request internally
and follow-up with staff in the near future.
-- Resource Recovery: Jennie Pfeiffer said that she is still on the
Resource Recovery Committee as a legacy of her time on the BCPUD Board and
she feels that this would be a good time for the district to appoint a current
director to serve in this role. She noted that Stinson Beach has current
agency representatives from its water and fire districts, but that Bolinas
does not. Jennie noted that there are issues to resolve with Mike Aitken
as manager of the site and other tenants on the district’s property and that
a current director could help resolve those issues. Discussion ensued
about the long-term viability of the site and need for a business plan and
adequate revenue. Director Siedman volunteered to meet with Mike and
to be the Board contact for the committee, but said he would prefer that
Jennie and BCPUD staff stay on as regular committee members to attend meetings.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball said that the Task Force met in June and the County’s Public
Health Officer sent out a report confirming no West Nile Virus activity in
Marin, so the August meeting has been cancelled. The Council will next
meet in November.
17. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Nothing to report.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman reported that fundraising
for the Downtown Park improvements are underway and Roger Peacock will be
serving as the Project Manager. Little Mesa residents have been notified
that the uphill trees will be removed and that the rootballs will be kept
in place so as not to disturb the hillside.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the April 27, 2011 Special Meeting; Minutes of the July 20,
2011 Regular Meeting
Director Amoroso requested a clarifying revision to the draft minutes.
K. Bender/D.Smith four in favor, director
Kimball abstaining to approve the draft minutes of the
April 27, 2011 special meeting, as amended.
Director Amoroso requested two clarifying revisions to the draft minutes.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor
to approve the draft minutes of the July 20, 2011 regular
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor
to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
September 21, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.