Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
August 17, 2011     Firehouse Public Meeting Room, 100 Mesa Road, Bolinas


1.    Call to Order.

    7:30 p.m.

2.    Roll

    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 Project

    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 fence.

    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 regular meeting.

-- 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 fails us.”
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 access (Wintersteen).

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 comment.

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 resolution.

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 of candidates.
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 meeting,

c. Warrants

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.

18.    Adjournment.

10:20 p.m.