Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors

August 20, 2003     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

    8:05  p.m.
2.  Roll

    Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, McClellan, Siedman present
    Director McClellan presiding
    Director Kayfetz arrived at 8:14 p.m.

3.  Manager’s Report

    The project to replace 500 feet of water distribution main on Iris Road, between Elm and   Ocean Parkway, is now complete.  

    On August 12, a motorist attempting to turn his truck around at the intersection of Daffodil and Queen bumped a fire hydrant and broke it off.  Approximately 30,000 gallons of water were lost before the hydrant valve was closed.   On the morning of August 13, multiple leaks had developed in the system, concentrated around the Birch and Cedar Roads areas.  Whether the rapidly changing velocity of the water in the system caused by the hydrant break and subsequent closure contributed to the leaks is open to conjecture.  The biggest of four leaks was on the Birch Rd line between Poplar and Larch, a line that needs to be replaced because of its poor condition.

    The budgeted purchase of a used truck to replace the aging Toyota is progressing well.  Staff has an oral agreement to purchase a 1999 Ford Ranger from a private party in Corte Madera.  A reputable mechanic has conducted a thorough evaluation of the truck and stated that it is in nearly perfect condition.  Mileage is 26,000.   As soon as a lien-free title is returned to the seller by the DMV, the deal will be consummated.

    The Notice to Contractors for the 270 Elm Road Exterior Painting Project will be published in
    the August 28 Point Reyes Light, with contract award scheduled for the September Board of
     Directors meeting.

    The Notice to Contractors for the West Tank Cathodic Protection Project will be published in
    the September 25 Point Reyes Light, with contract award scheduled for the October Board of
     Directors meeting.

Excavation of the upper dam on the Arroyo Hondo is tentatively scheduled for the latter part of September.  The last excavation was in August, 1998 and significant capacity has been lost since then due to gravel and silt intrusion.

StuArt has proposed painting and erection of a sign in front of the BCPUD office to replace the one destroyed by a falling tree limb during a winter storm.   There were no objections from Directors subject to staff’s researching current Marin County sign permit requirements.

4.  Community Expression

Director Amoroso noted that Cheryl Chester, the environmental engineer who provided  guidance to the Community Paths Group during design of the Olema-Bolinas Road phase of the project, is running for governor in the October 7 recall election.

5.  Bolinas Community Firehouse & Clinic (BCFC) Project presentation

By way of introductory remarks, Kim Bender, Capital Campaign Director explained that she was originally hired as a grant writer and then her role expanded when Martina Johnson became ill.   

In presenting the proposed project, Bender described the seismic inadequacy of the existing firehouse and the lack of Americans with Disabilities Act compliance of Bolinas Family Practice’s downtown location.

Showing the site plan, Bender noted that the Reach Helicopter uses the soccer field adjacent to the firehouse as a landing zone.  If the clinic and firehouse were both adjacent to that site it would be a significant benefit.  She also explained the interrelationship of  Mesa Park’s water reclamation project and the clinic/firehouse complex: without the proposed sewer connection, the firehouse would need the space reserved for the clinic for a new mounded septic system.

Bender then summarized some of the financial aspects of the project.  The Capital Campaign Committee is looking for money from all sources.  They have already raised $150,000 from private donors.   Other grant and donation sources are the Tide Foundation and Marin Community Foundation.  The goal is to raise as much as possible prior to the March, 2004 bond measure.   Bender noted that public financing experts say bond issue approval is important, both economically and in demonstrating community support.  Current projections envision borrowing $1.3 million from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program with an annual assessment on the property tax bill of $85 per developed parcel and $25 per undeveloped parcel.    The goal is to raise another $800,000 in private grants and donations.

Director Kayfetz voiced concern about possible resentment among non-resident owners of undeveloped parcels being forced to pay $25 per year with no vote on the bond measure.  Bender indicated the committee will deal with that issue when it arises.

Director Amoroso sought to dispel a rumor that the Stinson Beach clinic would be closed if the new Bolinas clinic is built.   Bender stated that absolutely was not the case, that no clinic functions would be added to the Bolinas facility because of the increased space.  She also noted that there will be an ambulance bay built into the new firehouse that Marin County may fund in the future, thereby providing Bolinas residents a faster response time.  Also, the present Bolinas Clinic turns people away now because of lack of space.  The proposed facility would mean better care for all who need it, and it would be designed for easy access to helicopter transport.

Kayfetz asked about the deadline for Region’s approval of the sewer connection.  Apparently, placement of the bond measure on the ballot, 88 days before the March election, would be the date by which BCPUD needs to know that Region would allow the sewer connection.

Expressing concern over being squeezed into taking legal risks, and the reclamation project engineers completing their work in a timely fashion, Kayfetz commented that the schedule looks tight and urged Bender to push key participants to make it happen.  Director Siedman stated he expects the final draft of the project report by September 1.  HydroScience, the engineering firm designing the reclamation facility and sewer pump station, will seek RWQCB’s approval.  Siedman suggested that BCPUD can complete it’s part of the process at the September, 2003 meeting.

Amoroso raised concern about the money needed to operate the reclamation facility, estimated at $16,000 annually.  Kayfetz,  emphasizing that the reclamation project could increase BCPUD’s operator certification requirements, stressed that the District will need answers about certification and funding before committing to the project.

A discussion regarding the project’s impact on the water moratorium followed, with issues being raised by Bill Lyons, Matt Lewis and Joel Braverman.  Jack Siedman said the expanded water use permit process could handle the new uses, noting that a previous analysis suggested that the total usage at the complex would not exceed that of an average single family dwelling.  In response to Joel Braverman’s asking the Board if it were certain the project is no threat to the moratorium, Amoroso indicated that it would not be a problem if handled in the same manner as every other application.  Director McClellan indicated, and Amoroso agreed, that when the time comes, the Board will follow the permit process and the firehouse/clinic complex will have to live within the established limit on water use.

Amoroso asked Bender about the statement in the capital campaign brochure that the proposed project would be the first significant improvement in infrastructure in the last 20 years, adding as an aside that BCPUD has spent several million on water and sewer infrastructure in the past 20 years.  Although the brochure doesn’t mention it, Bender indicated it meant the first improvements except for water and sewer.

6.  Mesa Park:  reclamation project engineering report

Director Siedman indicated there was nothing new to report that was not mentioned in the previous item. 

7.  Bolinas Community Plan Provisions and Other Permit Requirements - Downtown Signage and Use Permits:  Coast Café; 2 Mile Surf Shop

    Director Amoroso recused himself, noting that he is a downtown business owner with a sign.  Amoroso described a process over twenty years ago when Director Kayfetz filed a complaint regarding the Grand Hotel’s sign.  Amoroso subsequently appeared before the Marin County Planning Commission and received a sign permit.  Rodney Krieger noted that the Grand Hotel’s sandwich board placed out on the sidewalk during business hours is not legal.  Amoroso said it was included in the original permit but the code has changed and he was not sure how the code currently applies to this situation.

    Kayfetz recounted all the calls he’s received from people complaining about the new Coast Café sign, the town’s growing presence on the internet, the Yahoo maps showing the way to town and similar publicity.   He thought it would be good to provide a forum to discuss the issues and he observed that BCPUD is required to process an Expanded Water Use Permit application if work is done that would require a building or use permit.  Director Siedman asked why 2 Mile Surf shop was placed on the agenda and Kayfetz indicated it was because that business may need a use permit.  

    A broad discussion ensued, with active participation by many of those in attendance at the meeting, on issues ranging from the difficulties finding a place to park downtown and the extent to which the 2 Mile Surf Shop and the Coast Café have played a role in that, to philosophical statements regarding the character, values and attitudes of townspeople, and the ultimate role of the Bolinas Community Plan in guiding the actions of local businesses.   Repeatedly, the generally civil discussion returned to the issue of traffic congestion and parking in the downtown area.    

    Returning to the subject of the Coast Café, Kayfetz asserted that BCPUD is long overdue in initiating an Expanded Water Use Permit process.   He alleged that the café’s owner, David Liebenstein, has entered into agreements regarding seating capacity and parking accommodations that he has not lived up to.   If a Marin County restaurant has more than 40 seats it needs a use permit.  Kayfetz, visiting the establishment prior to the meeting, counted 130,  60 inside,  40 in the side patio and 30 more in the roped off front area. Kayfetz charged that Marin County enforcement officer Debbie Poiani knows about the work Liebenstein has completed without permits – an expanded kitchen, new bathrooms and the coffee kiosk.  

Kayfetz argued that the County of Marin Community Development Agency practices unequal enforcement of its regulations. He made the following motion:

Kayfetz/Bertsch     Kayfetz and Bertsch ayes, McClellan and Siedman nays, Amoroso abstaining     motion fails     to send Liebenstein a letter pointing out that he’s apparently tripled the size of the business above the limit for a use permit and directing him to apply for an expanded water use permit.  Additionally, the Board is to send a letter to Marin County CDA saying the Board has heard testimony that the Coast Café has expanded to the point where it is up to the County to initiate a use permit process.
    Director Amoroso suggested drafting a letter to Liebenstein summarizing the comments made during the meeting and giving him a chance to respond at the September meeting.     Director McClellan commented that everybody knows parking is horrible downtown, that parking requirements are used as an indirect way to pressure businesses that others may not approve of.   He said the process is very distasteful to him and stated that the Board of Directors shouldn’t be in the business of complaining to the County about a property owner’s permit situation, arguing that it sets a dangerous precedent.

    Siedman/Kayfetz     4 ayes, Amoroso abstaining     to send a letter to David Liebenstein summarizing the discussion and indicating that this matter will be on the agenda of the September meeting.  Liebenstein will be asked to attend the meeting and respond to the claims and comments heard at this meeting, and to tell the Board about work he’s done at the Coast Cafe.  The letter will inform Liebenstein that, if warranted, the Board will consider an expanded water use permit at the September meeting.  If he refuses to attend the meeting or address the concerns in any way,  the Board might then refer the matter to the Marin County Community Development Agency.

    Director Bertsch noted that downtown activities rise to a higher level of scrutiny than elsewhere in the District because the community voted on and the Community Plan is specific about the nature and scope of downtown business activities.  She emphasized the need for people engaged in commercial activity to adhere to the Bolinas Community Plan.
    The discussion continued with Amoroso restating the generally shared view that parking is the crux of the problem.

    Amoroso/Bertsch       4 ayes, Kayfetz abstaining         to reconstitute the Downtown Parking and Traffic Committee by putting the matter on the September agenda and seeking applicants to be appointed to the committee.
8.  Mosquito Abatement

BCPUD Community Liaison Stacey Henderson reported on the current status of vector control.   The Marin-Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District can no longer provide advisory and inspection services because of  budget reductions.  West Marin opted out 25 years ago.  Henderson described the situation as urgent in light of  the West Nile Virus threat.  She suggested that we, as individuals, work to abate the problem on our own properties,  and for all the west Marin communities to come together to develop a regional solution.  Henderson recommended asking Steve Kinsey to get a group together to look into funding and organization.   West Nile is real and is hitting Southern California now.   A council was formed in east Marin a year ago, and west Marin community representatives were not invited to the meetings.  Henderson wants to be involved in the work of the council and will seek help in that regard from Marin County officials.  Staff urged Henderson to submit an article by September 10 for the BPUD Pipeline, summarizing her ideas and the information she’s collected from various sources.

9.  Mesa Drainage Pilot Project:  progress report and phase one proposal

Ad Hoc Committee Chair Andrew Blake was unable to attend the meeting.  Director Bertsch reported in his stead..  The plan is to finish the survey and verify the placement of five culverts.  Don Murch is to prepare an estimate.   Matt Lewis is working with Stacey Henderson on a flyer for neighborhood education.  The committee is requesting a rolling tape and a metal detector but committee member Rob Rich said they have found most of the monuments already and thinks they can do without the metal detector.  Bertsch and Blake plan to meet with Marin County Survey Chief Don Hobbs regarding existing survey information. 
Board President McClellan appointed both Steve and Armida Newstedt to the ad hoc committee.  They expressed concern about downstream flow increases.   Steve would like to take the committee around the neighborhood and show them the situation.

10.  Roads:  Maintenance Permit applications:  Stein – 100 block of Juniper;
       Traub – 300 block of Juniper; update on visibility obstructions

    Both applications call for minor grading and filling of potholes with no ditching.
Bertsch/Siedman   4 ayes,  Kayfetz absent     to approve Stein application.
Bertsch/Siedman   4 ayes,  Kayfetz absent     to approve Traub application.

Bill Lyons and Rob Rich asserted that an improperly installed and undersized culvert had been placed under a new driveway on the west side of the 60 Mesa Road property.  Staff will write a letter to Department of Public Works if the culvert is found to be out of compliance with Marin County Code.

Matt Lewis brought up the Overlook/Poplar visibility obstruction issue again.   The property is owned by the brother of Marin County Administrator Marin Riesenfeld.  Lewis asserted that Supervisor Kinsey has looked at the site twice and is reluctant to deal with it.  

Amoroso/Bertsch     all in favor     to direct staff to send a letter to Marin County Department of Public Works, with copies to Supervisor Kinsey, the Point Reyes Light, and the property owner, restating the District’s concern that the lack of visibility at the corner of Poplar and Overlook is a hazard and in violation of the Marin County Code  The letter will note that despite repeated requests, nothing has been done, so BCPUD wants to make it part of the formal record that Marin County and the property owner are on notice.  Earlier correspondence will be attached and the letter will indicate that the Board’s action was unanimous.

11.  Request for Variance – Expanded Water Use Permit:  Pepper – 10 Terrace

During the period prior to granting of the original expanded water use permit, usage was not typical of a single family dwelling.  There was a significant length of time when the house was not occupied and subsequently the maximum quarterly allowance was below typical use. The owner has requested a variance to increase the maximum allowance to the system-wide average of 2,500 c.f. per quarter.        

Kayfetz/Amoroso     all in favor      to amend the permit, increasing the maximum quarterly      allowance to 2,500 c.f.
12.  Resolution No. 491, Citing Board of Directors' Choices for Determining 2003-04  
       Appropriations Limits

  Kayfetz/Siedman     all in favor      to adopt Resolution No. 491.
13.  Resolution No. 492, Stating District's Appropriations Limit for Fiscal 2003-04    

       Kayfetz/Amoroso       all in favor     to adopt Resolution No. 492.

14.  Other Business

a.  Committee Reports
      -- Finance: 

          The Board received the 4th quarter financial report and a progress report on the 2002-03               
                audit process.  Field work was concluded with no apparent problems earlier in the day.

      -- Mesa Septic, Roads and Drainage: 

Matt Lewis is working on a draft letter explaining the organization and tasks of the Ad Hoc Drainage Committee and asking for the support of the community for the pilot drainage project.
      -- Sewer: 

Resource Recovery Project – The Board received the financial report for July, 2003. Community Paths Group – The District has received a copy of a letter from Marin County Department of Public Works  to CalTRANS that states for the record that Marin County DPW is handling phase 1of the bike/pedestrian paths project if and when they receive the grant money and that BCPUD is the lead agency on phase 2, the parts situated primarily on District-owned land.

      -- Solid Waste: 

Waste Management is preparing to distribute the new refuse, recycling and green waste containers over the next two weekends.   They will stage the shipping and distribution of the containers at the Mesa Park parking lot.

b.  Minutes of July 16, 2003 Meeting

Kayfetz/Siedman      all in favor      to approve the July 16, 2003 meeting minutes.

c.  Warrants

Kayfetz/Siedman      all in favor      to approve the warrants.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

September 17, 2003

15.  Adjournment

11:17 p.m.