Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
October 9, 2002  270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

8:00 p.m.

2.  Roll

Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, McClellan, Siedman present. Director McClellan presiding

3.  Manager’s Report

State and Federal drinking water maximum contaminant levels for trihalomethanes are becoming more stringent. Trihalomethanes are disinfection byproducts. Ultimately the District may change to using chloramine to bring the trihalomethane levels down. In the meantime daily monitoring of residual chlorine concentrations, contact time, water temperature and pH is required for the next year.

All the filter units at the water treatment plant now have new membranes. US Filter has responded with alacrity to a letter from staff outlining some long-standing issues related to its service agreement with the District and its sales and billing practices. A visit from their management representatives is scheduled for Thursday.

The removal of the trees growing up through the asphalt path which runs along the course of the sewer force main is not expected to adversely affect the monarch butterfly population, according to monarch expert Mia Monroe, although she recommends doing the work before October or after February. Manager Buchanan will ask the lower bidder on the tree removal work to hold the bid until March 2003.

Phase two of the eucalyptus containment work on the sewage treatment facility land has been completed. Donald Guravich has removed all trees 8” in diameter or less but says that even with stump removal, mowing the area is not practical because of the larger remaining trees. A variety of possibilities to eliminate regrowth are being considered.

The Bolinas Disaster Council has asked if it would be possible to locate a storage container on the land next to the office building at 270 Elm. The container would allow the Disaster Council to consolidate its supplies until a permanent location is set up at the Firehouse. There were no objections.

Manager Buchanan asked the Board to clarify what it expected of the committee formed of himself and Stacey Henderson to develop a mosquito abatement education program for Bolinas. Directors indicated that Henderson and Buchanan should meet with Jim Wandersheid of the Marin-Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District to develop a local plan. Henderson would then act as the Community Program Facilitator. Some discussion of the degrees of toxicity of mosquito abatement methods followed, with the understanding that the BCPUD has jurisdiction only over what is used on BCPUD property, not on private property.

Director Kayfetz arrived at 8:30 p.m.

4.  Community Expression

Director Amoroso reported that members of the bike path group, in meeting with Supervisor Steve Kinsey and Jack Baker from Marin County Department of Public Works, felt that the County was somewhat unprepared. The ball has now been returned to Bolinas to produce some engineering plans to support its proposal. The group’s engineer will cost about $1,500, which is being raised locally. Director Amoroso asked BCPUD to contribute $300.

Amoroso/Siedman        four ayes, McClellan opposed       to contribute $300 towards engineering costs for the bike path proposed in Measure R in the upcoming election.

Jennifer Blackman asked that BCPUD request an extension to the deadline for comment on the new septic regulations proposed by the County of Marin’s Environmental Health Services. She expressed grave concerns about the impacts of the new rules on all homeowners with septic systems. She indicated that the October 30 deadline for comment allowed very little time to read and understand such a complex document nor did it allow enough time for the issue to be widely publicized. She felt that scheduling the policy revisions to go before the Board of Supervisors in November suggested that acceptance was as good as a fait accompli. She asked that a special meeting be scheduled as soon as possible to allow townspeople to make their comments heard publicly. Director Kayfetz suggested requesting an extension of the comment period and setting up a public meeting as well, in case the County refused the extension. Director McClellan noted that the most important part of the policy concerning the repair of existing systems, was not yet in the document.

--  Siedman/Kayfetz      unanimous      to send a letter to the County requesting an extension of the public comment period, pointing out that full comment would not be possible without presentation of the regulations on repair of existing systems, and asking for the reasoning behind the decision to include certain aspects and not others.

A special meeting was scheduled for October 23, 2002.

Bob Gold reported that he had recently visited Hatchet Point wind power generation facility where he had noted that the noise from the windmills was minimal. He added that BCPUD will eventually need to erect a higher anemometer tower, costing $3,200, in a separate spot for fully correct data. He noted that several important bills have passed in the legislature resulting in an extension of net metering and a mandate that utilities now purchase 1% of their power from green sources. He suggested that BCPUD create an electric utility district to buy green power and sell it to the town. Director Amoroso suggested that the Alternative Energy Committee deal with this and bring it to the Board when ready.

5.   Bolinas Lagoon Ecosystem Restoration Project:  update on Freedom of Information Act requests; project status

Response to the Freedom of Information and Public Records Act requests  to the various agencies involved in the Bolinas Lagoon Ecosystem Restoration Project has been fairly positive, particularly from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Unfortunately, despite forty pages of information from the USACE, the policy prohibiting federal involvement in “enhancement” projects, which is the ostensible reason for excluding adaptive work on Seadrift lagoon, was withheld. Staff has written a follow up letter asking for the specific language (Exemption 5), but no response has so far been received. He will draft a letter appealing the partial denial of information, which can be dropped if the language is presented.

Director Amoroso noted that he has seen a specific recommendation to open Seadrift Lagoon dated as recently as June 29, 2002, so dropping it from the plan has been very confusing. Bucky Mace said that he was at the meeting as an individual, not as a representative of BLTAC (Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee), but that he understood that the decision to remove Seadrift lagoon from the plan had come from Washington. Amoroso noted that land acquisition would be paid for by local funds with expenditures over 35% of total cost to be reimbursed by federal funds.  Mace stated that he hoped a public meeting would be held before BCPUD made any decision to bring a lawsuit against the Corps, as was rumored. Amoroso said comments he had made at the last BLTAC meeting probably fed into that rumor. He said that the decision on opening Seadrift lagoon was mistakenly being driven by the fear that Seadrift would sue. Amoroso pointed out at that meeting that there was a high likelihood that USACE would be sued as well if they dropped the Seadrift alternative without justification. Therefore the litigation factor should be taken out of the equation and the decision to open Seadrift lagoon should be based solely on ecological factors. Amoroso further stated that until now litigation had not even been discussed at a BCPUD meeting.  Mace noted that the scientists involved in the project so far are agreed that it must be done slowly. Rudi Ferris pointed out that is was not just USACE who was responsible; BLTAC has had experts that it has not used. Mace said they were hoping to use a whole-systems biology expert, rather than the experts in individual fields that have been available. There will be a meeting, which the public may attend on November 2, 2002, where the Corps will brief BLTAC, and a meeting to present the proposed solution to the public will be scheduled for December.

--  Kayfetz/Amoroso       unanimous      to send a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers appealing the partial denial of the District’s FOIA request.

Cela O’Connor noted that the Dipsea enhancement part of the proposal constitutes enhancement of private property and should be treated the same way as the Seadrift lagoon.

6.  Coastal Permit Application 03-4:  Martinelli/Weber/New Land Trust - Pine Gulch Creek Watershed Enhancement Project

This issue was revisited because the project planner did not receive notice of the September meeting. Director Kayfetz apologized and said that BCPUD generally supports the project but asked if it was stepping on toes to suggest specific measurements for creek flow rather than the subjective term “visible flow”. Carole Whitmore, the project planner, stated that all comments would be considered as the planning process takes its course. If the use of the measurements is just informational, then, depending on the cost, specific measurements would probably not be required, but if regulatory then they would. Director Siedman noted that the term “visible flow” used in the project description was too subjective a term. Whitmore responded that “visible flow” is a scientific term but a full response will be made as part of the California Environmental Quality Act process, adding that clarification of comments to the County was useful. Director Kayfetz stated that the comment was intended as a general principle, but that it was not intended to hinder the project. Rudi Ferris read aloud from his letter of comment, where he pointed out that public funds are being used to serve private landowners and noted the importance of ensuring that the public waterways of California are cared for on behalf of the public at large. Whitmore indicated that the county staff would decide now whether the project plan was complete and there would be another opportunity to comment at the merit stage.

7.  Coastal Permit Application 01-03 / Tidelands Permit 01-01:  Star Route Farms (Weber)
     project location:  80 Olema-Bolinas Road (AP# 195-290-13,24);
    Habitat Investigation: Consideration of appeal of Deputy Zoning Administrator’s decision

A  draft letter expressing BCPUD’s support for an appeal of the decision to grant the Coastal Permit was circulated. Director Kayfetz clarified that BCPUD is not joining the appeal, but is writing in support of it.

--  Kayfetz/Amoroso       unanimous      to send the letter as drafted

Rudi Ferris noted that the Tomales Bay Association is appealing the decision on the basis that wetland law hasn’t been obeyed. Cela O’Connor added that no consideration has been given to the effects of removing the dykes and an initial study should have been done. Director Siedman indicated that he supports the references to due process and environmental review in the letter but would remove the reference to bias. Directors Kayfetz and Amoroso had no objections to Siedman’s amendment.

8.  Meter Transfer Request:  315 Hawthorne to 271 Poplar at Locust


9.  Requests To Purchase BCPUD Property:  AP# 190-041-20 (Tulip between Larch/Poplar)


10.  Coastal Permit Application 00-14, Design Review 00-28, Use Permit 00-27:  Moritz
     project location: 5675 Horseshoe Hill Road

This is the fourth Transmittal Memorandum from the Marin County Development Agency. BCPUD has previously requested that the BCPUD easement on the property be increased to the width necessary for access to a dwelling as a condition of granting the permit.

--  Kayfetz/Siedman    unanimous      to reiterate previous request

Cela O’Connor expressed concern about the applicant’s proposal to convert the agriculturally zoned land into an accessory to the residentially zoned land, fearing it sets a precedent. Director Kayfetz indicated that BCPUD is taking the role of spectator in this case and would not be sending further comment.

11.  Expanded Water Use Permit 91-01 (Gleason): request for variance

The applicant has been working with a very limited water use permit due to the lack of prior usage on the meter, and other concerns, at the time of his original application.

McClellan/Amoroso       unanimous      to approve the request for a variance, increasing the maximum quarterly allowance to 2500 c.f.

12.  Expanded Water Use Permit Application:  Hostetler
        project location:  46 Crescente

The applicant already has a Conditional Expanded Water Use Permit and the application is for a detached studio with no plumbing. A neighbor expressed concern that the studio would be used as a living unit. In the absence of plans for the project the item was continued to November.

13.  Roads:  proposed amendments to BCPUD Ordinance 30, to specify materials to be used for  surface maintenance, and to establish time limit for permit work to be completed

Staff noted that the conditions discussed at the September meeting could be added to the existing roadwork permit application, eliminating the need to amend the ordinance.

Kayfetz/Siedman      unanimous     to add conditions to the road permit application

14.  Marin County Ordinance Restricting Use of Bolinas Beach For Camping: proposal to
       request extension of expiration date

Directors McClellan and Siedman both reported that the only criticism they had heard of the beach ordinance was that the time period it covered should be expanded. Tom Braun listed numerous objections he has to use of the beach, which Director Amoroso pointed out were already actionable, and did not require expansion of the restrictions. He said that the value of the ordinance was that we now have a  recourse, and that it has worked well. Tony Lewis objected to any restrictions on use of the beach. Marlie de Swart presented a petition from beach neighbors requesting the existing ordinance to be extended for another two years. Several people said the ordinance has helped enormously to reduce the problems for the people living nearby.

--  Amoroso/Bertsch      unanimous      to request the extension of the ordinance for another two years.

It was suggested that those wishing to increase the extent of the powers of the ordinance apply at the County level.

15.  Other Business

a.  Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy:

Tom Williard reported that he is collecting more data from other sources in the area, such as the Point Reyes National Seashore, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes Bird Observatory, which he hopes will improve forecasting abilities. As mentioned by Bob Gold in Community Expression a second anemometer tower, 30’ high will have to be installed in the neighborhood of the present one, which can be moved to a  higher location once its data collection time period expires. Director Amoroso said he would prefer to put the 30’ tower directly up on the hill, rather than moving the 10’ one there first. He would like a consultant with experience to look at the area.

-- Legal:

Richard Harris has intimated that there may have been some misbilling of the BCPUD by Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe.

-- Mesa Septic, Roads and Drainage:

Director Bertsch reported that the complaint about the obstruction of Zebra Road was valid. She said that although the obstructions could be removed, it wouldn’t be that easy and she was concerned about the possible effect on other roadwork and culverts. The water lines and meters are definitely an issue. She recommended notifying the property owner of the situation, asking both the owner and tenant to remedy it, and putting the item on the next agenda. There were no objections.

-- Solid Waste:  update on garbage franchise transition; Resource Recovery Project

The District will seek to conclude negotiations of the draft franchise agreement and sign it at the November meeting.

Once Biagini Waste Reduction Systems’ operation is established directors will consider requesting a special bulky items pickup service.

Biagini is scheduled to begin pickup in the first week of January 2003.

Director Kayfetz left the meeting at 10:53 p.m.

b. Minutes of September 18, 2002 Meeting

--  Siedman /Bertsch      three ayes, Amoroso abstaining, Kayfetz absent      to approve the September 18, 2002 minutes

c. Warrants

--  Bertsch/Siedman      four ayes, Kayfetz absent       to approve the warrants

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

Special Meeting for septic issues – October 23, 2002.
Next Regular Meeting – November 20, 2002

16. Adjournment

10:59 p.m.