Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
October 21, 2009     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7: 33 p.m.

2.    Roll.

    Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.

3.    Manager’s Report.

    Staff reported that the recent rains are very welcome;  the watershed received more than four inches of rain in the last week’s initial storm, followed by more than an inch of rain several days later.  The Arroyo Hondo creek is flowing well and the district has three of the four filters at the treatment plant on creek water (prior to the storms, two of the filters were on reservoir water). 

Water consumption in the district continues to be far below the prior three years;  staff speculated that the decline is due to excellent habits formed by customers during the period of mandatory water rationing.  Director Smith observed that his calculations based on the available data suggest an overall decline in water consumption of approximately 23%.  The district’s tiered water rates also increased this year, which likely also is having an impact on consumption.  As such, staff’s projections as to increased water sales revenue in connection with the FY 09-10 budget may be overly optimistic. 

Staff reported that the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Station Reconstruction Project is about to begin.  The district’s contractor for this project is Piazza Construction; the contract documents are nearly complete and, assuming those documents are satisfactory, staff  anticipates issuing a notice to proceed next week.   The district is coordinating this project with the County’s Department of Public Works crew installing the bike path and a preconstruction site meeting was held on October 12th to work through all issues.   The bike path is very close to completion; paving of the path surface is scheduled for next week unless weather interferes.  The district staff has completed most of the work necessary for the service replacements and moving of hydrants out of the pathway.  The Bolinas community has been exceedingly cooperative during this extended project and the district staff extends its thanks to the town for its patience.

    The Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension project is progressing well.  The district received preliminary engineering drawings for the project; staff is evaluating them and will provide comments and suggested revisions to the engineers as soon as possible. 

    Staff has been in communication with the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) regarding the district’s timetable for reducing chlorine disinfection byproducts in the drinking water.  The CDPH has approved the timetable and the district has a meeting scheduled in November with staff from the Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD”) to discuss that district’s recent pilot study on aeration.  The district also plans to conduct a joint training with the IPUD staff on the safe handling of asbestos concrete piping.

    Staff reported that a hydrant at the corner of Elm and Dogwood was hit by a car and is now out of service.  The Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) has been notified and a replacement hydrant has been purchased for installation.  Director Smith inquired whether it is known who hit the hydrant; staff said the district does not know, but the BFPD may know as its representatives responded to the emergency call when the hydrant was hit.  Director Smith said the district should seek reimbursement for the costs of replacing the hydrant from the individual who caused the damage and director McClellan concurred.  Staff was instructed to pursue the matter.

    In other operational news, staff reported that the fencing work around the Woodrat #2 reservoir and a long Mesa Road has been completed.  Also, the district recently experienced a leak in the line between the propane tank and the water treatment plant and it was repaired immediately.

The Board reviewed three notices of non-compliance with the terms of expanded water use permits that were sent by staff to customers in the last month.  Staff noted that all three customers have been out of compliance with the terms of their permits in the past, but subsequently and successfully worked hard to comply with their permits.  Staff plans to work again with all three customers to help them get back on track.  

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff noted that spray season at the sewer ponds is almost over; the interior ponds are down and looking good.  One of the pond aerators is out of commission again;  staff recommends purchasing an extra aerator and rebuild kit so that the ponds are never down to only one aerator;  the Board had no objection.  In other news, one of the districts new pumps at the lift station (installed last December) suddenly ceased working; staff is in contact with the installer and supplier and hopes to have more to report soon.  Finally, the district’s Sewer System Management Plan is under further development;  the next deadline for completion of specific sections of the plan is February 2, 2010. 

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the most recent meeting, including but not limited to a letter from Redwood Empire Disposal company withdrawing its anticipated request for a rate increase and a notice from the State Department of Finance specifying the amount of the tax grab from the state of the district’s property tax revenues:  $18,447.   Staff previously estimated a ten percent reduction in property tax revenues this year during the budget process, so this tax grab should not affect the district’s budget forecasts.

-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of the BCPUD Building.

Staff is finalizing the contract documents and is in discussions with representatives of the Community Development Block Grant program about potential grant funds for this project.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.

4     Community Expression.

    Marcella Robinson was present on behalf of the Bolinas Community Center to follow-up on the Center’s previous offer to donate real property to the district.  Since that offer, Marcella has discovered that she likely can obtain tax relief so that the Center will no longer incur annual tax liabilities for these properties, but the Center nonetheless would like to proceed with a donation because it does not consider property ownership (other than the property on which the Center is located) to be part of its core mission.  Staff stated that the Board’s previous request for a legal opinion from County Counsel as to any liability risk posed to the district from accepting these properties had been on hold until the Center determined if it wanted to proceed with the donation once it learned it could eliminate the tax liability.  The Board instructed staff to proceed and obtain the legal opinion.  Marcella noted that some trees on one of the parcels are being removed and that the work will be fully completed before the effective date of any donation.

5.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 41 Ocean Avenue (S. Ciani)

    Ms. Ciani was not present at the meeting; discussion therefore ensued among the Board members concerning her request for financial relief.  Director Kimball summarized the request by noting that a hose was left on for a number of days; Ms. Ciani was not at the property when this occurred; a housesitter was on-site and did not discover the problem for several days.  The Board discussed whether this was “excusable” neglect under the terms of Resolution 553 and reviewed its previous decisions under similar circumstances.  Directors Smith and Kimball noted that the Board has granted relief ranging from 25-50% of the amount of the bill due to leaks in similar past circumstances.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith        all in favor    to reduce the quarterly metered water delivery bill by 50% of the amount attributable to the leak based on historical usage during the same quarter in the prior three years.

6.    Expanded Water Use Permit: Notice of Non-Compliance - 59 Brighton Avenue (Perkins).

    Staff reported that letters and a phone call have been exchanged with the property owner, who recently acquired the home in question.  Staff recommended deferral of the agenda item until staff has had time to work with the property owner.  Director Kimball supported the recommendation and said she hopes the property owner will attend the next meeting and meet with staff beforehand.  She also requested that the Board agendize an item for the next meeting to discuss working with the local real estate agents to ensure that appropriate disclosures about the terms of expanded water use permits takes place prior to a change of ownership.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permit: Notice of Non-Compliance - 9 Brighton Avenue (Bender).

    Kim Bender said she has spoken extensively with staff about her household’s water usage and identified two primary causes of increased use:  the installation of a food garden and the fact that nine people were living at the property during the summer months.  She has learned how to read the water meter and can attest that the daily average water usage is now down below the amount allowed under the terms of the permit.  She also is planning to purchase a new washing machine, which is likely the biggest single source of water use because it is an older, top-loading model. 
    The Board thanked Kim for her attention to the problem and deferred any further action until after quarter in which the meter is next read.

8.    Application to Operate a Domestic Water Supply (Well): APN 191-031-15 (Dwaileebe, 210 Elm Road).

    Director McClellan inquired why this item is on the agenda for a second consecutive month.  Staff explained that at the prior meeting, the Board instructed staff to write a letter to the County well specialist stating that the district should have been notified about Mr. Dwaileebe’s application to operate a domestic well supply per the terms of the Well Permitting Agreement.  Staff did so and the County well specialist promptly conveyed the application;  staff has notified neighboring property owners within 300 feet of the well sites and agendized the item for public comment as per the agreement.

    Diana Middleton McQuaid stated that she does not understand why the applicant originally was granted permission to construct agricultural wells when he does not do any agriculture at the property.   Director Smith clarified that the County issued permission for the applicant to drill the agricultural wells, not to operate them (which is the subject of the pending application).  Others questions why the agricultural wells were allowed when they clearly are not set back 100 feet from all of the applicant’s property lines.  Director Kimball noted that Mr. Dwaileebe applied to construct the agricultural wells before the 100 foot setback clarification issued by the County in 2007 went into effect.  Cela O’Connor stated that the County should have required a Local Coastal Permit for the original agricultural wells.  Toby Nemec said he is strongly opposed to Mr. Dwaileebe’s application.

    Director Siedman noted that Mr. Dwaileebe has submitted a letter that he requested be read into the record;  Mr. Siedman therefore read the letter into the records.  A true and correct copy of Mr. Dwaileebe’s  letter is an attachment to these minutes.

    Lyndon Comstock said he supports the nearby neighbors in their opposition to the application because it impacts their properties; the County should enforce the 100 foot set back and the application to operate a domestic water supply should be denied.  Finally, he questioned whether the terms of the existing permit to install the agricultural wells are being followed and, if not, the County should close them down.  John Bryant commented that Mr. Dwaileebe’s permit application does not appear to be complete and the County should request more information because the application does not identify all septic systems within 150 feet of the well sites and it does not include a surveyed site plan.   Others noted that a separate property in Bolinas belonging to Mr. Dwaileebe on Ocean Parkway remains red-tagged for various code violations and the County should not issue any permits in his favor on any property in Bolinas until those red-tags are removed.  Director Siedman noted Mr. Dwaileebe likely is protesting those red-tags.

    Director Smith said that there are material errors in Mr. Dwaileebe’s letter – for example, Mr. Dwailbeebe states in the letter that the setback from the wells encroaches only 4 feet on to the Nemec property, but the applicant’s own submittal to the County shows an 18 foot encroachment.  Also, with regard to the supposedly undevelopable property immediately to the north, this lot has the potential to be merged into a developed or developable lot, so Mr. Dwaileeebe’s proposed wells very likely could impact development of that lot. 

    Directors McClellan and Amoroso noted that comments made by Board members about the application are personal comments and that the Board as an entity is not taking a position on the application; rather, the Board will simply pass on public comment to the County well specialist. 

    Director Kimball said she is concerned that the County has set standards for the issuance of its well permits and it does not seem to be consistently following those standards.  She noted that she walks past the property several times a week and she confirmed that there is no agricultural activity going on.  She said if the County is going to issue agricultural wells, it should ensure that the well is then used for that purpose.

    Director Siedman instructed staff to send a letter to the County well specialist incorporating all of the public comments expressed.  Director McClellan inquired whether anyone in the audience was present to speak in favor of the application;  there was no response.

9.    Discussion Regarding Process for Processing 94924 Well Permit Applications For Properties Outside of the BCPUD Jurisdictional Boundaries.

    Director Siedman noted that the Well Permitting Agreement between the district and the County technically only pertains to well-related activities within the district boundaries;  the County has inquired whether the district wants to receive notice of well permitting activities on nearby properties.  Cela O’Connor said that she hopes the Board will review all applications within the greater Bolinas area, not only those within the confines of the district boundaries.  Director Amoroso said that if the County is not otherwise going to provide notice about well applications to property owners outside the district but within the greater Bolinas area, then the BCPUD should do it.   Director Amoroso moved that the BCPUD process all well permit applications within the boundaries of the Bolinas Fire Protection District and director Kimball seconded the motion.  After further discussion,  director Kimball moved to amend the motion such that the BCPUD shall process all well permit applications within the boundaries of the Bolinas Planning Area; she also clarified that this is not retroactive.

V. Amoros/B. Kimball        all in favor    to request that the County Environmental Health Services office forward all applications for well permits within the Bolinas Planning Area, on a going-forward basis, to the BCPUD for processing in accordance with the terms of the Well Permitting Agreement.

10.    Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee Letter to the BCPUD Board of Directors Recommending that the BCPUD Submit the Voter-Approved Downtown Parking Plan to the Planning Commission in Connection with the Local Coastal Plan Update Process and Further Endorsing Action to Reduce Parking Problems on Terrace Avenue.

    Staff reported that the Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee recently met and prepared a letter to the Board recommending that the district submit the voter-approved Downtown Parking Plan to the Planning Commission in connection with the Local Coastal Plan Update.  The letter further endorses action recommended by the Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown to reducing parking problems on Terrace Avenue near Surfer’s Overlook.  Director Smith said the he discussed this problem at one point with the deputy sheriff and property owner Bob Ekedahl;  they discussed possible alternatives to address the parking problems and concluded that striping the pavement likely would be the most effective, safest and least objectionable. David Kimball said that he and fellow BFPD Board member Sheila O’Donnell met approximately two months ago with deputy sheriff Don Wick and Anita at the site;  the deputy sheriff since has been issuing more parking tickets at this location.  David said it should be made clear with road striping where the 6 feet from the center of the road boundary is.  After further discussion, the Board first took action on whether the submit the Downtown Parking Plan to the Planning Commission.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to submit the voter-approved Downtown Parking Plan to the Planning Commission in connection with the Local Coastal Plan Update process.

Staff was instructed to submit the plan to the County Planning Commission with the maps and accompanying narrative

    The Board next discussed whether to write a letter endorsing action to address parking problems on Terrace Avenue.  Staff said it would be most appropriate to write a letter to Anita Tyrrell-Brown that she can show to the County’s Traffic Engineer to show that the there is community support for dealing with the problem.  Director Siedman said that he supports the BFPD’s concerns, but does not want to take a position on specifically what should be done.  Director Smith said that he knows the County Sheriff does not want to incur the wrath of the community by enforcing parking at this location;  he thinks the BCPUD should indicate its support of alternatives to signage and state that it does not oppose striping on the road pavement.  The Board instructed staff to prepare a letter to Chief Tyrrell-Brown consistent with this discussion.

11.    Marin County Local Coastal Plan (“LCP”) Update process: BCPUD Comments on the Marin County Community Development Agency’s Draft Issue Summary Paper on Housing.

    Director Smith reported that he met with representatives of the Bolinas Community Land Trust (“BCLT”) and the [need full name of entity] (“CLAM”) with regard to the County’s draft Issue Summary Paper on Housing.  Those present at the meeting felt that it would have more impact to submit collective comments about affordable housing issues and solutions in the Coastal Zone.  Director Smith is in the process of drafting a such a joint comment letter, but it is not yet final.  The essential points of the letter will be as follows:  (1) the County has not allowed much time for public comment on the draft LCP section on housing (which has been a recurring problem during the LCP update process); (2) sufficient affordable workplace housing is needed in West Marin and the best potential for such housing is second units;  accordingly, the letter will support the work done to date by the County in its Housing Element and recommend that the Housing Element and the LCP Update section be consistent;  (3) in Bolinas specifically, where water service is under a moratorium and septic upgrades are difficult to reasonably accomplish, the letter will suggest that the 150 gallon per bedroom per day standard for sizing septic systems (established in the 1980s) is not appropriate.  The letter will propose that second units be permitted on properties with established primary uses if it can be demonstrated that the existing septic system is able to accommodate the anticipated flow of domestic water to that septic system, based on historical usage, occupancy and fixtures.   Director Smith noted that with the new state rules allowing greywater systems and the fact that the BCPUD regularly caps and monitors household water use, the 150 gallons per bedroom per day standard is not at all predictive of actual water use in Bolinas.   Director Smith said that the basic idea is that if the existing system can accommodate the flow from a second unit, the property owner should not be required to upgrade the septic system.  He noted that to get a septic system upgrade waiver, the property should agree to a deed restriction to use the second unit for affordable housing purposes only.

    Cela O’Connor said she has been involved with affordable housing issues since 2003 and she is a member of the BPG, but she has not reviewed the letter described by director Smith.  She said the LCP Update process has been appalling and the County has been acting without making any findings.  She asked if the Bolinas Planning Group (“BPG”)  is still reviewing the LCP; if the BPG is not doing its job, the Board should get rid of it.   Cela said the County seems to believe the moratorium must be lifted in order for second units to be permitted in Bolinas.

    Director Smith said the letter he proposes to submit to the County will be signed by representatives of BCPUD, the BCLT and CLAM.  He said it was his impression that the BPG became overwhelmed by the change in focus away from updating the Bolinas Community Plan and toward commenting on the LCP Update and has ceased meeting.  As for the moratorium issue, it is true that the County Development Code currently states that no new second units will be permitted in Bolinas until water is provided to new primary units, but the County has proposed to eliminate that provision.  The BCPUD does not object to the County eliminating the Development Code provision because the district already carefully addresses any proposed increases to water consumption in the district via the expanded water use permit process.  Unfortunately, the septic upgrade requirements are a more difficult problem. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve director Smith as signatory for the BCPUD on a comment letter jointly submitted by BCPUD, BCLT and CLAM as described by director Smith on the Draft Issue Paper on Housing in the LCP Update process.

    David Kimball observed that the upcoming Planning Commission LCP Update Workshop will be on the topic of coastal community plans.  The County has assigned a planner to review all the community plans and determine which issues should be included in the LCP.

12.    Approve Request from Mesa Park to Install PG&E Electrical Service at 25 Olema-Bolinas Road.   

    Director Siedman reported that Mesa Park would like to install an electrical service at 25 Olema-Bolinas Road for the purchase of pumping well water from the irrigation well to storage tanks to be installed at Mesa Park.  In response to a question from director Kimball, he explained that the Resource Recovery Project and Mesa Park will jointly pay for the installation.  Director McClellan moved to approve the request and director Kimball seconded for purposes of discussion.  Director Kimball said that she does not understand PG&E’s proposed financing options.  Director Amoroso said that Mesa Park and the Resource Recovery Project should review the electrical service proposal.  Director Siedman said that Mesa Park and the Resource Recovery Project will want to proceed to install electrical service at the least cost.  Director Amoroso clarified that the district is not agreeing to advance the funds for this electrical service installation. 

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the request to install PG&E electrical service at 25 Olema-Bolinas Road to be paid for jointly by Mesa Park and the Resource Recovery Center.

13.    Marin County Civil Grand Jury Request for Information re: Board of Directors.

    Staff presented a draft letter responding to a Marin County Civil Grand Jury request for information about the compensation and benefits, if any, provided to BCPUD directors.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the draft letter prepared by staff to the Marin County Civil Grand Jury.

14.  Amend BCPUD Ordinance 30 to Revise the Definition of “Obstruction” in the BCPUD Rights-of-Way.

    Staff presented draft Ordinance 37, which amends existing Ordinance 30 to revise the definition of “obstruction”.  Director Amoroso said he had one question about the proposed revision, which is how the 4 inch specification is to be measured.  Director Smith said that the specification can be easily verified by using a ten-foot long 2 x 4 to measure whether any bump or depression in the road within any 10-foot span is more than 4 inches. 

D. Smith/J. McClellan    all in favor    to approve Ordinance 37, amending Ordinance 30.

    Director Smith further proposed that the 4-inch specification be included in the district’s road permit documentation;  there was no objection.

15.    National Water Resources Association (“NWRA”) California Caucus Election - 2010-2011 Term

    This item failed for lack of a motion.

16.  Volunteer Committee Reports

    -- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith said the district is working to ensure the security system selected for the solar arrays is properly documented prior to the CREBs deadline in January.
-- Bolinas Planning Group:  David Kimball reminded the Board that the BPG was appointed to update the Bolinas Community Plan, but it almost immediately transitioned into dogging the LCP Update process, which has not been successful.  David said the he plans to call his final meeting of the BPG and inform the group that he is resigning.  He intends to personally stay engaged as a private citizen in the LCP Update process.  Director Siedman suggested the Board determine whether the BPG should be disbanded at the November meeting and instructed staff to include an item to that effect on the November agenda. 

    -- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  see above agenda item 9.

-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  The Board discussed the lack of response from the County to the BCPUD’s and BFPD’s requests to get the Terrace Avenue engineering project underway.  Director Smith pointed out that one of the issues flagged by engineers already for this project is that it will be important to understand the water table situation under Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook in order to best recommend solutions to stabilize the bluff;  as such, a test hole likely will need to be drilled and it should be done soon and with the County involvement.  After further discussion as to how best to engage the County, it was agreed that director Siedman, as president of the BCPUD Board, will follow-up with Phil Binley, president of the BFPD Board and determine next steps. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Nile Virus Task Force will not meet again until next year;  the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council will next meet in November.
17.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:   The Finance Committee met on October 5, 2009 to review the district’s designated funds and investments.  Staff will prepare a follow-up memo to be submitted to the full Board.

-- Legal:  Approve request amend retainer agreement to reflect outside counsel’s updated billing rates.  Director Siedman noted that the district’s outside counsel has proposed a relatively modest increase of $10 per hour for attorneys and $5 per hour for law clerks and he recommended approval of the requested amendment.  There was no objection and staff was instructed to approve the amendment. 

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Nothing to report.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:   Director Siedman noted that the Downtown Park has an area taped off in the center where the design committee is testing various sods and grasses.  On a separate note, Mesa Park still plans to request to amend its grant for the reclamation project, but the BCPUD will first notify the Regional Water Quality Control Board and make sure there is no objection to the proposes contract amendment. 

-- Personnel:   Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the September 16, 2009 Regular Meeting.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the September 16, 2009 regular meeting.

c. Warrants

V. Amoroso/B. Kimabll    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    November 18, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

18.  Adjournment.

    10:45 p.m.