Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
November 15, 2006     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:34 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report

Staff reported that the district’s FEMA restoration projects in the Arroyo Hondo watershed remain on-hold pending final approval to proceed from FEMA and OES.  Although preliminary funding has been released for the work to be completed, FEMA/OES have not yet approved the district’s scope of work and the environmental review (currently in process with the National Park Service and National Marine Fisheries Service) is not yet complete.  The district has engaged Jules Evens of Avocet Research in Point Reyes Station as an independent consultant and he has determined that there are no endangered species in the project area; this information has been provided to the NPS and NMFS, where it is currently under review.  It seems unlikely that the district will be able to restore the reservoir until the 2007 low-flow period in the Arroyo Hondo, but that the district may be able to proceed with the project to restore the access road, if the requisite approvals are forthcoming in time.

    The district has received approval from the California Department of Health Services (“CDHS”) for staff’s proposed timeline to address the chlorine disinfection by-products in BCPUD’s drinking water.  In brief, CDHS has agreed that the district should first complete the conversion and retrofit of the Woodrat Treatment Plant and then select an appropriate process by which to comply with the disinfection by-product rules.  Staff is expecting to receive a proposal from U.S. Filter for the conversation and retrofit no later than December 8th.

    Staff reported that the replacement of the water main on Fern Road between Ocean Parkway and Elm Roads is now complete;  the district is appreciative that affected customers were patient and cooperative as this project was completed.   Staff has notified customers on Mesa and Olema-Bolinas Roads that the water will be shut off on November 29th for a period of time to allow the Firehouse & Clinic Project’s contractor to connect the Project’s new water service.

On the wastewater side of operations, the district completed spray season ahead of schedule this year.  Staff is planning to do some valve replacement in the discharge system during the off-season, as funds permit.  Staff also plans to flush the collection system in upcoming weeks and possibly coordinate this with a flushing of water distribution system.

    Staff is in communication with the Marin County Transit District to discuss an appropriate arrangement for the parking of the West Marin Stage busses (and driver vehicles) at the sewer pond property, as well as a possible expansion of the parking area to accommodate all vehicles.
Staff spoke with Debbi Poiani, Senior Code Enforcement Specialist for the County, about the status of the Kidson property in light of her late October communication in which she advised the district that Mr. Kidson intended to submit a permit application to build a single family residence on the property site.  Ms. Poiani stated that Mr. Kidson subsequently has decided not to pursue such an application at this time (at least during the pendency of his lawsuit against the County) and will instead submit a remediation plan to the County regarding the un-permitted trails.

Staff has been in discussions with Bill Niman with regard to the relocation of a fence at the Woodrat 2 property site; this relocation was previously approved by the Board.  Bill has obtained a bid of $6,800 to relocate the fence and has requested that the BCPUD agree to a 50% cost-share in the project in light of the district’s independent obligation to fence the public out of its drinking water supply reservoirs.  After some discussion, the Board approved Bill’s cost-share request, subject to the understanding that the cost to the district will not exceed $3,400.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received by the BCPUD since the last monthly meeting, including but not limited to a letter sent by the BCPUD to the Marin County Open Space District regarding the Bolinas Lagoon and a “Project Portfolio” sent by AmeriCorps to the district, which recaps the volunteers’ fond recollections of their experience in Bolinas.

      -- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover updated the Board on the status of various drainage projects on Alder Road (which has been ditched and four new culverts have been installed); Fern Road at Larch (where a new culvert has been installed); and on Hawthorne at Elm (where a new culvert has been installed).  Lewie also recently mowed the swale in the Larch right-of-way and shot some elevations;  he plans to submit an item for the Board’s consideration at the December meeting to install some culverts in the swale.  Lewie has been shooting elevations and providing advice for various district customers interested in implementing drainage projects this winter, and he is in discussions with the County Department of Public Works for some assistance with ditch clearing and culvert maintenance on the County-maintained roads and with the National Park Service for assistance with improvements to Poplar Road. 

4.    Community Expression

The Board received written comments from Elia Hayworth in which she thanks the staff for the work being done to improve drainage; her correspondence also addressed parking problems on Wharf Road and other issues.  Staff was directed to respond to Elia.

Sandra Wilkholm told the Board that a new property owner in Bolinas (owner of a 20 x 100 foot lot) recently clear-cut a tremendous amount of vegetation on the lot, which is directly under her property and above Alder Road;  when she asked him what he was doing, he told her that he wants to develop it.  She notified the County Code Enforcement office, who has since responded to her complaint, but she feels the Board and greater community needs to be aware of an apparent trend in the community by which lots are being sold via private auction without the appropriate disclosures to prospective purchasers about the constraints on development in Bolinas.

    Cela O’Connor inquired about the status of the fence on the Moritz property.  Staff was directed to investigate and report back at the next meeting.

Larry Baskin explained that he is a court-appointed receiver for properties owned by two brothers in Bolinas and that he has placed some of their properties on the market, including 32 Wharf Road (known as “Burnt Park”), which has two water meters and two sewer connections.  Mr. Baskin feels that the development constraints applicable to the site indicate that only one water meter and sewer connection will be necessary at the property and he would like to know whether he can sell the other meter and sewer connection.  Although he has read BCPUD Resolution 152, he feels that it is vague and would like additional guidance from the Board.

Director Siedman recused himself from the matter due to a professional involvement.  After some brief discussion of the history of water meter transfers, the Board determined that further discussion would be inappropriate under the “Community Expression” agenda item and that the matter should be properly noticed and agendized for an upcoming meeting.

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Beach: See Item 9, below.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Meg Simonds reported that a quorum was not present at the last scheduled meeting of the committee, so the members have decided to reconvene in January, after the holidays.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that he attended a meeting on November 13th at the County Civic Center, the purpose of which was to solicit comments on the alternatives set forth for the Bolinas Lagoon.  He said that while there is an interesting change in tone to the meetings (including an increasing acknowledgement of the historical and economic importance of the fishing industry), he is not sure the process is very productive at this point.

-- Community Paths Group: Director Smith reported that the district’s coastal permit application to construct the path is still under review by the County Department of Public Works; he noted that the district’s insurance authority has requested that the district amend its maintenance plan to include more frequent inspections and the installation of specific signage.  Staff was directed to prepare a formal request to the insurance authority to extend the district’s insurance coverage to include the bike path for the Board to approve at the December  meeting.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Nothing to report.

-- Resource Recovery:  Receive October Financial Report; Receive October minutes.  Nothing further to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Director Smith reported that the committee has divided itself into two subcommittees to apportion out work to be done.   One subcommittee, which Ken Masterton will chair, is focused on persuading the County to take action to prolong the integrity of Terrace Avenue; the other subcommittee, which Anita Tyrrell-Brown will chair, is focused on identifying alternative access routes (permanent and emergency) to Terrace Avenue. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  See Item 13, below.
6.    Dwaileebe Ag Structures Coastal Permit and Design Review Clearance (CP 07-10 & DC 07-26), 421 Ocean Parkway, Bolinas (APN: 190-191-23, 08 10); Request to Establish Access Road over BCPUD Right-of-Way (Locust) between Opal Road and Ocean Parkway.

    A large number of people were in attendance for this agenda item.  Marc Dwaileebe told the Board that he has owned his property at 421 Ocean Parkway for 12 years and obtained a permit years ago from the County for agriculture use of the property; his coastal permit application seeks to legalize additional structures that he has built on the property without permits and he would like to have access to his property over the Locust right-of-way.  In response to questions from Board members and various community members, Marc indicated that he has a record of agricultural production on the property, which he currently accesses via a footbridge across Alder Creek, but he does not have a full survey of his property; he believes, however, that the Locust right-of-way has been obstructed by logs at the intersection with Opal Road and he is requesting that the obstruction be removed.  Barry Kahn, Marc’s attorney, echoed this request and argued that there is a “presumption” based on the assessor’s parcel map that a road exists in this location.  Various persons present stated that there has never been a road on the Locus right-of-way and that they opposed the installation of a road over what is now a meadow; others expressed support for the logs as they have prevented cars from driving onto the meadow and doing “wheelies”, along with plenty of damage to the meadow.  Still others said that they would support emergency access via the Locust right-of-way for fire engines – but not for general vehicular traffic.   The Board expressed a consensus view that a survey should be required to identify the precise location of the Locust right-of-way before any further consideration of the request to install a road here could proceed.

    With regard to the merits of the coastal permit application, director Amoroso noted that the County and other governmental agencies currently are focusing on potential contaminants in Alder Creek which may be polluting Duxbury Reef and commented that an approved septic system will probably be necessary on the Dwaileebe property to legalize the existing structures.  Marc said that there is a public bathroom at Agate Beach; Director Amoroso said this likely would be inadequate from the County’s perspective.  Cela O’Connor observed that there is a 100 foot setback in place from the top of a creekbank for any proposed development near a creek and this setback  should be observed; Director Kimball agreed.  Others commented on the fact that persons were living at the property and on the lack of a potable water supply.  Staff was directed to send a letter to the County expressing the community concern about the lack of a septic system, lack of potable water supply and the proximity of many of the un-permitted structures to the creek, in apparent violation of the 100-foot setback requirement.  Director Siedman stated that the request to install the road over the Locust right-of-way should be continued to the next agenda.

7.    Simac Ag Structure Coastal  Permit and Design Review (CP 06-32 & DC 06-143), Fern Road (no assigned address) (APN: 192-111-15).

    Mr. Simac was not present at the meeting.  In response to a request from Director Siedman for any community comment on the coastal permit application, Rick Hall – an immediately adjacent property owner – stated that he opposes the permit for a variety of reasons including but not limited to fire issues, the lack of a water supply to the property and sanitation given the lack of a septic system.  Rick said that the Simac property is a 40 x 100 lot and, in the last 13 years, either the property owner or his friends continuously have tried to live there.  Rick indicated that someone known as “Kevin” downtown has keys to the property and virtually acts as an agent to permit access to the property. Rick said that the stated use of the property for “agricultural operations” and requiring agricultural workers and overnight accommodations is “a ruse” to establish living quarters there and he asked that the Board convey this to the County.  Director Kimball and Smith expressed also expressed concerns and staff was directed to convey the concerns expressed to the County.

8.    Application to Improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way on Alder (between Evergreen and Grove) and Grove (between Alder and Larch) Roads (Moritz); Installation of Culverts under the BCPUD Rights-of-Way on Fern Road at Grove and under Grove (near the Alder swale).

    David Moritz requested that the Board approve his request to improve the rights-of-way on Alder and Grove and install culverts in order to eliminate the flooding on Alder Road that occurs at this location every year.  He stated that the neighbors all support the project.  Director McClellan moved to approve the application and Director Smith seconded the motion.  Al Hettich inquired about disposal of the spoils and David said it would be taken care of;  Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover said he would ensure that in appropriate materials does not remain in the road – in fact, several persons already have expressed interest in taking the spoils material.

J. McClellan/S. Smith    all in favor    to approve the Moritz application to improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way on Alder and Grove and install culverts, as indicated on the project application.

9.    Discuss Beach Committee Final Report and Next Steps; Request for County Board of Supervisors to Extend for an Additional Year Current Marin County Code, Title 6, Chapter 6.90:  Bolinas Beach Camping Restrictions.

Director Siedman noted that the BCPUD has forwarded the Final Report to the boards of the Bolinas Community Center, Bolinas Fire Protection District and Bolinas Rod & Boat Club and requested comments; staff confirmed that no comments have yet been received.

Director Amoroso said that this was his first opportunity to comment on the finished report.  First, he inquired why the committee considered vehicle habitation to be a beach issue rather than an overall community issue.  Magi Barror responded that one Brighton Avenue resident thought it was a problem because surfers sometimes slept in their vehicles overnight.  Director Amoroso pointed out that the recommendation in the “Findings” section of the report is consistent with previous BCPUD position – specifically, that overnight vehicle occupancy is enforced only on a “complaint” basis and that if this is the intent of the report, then there is no inconsistency.  David Kimball and Magi Barror agreed with this interpretation, stating that all enforcement measures are intended to be triggered by complaints only rather than requesting additional law enforcement patrols.  Second, Director Amoroso addressed campfires, acknowledging that current regulations do not provide a mechanism to permit fires on the breach.  He pointed out fires on the breach, legal or not, were a long tradition in the community and that he had attended two events recently involving fires on the beach.   As a total ban would impinge on many residents’ use of the beach, he suggested that the community be asked in an advisory poll if the BCPUD, working with the Fire Department, should develop a permitting system that would allow “safe” fires on the beach.  Third, with respect to imposing a total ban on camping, Director Amoroso thought this was premature in that camping activities have not intensified and in his opinion have declined since the weekend ban was imposed.  He saw the total ban as a solution in search of a problem and said that he would not support a total ban until it became apparent that it was needed.  He believes the real problem at the beach is the impact caused by organized parties and overflow from events at the Community Center that bring a lot of out-of-town young people to the beach.

    After some discussion, it was decided that the Beach Committee schedule a town meeting at the Community Center to review the report and take comments from the community.  The town meeting should be held after the holidays and conducted by a professional facilitator.  The BCPUD will continue to accept written comments.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to request that the County continue the current ordinance banning weekend camping at Bolinas Beach.

10.    Proposal to Revise Metered Water Delivery Charges and/or Create a Fifth Tier of Metered Water Delivery Charges.

    Director Kimball passed out several documents she has created which summarize her analysis of water consumption in the district.  One document was an analysis of BCPUD customer water consumption, focused on Tier 4, which is the group of customers in the district who consume 2800 cubic feet or more of water every quarter.  (One cubic foot is equal to 7.48 gallons; accordingly, 2800 cubic feet per quarter is equivalent to an average daily use of 233 gallons.)   During the timeframe assessed, 236 customer accounts reached Tier 4 at some point in the year; the overall district mean consumption is 2500 cubic feet per gallon.  The maximum customer use in the district was 25,975 cubic feet per quarter (which is equivalent to an average daily use of 2,159 gallons.)

    The second document was a spreadsheet of the rates charged for water service by other Marin districts:  Marin Municipal Water District (“MMWD”), North Marin Water District (“NMWD”) and Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD”).  Overall, the fixed rates in other districts are lower than BCPUD’s annual charge, but the metered rates are much higher.  

    Finally, director Kimball presented an analysis of how much BCPUD customers pay for the water they consume as BCPUD customers and how much customers would pay for the same water usage in the three other districts.  This analysis shows that the BCPUD customers who use the least amount of water pay the most for that water compared to other districts;  on the other hand, BCPUD customers who use the most water pay far less than they would for the same amount of water in other districts. 

    Director Kimball said that based on this analysis, she recommends that the BCPUD consider adding three additional “tiers” to its existing metered water rates.  Currently, the highest tier is Tier 4, which is 2800 or more cubic feet per quarter;  she would like to see the district implement a Tier 5 at 4000 – 6400 cubic feet per quarter, a Tier 6 at 6500 – 9900 cubic feet per quarter, and a Tier 7 at 10,000 cubic feet per quarter and above – each new tier would have an incrementally higher rate charged per 100 cubic feet of consumption.  She said her analysis did not differentiate between commercial and resident accounts, but she noted that the two highest consumers of water in the district are residential accounts.  Director Kimball said that she is concerned that there has been a “creep” upwards in overall district water consumption and she feels it is incumbent upon the Board to monitor this and take appropriate action to ensure that the principles of the moratorium are protected.

    Discussion ensued among the Board members, with all directors expressing strong support for director Kimball’s work and extensive time she has devoted to her analysis.  It was agreed that the matter should be continued to the next agenda and staff was directed to work with director Kimball to analyze the potential impact on district customers if the Board approves the creation of the new tiers and increase in the metered water rates.  In addition, the Board agreed to consider the implementation of a sanction, or fine, program for excessive water use and to examine whether there should be a different rate structure for commercial vs. residential accounts.

11.  Amendments to Ordinance 30:  (1) Regulating Pesticide Use in BCPUD Rights-Of-Way and  (2) Granting the General Manager Authority to Issue Certain Permits for Improvements or Alterations to the BCPUD Rights-of-Way. 

    Staff presented specific proposed language to amend Ordinance 30 to prohibit the use of pesticides in the BCPUD rights-of-way and grant the General Manager additional authority to issue over-the-counter permits for drainage projects. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the foregoing amendments to Ordinance 30.

    Staff was directed to publicize the new provisions in the Hearsay and Pipeline newsletter and take all other appropriate action to implement the amended ordinance.

12.    Resolution 539:  Requiring District Customers to Reimburse the BCPUD for Repair Costs to BCPUD Equipment for Damage Caused by Customers.

    Staff presented proposed language for a resolution requiring district customers to reimburse the BCPUD for costs incurred by the districts to make repairs to equipment caused for damage caused by customers.  The Board provided some comments for staff to include to further refine the proposed resolution and directed that the matter be continued to the next month’s agenda.

13.  Resolution 540:  In Support of the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council.

    The Board reviewed a proposed resolution prepared by director Kimball and staff to express the BCPUD’s support for the new West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council.  Director Smith observed that the word “proscribe” in the text of the resolution should be “prescribe”.  Director McClellan moved to approve the resolution, as amended by director Smith.

J. McClellan/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the foregoing resolution in support of the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council, as amended.

14.    Update on Tomales Bay Watershed Council progress on Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan.

    Staff reported that the consultants retained by the Tomales Bay Watershed Council (“TBWC”) are working on an initial draft of the Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan (“ICWMP”) which is to be presented to the TBWC in December.   Staff is scheduled to meet with other water suppliers in the watershed (Inverness, North Marin and Marin Municipal) to discuss water supply and demand issues, infrastructure needs and identify project which may qualify for implementation grant funding. 

    Staff recently assisted County representatives and several consultants retained by the TBWC to conduct physical assessments of the watersheds during a site visit to Bolinas to assess the drainages onto Duxbury Reef, which is designated as an Area of Special Biological Significance (“ASBS”).   In general, the consultants said that the overall conditions on the Mesa are good, due to the small amount of impermeable surfaces and presence of natural biofilters (i.e., grasses, willows, alders, etc.) present in the drainage swales.  However, concerns have been identified about specific properties directly draining onto the ASBS.  The next step will be to conduct monitoring of the water quality at certain points on Duxbury Reef and analyze those results in light of the state law prohibiting stormwater “discharges” onto ASBS sites.

    Director Smith commented that he has reviewed rainfall data from the 2005-06 winter, which indicates that the level of Alder Creek remains relatively constant until the point at which the Mesa receives more than 38 inches of rain – after this, the creek level rises dramatically, which suggests that this is the point at which the Mesa becomes saturated.  He discussed this with local hydrologist Rob Gailey, who concurs but says that results will vary from season to season based on the distribution of rain events.  Thus, director Smith said that the absorption ability of the Mesa works well, except in unusually heavy rain events.

15.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Receive First Quarter Financial Report.

-- Legal: Staff reported on work being done to confirm whether Terrace Avenue is an officially dedicated and accepted County road, in which case applicable law requires the County to maintain it.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Director Kimball expressed concern about the potential for conditions in the Arroyo Hondo canyon to worsen if the damage is not repaired prior to the onset of the winter rains.  Staff  emphasized that the BCPUD cannot act until all environmental clearances are obtained. 

-- Operations: Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman noted that Mark Butler is working very hard to complete the skatepark project.

-- Personnel: Staff requested a meeting with the Personnel Committee to discuss staffing issues; the Board directed staff to coordinate with the committee directors to schedule such a meeting.

-- Sewer: Nothing to report.

b.    Minutes of the October 18, 2006 Regular Meeting

    Director McClellan observed there is a pagination error in the draft minutes. 

D. Smith/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the October minutes, with the correction noted.

c.  Warrants

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

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

    December 20, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. 

15.    Adjournment
11:44 p.m.