Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
November 16, 2005    7:30 p.m.     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

    7:33 p.m.

2.  Roll

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

3.  Manager’s Report

    Staff requested and received approval from the Board to execute the necessary documents as requested by the Bolinas Fire Protection District and/or Cal Land Title Company to effectuate the lot line adjustment between the Bolinas Fire Protection District and the BCPUD.  Staff also requested and received approval from the Board to draft and execute the necessary documentation to renew the BCPUD’s lease with the Bolinas Children’s Center.

    Staff reported that the district recently received a renewal packet from its health insurance provider, Kaiser Permanente, for the 2006 plan year;  premium rates have been raised across the board.  Staff will evaluate the terms of the renewal agreement and report in detail to the Board at the December regular meeting.

BCPUD has received a bid from Wild Cat construction to repave the section of Cliff Road that was excavated to repair the leak on the underlying water main;  the same construction company is in discussion with Dr. Greg Welsh, the owner of the commercial property at 22 Brighton Avenue, to repair the crushed culverts underlying the driveways to the property site and repave the driveways.  Staff is optimistic that the two jobs can be combined at a cost savings both to the district and to Dr.Welsh.

Staff operator Seth Kline recently meet with leak detection personnel at the Marin Municipal Water District (“MMWD”) to gather information about leak detection equipment and discuss a possible cooperative effort with MMWD on leak detection efforts.

Staff collected water samples on November 10, 2005 for the current quarterly testing required for the disinfection byproducts trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and haloacetic acids (HAA5s) and the results are expected by the end of the month. 
Following up on research relating to the Seadrift revetment, staff recently viewed photos of the original revetment taken in February of 1983 and archived with a company known as Delta Geomatics in Santa Rosa.  The photos show the footprint of the original revetment, which does not seem to extend as far north (toward Bolinas) as it does today;  however, staff noted that the settlement agreement approving the revetment was executed in 1994—accordingly, the extension of the revetment may have occurred subsequent to 1983 and prior to 1994 and therefore be considered to be permitted under the 1994 settlement agreement.  Upon further discussion, it was agreed that Directors Kimball and Smith would assist staff in further evaluating the issues relating to the revetment and whether the applicable provisions of the settlement agreement/permit have been exceeded.

    Staff reported that Suki Ferrari has been hired to clean the BCPUD office space and that she has done a fabulous job. 

    Finally, staff noted that the deadline for the submission of articles of the next issue of the Pipeline newsletter is December 15, 2005.  Staff will circulate a draft newsletter for approval by the Board at the December regular meeting.

4.  Community Expression

Jackie Thomas told the Board that Jeremy Kidson has embarked on an extensive project below her former property on Kale Road:  specifically, he is tearing plants and brush out by the roots and creating a series of wood steps with pressure-treated wood and metal rebar.  The work commenced on a government holiday (and therefore could not be effectively reported); today, a dump truck load of gravel was delivered and the workers are hauling it down hill by hand, bucket by bucket, to reinforce the steps.  Jackie said that the work is incredibly extensive and that the sheriff is not doing anything in response to complaints because no stop-work order is in place. 

David Kimball said that he recently spoke with Supervisor Kinsey’s aide, Liza Crosse, who asked Debbie Poiani (Senior Code Enforcement Specialist with the county’s Community Development Agency) to come view the property site.   Liza told David that Debbie is scheduled to visit the property site tomorrow, November 17, 2005.   David also encouraged residents, with regard to Mr. Kidson’s upcoming appeal of the country’s certificate of compliance determination (scheduled for December 6, 2005), to write letters to the county attesting to the fact that the prior property owners never had fenced, posted or otherwise restricted public access to the property. 

Jackie said that she has been under the impression that Mr. Kidson is not authorized to do any work on the property that would “change face of land”.   With respect to David’s point about historic public access through the Kidson property, Jackie noted that there used to be a sign posted directing the public to access to Duxbury Reef down a trail beginning at the intersection of Ocean Parkway and Juniper.

Director Siedman expressed strong concern about the fact that Mr. Kidson’s workers appear to have cut into the sides of the fragile coastal bluffs, altered the configuration of the land, and commenced construction with building materials, including pressure-treated wood, gravel, thereby significantly altering the face of the cliff.  He observed that previous similar action by other property owners was red-tagged and required to be removed.

After further discussion, the Board directed staff to send a letter to Debbie Poiani detailing the extent of the construction on the Kidson property site and requesting that it be immediately enjoined.   Staff was directed to send courtesy copies of the letter to Supervisor Kinsey, the Chair of the Board of Supervisors and the Coastal Commission.  Staff was further directed to leave a voicemail message for Debbie Poiani after the Board meeting alerting her to the pending letter and inviting her to stop by the BCPUD offices in connection with her site visit. 

5.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Beach:  Nothing to report.

-- Community Paths Group:  Nothing to report.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:

    Committee member John Norton summarized the results of the November election with respect to Measure D, the parking plan measure, which passed by a 55%-45% margin.  John said that the committee had not met formally since the election, but that informal discussions suggest that the committee would like to schedule a post-election community meeting to encourage folks who voted against the plan to voice their concerns.  The committee would like to determine whether it can garner more community consensus in support of the plan. Director Amoroso agreed and said that while the vote approving the plan was a comfortable margin, if 45% of Bolinas residents are vehemently against the plan, it won’t work.  Director Amoroso said the committee needs to convince more community members of the merits of the plan; in his view, people who opposed the plan felt it was too complicated and/or are against increased enforcement.  Director McClellan said that he disagreed; the vote is a mandate for the plan and the committee should proceed to implement it, working out any problems along the way.  Director McClellan said that a minority should not be allowed to veto what the majority wants.  After further discussion, it was agreed the committee would proceed to implement the plan, working with the community to better explain the plan and overcome opposition where possible.

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Committee:

Director Kimball reported on behalf of Committee Chair Liza Goldblatt.  She said that the Board of the Sonoma/Marin Mosquito and Vector Control District has been receptive to the Committee’s efforts and communication between the Committee and the District’s Board is much improved.  She noted that Prince Charles’ well-publicized visit to organic farms in West Marin, and the overwhelming passage of Measure E in Bolinas, raised general awareness about the significance of the pesticide issue and really helped to move the discussion in its current direction.  On Nov 1st,  the Committee had a very positive meeting with District staff; for the first time, staff indicated that they are willing to take methoprene and adulticides “off the table” in West Marin unless there is a declared public health emergency.  Director Kimball said that there are a number of issues to be worked out (i.e., the definition of “public health emergency”); also, the District has requested the ability to utilize the “full range” of biological treatments—the Committee is evaluating this request because only two such treatments are approved for use near organic farming.  The Committee and the District are working a timeline;  the Committee has asked that West Marin be a demonstration project for the District for a 1-2 year period.  Finally, Director Kimball noted that the Committee has concerns about the District’s heavy reliance on regular larvacide programs;  she noted that representatives from the District were present for a separate agenda item and hopefully would address that issue.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force:

Director Kimball stated that the Task Force did not meet in October, but is scheduled to meet on Monday, November 21, 2005.

-- Resource Recovery:

The Board received the Resource Recovery Project current financial report.
6.    Presentation by Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District representatives regarding recent biological treatments at the BCPUD sewer pond property.

    Field Supervisor Joanne Towl and Operations Supervisor Chuck Crouse were present on behalf of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District (“M&VCD”).   Joanne began by stating that the M&VCD began its surveillance of the seepage ponds on the BCPUD sewer pond property in April 2005; technicians document the sources of mosquitoes via larval and adult mosquito sampling; the samplings then are analyzed for the distribution and abundance of mosquitoes, species identification, and the effectiveness of larvicide applications. 

    There are ten (10) different species of mosquitoes at the BCPUD sewer pond property;  there was not much production until the second week of September, when M&VCD staff noted a spike and implemented a weekly trapping program.  The concern is with the presence of adult Culex erythrothorax mosquitoes—the weekly trap results were 1400-1600 adults, cumulative in three traps.  These numbers are very high, far above normal threshold levels.  Because there are lots of homes in the area and because the public uses the trails in the BCPUD sewer pond property for walking, jogging, horse riding and so forth, the M&VCD staff were concerned about the potential for disease transmission from this aggressive adult mosquito (i.e., West Nile virus, Western equine encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis).  Moreover, the M&VCD has observed certain “problems” with the BCPUD sewer pond property that  create ideal mosquito breeding habitat: overly dense and abundance vegetation in the seepage ponds and tall grasses in the irrigation fields.  These features also make it difficult and inefficient to monitor for mosquitoes and to conduct larvicide operations. 

The M&VCD staff determined in September that it would be necessary to conduct larvicide operations in the seepage ponds to reduce the presence of adult Culex erythrothorax mosquitoes:  the first application was performed on September 16, 2005 when the staff applied Vectolex CG (the granular form of this biological treatment was used to achieve sufficient penetration through the tall grasses to the larvae).  Staff was hoping for three weeks of effective mosquito control, but obtained only seven days of effective control.  Accordingly, a second treatment was performed on October 7, 2005, following which the staff achieved eleven days of effective control.

Chuck Crouse emphasized the need for more effective, longer term mosquito control, which can be best achieved by vegetation and irrigation management, as well as seepage pond re-design.  He noted that the M&VCD is working with sanitary districts all over Marin and Sonoma countries, all of which face similar issues.  He recommended:
·    regular removal or mowing of dense vegetation and exotic species
·    regular mowing of irrigation fields
·    redesign of the seepage ponds to increase the steepness of the sides and the pond depths
·    reduction of sprinkler nozzle size and valves to more finely spray and increase evaporation

Director Amoroso inquired about the M&VCD application of the granular form of Vectolex;  Chuck acknowledged that it was not OMRI-approved, but that liquid application of this biological treatment (which is OMRI-approved) is ineffective in heavy vegetation.  Discussion ensured about whether the BCPUD was properly informed that Vectolex CG is not OMRI-approved prior to the applications.  Chuck explained that the active ingredients are the same, but that the granular form contains an inert ingredient derived from corn to weigh down the product so that it sinks in the heavy vegetation to the larve.  Director Amoroso expressed concern about the implications for  the nearby organic farming and gardening activities;  Chuck said that Vectolex CG is very site-specific—as long as the water in which the product is applied does not leave the BCPUD property site, there is no need to be concerned about possible spread to nearby properties.
Director Kimball noted that the sewer ponds have been in place for many years and there has never been any need for mosquito control there until Bolinas became part of the M&VCD; she further noted that there was no recorded West Nile Virus in West Marin and questioned the necessity of the treatments that were conducted.  She also inquired what could be done to reduce the likelihood of further treatments at the BCPUD sewer pond property.  Chuck said that whether or not West Nile Virus was an issue, the M&VCD is “proactive in situations like this”;  he said it is imperative to control the mosquito production via larval control. He observed that in most of the sewer plants and wetlands he sees, the M&VCD is able to develop colonies of mosquito fish.  However, given the large stands of cattails at the sewer seepage ponds, these fish cannot get in to the larvae and therefore would not be effective.

Director Amoroso expressed concern about the use of bacterial treatments in the sewer pond area because the ponds have become part of the Pacific flyway for migrating birds.  Chuck responded that the products are specific to mosquito and black-fly larvae and do not affect other species.  He emphasized that from a vector control standpoint, a problem with mosquito control exists in these ponds and that “management, maintenance and money” will be required to overcome the problem.   In response to questions from directors and the audience about management and maintenance, Chuck said that it is critical to have a regular mowing and vegetation removal program;  he also said that night-time spraying should be avoided and that spray nozzles should be replaced—“you are putting out too much water for the land that you have;  too much water in a small area leads to a lack of penetration and it just runs.”  He recommended that the BCPUD spray for shorter periods of time, more often throughout the day, with close attention paid to the rotation of the grids; he further recommended that spray valves be installed in the irrigation fields so that the lower areas can be shut off when they fill with water.  Finally, he noted that if the seepage ponds are deepened, this will discourage the growth of cattails and eliminate any need to use herbicides to control the cattails;  Chuck said that he has a 5-ton dump truck and may be able to help.

Director Kimball said that she would like the BCPUD staff to work with M&VCD staff to prioritize the things that the BCPUD can do mechanically to reduce or eliminate the use of any treatment products.  She requested monthly updates on the M&VCD’s trapping results in Bolinas, as well as a monthly update on the service requests placed by Bolinas residents to the M&VCD.  She emphasized that in order for the BCPUD to be effectively involved in mosquito control, the BCPUD needs to know where the problems are—these updates will be very helpful.  Chuck said that he did not believe there would be any problem with providing the requested information, but he would need the approval of the M&VCD’s general manager

The Board directed BCPUD staff to work with M&VCD staff to develop a program for mosquito management at the BCPUD sewer pond property.

7.    Stream Conservation Area and Stewardship Plan:  875 (formerly 5675) Horseshoe Hill Road (A.P. No. 189-090-03) – Michael Moritz (former Vierra Ranch);  Valuation of BCPUD-owned Pine Gulch Creek Property.

The Board received a copy of the Stream Conservation Area and Stewardship Plan for 875 Horseshoe Hill Road, which property owner Michael Moritz was required to prepare and implement this plan for the Pine Gulch Creek riparian corridor, subject to the review of the Marin County Community Development Agency, after consultation with the Marin County Department of Public Works, Creek Naturalist and the BCPUD. 

    Staff noted a concern that neither the plan nor the attached Restrictive Easement expressly mention that BCPUD access easement and recommended that the BCPUD apprise the county that it is BCPUD’s understanding that nothing in the plan or attached documents is intended to conflict with or abrograte in any way the BCPUD’s access easement across the Moritz property to its own adjacent property site.

    Cela O’Conner expressed strong dissatisfaction with the fact that the a 100 foot setback from the creek is not planned for the fencing of cattle and she urged the BCPUD to require a minimum 100 foot setback.  Cela noted that the plan submitted provides for a minimum 30-foot buffer zone which she feels is inadequate to protect the creek from the damage done by cattle grazing.  Bobby Hefelfinger, who was present on behalf of the property owners, stated that a 100 foot setback is excessive and impossible to implement in light of the location of trees and other vegetation on the property.  He noted that the property owners will maintain 25 head of cattle, which will have a  minimal impact on the land.  Cela argued that the damage done by grazing near watersheds is well-documented and she noted that Special Condition 24 to the Moritz permit says that the stream conservation area is to be protected--if a 30-foot buffer zone is permitted, however, the area is not being protected, in her view.  Cela said that the Moritz project amounts to using an agricultural conservation easement for development purposes—she asked how natural resources can be protected if they are subordinate to agriculture.  Bobby told the Board that the property owners intend the fence to be located anywhere from 30 to 100 feet from the creek and will consult with Marin County CDA and BCPUD as the fence is constructed. 

Director Siedman commented that page 7 of the plan submitted indicates that the Stream Conservation Area protection measures “shall be designed and implemented by the landowners (by the end of calendar year 2006) in consultation with one authorized representative from each of the Marin Resource Conservation District and the BCPUD . . .”.   He said that the words “in consultation with” should be revised to state “in agreement with” to ensure that the BCPUD’s express consent is required for plan purposes.  He noted that the issues raised by Cela and Bobby appear to pit flexibility vs. a strict 100-foot setback;  the Board wants to protect the creek, but believes that flexibility is needed.

Staff was directed to draft a letter to Senior Planner Johanna Patri expressing the point noted by staff regarding the BCPUD’s access easement and also requesting the change described by Director Siedman on page 7 of the plan document.

    Director Siedman reported that he had received a letter from Doug Ferguson, counsel to Michael Moritz, recognizing the legality and adequacy of the BCPUD access easement.  He proposed that he write a letter to the National Park Service apprising them of Mr. Ferguson’s opinion and providing the NPS its last chance to exercise its right of first refusal to purchase the BCPUD property at its appraised value (as determined by the BCPUD’s appraiser and previously provided to the NPS). 

    B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to write to the National Park Service per Director Siedman’s recommendation.

8.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Nothing to report.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  update on County Survey; confirmation of BCPUD ownership of roads on the Mesa; update on drainage plan implementation and approval of BCPUD staff drainage project manager.

Director Siedman stated that Director Smith asked him to report that he (Director Smith) is reviewing the most recent documentation regarding the proposed county survey of the Mesa and plans to talk with the new Chief of Surveys at the county’s Department of Public Works in an effort to move the project along.

With regard to BCPUD ownership of roads on the Mesa, Director Siedman noted that the issue arose recently when a resident submitted a request to the county to abandon a portion of Queen Road.  The resident advised the BCPUD that he was told by the county that the request was unnecessary because the roads on the Mesa are privately owned to the center of the line.  Director Siedman noted that his research confirms that the county and resident are incorrect.  He noted that recorded offers to dedicate—such as the offer to dedicate the roads on the Mesa to the public by the Smadbeck’s on the 1927 Subdivision Map—may be accepted by the public’s use of the easement so offered (i.e., by implication); given the public’s and the BCPUD’s (a public agency) long-established use of the roads as public roads and for utility, drainage and other purposes, it is clear that the roads on the Mesa are public and not privately owned.

Director Amoroso noted that the Smadbecks also executed a quit claim deed transferring the roads and other property to the BCPUD.  Matt Lewis commented that the Bolinas Community Plan clearly states that BCPUD owns the roads on the Mesa.

    Staff presented a proposal for the Board’s approval to hire a Drainage Project Manager for the remainder of the 2005-2006 fiscal year on a part-time basis, one-day per week.  Compensation for the position, as well as associated drainage plan implementation costs, will be paid from the district’s capital expenditures/septic category of funds in the 2005-2006 budget.  BCPUD staff member Lewie Likover will fill the position if approved.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve staff proposal to hire a Drainage Project Manager

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  

Director Amoroso inquired whether the insurance issues pertaining to the Mesa Skatepark had been resolved.  Director Siedman reported that the county has accepted that BCPUD and Mesa Park are public agencies and therefore are exempt from worker’s compensation insurance requirements applicable to volunteers.  The building permit for the skatepark was issued and construction is underway. 

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b.  Minutes of October 14, 2005 Special Meeting

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor  to approve the minutes of the October 14, 2005 Special Meeting.

c.  Minutes of October 19, 2005 Regular Meeting

Director Siedman noted that under “Other Business”, in the Legal Committee report, the minutes refer to a “Doug Gallagher” and this reference should be to “Doug Ferguson.”

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the October 19, 2005 Regular Meeting with the amendment noted by Director Siedman

c.  Warrants

B. Kimball/J. McClellan    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

December 21, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.

9.    Adjournment

    10:53 p.m..