Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
December 17, 2008     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:32 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Report on December 10, 2008 Closed Session of the BCPUD Board of Directors.

    A closed session of the Board was held on December 10th to confer with legal counsel regarding potential litigation; at this time, the Board has taken no action.

4.    Manager’s Report

    Staff reported that the anticipated repairs to the generator at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant will be less than initially projected due to the fact that it will not be necessary to rewind the entire unit.  Unfortunately, the rat infestation did cause significant damage; staff is taking measures to ensure that such damage will not recur.

    In other repair news, staff fixed a leak on the Arroyo Hondo transmission line during the first week of December.  Staff also remedied a major leak on Brighton today which was caused by a burst service – the fourth such service break on the distribution system in the last six months.  Staff plans to develop a prioritization plan to replace all of the services and saddles on Brighton and Wharf Roads, most of which are badly deteriorated due to corrosion.  There is a possibility the County may be repaving a portion of Wharf Road in the next year or so, so the district should complete any service/saddle replacements in advance of that.  Staff also repaired a leak on Cedar near Alder Road the previous evening.  Overall, consumption declined in the most recent quarter as compared to the same time last year.

    Staff reminded the Board of the need to review a recent invitation from the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) to submit an application for loan funds to pay for a planning and evaluation analysis of the district’s water distribution system.  The application deadline is at the end of February.   In related news, the district’s application to CDPH for loan funds to move the water main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook has cleared environmental review with a “categorical exemption” determination. 

    Staff reported on a call from the Marin County Board of Supervisors staff indicating that the Board of Supervisors ratified the BCPUD’s recently updated Conflict of Interest Code.  Also, staff reported that the National Park Service is continuing its efforts to resolve all documentation necessary for its purchase of the BCPUD’s Pine Gulch Creek property; in particular, the NPS is hoping to obtain Department of Justice clearance prior to the upcoming change in administration.

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to a recent non-compliance notice sent to a customer with an expanded water use permit.  This is an example of a preliminary non-compliance notice that the district sends out; most customers never reach the “enforcement” stage that occurred at the prior meeting. 

    On the wastewater side of operations, a new pump was installed during the first week of December at the downtown lift station; as such, the district now has full pumping capacity in the collection system prior to the winter storm season.  In addition, a new aerator has been installed at the sewer treatment ponds.  Staff continues to modify the lighting at the sewer pond lab building to adequately illuminate the solar arrays and minimize impact on nearby property owners.

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

Revised building plans have been submitted in response to requests from the Building Department and staff is hopeful that a permit will be issued within the next month.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

State Water Quality Control Board (“SWQCB”) staff has recommended that the state fully fund the BCPUD/NPS/County project proposal submitted under Proposition 84 for water quality improvement projects affecting Duxbury Reef.  Formal action by the SWQCB is scheduled for January 20, 2009.  Staff reminded the Board that the three agencies jointly requested $1,479,000, with $570,000 specifically requested by the BCPUD to conduct an assessment of the Bolinas Mesa stormwater network, create a surface water flow model and design and implement low impact development (“LID”) best management practices (“BMPs”) to manage and treat stormwater and improve water quality at Duxbury Reef.

5.    Community Expression

    Director Siedman noted that the district received a letter from a customer requesting clarification as to the per-person daily water consumption in the district.  Staff stated that the district has information about per-household daily water consumption, but does not have sufficient information about the per-household occupancy to provide a per-person usage.  Director Smith said he previously calculated per-person consumption to be approximately 80 gallons per day, based on an assumption that there are 2.5 persons per household and approximately 600 households on the water system.  The customer also inquired whether the district has a procedure to limit water consumption in the district.  Staff was directed to follow-up with this customer about the per-person consumption estimate and expanded water use permit process. 

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 230 Alder Drive (Johnson).

    Dale Johnson apologized for the water loss at her property; she explained that she recently had  surgery and was away from home.  Evidently there was a leaky toilet in an upstairs rental unit.  As soon as she got the bill, she hired a plumber to locate and repair the leak.  Since that time, BCPUD staff has confirmed that water usage at the property is back to normal levels.  Director McClellan inquired whether the rental unit was occupied at the time;  Dale confirmed that it was. 

    Director Smith observed that the Board has been presented with three previous cases of toilet leaks in areas of the household/property where the owner probably should have known of the leak, but in fact did not for various reasons.  In two of those cases, the Board excused 25% of the usage over the historic usage for that billing period (based on the prior three years) and in the third case, the Board excused 50% of the usage over the historic usage for that billing period due to a hardship issue.  Dale stated that her current health issues have placed her in a financial bind due to her inability to work, which is definitely a hardship.  Director Smith proposed that the district excuse 50% of the excess water loss.

D. Smith/V. Amoroso        all in favor    to reduce the quarterly water bill by an amount equal to 50% of the excess usage as compared to the historic usage for the same quarter during the past three years.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 415 Evergreen Road (Bruce).

    Simon Bruce explained that he has submitted an application to the County of Marin under the Second Unit Amnesty program to legalize an existing second unit on the property, which does have plumbing.  Discussion ensued about County policy on second units and the district’s historic approach.  Director McClellan noted that very few people have applied to legalize second units because of the requirement to upgrade septic systems.  In response to questions, Simon said the second unit has been on the property since prior to 1979, when he bought it.  After further discussion, director McClellan suggested a conditional expanded water use permit.  

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to grant a conditional expanded water use permit, subject to a maximum quarterly usage equal to the historic usage plus either 50% of such usage or 500 cubic feet per quarter, whichever is less.

8.    Expanded Water Use Permits; Notices of Non-Compliance -  270 Laurel Road (Vietor) and 145 Hawthorne Road (Lerner); Update on Outstanding Notices of Non-Compliance – 72 Crescente (Jenkins); 46 Crescente (Hostetler) and 52 Wharf (Goosherst).

    Director Siedman requested that staff report on the outstanding notices of non-compliance.  Staff stated that the Vietor property is subject to an expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of 2340 cubic feet per quarter (which is equivalent to approximately 194.5 gallons per day).  However, the usage was 8,000 cubic feet (or 665 gallons per day) for the quarter ending August 31, 2008 and 3300 cubic feet (or 274 gallons per day) for the quarter ending November 30, 2008.  Since the end of November, however, the homeowners have used only 109 cubic feet (as of December 12, 2008), or 81 gallons per day.

    Director Amoroso inquired why the maximum quarterly allowance was lower than average.  Mark Hertsgaard (who owns the property, along with his wife, Francesca Vietor) said that the property previously was owned by a single person, which likely explains prior low water usage.  However, he noted that the recent high water usage at the property was due to landscaping irrigation and said they have “cut way back”.  He also said they will install rainwater storage water tanks to take care of irrigation needs, rather than draw on district water.  He apologized for the high water usage and said he was embarrassed by it; he noted that he did not receive good advice about garden irrigation.  Director McClellan related what he termed his “moratorium speech” to explain the basis for the district’s expanded water use permit process and the importance of carefully monitoring and controlling water use in the district.  Staff was directed to continue to monitor the property to confirm on-going compliance going forward.

    Staff reported that the Lerner property is subject to an expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of 2700 cubic feet, or (224.4 gallons per day).  However, the usage was 7700 cubic feet (or 640 gallons per day) for the quarter ending August 31, 2008 and 3100 cubic feet (or 258 gallons per day) for the quarter ending November 30, 2008. 
    Michael Lerner submitted a letter and said he, too, is embarrassed about the excess water use at his property.  He said he contacted district staff as soon as he received the non-compliance notice and implemented staff advice for water conservation notice.  He noted he has the same gardener as the Vietor/Hertsgaards and received the same poor irrigation advice.  Michael emphasized his strong desire to comply with the terms of his permit and his commitment to working closely with BCPUD staff to implement additional conservation measures.  After further discussion, staff was directed to continue to monitor the property to confirm compliance going forward.

    Staff reported that the Jenkins property is subject to an expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of 3,400 cubic feet, (or 282.6 gallons per day).  However, the usage was 11,500 cubic feet (or 956 gallons per day) for the quarter ending June 30, 2008 and  6100 cubic feet (or 507 gallons per day) for the quarter ending September 30, 2008.  After having issued two prior notices of non-compliance, the district issued a 60-day notice of termination of water service on December 5, 2008.  Since the end of September, however, only 1830 cubic feet (or 183 gallons per day) of water have been used and staff believes the property owner now finally has the situation under control.   The landscaper for the property has eliminated almost all use of district water for landscape irrigation, relying instead on water purchased and delivered to water storage tanks at the property.  After some further discussion, staff was directed to continue to monitor the property to confirm on-going compliance.

    Staff reported that the Hostetler property is subject to an expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of 3,900 cubic feet (or 324 gallons per day).  However, the usage was 6900 cubic feet (or 573 gallons per day) for the quarter ending June 30, 2008 and 7500 cubic feet (or 623 gallons per day) for the quarter ending September 30, 2008.  Two notices of non-compliance have been sent to the property owners.  Since the end of September, usage has declined to 3004 cubic feet (as of December 16, 2008, which is almost the end of the quarter) or 300 gallons per day.

    Larry Zoglin explained that he is a renter at the property.  The owner, Winna Hostetler, has been out of the county for work-related reasons for most of the year and, due to a family medical emergency, her life has been in upheaval and she did not receive her mail for several months.  When she did receive her mail two months ago, including the notices of non-compliance from the district, she immediately took action to contact the district and notify tenants of mandatory conservation measures to be taken at the property.  Larry said he personally had been completely unaware of the expanded water use permit limitations; now that he is aware of the requirements, he has implemented personal water conservation habits, as well.  Director McClellan inquired about irrigation at the property;  Larry confirmed that landscape irrigation has been significantly curtailed if not completely stopped at the property;  also, a plumber was hired to assess all fixtures and make sure there were no leaks.   Staff was directed to continue to monitor the property to confirm on-going compliance. 

    Staff reported that the Goosherst property is subject to an expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of 3100 cubic feet, (or 258 gallons per day).  However, usage at the property was 6200 cubic feet  (or 515 gallons per day) for the quarter ending June 30, 2008 and 7500 cubic feet (or 623 gallons per day) for the quarter ending September 30, 2008.  Since that time, usage has declined to 3789 cubic feet (as of December 16, 2008) or 377 gallons per day.

Kimberly Goosherst discussed the history of high water usage at the property and the notifications she received from the district.  Upon first being notified of non-compliance, Kimberly worked with BCPUD staff to identify possible sources of excess use; after the second notice, she shut down all landscaping irrigation at the property and water consumption fell significantly, but not enough to be in compliance.  She noted that this is a multi-use property, with several downtown business tenants, and it was just discovered that one of those tenants has a toilet leak in the bathroom, which likely accounts for the remaining excess usage,  While she agrees that landscape irrigation was part of the problem, the leak was also significant.  Staff was directed to continue to monitor the property to confirm compliance by the end of the next quarter.

Director Kimball thanked all property owners present for attending the meeting and making their best efforts to comply with the terms of their expanded water use permits.

9.   Request to Transfer Water Meter (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 152) – 510 Birch Road (Shiels and Nisbet)

    Director Siedman expressed condolences to Mary Nisbet and Tim Shiels, whose house burned down the prior week.  Tim Shiels said they plan to rebuild, but would prefer to do so on the larger lot that they own across the street – hence, the pending request to transfer the water meter.  After some discussion, director McClellan cited the apparent health and safety reasons for the transfer request:  the traumatic experience of the fire and implications for their mental health to rebuild on the same site; he noted no other implications under Resolution 152 since the move of meter is only ½ of a block.  He said a new septic system likely will be required by the County and that they will need to apply for an expanded water use permit when they are ready to build.  Director Amoroso noted that the district previously had provided water from an existing meter serving the Birch property to the property across the street. 

J. McClellan/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to grant the meter transfer request pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 152.

10.    Report on Local Coastal Plan Update Process.

David Kimball reported that a subgroup of the Board-appointed Bolinas Planning Group (“BPG”) has attended two County-sponsored workshops on the Local Coastal Plan (“LCP”) update process and is organizing Bolinas input.  BCPUD staff requested and secured a commitment from the County to hold a meeting on the LCP update process in Bolinas on January 28th and all interested persons are encouraged to attend   County personnel have stated that the focus of the update is to address new and emerging conditions in Marin’s coastal zone, improve upon the clarity of the existing LCP, and improve its ease of use.  The county’s timeline is to submit to revised LCP to the Coastal Commission by July 2011.  The County plans to hold two sets of community workshops and hold hearings on the LCP update before the Board of Supervisors – all of these are opportunities for public input.  In the near term, the BPG subgroup is focused on the January 28th meeting.  David said that Burr Heneman has been immensely helpful and the group has a draft issues list in process; the group plans to solicit as much local input and expertise as possible.

Director  Amoroso suggested that parking and public access are issues that should be addressed in the revised LCP.  Director Kimball said that if there are community issues not presently addressed in the Bolinas Community Plan that citizens would like to see discussed, these issues should be brought forward for possible inclusion in the LCP because the update process for local community plans will not occur for many years.  Cela O’Connor said that the new Countywide Plan is less protective of the environment than the LCP and in the Coastal Zone, the LCP prevails, so it is important to maintain and/or enhance these protections.

11.  Potential Limitations on Use of Ground Asphalt as Road Base.

Staff reported on the district’s receipt of a copy of a 2007 letter (left overnight in the district’s drop box) from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to CalTrans regarding the re-use of ground asphalt.  Staff spoke with an environmental consultant about the letter, who recommended that the material at Mesa Park be tarped and protected against erosion and that samples be submitted for testing.  The Board concurred that testing of the material should proceed as soon as possible and discussion ensued about the various constituents to test for and testing methodology.  Andy Blake stated that he was not informed by CalTrans or the contactor hired to spread material on Poplar Road of any requirements of the Regional Water Quality Control Board or any other such agency about the re-use of ground asphalt.  He noted it is in CalTrans’ interest to definitively establish that the material is appropriate for re-use as road base.  Director Smith said that he has contacted CalTrans and awaits a response.  Director Amoroso suggested that the district limit its testing expenditures to a maximum of $5000 and there was no objection.  Staff requested confirmation that Mesa Park would take steps to tarp the material at Mesa Park.  At the conclusion of the discussion, director Siedman summarized that Mesa Park will tarp the material and BCPUD will coordinate and pay for the lab testing and report back at the next meeting.

12.  Bolinas Beach – Advisory Ballot Measure re: Year-Round No Camping Ordinance.

Director Amoroso said that he would like the BCPUD-appointed Beach Committee to hold a community meeting before any decision is made to place an advisory measure on the ballot.  He feels that the November ballot is the best time to have a measure on for decision, if it seems appropriate to do so after the community meeting.  He advocates a community meeting first, because if there is no significant opposition to a year-round camping ordinance, it may be unnecessary to have an advisory measure.  Director Kimball said she favors the advisory poll because she is not confident that all concerned necessarily will come to the community meeting;  she agrees that a community meeting should take place, but the advisory poll should, as well.  She further noted that since the Beach Committee essentially has disbanded, the BCPUD should host the community meeting.

    Cela O’Connor circulated a previously-issued Marin County Counsel letter to the Board to remind them that there is no prescriptive right for camping and the BCPUD has an obligation to maintain the beach areas covered by the accepted offers-to-dedicate for passive recreational use, which does not include camping – she said the BCPUD has the authority to do this without a County ordinance.  Director Siedman said that, as a practical matter, the only enforcement authority is the County sheriff and the deputy sheriffs only will enforce ordinances.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor     to place advisory measure on the November ballot concerning a year-round camping ban on Bolinas Beach, with the wording to be determined by the BCPUD at a future meeting.

    Burr Heneman asked if the ballot would poll district residents only, or the broader sphere of influence;  the Board agreed the broader area would be polled.  Director Kimball said that the deadline for submission of the ballot measure with the County Registrar is August 7, 2009.

13.    Replacement of BCPUD Gate at Brighton Beach.

Director Amoroso said that he requested this item on the agenda because the gate needs to be replaced.  After further discussion, the Board directed staff to assess the options and make a recommendation for replacement of the gate.

14.    Renewal of Kaiser Permanente Group Agreement for BCPUD Employees (2009 Plan Year).

    Staff presented the 2009 Kaiser Permanente Group Agreement;  this year, Kaiser is imposing a 9% premium increase to maintain benefits at the same level (last year, the mandatory premium increase was 24%).

J. McClellan /B. Kimball     all in favor    to renew the Kaiser Permanente Group Agreement for BCPUD employees for the 2009 plan year.

15.    Call For Nominations – LAFCO Special District Member.

No nominations were forthcoming.

16.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that SPG Solar is working to get the district’s monitoring system on-line; this is important because the district’s rebate money from the state will not start flowing until the monitoring system is up and running.  In the meantime, he personally is monitoring the output and the arrays are producing extremely well.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Nothing further to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:   Director Amoroso reported that the Marin County Board of Supervisors passed the Locally Preferred Plan and is now trying to secure funding.

-- Community Paths Group:   Director Smith reported that the recent rains have helped harden the path.  In response to a question from director Amoroso, director Smith said that the district will be reimbursed for its installation funds when the encroachment permit is closed (which requires  removal of the ADA pad at the intersection of Mesa and Overlook Roads).

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Director Amoroso said that the district should urge that the revised LCP adequately address parking and traffic issues in downtown Bolinas.

-- Resource Recovery:   Director Siedman reported that Mesa Park will be drilling an exploratory irrigation well near the Resource Recovery site on the sewer pond property in the hope of finding reclaimed water for the Mesa Park fields. 

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Letter to Supervisor Steve Kinsey from the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District.  Staff noted that there is a copy of the district’s letter of December 10th to Supervisor Kinsey confirming the outcome of the meeting the prior month to discuss solutions for Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:    Director Kimball reported that the West Nile Virus Task Force not met since August 2008 and will not meet again until June 2009.  A report is in the Board binders detailing West Nile Virus activity in California; there was virtually no West Nile Virus activity during 2008 in west Marin County.  She noted that the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“MSMVCD”) has complied diligently with the West Marin agreement.  The Coordinating Council has offered to extend the agreement for five years and the MSMVCD has informally agreed to do so.  A signing ceremony is planned for January 2009. 

17.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Staff reported that the FY 2007-08 audit report is expected soon and likely will be on the agenda for the January meeting.  The district’s new bookkeeper also is working on the quarterly reports, which should be ready at the next meeting.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Director McClellan said that he has reviewed the proposed statewide septic regulations; director Smith said that he has done so as well, and is concerned about the separation from groundwater requirement.  Further discussion ensued about additional provisions of the regulations and it was agreed that the subcommittee should convene a meeting to organize comments on behalf of the district.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman noted again that Mesa Park will attempt another irrigation well on the sewer pond property for a reclaimed water source.

  -- Personnel:  Director McClellan said that he will be leaving again for Mexico and would like another director to serve in his place as the district’s ACWA/JPIA director.  Director Kimball volunteered and staff was directed to agendize this issue for ratification by the Board at the January meeting.

-- Sewer:  Director Amoroso inquired about reactivating the eucalyptus containment project at the sewer pond property and staff agreed to develop a proposal.

b. Minutes of the November 19, 2008 Regular Meeting.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2008 meeting.

c.  Warrants

V. Amoroso/D. Smith         all in favor     to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

January 21, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

18.  Adjournment.

10:55 p.m.