Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
December 20, 2006     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.   Call to Order

    7:39 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report

    Staff reported that the district at long-last has received all necessary approvals from FEMA and California’s Office of Emergency Services to proceed with the restoration of the BCPUD’s facilities in the Arroyo Hondo canyon that were damaged in the 2005-2006 New Year’s Eve storms.  Some preliminary road clearing has been done to provide safe access for staff and the fire road is now largely accessible to foot traffic.  In light of the rainy weather and environmental conditions imposed on the work to be done, the main restoration projects will have to be deferred until late summer of 2007.

    On the water side of operations, BCPUD distributed another quarterly notice to customers about the presence of chlorine disinfection byproducts in excess of the maximum contaminant levels in the drinking water.  The district also received notification that its application for grant funds to pay for a pilot project to redress the byproduct problem has been ranked as “eligible” and staff awaits further word from the state at this point.  Staff continues its analysis of a proposal from U.S. Filter to convert the filters at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant to low pressure and retrofit the control panels; staff anticipates an item on the January agenda seeking approval from the Board to proceed with the work.

    The district received a letter from the County’s Department of Public Works about the planned bike path along Olema-Bolinas Road and staff has identified potential concerns about the implications for the district’s ability to replace the water main along this road, which is in clear need of an up-grade from a 4-inch to a 6-inch line for fire suppression purposes.  BCPUD staff and Fire Chief Anita-Tyrrell-Brown plan to attend the January 2007 school board meeting to discuss the issue with the school district and try to identify a potential source(s) of grant funds among the three districts to upgrade this line, which staff feels ideally should be done at the same time as the installation of the County bike path.  Staff also plans to meet on-site with DPW staff to discuss the matter.

    Staff reported that the BCPUD has been reimbursed in full by NorCal Tree Company for the damage caused to BCPUD water lines during a tree removal job on Dogwood Road. 

    Staff advised the Board that questions have arisen in the community recently regarding the installation of “irrigation” or “agricultural” wells, which are regulated at present by the County.  Given the volume of questions, staff recommended that the BCPUD seek clarification from the County about applicable requirements, including setbacks, and possible implications to immediate neighbors.  The Board agreed staff should pursue this with the County.
On the wastewater side of operation, the operations staff flushed and hydro-jetted the sewer collection system during the first week of December and the project went very well.  BCPUD operators Bill Pierce, Seth Kline and Lewie Likover were commended for their diligent work on the community’s behalf.

    Staff is in discussions with the Marin Transit District about needed improvements to the current parking area near the wastewater lab building on Mesa Road; the existing parking area is not sufficient to accommodate BCPUD vehicles as well as the Stage busses and driver vehicles.  Staff is seeking a financial commitment from the Transit District to pay for the necessary improvements.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the previous regularly scheduled Board meeting.

      -- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover met with County DPW crew members to identify damaged culverts on County-maintained roads and agree upon a scope of work to be done by the County in Bolinas this winter.  He also plans to hydro-jet certain culverts on the Mesa that are not part of the County network of culverts.  Lewie supervised the installation of new culverts at Fern and Alder and has submitted a project proposal for the installation of culverts in the Larch swale (later on agenda).  Several drainage projects are also in the planning stages: the installation of culverts on Cedar Road between Poplar and Mesa (later on agenda), as well as a drainage project on Poplar between Dogwood and Evergreen and then down Evergreen to Mesa Road.  Finally, Lewie is in discussions with Rob Gailey about a possible pre-study for the reengineering of the Todd Drainage Plan in the bluff erosion zone.

4.    Community Expression

Lloyd Kahn told the Board that he is in the process of updating his book on septic systems; he has an entire chapter devoted to excessive engineering and he said that he is seeing enormously expensive examples of over-engineered systems popping up all over the place, which he believes is to the real detriment of residents.  He cited an example of a grossly over-engineered project in Monte Rio on the Russian River which he said is a “disaster”.  He warned the Board that “they are looking at Bolinas”; that we need to be sure we aren’t “caught flat-footed this time” and that Bolinas will need to insist on DNA testing if regulators try and force expensive septic system upgrades.  Lloyd said that his new book will have a lot of important information for small town homeowners and that he will provide copies to the BCPUD as soon as it is available.  Director McClellan assured Lloyd that the BCPUD Board is aware of the state’s interest in the Alder Creek drainage way and has been closely monitoring the process via its membership on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council.

      -- Report on Mesa Park’s Acquisition of Tacherra Property on Wharf Road.

Director Siedman reported that the Tacherra properties at 26 and 32 Wharf Road have been purchased by an anonymous person and donated to Mesa Park.  The donor has required that the property be used as a public park, with bathrooms, and that it be monitored by a caretaker so that it does not become an encampment.  Additional funds also have been donated to pay for the tear-down of the existing structure at 26 Wharf Road and obtain permits to build the park bathrooms and caretaker unit. Mesa Park has formally accepted the donation and a design committee will be appointed at the Mesa Park Board’s January 9th meeting. 
5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Beach:  The Board received letters of comment from the boards of the Bolinas Community Center, Bolinas Fire Protection District and Bolinas Rod & Boat Club concerning the Beach Committee’s Final Report.  Director Kimball requested that the letters be forwarded to the Beach Committee.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Nothing to report.  Rick Hall commented that there seems to be a rash of property purchases in Bolinas in which persons are buying undeveloped lots and trying to develop them without water service or on-site septic systems.  He asked the Board to request that the Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee consider the issue.  After some discussion, it was agreed to refer the issue to the committee.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso reported on the most recently quarterly meeting, stating that one “bombshell” emerged from the meeting – specifically, the committee has assumed that the lagoon would be re-opened if it actually closes completely, but the representative from the Gulf of the Farallones stated that’s not necessarily the case as it will take a minimum 6-12 months to obtain a permit to re-open the lagoon.  Director Amoroso said this news may well galvanize some sort of action at last.

-- Community Paths Group:  Request to ACWA/JPIA to Extend Insurance Coverage to Include the Pedestrian/Bicycle Path.  The Board approved the text of a request to ACWA/JPIA to extend the district’s liability insurance to cover the pedestrian/bicycle path to be installed on district lands.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Director Amoroso stated there is nothing to report at this time because numerous committee members are tied up with other projects, including the BCLT affordable housing conversion of the Bolinas garage.  Director Amoroso also stated he was reluctant to push forward until the Beach Committee issues were resolved.

-- Resource Recovery:  Receive November Financial Report; Receive November minutes.  The Board received the most recently available financial report and committee minutes.

 -- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Smith reported that the committee has divided into two working groups: one is analyzing the possibility of an alternative route between downtown and the Mesa and the other is evaluating possible ways by which to preserve Terrace Avenue for as long as possible.  Supervisor Kinsey has offered to set up a meeting with the latter group and DPW representatives. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Nothing to report.
6.    Simac Ag Structure Coastal Permit and Design Review (CP 06-32 & DC 06-143), Fern Road (no assigned address) (APN: 192-111-15).

Stephen Simac stated that the two letters sent by the BCPUD to the County regarding his ag structure coastal permit application were inaccurate and he submitted a two-page letter supporting his viewpoint to the Board members.  He said that he is growing aromatic plants on his property (and had some samples with him) so that it is in genuine agricultural use and that he has never permitted anyone to stay at or live on his property, although it may be that security to the property is an issue.   Steve added, among other things, that the neighbor who opposes his application built his fence on Steve’s property, does not have proper setbacks from Fern Road and that he cannot stand to be in the same room with him; he then left the meeting.  Rick Hall said he stands by his previous comments on the Simac project and that he had his land surveyed.  Director Kimball said she received calls from two other residents who confirmed that people were staying on the property; she said these residents asked her to keep their names confidential.  She noted that the County staff report indicates that County staff visited the property and saw evidence of human habitation on the property.  Director McClellan commented that people who “weigh in” on community issues should have enough backbone to identify themselves.

After brief additional discussion and noting that Mr. Simac had left the meeting, Director Siedman indicated it did not seem that any more discussion was warranted and said the Board should proceed to the next item.

7.    Application to Improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way: Installation of Culverts under the BCPUD Rights-of-Way on Aspen and Cedar Roads (in the Larch Right-of-Way).

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover said that he would like to install culverts under the BCPUD rights-of-way on Aspen and Cedar in the Larch right-of-way in order to improve drainage; there will be no road improvement associated with the project.  Rodney Krieger endorsed the drainage project and stated that neighboring residents do not want the roads to be improved; the affected neighbors favor no through roads on Aspen, Birch and Cedar. 

Director Kimball moved to approve the application and Director McClellan seconded; Director Siedman asked if there was any discussion.  Director Smith queried whether, in light of neighborhood agreement about the roads in the area, should BCPUD pass a policy to the effect that roads can be blocked off under such circumstances?  Jennie Pfeiffer noted the traffic plan addresses which roads are through roads and which roads are not; however, these are BCPUD rights-of-way and should be preserved for pedestrian or bike access, at a minimum.

B. Kimball/J. McClellan    all in favor    to approve the application to install culverts under the BCPUD rights-of-way on Aspen and Cedar Roads (in the Larch right-of-way).

8.    Application to Improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way on Cedar between Poplar and Mesa Roads (Bryant); Installation of Culverts parallel to Cedar for Driveway Access to Properties.

John Bryant explained that there currently is a hand-dug ditch on Cedar that he would like to improve into more of a “V-ditch” to facilitate drainage.  Lewie Likover said that he has reviewed the project and shot elevations; he recommends approval.  In response to a question from Director Siedman, Lewie confirmed that the culverts to be installed are at property-owner expense because they are all for private driveways.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the application to improve the BCPUD right-of-way on Cedar between Poplar and Mesa and install culverts parallel to Cedar for driveway access.

9.    Fletcher SFD Addition Coastal Permit and Variance – 317 Mistle Road, Bolinas  APN: 191-081-17.

    In response to questions from the Board, Fletcher confirmed that he is not expanding the original footprint of the house (which is within the bluff erosion zone and therefore limited to a ten percent expansion per the Gridded Mesa Plan) and that he is raising the structure by 12 inches to install a new foundation.  Director Smith noted that the project requires an expanded water use permit and Director Siedman instructed staff to include this in the district’s comment letter.  Director Kimball noted the staff report states that it is unclear how septic will be provided; Fletcher said he is working with a septic engineer and plans have been improved for a repair system.

10.    Request for BCPUD to Pass a Resolution to Clarify Policy concerning Vehicular Access or Road Improvement to BCPUD Rights-of-Way Which Are Not Part of the Established Road Network on the Big Mesa.

    Director Siedman noted that the Board is in receipt of letters submitted by several residents in opposition to the establishment of a vehicular access road over the Locust right-of-way between Opal Road and Ocean Parkway.  Staff clarified that the Fire Chief has opined that vehicular access over this right-of-way is necessary only if the County permits the legalization of 200 square feet or more of structure(s) on the subject property.  Lyndon Comstock emphasized that the residents’ letters addressed two issues: (1) Marc Dwaileebe’s proposed development of the Locust right-of-way and (2) the larger policy issue of developing rights-of-way that are not and have never been part of the existing road network on the Mesa.  He strongly believes that the BCPUD should make clear that there is not a presumptive right to build a road over a BCPUD right-of-way.

    Director McClellan stated that the road ordinance makes clear that the applicable standard for improvements to the BCPUD rights-of-way is whether a proposed project is in the public interest.  He noted that the roads ordinance also prohibits obstructions in the rights-of-way, so the logs along Opal Road in the vicinity of the Locust right-of-way likely need to be removed.  Others questioned whether this is necessary given that no road exists at the location; John Norton commented that the logs are tantamount to barriers on National Park Service lands that are designed to prohibit vehicles from accessing sensitive areas.  Director Amoroso observed that the proposed road over the Locust right-of-way is really more like a driveway because it would access only one specific property. 

    Marc Dwaileebe stated that he is still examining possible access over Alder Creek and that is why he did not request for the Locust right-of-way issue to be on the agenda; he stated that he used to use the right-of-way before the logs were put down to block him from doing so.  Cass Hicks stated that the logs obstruct Mr. Dwaileebe from driving on her property and she opposes his proposal to develop a road over the Locust right-of-way.  Other residents expressed support for Cass’s position and stated they also oppose the development of this right-of-way.  Marc Dwaileebe stated that the right-of-way is 60 feet wide and that he has had a survey done to locate the boundaries.  Cass said the stakes are 3 feet from her house; Marc observed that he could use the ten foot wide strip of the right-of-way furthest from her house.

    Director Kimball suggested that the Board’s Legal Committee review whether the roads ordinance needs any amendment to address the issues raised by the residents’ letter.  Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown asked that the Fire Department be included in any discussion or changes of policy involving vehicular access on the Mesa.  Lyndon Comstock emphasized that there are two points made by the residents who signed the letters submitted to the Board: (1) they want to know what criteria the BCPUD will apply to approve/deny an application to improve a BCPUD right-of-way into a road and (2) they want the BCPUD Board to know they oppose the proposal to improve the Locust right-of-way into a road.  Director McClellan commented that the community reaction to what is going on on Mr. Dwaileebe’s property is clouding the issue of whether a particular request for vehicular access on a right-of-way is in the public interest; he said he does not think the BCPUD should distinguish between whether a particular right-of-way has been used as a road before, or not.  John Norton suggested that the BCPUD should make a distinction in this regard given that the only possible reason to create a road where none has existed is for development, an issue clearly of interest to the public.  Lyndon Comstock said that the environmental impact should be considered (particularly given the location of the creek, which drains onto the reef) as well as community views and historic use.

    Director Siedman noted that there was a suggestion to refer the question whether the road ordinance needs amendment to the Legal Committee; after further discussion, it was agreed to refer the question.

    Ned Riley noted that the Bolinas Community Plan directly addresses the development of lands directly above the creek and prohibits such development; he said that the project proposed by Mr. Dwaileebe would therefore be installing a road to an area where it is illegal to build.  Marc reiterated that he is trying to develop access across the creek so that the entire issue of developing the Locust right-of-way can be avoided.  Director Siedman said that the Legal Committee will review the issues and report back when its review is complete.  Director McClellan said that he would like to review the survey of the Locust right-of-way and Marc said that he would provide a copy to the BCPUD.

11.    Proposal to Revise Metered Water Delivery Charges to Create Two New Tiers of Metered Water Delivery Charges, Revise Existing Tiers and Impose Sanctions for Over-Consumption.

    Director Kimball presented a revised spreadsheet setting forth her extensive analysis of water consumption and pricing in the district as compared to the Marin Municipal Water District, the North Marin Water District, the Stinson Beach County Water District and the Inverness Public Utility District.  She commented that the other districts step-up their rates considerably at the higher consumption rates; therefore, the focus of her recommendation is to revise BCPUD rates at Tier 4 and above.  She recommends that the district create a new Tier 5 and a new Tier 6; that the district increase the current rates for the existing Tier 4; and, to bridge the difference between the existing Tier 3 and revised Tier 4, that the district increase the rate for Tier 3 by 50 cents per cubic foot.  (The majority of district customers fall into Tier 1 or Tier 2, based on consumption; the increases therefore primarily will affect the minority of customers who consume the greatest amount of water.)  She clarified that she is not recommending that the district create a separate metered water delivery charge for commercial accounts.  Director Amoroso stated that he would like to move forward with Director Kimball’s recommendations, but only with lots of public notice.  Director Kimball agreed and noted that the Proposition 218 public notice process is applicable to the raising of metered water delivery rates, just as it applies to an increase to the annual charge.  She further noted that if the district does receive an increase in revenue as a result of the increased metered rates (so that higher consuming customers are paying more based on their consumption), the Board will not need to increase the annual charge to all customers.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to commence the Proposition 218 process to customers of a planned increase in the district’s metered water delivery charges.

    Director Kimball requested staff to provide the Board with information regarding the district’s overall average annual consumption for the last ten years.

12.    Approval of Group Agreement for the Bolinas Community Public Utility District with Kaiser Permanente for 2007

    Staff requested the Board approve the group agreement renewal terms offered by Kaiser Permanente for 2007, which represents an approximate 11 percent increase in premiums over the 2006 plan.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve terms of Group Agreement for the BCPUD with Kaiser Permanente for 2007.

13.    Resolution 540:  Requiring District Customers to Reimburse the BCPUD for Repair Costs to BCPUD Equipment for Damage Caused by Customers.

    Staff reported that changes requested by the Board at the prior meeting have been made to the proposed resolution.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 540.

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

    Staff reported on developments on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council (“TBWC”)’s Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan (“ICWMP”) in the last month.  The TBWC’s Technical Advisory Committee (“TAC”) held an extensive meeting on November 30th to revise the Management Issues and Objectives portion of the draft plan and provide guidance to the consultants.  On December 7th, the consultants had a meeting with State Water Resources Control Board staff to discuss plan issues and implementation grant funding potential.  Unfortunately, it seems that it will be very difficult to obtain any grant funding for ICWMP projects and that BCPUD is highly unlikely to receive any grant monies for needed water supply/reliability/quality projects. 

    Director Smith reported that he attended the December TBWC meeting to provide input on the Management Issues and Objectives portion of the draft plan (as it was edited based on TAC input) to the TBWC as a whole.  Director Smith said he and staff reviewed the revised wording and recommended additional changes in language to two sections: (1) the document as drafted assumed that “pathogens are a concern” in Alder Creek when there is as of yet no scientific evidence of such and (2) the plan discussed “non-stormwater discharges” into Alder Creek when in fact the discharges into Alder Creek consist solely of stormwater (i.e. drainage from the Mesa).

15.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  2005-2006 Audit; Receive First Quarter Financial Report.

The Board received the first quarter financial report.  Staff presented the 2005-2006 audit and apprised the Board about a new public accounting standard that will apply to future audits and will require the BCPUD to retain additional bookkeeping and financial accounting assistance to properly complete the audit process.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to accept the 2005-2006 Audit.

-- Legal:  Director Siedman noted that based on action of the Board earlier in the meeting the Legal Committee has received a referral to review the roads ordinance and opine whether any amendments are necessary.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that Mark Butler is working hard to complete the Mesa Skatepark and hopes to open it in the Spring.

-- Personnel:  The Board agreed to extend the deadline for the staff to make any written requests for changes to the MOU from January 31st to February 28th in light of staff vacation schedules.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.  

b.  Minutes of the November 15, 2006 Regular Meeting

    Director Amoroso stated that he had extensive changes to propose to the minutes on the Beach Committee portion of the Volunteer Committee reports.  After some discussion, it was agreed that the Board needed time to review the proposed revisions and approval of the November minutes was deferred to the January meeting.

c.  Warrants

J. McClellan/D, Smith    all in favor        to approve the warrants.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

    January 17, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.

16.    Adjournment

        10:58 p.m.