Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board Of Directors
September 17, 2003 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, McClellan and Siedman
Director McClellan presiding
Director Kayfetz arrived at 8:13 p.m.
3. Manager’s Report
The Evergreen/Alder project is now complete. The work was needed to install
a new 10” line valve and steamer hydrant near Mesa Road, and to complete
the connection at Alder with the 6” line constructed between Overlook and
Evergreen 2 years ago.
The office photocopier is failing. There were no objections to the
purchase of a used Canon model 210S, with a 12 month service and supplies
Excavation of the Arroyo Hondo upper dam is scheduled for the week of September
29, 2003. The dam has not been cleaned out since 1998 and more than
half of its capacity has been lost from the annual accumulation of silt and
An informal local group of interested citizens has secured grant funds to
construct a fence on the District’s Pine Gulch Creek property to keep cattle
out. There were no objections to Staff’s preparation of a letter
of agreement to be signed by the project participants, indemnifying and holding
harmless BCPUD from any liability or claims that may arise as a result of
The ACWA Joint Powers Insurance Authority will conduct an Illness and Injury
Prevention Seminar at the District office October 23, 2003, at 1 p.m.
The seminar is open to employees from other JPIA member agencies.
The Fall issue of BPUD Pipeline is nearly ready for distribution to customers.
Comments and suggestions from the Board are invited until Monday, September
4. Community Expression
Jerry Bo Jeste reported on the Marin County Sheriff’s removal, with no advance
notice, of one of his automobiles. Bo Jeste confronted the deputy,
who was standing by during the tow operation, pointing out to him that the
car was not an abandoned vehicle, that it was lawfully parked out of the
traveled portion of the right-of-way, and adjacent to his property.
Despite his protestations, the car was towed. Staff will report Bo
Jeste’s complaint to the Marin County Sheriff, and request that his department
send a representative to the October meeting to discuss the vehicle towing
Andy Blake asked that the Board move item 14 up on the agenda. Director
Amoroso indicated there were too many items on the agenda to accommodate
Elia Haworth described recent work done on the Finkelstein property and adjacent
right-of-way that appears to violate conditions of the owner’s coastal permit.
Staff will write a letter to Marin County Senior Planner Ben Berto, asking
him to visit the site.
Director Amoroso, expressing an interest in attending the Ad Hoc Drainage
Committee meetings, asked if the Brown Act permits a majority of directors
to attend such meetings There were no objections to contacting County Counsel
for clarification. Amoroso observed that the first two meetings of
the committee did not meet the act’s notice requirements and suggested that
future meetings should do so.
The Board received a copy of a letter to Supervisor Kinsey complaining about
speeding traffic downtown and requesting placement of a stop sign at the
Wharf and Brighton intersection.
5. Downtown Parking and Traffic Committee: appointments; calendar;
-- Amoroso/Bertsch all in favor
to appoint Howard Dillon, Stacey Henderson, Jennifer Blackman,
Vic Amoroso and Joan Bertsch to the re-formed Downtown Parking and Traffic
Committee, and to leave membership on the committee open to additional applicants.
Director Bertsch will arrange the initial meeting.
Following the vote on the motion, Joel Braverman volunteered for the committee
on behalf of the Bolinas Community Center, and Leo Kostelnik (represented
by his wife Megan) and Joan Kopfer also asked to be added to the committee.
The Bolinas Fire Protection District has asked to be kept
apprised of committee recommendations.
6. Resolution 173, §6, Expanded Water Use: evaluation
of applicability to
46 Wharf Road – Coast Café
The Board and members of the audience, including the café
owner, David Liebenstein, participated in a discussion about the scope of
the business and its structural renovations since Liebenstein purchased the
property in 1998, the key question being whether there have been changes
made during that period that should have triggered either use and/or building
permit processes by County of Marin.
Liebenstein stated that he obtained building permits for
work done in the restaurant’s kitchen. Director Kayfetz noted that the number
of seats in the main dining room, on the side patio and in front of the restaurant
far exceed the level that requires a use permit. He also noted a major
increase in water use since Liebenstein purchased the property.
Susannah Mills asserted that there is a feeling among
townspeople that Liebenstein is pushing the boundaries. Liebenstein
defended the growth in the scope of his establishment’s operations by saying
that he has a lot of people on the payroll and he needs to cast a wider net
if he is to generate the business to continue employing these local people.
To the suggestion that he has failed to establish off-street parking for
employees and customers on the lot he owns across the street, he told the
Board that they were opposed to his turning that lot into off-street parking.
He also stated that he has never advertised his business over the hill.
Director McClellan, who earlier had stated his distaste for the current enquiry,
since the Board usually initiates such a process only in response to official
notification by County of Marin, explained to Liebenstein that the District
now knows by Liebenstein’s own testimony that he has made changes to his
property that would require a use and/or building permit.
ayes, McClellan opposed, Amoroso abstaining
to require application for an Expanded Water Use Permit, and that it be submitted
by the October meeting.
7. Mesa Park: water reclamation project; proposed sewer hookup;
lot line adjustment
After Director Siedman reported briefly on the current
status of the project, Director Kayfetz expressed concern about projected
operations and maintenance costs. Siedman, noting that the participating
agencies will provide the money, and reiterating that Mesa Park will not
go forward with the project until construction, operation and maintenance
financing is firm, urged everyone to let the financial issues work themselves
out. Kayfetz argued that the Board can’t wait until the project
has unstoppable momentum to raise its concerns, and Director Amoroso voiced
his fear that the District’s sewer customers might be left to pick up the
tab for higher than expected operations and maintenance costs.
Mesa Park Commissioner Blake stated that each of the participating agencies
will pay for its own use of the facilities. Kayfetz repeated his concern
regarding the estimated $60,000 annual operations and maintenance cost.
Siedman and Blake, while not conceding that it will cost that much, emphasized
that the project will not go forward unless the financing of ongoing costs
is secure, and suggested that those details should be handled by the project
planners. Director Amoroso asked Siedman and Blake directly if they
were assuring the Board that BCPUD will not be liable for any costs associated
with the project. Blake stated that seeking contributory funding from
BCPUD is definitely not their intent.
The Bolinas Fire Protection District has requested a lot
line adjustment, needed to accommodate the proposed medical clinic location.
The adjustment would transfer to the Fire District a 15 foot strip running
between the firehouse and the soccer field. The adjustment would be
contingent upon the project being built. Kayfetz indicated it
would be preferable for there to be an exchange of land or other acceptable
trade off. Staff will request a legal opinion from County Counsel on
whether the requested adjustment, absent consideration, would constitute
a gift of public funds.
-- Amoroso/Kayfetz all in
favor to send a letter, as amended, to
the Regional Water Quality Control Board informing them that, pending Region’s
approval of the Title 22 Recycled Water Use Project, the Board intends to
approve a sewerage lift station and direct connection to the treatment facility
for the proposed complex.
8. Ad Hoc Committee On Mesa Drainage: establishing sight lines
along Larch Road right of way from Overlook to Evergreen; pilot project implementation;
purchase of laser level
Committee Chair Andrew Blake described the proposed pilot
project, noting that this initiative is taking shape now because of the SepTAC
process and mounting pressure from County of Marin to address failing septic
systems, stated that improving drainage in the Larch Road right-of-way between
Overlook and Evergreen is a good place to start and the pilot project seeks
to restore drainage in that area to its condition before the road grid blocked
the natural flow. The finished pilot project will provide a benchmark
for homeowners who want to improve their own drainage and be confident that
they are trenching and installing driveway culverts to the proper elevations.
The committee has proposed mowing the right of way to
better establish elevations, and installing five culverts. Blake stressed
that the work needs to be done soon or it will have to wait until next summer.
Director McClellan pointed out that the ditch being proposed for Larch Road
will be no more than 18 inches deep and 6 feet wide and eventually will be
Following these remarks, there was a lengthy discussion
regarding the proposed work within the Larch swale, and the potential for
negative downstream effects. Several people in the audience expressed
concern about mowing and ditching in the right of way. The need
to protect plants, animal habitat and wetlands was emphasized by several
speakers. As counterpoint, Stacey Henderson argued that it is necessary
to improve the drainage to help control the mosquito problem.
[Director Kayfetz left the meeting at 10:20 p.m.]
There was considerable opposition to mowing, despite repeated
statements from committee members that mowing is needed to establish proper
elevations for proposed drainage improvements. Don Smith suggested
waiting until winter when the ground is saturated to determine where the
low spots are. Charles Weismiller observed that, if the road grid is
what is blocking the flow, putting in the culverts under the cross streets
at the correct elevations should be all that is required to correct the problem.
Bob Demmerle expressed opposition to installation of culverts under Aspen,
Birch and Cedar, suggesting that simple trenching across the right of way
would be better, with light wooden bridges for foot traffic.
Curt Willig stated a concern about the effects west of
Evergreen after the flow is improved between Overlook and Evergreen.
Blake contended that the water moves just fine between Evergreen and Hawthorne.
Director Amoroso suggested installing the Dogwood and
Evergreen culverts this fall. Then, this winter, when the groundwater
level reaches its peak, complete the survey recommended by Don Smith
to determine the obvious obstructions, and proceed accordingly next year.
Director Bertsch indicated she could go agree to Amoroso’s proposed compromise,
although she suggested it would still be necessary to clear the swale between
Dogwood and Evergreen. Weismiller opposed this idea and Bertsch asked
him to join the committee. Weismiller consented.
ayes, Kayfetz absent
to begin the pilot project by installing culverts under Dogwood and Evergreen,
before the wet season, with no mowing this fall and clearing only as
necessary to install the two culverts, followed by an evaluation of this
initial phase before continuing with further work.
ayes, Kayfetz absent to purchase an optical
Item continued to the regular meeting in October.
9. California Independent System Operator’s Identification of Bolinas
As Potential Site For Gas-Powered “Peaker” Electrical Generation Plant (Dogtown
In January, 2003, the Independent System Operator wrote
the California Power Authority, discussing various reliability-challenged
areas around California where so-called peaker electrical generation plants
might be appropriate. Bolinas was one of the sites mentioned.
Siedman/Bertsch 4 ayes, Kayfetz absent
to send a letter to the California Independent System Operator, referencing
the January, 2003 letter, indicating the proposal was discussed at the meeting
and that the Board is opposed to the idea. The letter will urge the
ISO in the strongest possible terms to remove Bolinas from the list of reliability
Amoroso/Siedman 4 ayes, Kayfetz absent
to approve Resolution 493, supporting the County of Marin’s application for
California Public Utility Commission funding under the Energy Efficiency
Program and the County’s designation as a Community Choice Aggregator
10. Complaint Regarding Cleanup Status At 315 Hawthorne:
The complainant is the next door neighbor. In the
letter she requested BCPUD to perform a site inspection but Marin
County Environmental Health Services performed its own inspection the day
before the meeting. No action was taken.
11. Mosquito Abatement
Stacey Henderson, the District’s community liaison for
mosquito and vector control, recommended that screens be installed on
the windows of the BPUD office, and for people to use them at their houses,
too. Henderson wants to urge homeowners to seal their septic
systems as recommended by the Marin Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Director Bertsch suggested that Henderson approach the Disaster Council for
help with distribution of Henderson’s mosquito abatement brochures.
Cela O’Connor recommended Bolinas joining the Mosquito Abatement and Vector
Control District at a cost of $15 per parcel.
Staff will discuss with the sewerage treatment plant operator
periodic monitoring of the ponds for mosquito larvae and the possibility
of using mosquito fish where appropriate.
12. Visibility Obstructions at Overlook and Poplar: responses
to 8/27/03 BCPUD letter
Dan Riesenfeld, the owner
of the property at the corner of Overlook and Poplar, responded to the District’s
letter by sending a copy of a letter he wrote to Marin County Public Works
Director Farhad Mansourian, telling him that a large eucalyptus growing in
the right of way needs to be removed, and that something should be done to
slow traffic on Overlook. No action was taken.
13. Contract Award: 270 Elm Road Exterior Painting Project
Amoroso/Bertsch 4 ayes, Kayfetz
absent to approve Resolution 494, awarding
a $26,000 contract to James Vest Painting.
14. Proposed Date(s) for Meet-The-Candidates Night(s)
ayes, Kayfetz absent to approve the following:
Candidates Night to be October 22, with an optional night on the 29th.
Phil Buchanan will moderate. Each candidate will have 3 minutes
for an opening statement. Then, audience questions will be taken,
with 3 minutes allotted to the candidate who is asked the question and 1
minute for other candidates who want to respond. After the audience
question period, the candidates can ask each other 1 question apiece.
To conclude, each candidate will have 3 minutes for a closing statement.
The meeting will be limited to 2 ½ hours. If people don’t have
time to ask their questions within the 2 ½ hour limit, the second
night can be scheduled.
15. Bid Award: 1988 Toyota pickup
Siedman/Bertsch 4 ayes, Kayfetz absent
to sell the truck to the lone bidder, Andrew Lopas, for $200.
16. Other Business
a. Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: report on September
The committee met to discuss the ISO peaker plant proposal and the Energy
Efficiency and Community Choice programs.
-- Finance: Draft Audit
--Amoroso/Siedman 4 ayes, Kayfetz
absent to approve audit
-- Mesa Septic, Roads and Drainage:
Andy Blake reported that the Marin County Public works road survey proposal
is now budgeted at $30,200. The revised contract proposal is to be
-- Personnel: temporary hire proposal
There were no objections to hiring
Stephanie Hammerman on a temporary, part-time basis
as administrative assistant.
b. Minutes of August 20, 2003 Meeting
4 ayes, Kayfetz absent to approve minutes.
4 ayes, Kayfetz absent to approve warrants.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
October 15 for the regular meeting and October 22
for candidates’ night.