Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
September 18, 2002  270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

8:00 p.m.

2.  Roll

Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, Kayfetz, McClellan, Siedman present
Director McClellan presiding

3.  Manager’s Report

Mia Monroe, of the Monarch Project, has completed a habitat assessment of two sections of the Mesa Road Sewage Treatment Facility where BCPUD had indicated to Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA)  it intended to remove Eucalyptus trees.  CDA responded to the District’s initial letter by suggesting that an exemption to Coastal Permit requirements was appropriate for the upper section, at the extreme northeastern edge of the primary area of operations, if the District were to obtain a Monarch assessment indicating the area was not critical.  The County’s letter indicated that Coastal Permit requirements would apply to the Resource Recovery Center area because of the number of trees identified for removal.  The assessment for both areas indicated they were not necessary for Monarch habitat.  Not included in the assessment is the area adjacent to the uphill section of asphalt path where large eucalyptus may be threatening the sewer force main.  Staff will contact Monroe for a further assessment of that area.   Meanwhile, through a combination of removal of saplings and trimming of existing trees at the Resource Recovery Center, Center manager Mike Aitken indicates no further removal needs to be done at this time.

The Pine trees adjacent to the main entrance of the Mesa Road Sewage Treatment Facility appear to be infected with Pine Pitch Chancre.  It may be spreading to the nearby Cypress as well.  Staff recommends removal of the trees.

BCPUD has received a letter from Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) engineer Jason Nutt, reporting on a recent investigation of sight distances and visual obstructions at the corner of Overlook and Poplar.  The letter, noting that fence setbacks do not meet Marin County Code requirements, indicates that DPW does not see a problem with the sight distances and contends that it has the discretionary power to waive the code requirements in such a case.  The letter, noting that a utility pole and a eucalyptus tree may pose greater visual obstructions than the fence, asks for BCPUD acknowledgment of closure on this subject.   Staff will respond by requesting more specific information regarding the investigation, including the assumed speed of traffic on Overlook, the formula used as the basis for calculating the adequacy of sight distance and whether it allows for 2.5 seconds perception/decision/reaction time per Caltrans specifications.  The letter will also mention that BCPUD shares DPW’s concerns regarding the eucalyptus tree, and suggesting that it may be within the Marin County right of way.

The draft issue of the fall newsletter will be distributed to Board members this weekend.  Any comments or changes should be conveyed to the office by Monday afternoon, September 23.

The National Park Service (NPS) has informed BCPUD that they will not sign the Declaration of Restrictions proposed by the owner of property adjacent to the District’s Pine Gulch Creek property as a condition of widening the access easement to BCPUD’s property.  At this point, NPS may decide not to allow the existing width of the easement to affect its purchase offer at fair market value, or the adjacent property owner may seek to accommodate NPS’ concerns.

4.  Community Expression

Cela O’Connor addressed the Weber Coastal Permit / Tidelands Permit application for removing material from the dikes surrounding his field on the east side of Olema-Bolinas Road.  O’Connor argued that the Deputy Zoning Administrator did not pay adequate attention to the code in dealing with the application at last week’s hearing.   The Board received a detailed letter from Tomales Bay Association regarding their concern with the process.  O’Connor suggested BCPUD may want to join in a future appeal of the decision.  Rudi Ferris noted that local regulatory agencies have to sign a statement that no regulations will be violated in this process.  Ferris contended that numerous regulations may have been violated.   This matter will be placed on the agenda of the October meeting.

Josh Churchman demanded to know if the Board is opposing the Bolinas Lagoon Restoration Project.  Director Amoroso explained that the Board voted to pursue a Freedom Of Information Act request for documents related to Seadrift Lagoon.  Paul Kayfetz summarized the history of the Board’s action, beginning with comment letters emphasizing the need for full tidal flushing of Seadrift Lagoon.  Kayfetz noted that USACE favored opening Seadrift Lagoon until a certain point in the process, when it was suddenly, and without notice, dropped from the project.  He noted that the District is still seeking information from USACE.

Churchman argued that everyone always felt that Seadrift lagoon was a Pandora’s Box of liability issues.  He also took Kayfetz to task for a letter he wrote to the Light, because Kayfetz was identified by the Light editor as a BCPUD Director.  Kayfetz noted that he made it clear that he was speaking as a private individual, and that he expressed support for a lagoon ecosystem restoration project.

Director McClellan protested continued use of drain rock for road repairs.  He urged that only road base be used.  BCPUD will make this an effective policy immediately for its own work, and this item will be placed on the agenda of the October meeting to discuss means of requiring this of all work done on the unpaved roads.

 5.  Mosquito Abatement:  proposal to join Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District

Jim Wandersheid, General Manager of the District, made a presentation that focused on the simple and effective steps local residents can take to decrease the mosquito population.  Pointing out that a vote requesting annexation to the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District would require a 2/3 majority, and a new charge placed on the property tax bill, Wandersheid explained that his District can render substantial free assistance to the community, including public outreach, dissemination of educational materials, inspections and free distribution of mosquito fish.

Wandersheid suggested meeting with BCPUD staff to develop a plan for the community.
– Kayfetz/Bertsch      all in favor      to request staff to work with Wandersheid and the Mosquito & Vector Control District to develop a plan.

Director Amoroso suggested forming a committee to do the work, under the BCPUD Manager’s direction.  Stacey Henderson volunteered.  Joel Braverman, who expressed opposition to all use of chemicals, organic or otherwise, also indicated he might volunteer.

6.  Bolinas Children’s Center:  proposal for monthly outdoor flea market at 270 Elm Road

Item cancelled.

7.  Roads:  Heide Hughes letter of complaint concerning recent Kale Road maintenance work

Heide Hughes, whose property is adjacent to recent work by Don Murch, has two primary  complaints:  Nobody talked to her before the work started, and she objects to the heavy use of Kale Road while Poplar Road should be the main access road for many residents who are now forced to use Kale because of Poplar’s poor condition.  Don Murch has said that he talked to Hughes when the permit was issued two years ago.  Poplar Road is a problem because there are too few homeowners scattered along its length to finance its upkeep.

Director McClellan expressed dissatisfaction with the way BCPUD administers the roads ordinance.  He stated that the District does not need to get every last person’s approval for a project; we can’t give every objecting individual a veto; and, things must be done with dispatch.

Jack Siedman urged the board to establish a time limit in the permit for completion of the work.  6 months was suggested..

Amendment of the roads ordinance will be put on the agenda of the October meeting.  Andy Blake’s proposal, that BCPUD begin the job of surveying the unpaved rights of way, will also be placed on the agenda.

8.  Roads:  complaint of obstruction on Zebra between Yucca and Ocean Parkway

Susan Verhalen, owner of  410 Ocean Parkway, has filed a written complaint, pursuant to BCPUD Ordinance 30, alleging a neighbor has encroached on Zebra Road, and it is an obstruction because it prevents BCPUD’s crew from gaining access to the new water service line serving Verhalen’s property.  The apparent encroachment also is an obstruction to her installing a new driveway to the rear of her cliff-side property.  An adjacent owner has already created new access to his property from the east.  Both homeowners’ meters and water lines have been reconnected to the east side of the properties in order for the district to abandon a main running parallel to and near the edge of the cliff.

The neighbor, Lawrence Juniper mentioned that he has planted natives, cut down some weeds, put up a deer fence for a small garden, that he enjoys the area.  He also noted its saturated condition in the wintertime and felt it was illogical not to create the access at another point.  At the same time Juniper stated that he could completely clear the easement of his property in one day.  Verhalen noted that Juniper’s suggestion of creating access to her property as a branch off the new access to 380 Ocean Parkway won’t work because there is another property in between the two, and the Kunsts’ might well expect a high price for granting such an easement..

Director Siedman suggested the roads committee, Directors Bertsch and McClellan,  look into it.  Bertsch indicated she would call both parties tomorrow to make arrangements.

Item continued to October.

9.  Coastal Permit Application 03-4:  Martinelli/Weber/New Land Trust - Pine Gulch Creek Watershed Enhancement Project

Rudi Ferris began the discussion by saying that it’s a wonderful project for the environment and the community.  He noted his concern about the amount of draw down of the creek.  He argued for strict measurements and control of the stream.  Ferris explained that riparian users can only store water for 30 days.  The timing of diversions may be complex.  There will need to be clear communication among all parties.

John O’Connor read a statement delivered earlier at the BLTAC meeting.  The issue is the minimum flow to be required in the stream.  O’Connor said “visible flow” is too vague. BLTAC’s position, according to O’Connor, is that all diversions should be measured.

– Kayfetz/Siedman       all in favor       to send a comment letter to the Marin County Community Development Agency that in general, to further conservation practices, we recommend measuring diversions from the stream and measuring the amount of flow in the stream.

10.  Meter Transfer Request:  315 Hawthorne to 271 Poplar at Locust

Upon no objections from the Board, a motion to approve the request, subject to 271 Poplar Road meeting applicable county regulations before final approval of meter transfer, was tabled.

Jenny Pfeiffer mentioned her concerns about drainage and about the applicant’s development history.  Director Siedman suggested to the applicant that she be prepared to make presentation at the next meeting, speaking to the issues listed in Resolution 152.

– Amoroso/Kayfetz      all in favor      to find that the meter is transferable from 315 Hawthorne.

Continued to October meeting.

11.  Requests To Purchase BCPUD Property:  AP# 190-041-20 (Tulip between Larch/Poplar)

Jenny Pfeiffer objected to the sale of these lots if they were given to BCPUD by BCLT.
Continue to October.  Staff will check for previous owner.

12.  Solid Waste:  ad hoc franchise transition committee report

Director McClellan reappointed Directors Amoroso and Siedman McClellan to the ad hoc committee, along with the Manager.   The draft agreement is not ready yet.  Staff hopes to distribute it to all members by Monday or Tuesday of next week.  A special meeting may have to be called to keep
the transition on schedule.

13.   Mesa Park:  appointment to vacancy created by Robert Hunter’s resignation

There were no applicants.  A new term begins January 15.

14.  Bicycle/Pedestrian Paths:  formation of committee to explore options for path(s) linking Mesa with downtown

– Kayfetz/Siedman     all in favor     to appoint all applicants, including Tom Williard and Director Amoroso.   Staff will provide committee member Don Smith with the names, addresses and phone numbers of the other volunteers, and Smith will contact everyone to arrange the first meeting.

15.  Bolinas Lagoon Restoration Project:  update on Freedom of Information Act requests; project status

BCPUD has received no answer to its request for specific policy.   Although we have requested the public review period be extended until 60 days after we receive all relevant documents from USACE, BCPUD must comment on the project by October 1, the current deadline.

– Kayfetz/Bertsch       all in favor      to direct staff to draft a letter with the salient points from this discussion and distribute to all Directors before mailing. Those points are: A lack of support for the exclusion of the Seadrift Lagoon component.  BCPUD has requested written policy prohibiting federal participation in the cost of the Seadrift Lagoon component.  Although lengthy policy and procedural documents exist, explicit prohibition of work on man-made features has not surfaced. Furthermore, it does not seem to be an enhancement since the people who own the property are objecting to the proposal.  That seems contrary to enhancement.  BCPUD still wants to see consideration of this option, and not have it excluded for spurious and political reasons.

Director Amoroso stated that the option of opening up Seadrift Lagoon to full tidal flushing was not given a thorough evaluation and it should be.  Amoroso also urged USACE to begin working first on the project components likely to cause the least negative environmental impact, and progressing to those with heavier impacts only as necessary to complete a project that effectively addresses the sedimentation problem.

Director Kayfetz expressed objections to the abandonment of the single most cost-effective component of the project.  USACE has said its policy but they haven’t produced an unequivocal policy statement to date.

16.  Other Business

a.  Committee Reports

      -- Alternative Energy: the state legislature has passed a bill with true net metering up to 1 megawatt, a 15% state tax credit, and continuation of the energy buy down programs.  Anemometer readings for August 15 to September 18 period show gusts up to 40 mph, periods of 20-25 mph winds, and an average for the period of 8.41 mph.

      -- Finance:  scheduling of committee meeting to review audit

The committee will meet Tuesday, September 24 at 10 a.m.

         -- Legal:  The Orrick vs. BCPUD settlement conference is January 6, 2003.  February 28 has been set as the trial date.  Richard Harris informed the Board that the order preventing communication with BCPUD has now been re-ordered, with very narrow restrictions not involving the District.  Harris indicated he may file a cross-complaint.

 Following approval by District Counsel, staff will mail a transmittal letter to Harris, with copies of all of BCPUD’s attorney’s statements that contain charges and fees related to Orrick vs. BCPUD.

      -- Sewer:  Director Amoroso reminded staff to tell Don Guravich that he must get the forest containment work done by October 15, or postpone until next season.  The Mia Monroe Monarch assessment will be enclosed with a note to Guravich.

      -- Solid Waste:  Resource Recovery Center has accepted a large quantity of mulch from an area-wide chipping day in Olema last week.  It appears there may be constituents, such as pressure treated lumber, creosoted logs, and bits of plastic sheeting mixed in with the other green waste.  Staff will ask Center Manager Mike Aitken to talk to the County employee handling the matter and ask them to test the material.  The District must consider the risk in keeping or releasing this material.  If tests are good, the material could be used for landscaping

b.  Minutes of August 21, 2002 Meeting

– Kayfetz/Bertsch       all in favor         to approve the August 21 minutes.

c.  Warrants

– Kayfetz/Siedman        all in favor       to approve the warrants.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

October 9, 2002

17.  Adjournment

11:00 p.m.