Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
June 15, 2011 Special Location: Firehouse PUblic Meeting
Room, 100 Mesa Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Update on Terrace Avenue and County of Marin’s Plans
to Repair the Slide at Overlook Road; Supervisor Kinsey, County DPW Representatives,
Staff provided a brief background history of the slide at Terrace Avenue
near the intersection with Overlook Road and resulting road closure for the
benefit of the several dozen members of the public in attendance; staff then
introduced County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) representatives Bob Beaumont
and Ernest Klock, as well as Kleinfelder engineer Bill McCormick.
Bob Beaumont, DPW’s Assistant Chief Director, said that
the County has wrestled for years with the problems presented by Terrace Avenue,
which is the community’s primary access into downtown from the Bolinas Mesa.
The problems are the long-term stability of the road at two locations:
one near the intersection with Overlook, which has failed, and the other at
Surfer’s Overlook. Following the 2010-2011 winter’s storms, the DPW
renewed its efforts to secure funds to do storm damage repair at the Terrace/Overlook
site as well as other high priority sites within the County. As a result,
$3 million has been allocated for damage repair County-wide and the slide
at Terrace/Overlook has been designated the highest priority site.
Ernest Klock, DPW’s senior engineer, presented a graphic summary of the
geotechnical assessment of the slide site conducted by the Kleinfelder firm.
He described the slide conditions, the anticipated limits of the repair,
and details of the repair itself. The planned repair is a mechanically
stabilized earth wall (MSE wall), otherwise known as a geogrid buttress.
Mr. Klock said that the Kleinfelder firm’s assessment shows that the upper
sandy mass of material on the top of the slide is sliding on top of the bedrock
below – essentially, the sandy mass becomes saturated during the winter and
then slides off on top of the bedrock. The geogrid buttress will be
installed at a depth of approximately 60 feet (after the native soils are
removed) so that it is keyed substantially into the bedrock. Geogrid
has very high tensil strength; compacted soil will then be placed on top of
the buttress up to the road surface. The entire repair structure will
be founded in bedrock; the native soils can be used to reestablish the downslope,
which will be re-vegetated to look as it did prior to construction.
In response to questions, Mr. Klock said that no underground streams were
found in the vicinity; the plan is to repair the County’s existing stormdrain
in this area and install a perforated drainage structure to catch laterally-moving
groundwater and divert it away from the repair site.
He said that the County does not plan to stabilize the toe of the bluff
as it would be impracticable to do so; the proposed repair is self-sufficient
as designed and the drainage systems (both surface and subsurface) to be installed
should slow the rate of erosion on the face of the bluff below. Mr.
Klock said the County’s goal is to complete the repair before the winter rains
begin; the anticipated life of the repair is 20 years and could be
more or less than that, depending on seismic events and/or other factors.
He noted that the nature of any failures of the repair likely would be relatively
slow and DPW would have time to react; Kleinfelder’s engineer, Bill McCormick,
said that the most important maintenance issue will be the regular cleaning/maintenance
of the surface and subsurface drainage improvements. In response to
additional questions, Mr. Klock said that the repair will be sufficiently
westerly to preserve access to Terrace via Overlook Road and he emphasized
that the County is very aware of the vital significance of this access to
Director Smith observed that the identified bedrock at the slide site is
fractured Monterey shale and that generally in Bolinas the waves erode the
bottom of the bluffs, rendering them over-steepened, then big chunks slide
down from the top. He asked how long it will be before this happens
at the Terrace/Overlook site. Bill McCormick said that the primary cause
of erosion at this site is not wave cut at the toe; rather, there is a slide
plane on top of the bedrock where groundwater is percolating and softening
material. He does not believe that the bottom of the buttress will
be undermined by wave cut at the toe “in our lifetimes”. When pressed
by director Smith, he said that the bedrock at this location also is stronger
than other parts of the bluff elsewhere in Bolinas.
Supervisor Kinsey said that he is present to support DPW and the Bolinas
community in this critical situation that could become a crisis if not remediated.
He noted that the County has worked very closely with BCPUD staff and Board
members, as well as members of the community, on issues relating to Terrace
Avenue. That said, this is now an urgent situation and, if the County
has the resources, now is the time to move forward with a repair. Supervisor
Kinsey said that he is thankful that the Board of Supervisors made specific
allocations for three major slide repairs on County roads, including this
repair. Rudy Ferris asked whether this means that the stabilization
of Surfer’s Overlook will not be pursued. Supervisor Kinsey said no;
the County continues to work with the BCPUD on that project and the geotechnical
evaluation of that site is expected soon. While it is not clear where
resources may be coming from to fund a project at that site, the County will
continue to work with the BCPUD to develop a solution.
In closing, Ernest Klock said that the Kleinfelder geotechnical
report will be available to the public when it is complete. DPW hopes
to put the repair project out to bid in the next two months so that a contractor
can begin the work in September and complete it in October.
4. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project: Accept
Final Technical Report: Coastal Bluff Evaluation & Stabilization Alternatives
Analysis, prepared by Sanders & Associates Geostructural Engineers (“SAGE”)
Staff said that the report is not yet finalized as the Working Group has
requested that SAGE provide in this report construction estimates for an in-kind
repair of the road level retaining walls. This is not an alternative
to a full-height bluff stabilization structure, but rather as a potential
alternative to moving the district’s water and/or sewer lines.
-- Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project:
Staff plans to over-night the executed loan documents for delivery to the
California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) on Friday, June 17th.
Staff reminded the Board that it previously directed staff to hold off on
submitting the loan documents to determine whether the County might decide
to repair Surfer’s Overlook rather than the Terrace slide at Overlook Road;
since that is not the case and since the deadline to accept the loan funding
is June 17th, staff will submit the documents. Staff reported that CDPH
staff has confirmed that the district can back out of the funding at any
time up until it starts drawing on the funds; however, the funds cannot be
used to stabilize the road (as opposed to moving the water line) without submitting
a new project application and there is no guarantee that any funding would
-- Update on the BCPUD Office Building Accessibility Improvement Project
Staff reported that the accessibility improvement project
is underway and that the staff is fully moved into its temporary office in
the district parking lot for the duration of the construction.
-- Update on Evergreen Road Improvement Project
Staff has obtained bids from two licensed and insured tree removal companies
for the tree work for this project and the lowest bid is $9,960. The
next step is for the district to meet with interested property owners and
agree on relative financial contributions. Staff noted that the district
also plans to do some fire fuel reduction mowing and road/drainage improvements
at this location (Evergreen near Larch Road).
-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property)
The district currently plans to conduct this project sometime between August
and October. There are two open tasks to complete before the project
can begin: a biological resources clearance and a cultural resources
survey. The BCPUD has agreed with its partner on this project, the Conservation
Corps NorthBay, that the district will retain firms to perform these tasks
and pay for their work; these payments will be credited toward the district’s
$25,000 project match.
-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical
Staff reminded the Board that the district’s insurance authority has recommended
replacement of the electrical control panels at the wastewater treatment plant
pump station. The district retained an electrical engineer to design
the panels and, during the course of his work, staff requested that he design
similar new control panels for the aerators and replacement wiring (all of
the electrical components and wiring at the plant are from the original installation
in the 1970’s). The engineer has done so and his technical specifications
and drawings are in the Board binders; in addition, the engineer has
specified the installation of flow meters so that staff can better monitor
flows into and discharged out of the treatment ponds. The engineer’s
estimate for all of the work is $108,166.11. At the request of staff,
the engineer has broken the work into three phases so that the work can be
done over a period of several years. After a brief discussion, the
Board referred the project to the Board’s Sewer Committee.
Staff reported that the district has received a final report from West Yost
Associates pertaining to allegations raised in September 2010 by a former
neighboring property owner that wastewater from the district’s sewer ponds
was discharging onto his property. In summary, the report concludes
on the basis of independent testing as well as an analysis of the property
owner’s own data that the district’s wastewater is not discharging to the
neighboring property. Staff has prepared a letter to the Regional Water
Quality Control Board to send in with the West Yost report; the Board
had no objection.
Staff presented a draft of the district’s 2010 Consumer Confidence Report
which will be mailed to the district’s customers on or before June 24, 2011.
Staff noted that the district’s triannual water rights reports to the State
Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) are due on July 1st. The SWRCB
has moved to a new web-based reporting process which is relatively complicated;
given staff’s upcoming vacation, staff has requested that the district’s outside
counsel review, complete and submit the license reports this year.
A large maple tree has fallen across the district’s Arroyo
Hondo access road, narrowly missing the exposed transmission main and blocking
access to the district’s facilities. Staff has arranged for removal
of the tree for a one-day not-to-exceed cost of $2500.
On the wastewater side of operations, staff reported that a new motor is
needed at the irrigation pumps, which will cost at least $2,400 plus installation.
In addition, the oiler for one of the pumps is not operating property due
to a likely blockage in the wellhead. Staff therefore plans to arrange
a technician site visit to redress this problem.
Staff noted that at the May meeting, staff recommended the purchase of a
mower for the on-going vegetation management tasks at the sewer pond property
as well as the areas surrounding the district’s reservoirs, storage tanks
and water treatment plant. The cost of an appropriate mower ranges from
$24,000 - $40,000. The Board asked staff to gather information pertaining
to the amounts paid by the district for mowing, specifically at the sewer
pond property, over the last five years. Staff reviewed district expense
records from 2006 – 2010 and determined that the district spent $34,205.50
on mowing at the sewer pond property.
Finally, staff presented the district’s annual report on Sanitary Sewer
Overflows (“SSO’s”) to the Regional Water Quality Control Board (“RWQCB”)
and also reported on an inspection conducted on June 9th by the RWQCB of
the district’s compliance with the state’s reporting and record keeping requirements
regarding SSO’s. The inspection lasted most of the day and concluded
with an “exit interview” where the inspector discussed his assessment with
staff; overall, he said the district is “on top of things” and doing
the “right things” in terms of regular system cleaning and maintenance.
He said he will be sending a follow-up report with recommendations for additional
best practices that the RWQCB would like to see the district implement going
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
5. Community Expression.
Cela O’Connor said that the County is continuing its work to update the
Local Coastal Plan, but that the community stalled on its work to update
the Bolinas Community Plan. Meanwhile, there is “constant development”
going on in town and not much discussion about it locally. Cela said
that Bolinas should reestablish a local review committee “that has teeth”
and she requested an item on the July agenda to discuss the topic.
Director Siedman asked staff to include such an item on the July agenda.
6. Public Hearing: 2011-12 Draft District Budget.
Director Siedman said that this is an opportunity for members of the public
to comment on or ask questions about the district’s proposed operating budget
for Fiscal Year 2011-2012; actual approval of the budget will take place
at the July meeting. There was no comment from the public on the proposed
7. Pending Appeal to Coastal Commission re: Marin County
Approval of Application to Legalize a Greenhouse on an Undeveloped Property
(175 Poplar Road).
John Bryant said that the County has been allowing certain development to
take place in Bolinas without involving the community and that County planners
seem to think that a structure can be allowed on an undeveloped lot as long
as it is less than 200 square feet in size. John said that the community
should have input on such decisions. Director Siedman said that the
district usually is notified of such projects and regularly agendizes them
for public discussion; director Kimball noted that the district commented
on this specific project in the past. John Bryant said that the BCPUD’s
comments were not included in the staff report and the County does not appear
to be paying attention to local sentiments. He also said that the County
is giving “false hope” to applicants by appearing to allow such structures,
as any structure over 120 square feet in size will require a building permit
(as well as a planning permit) and such structures often cannot meet the criterion
for such permits – as such, applicants spend considerable time and resources
to obtain a planning permit, only to be frustrated at the building permit
Director Smith said he has a question about the project because the staff
report seems to be internally inconsistent – on the one hand, planning staff
denies the applicant the ability to place water storage tanks on the property
but on the other hand, the planning staff requests an agricultural plan for
the property. Also, the proposed structure is a greenhouse. How
can the applicant reasonably use a greenhouse and/or implement an agricultural
plan without water? The applicant, Shea Freedomhowler, said that he
has been through several different potential agricultural plans as he originally
wanted to do a wheat grass farm with employees, but has since narrowed his
plan to a natural landscape display garden. Director Smith asked if
the proposed structure therefore will be a storage building rather than a
greenhouse; Mr. Freedomhowler said he needs it for storing tools.
After further discussion, director Siedman summarized
the various comments, namely: concerns about what the County is approving
without local input; concern that the BCPUD’s prior comments were not addressed
in the staff report; dissatisfaction with the inconsistency about permitting
a greenhouse and agricultural enterprise with no water; and questions about
the legal authority for the County planning staff to allow structures of up
to 199 square feet in size on undeveloped properties. Staff was directed
to submit a letter to the Coastal Commission in connection with the appeal
detailing these comments.
9. Coastal Permit and Development Plan Amendment, 330
Horseshoe Hill Road, Bolinas, APN# 188-140-69 & 70 (Rappaport) (to construct
a 1,380 square foot music and photography studio accessory to existing 2,318
square foot single-family residence on a 4.97 acre lot)
Deborah Rappaport said that she was present to answer any questions the
Board or public may have about her project. In response to questions
from Cela O’Connor, Ms. Rappaport said that the applicable zoning is 5 acres
and that there are no structures other than the single family home on the
property. Cela said that in her opinion, no accessory buildings
larger than 120 square feet should be allowed. Director Kimball noted
that this property is not within the district’s boundaries. After further
discussion, staff was requested to apprise the County that the property is
not within the district’s boundaries, but that a member of the public commented
that the accessory structures larger than 120 square feet should not be permitted.
9. Request for BCPUD Letter to Marin County Open Space
District Asking it Not to Allow CalTrans to Improve Highway One Around the
Bolinas Lagoon Until Non-Motorized Travel Needs Are Fully Studied.
Gerry Coles submitted a draft letter to the Marin County Open Space District
for the Board’s consideration. He said that the connection of Bolinas
and Stinson Beach via a bicycle and pedestrian path is a very important issue
that has been identified in the County’s plans but evidently not studied by
any public agency. Now, he said, CalTrans is going to proceed with improvements
to Highway One around the lagoon, including adding up to two feet of pavement
width at some points, but this will not provide adequate bike or pedestrian
access. Mr. Coles proposes that the Open Space District conduct public
meetings to study the issue and do as much as it can to encourage people
to travel by bike or foot and not by car around the lagoon.
Director Amoroso said that any kind of non-motorized access improvements
that would involve filling in the lagoon to widen the roadway will be impossible.
He said that the pending CalTrans improvements are very important and he isn’t
sure he wants the district to oppose those improvements in order to support
something that might be impossible. Director Kimball agreed; she
said she supports the concept of a bike path around the lagoon, but is not
willing to oppose the current CalTrans project, which required 10 years to
permit. Director Smith also said he would love to see bike lanes around
the lagoon, but it would take years and years to accomplish (if it is even
possible). Director Amoroso clarified that the CalTrans project is,
in fact, a part of the Bolinas Lagoon Restoration work and he doesn’t think
the district should oppose it. Director Siedman said that there did
not appear to be any sentiment on the Board to send in the requested letter.
10. Resolution 600: Accepting Completion of the
Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension Project.
This item is deferred to the July meeting.
11. County of Marin’s Environmental Health Services Department’s Proposed
Graywater Program for the Unincorporated Areas of Marin County.
Director Kimball said that she reviewed the proposed program, as did director
Smith, and she thinks it is a great step forward. She has no substantive
comments but said she would send a letter of support for the program to Becky
Ng at the Environmental Health Services Department.
12 Discuss Potential Revisions to Water Meter Suspension and
Termination Resolutions (BCPUD Resolutions 238, 247, 248, 258, 439, and 440).
Director Smith said that he requested this agenda item and that he has reviewed
30 years of various BCPUD resolutions dealing with abandoned, terminated and
suspended meters. In brief, there are two situations that tend to arise
–either the district must terminate someone’s water service due to nonpayment
or some other reason, or the customer wants to suspend his or her meter for
some reason – and there are two different procedures to follow in these situations.
Director Smith believes it would be helpful to clarify and consolidate the
district’s procedures in these regards. He noted that part of his motivation
to deal with this topic is that he would like to reduce the potential burden
to non-profits of bringing a meter out of suspension. He agreed to
draft a potential resolution for the Board’s consideration at a future meeting.
13. Update on Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation Project.
Staff reported that Mesa Park has communicated with the California Department
of Fish & Game about that entity’s stated concerns about the irrigation
project and has addressed/resolved those concerns. At this point, the
next step is to re-circulate the Initial Study with a revised biological resources
section addressing the Department of Fish & Game’s comments.
14. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Community Path Update: Director Kimball presented a financial report
to the Board concerning the community path median planting project.
In brief, the project received a grant of $1,000 from the Bolinas-Stinson
Community Fund, a donation of $5,000 from the BCPUD and donations totaling
$3,470 from 50 donors. Director Kimball said that $5,816.00 of the
funds have been spent on plants, materials, paint, labor, etc., so the current
account balance is $3654. These funds will be applied to future maintenance
costs (additional plants and materials). Another report will be made
in December 2011.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Staff reported that the
County’s planning staff called to arrange a meeting to discuss implementation
of the parking plan during the week of July 11th.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Director Kimball
requested that this volunteer committee item be removed from the agenda going
forward as the work is now being done (and reported) on a staff level.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball reported that the West Nile Task Force will next meet on
June 20th and that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council has
submitted its annual reminder letters to the public about the importance of
mosquito abatement efforts for publication to the West Marin Citizen and the
Point Reyes Light.
15. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Approve Audit Engagement Letter from Doran & Associates
for FY 2010-11 Audit.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor
to approve the audit engagement letter.
Staff reported that the district is close to finalizing a move of its payroll
service from in-house to an outside professional firm. This step is
recommended by the district’s bookkeeper and CPA due to changing tax laws
and the potential for penalties for payroll tax errors; the outside
professional firm will be responsible for any such errors.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman reported that the Downtown
Park will retain Roger Peacock as a project coordinator and that all permits
have now been approved for the project.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the April 27, 2011 Special Meeting; Minutes of the May 18,
2011 Regular Meeting
Director Kimball had minor corrections to page 8 of the draft minutes of
the May 18, 2011 regular meeting.
D. Smith/B. Kimball 4 in favor, director Amoroso abstaining
to approve the minutes of the May 18, 2011 regular meeting,
Approval of the minutes of the April 27, 2011 special
meeting was deferred to the July meeting.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
July 20, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.