Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board Of Directors
July 14th, 2004 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, Siedman and Smith present. Director McClellan
absent. Director Bertsch presiding. Director McClellan arrived
3. Manager’s Report
Staff reported that the Terrace Avenue pipeline replacement project is proceeding.
The easement agreement with the property owner will be recorded, the temporary
fence is being erected and the tree removal work will soon be underway. The
project enables BCPUD to reroute a critical existing pipeline away from the
bluff erosion zone on Terrace Avenue.
Staff reported that the County has removed road hazards and repaved at the
intersection of Overlook and Terrace.
Board members received a memo from the Association of California Water Agencies
(ACWA) urging members to contact legislators requesting their support for
the highest protections for local government revenues before any future tax
shifts can occur.
Board members received a response letter from the Department of the Army
(DOA) regarding BCPUD’s request for records pertaining to any existing United
States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) policy that prohibits participation
in the option to open Seadrift Lagoon at both ends. The DOA stated that there
is no pertinent record in their files. Staff pointed out that this finding
supports the idea that Seadrift Lagoon may be opened to create flushing of
the Bolinas Lagoon, because there is no USACE policy prohibiting such actions.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to Debbie Morrison’s request to erect
a small trash pick-up bag stand at the entrance to the downtown beach. Since
this will be a volunteer project, there is no cost to the District.
The stand’s prototype was displayed for review.
A discussion ensued regarding specific language written on the stand encouraging
owners to clean up after their pets on the beach. Director McClellan was opposed
to some of the language used in the message painted on the stands.
Amoroso/Siedman 4 ayes McClellan no
to allow Debbie Morrison to erect the stand at the entrance to the Brighton
General Manager Phil Buchanan will be on vacation for 6 days starting Friday,
July 16th, 2004 and returning Monday, July 26th, 2004
4. Community Expression
5. Enforcement of Marin County Ordinance 3360-restrictions on beach camping
Susannah Mills presented a petition, signed by local residents, objecting
to the behaviors of people on the downtown beach and requesting that all camping
be banned on the beach year around. She noted current beach and beach neighborhood
problems including alcohol intoxication, extensive beach camp-outs, fighting,
inappropriate toilet habits, noise, beach fires, firecrackers and the continuing
parking and traffic problems in the area. She would additionally like to
see a ban on all campfires on the beach.
Director Amoroso suggested that this issue be placed on the November, 2004
ballot as an advisory measure.
Director Siedman suggested an ordinance revision banning all camping at
the downtown beach year around and 7 days per week and including a sunset
extension. He stated that there is strong support in the community to prohibit
all camping and fires on the beach.
Joel Braverman voiced strong opposition to such an ordinance revision based
on his observation that many of the beach campers are homeless. He further
opined that Bolinas residents are aging which causes viewpoints about beach
camping to be too conservative to meet the needs of the younger individuals
who wish to campout on the beach.
Andy Blake asked the Board why the original ordinance covered so short a
period of time. He noted that Point Reyes National Seashore offers permitted
camping, which is a more appropriate alternative to camping at the Bolinas
Director Siedman responded that the original ordinance provided a 2-year
test period to allow a period for observing its impact on the beach.
He further noted that fire permits are available at the Bolinas Fire
Protection District (BFPD).
Bruce Bowser noted that creosote from the beach fires pollutes the air,
especially in the downtown neighborhood. He further noted that crowds of
up to 30 people gather on the beach and on Brighton Avenue at night exhibiting
signs of alcohol intoxication such as shouting, petty theft and vandalism,
fighting and driving cars recklessly.
Debbie Morrison noted that she has asked beach campers to clean up their
campsites, yet clean up rarely occurs by beach-users.
Jannick Pitot opined that the current extent of the lawlessness and disruptive
behavior on the beach requires strict and consistent law enforcement. She
reiterated that the beach is left dirty and unsafe by beach-goers every day.
She suggested posting signs on the beach warning against fires and camping
and stating associated penalties.
Gary Rosenblatt stated that he too is tired of unsafe beach fires, smoke
pollution, inappropriate toileting habits and noise on the beach. He noted
that he’s spoken about these issues with Rick Sherman who is employed by the
Bolinas Community Center with the task of daily beach clean up. He noted that
Rick supports the notion that fires are ongoing, that fire pits are left
in unsafe condition with embers still burning, with exploded bottle glass
left lying around and that he is consistently cleaning up both human and
dog waste and garbage. Gary stated that since the Bolinas Beach is now a
popular destination for out of town visitors, we must find methods that will
curtail the associated behavior problems. Gary supports the idea of no fires
and no camping at the beach.
Director Bertsch read the current ordinance aloud and pointed out that the
ordinance’s specific language is very clear in defining what constitutes beach
camping so that there can be no confusion. She suggested that the ordinance
be extended to include the ban on year around camping every day of the week.
She further suggested that the extension would allow time for the community
to form a group to study the issue and to come up with recommendations about
how to handle the beach problems in the future.
Scott Anderson stated that displacing the homeless from the beach will not
solve the problem, because they’ll just move elsewhere in town. An alternative
for them should be established.
Director Amoroso introduced Lieutenant Scott Anderson of the Marin County
Sheriff’s office, who replaced Lieutenant Rich Ginnodo for West Marin. Lieutenant
Anderson noted that, based on his own law enforcement experience in other
assignment areas, law enforcement warnings don’t work However, making citations
and fining does work to curb problem behaviors, especially as word spreads
that Bolinas is no longer an “anything goes” destination. He also suggested
placing trash receptacles on the beach.
Andy Blake suggested that before giving up camping and fires on the beach,
even to local residents, the matter should be carefully studied to derive
solutions to solve specific behavior problems on the beach.
Director McClellan agreed with Joel Braverman and pointed out that the homeless
on the beach need our help and stated that with extreme reluctance he will
support a year-round ban on beach camping.
Director Amoroso stated that he will vote against the measure because he
wants it placed on the November ballot.
Director Smith expressed concern about extending the ordinance. He suggested
installing fire rings on the beach to control fires to specific locations.
He also suggested providing designated campsites, especially for homeless
people in Bolinas. He suggested engaging a locally employed town constable
who could enforce lawful behavior in Bolinas and who would be knowledgeable
about local issues and sensitivities.
McClellan/Siedman 3 aye 2 no to write a letter to
Steve Kinsey requesting to amend the ordinance to extend the camping ban to
7 days a week, 12 months of the year to extend the entire ordinance
to October 2006 and to ban all fires on the beach unless a fire permit is
obtained from the BFPD. The letter will also contain Suzannah Mill’s petition.
Director Amoroso stated that this letter should include the fact that the
board voted 3/2 on this matter.
6. West Nile Virus Update: Stacey Henderson
Board members were notified that West Nile Virus (WNV) has now been reported
in California. BCPUD WNV Task Force representative Stacey Henderson suggested
that sightings of dead birds, especially crows and ravens, should be called
in so that they can be studied for the presence of WNV. She also suggested
that roof vents be screened, that septic tanks be properly screened and that
window screens cover all windows. She asked if the BCPUD building could seal
its roof vents and get window screens. She also requested that an information
sheet about WNV be placed inside water bill mailings.
7. Agate Beach Parking Issues
Joyce Clements provided the Board with a detailed report supporting the
Agate Beach parking lot remaining a no-fee parking area. Additional letters
from the community were presented to the Board also supporting a no-fee parking
lot. Joyce Clements urged the Board to send a letter to the County supporting
a no-fee parking area at Agate Beach.
Amoroso/McClellan 3 ayes to
send a letter to the county requesting that Agate Beach parking lot remain
a free lot.
8. Proposed Ballot Measure Re: Community Paths Options; Other
Director Smith stated that the Path Options Committee has decided to postpone
the ballot advisory measure on the BCPUD-land path until the March, 2005 election
because funding options are still being investigated.
9. Request for Sewer Connection: Hogle. 49 Terrace Avenue
McClellan/Amoroso all in favor to approve Hogle
10. Resolution No. 505, Adopting District Budget For Fiscal Year 2004-05;
Resolution 506, Stating Rates and Charges For Fiscal Year 2004-05
Nancy Kemper urged the Board to consider increasing the water rates to raise
the additional money required for the district instead of raising property
tax bills. Her suggested change would help ensure that residents using the
most water take on more of the financial burden while those using less, were
spared some of the burden.
Director Amoroso stated that he would like to entertain this plan in the
future because it could encourage water conservation.
Director Siedman pointed out that the District needs a guaranteed income
for yearly operations. For example, what would the District do if a particularly
rainy year occurs and water usage drops very low resulting in lower revenue?
Director Amoroso noted that homeowners may be allowed to deduct their property
tax bill from their income taxes.
Staff pointed out that the fixed cost to supply each house with water is
the same for each house, no matter the usage.
Director Amoroso suggested the Board look at this possible change next year.
Siedman/McClellan all in favor
to adopt Resolution 505
Siedman/McClellan all in favor
to adopt Resolution 506
11. 2004-05 District/Employees Memorandum of Understanding
has been reached. Continued to next month.
12. Pine Gulch Creek Property (AP# 188-090-14): easement reformation;
Director Siedman reported on his discussion with adjacent property owner
Michael Moritz. He noted the District’s receipt of a National Park Service
letter stating that they have intent to purchase the Pine Gulch Creek property
at a higher price if the District provides an independent assessment of the
property’s value. Director Siedman opined that Mr. Moritz should be notified
of this fact, and should therefore grant a wider easement.
Director McClellan pointed out that the district should use caution and
not make special deals with Mr. Moritz.
Director Amoroso stressed the importance of keeping the Pine Gulch Creek
property in the public domain by selling it to the Park Service. He pointed
out, however, that the Board has a duty to the community to strike the best
possible deal for the property.
Director Bertsch suggested another meeting with Mr. Moritz, showing him
the Park Service letter openly and then filing action in court to get the
easement in court if it becomes necessary at that point. Then the District
would proceed with the property valuation.
Amoroso/Smith all in favor to hold a meeting with
Mr. Moritz and then file in court if he won’t grant the easement voluntarily.
13. Marin Countywide Plan Update:
Bobbi Kimball noted section PA-7.2 in the Draft Marin Countywide Plan stating
that the Local Coastal Program should govern land in the Coastal Zone. She
pointed out that the letter from the BCPUD asks that the Bolinas Community
Plan and the Gridded Mesa Plan is the prevailing guide for land in the Coastal
Staff will reissue a copy of this letter to the County.
14. Other Business
a. Committee Reports
Nothing to report
--Downtown Parking and Traffic:
Staff presented a letter from Jason Nutt, Marin County Department
of Public Works Traffic Operations Engineer, stating that parking improvement
ordinances are underway and that he will soon issue a work order to install
associated parking signs in downtown Bolinas.
--Finance: 2004-05 budget process
Staff presented Budget vs. Actual and Statement of Cash flow reports for
4th quarter. Director Smith discussed BCPUD’s reserves, which are 60 percent
of the operating budget. He noted the importance of determining what reserve
amount is appropriate and then reaching and maintaining that level.
Director Amoroso stressed the importance of increasing the reserves. He
noted our current reserves are good, but could be better.
Nothing to report
--Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:
Director Amoroso suggested the committee review septic enforcement activities
at the state level and that this information be brought back to a future meeting.
He noted pertinent questions should be answered such as if the Bolinas Mesa
water table is lowered by improving drainage, how many septic tanks are expected
to benefit and what will be the exact effects of improved drainage?
Director McClellan stated that state septic regulations would be changing
in 2008, but that the county may proceed as early as this year.
Andy Blake stated there will be a tour for neighbors of Alder Creek at 10am,
Saturday, July 17th to determine the exact locations of obstructions impeding
the creek’s flow. He also stated that the drainage group is to receive detailed
maps from the county with specific elevations marked.
Al Hettich objected to having a crowd on his property during the tour.
Director Bertsch reassured him that a crowd is not expected and that she
will control the creek tour as it passes along private property bordering
Matt Lewis has been working with County Septic Consultant Kit Rosenfeld
who is monitoring his septic tank as a free service. Matt stated that the
intent is to monitor septic systems for research purposes, not to notify
the County that any specific system is not working properly.
--Nothing to report
--Park and Recreation:
Staff will file the Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration with
the County Clerk tomorrow. This action will enable the Regional Water Quality
Control Board to approve the Water Reuse Permit for the proposed reclamation
Director Siedman stated the check to reimburse BCPUD for the County and
Fish and Game’s fees will be delivered tomorrow.
Nothing to report.
Director Siedman pointed out that the August, 2004 board meeting will be
Director Bertsch’s final meeting and her replacement will be appointed during
that meeting. He suggested the Board specify the criterion to be used in selecting
Director Bertsch’s replacement.
A document outlining the procedure will be issued prior to the next Board
meeting so that all candidates can use it to prepare for the August meeting.
Each candidate will give a brief opening statement. Board members may then
ask questions of each candidate. Members of the floor may then pose questions
and lastly the Board will vote to appoint. There are time limits for each
--Sewer: Resource Recovery Project
Staff reported receiving a letter from the County regarding permit-required
work at RRP. Staff also presented RRP’s financial report. Discussion followed
noting Mike Aitken’s generous volunteer management work at the RRP and noted
the need for continued grant writing to keep RRP properly funded.
--Community Paths Group:
Director Smith reported that the group approved the path’s route. Next week
month brush clearing and a tour of the path will occur. The path’s design
will be presented to the community soon and fundraising will begin.
Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of June 16, 2004 meeting
Smith/Amoroso all in favor to approve
the June 16, 2004 minutes.
Siedman/Amoroso all in favor to approve the warrants.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting
August 18th, 2004