June 23, 2001


President Robert Oliver called a regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2001, at the District office located at 3785 Shoreline Highway in Stinson Beach, California.

Directors present:
Robert Oliver, President
Elizabeth Sapanai, Director
Jim Zell, Director

Director's absent:
Charles Dutkin, Vice President
Joe Veit, Director

Staff present:
Richard Dinges, General Manager
Troy Pearce, Wastewater Engineer
Raven Schauf, Recording Secretary




The agenda was revised to move item 4 (Figley Leak Reduction) to item 1.


Motion to approve May 2, 2001 minutes with amendments made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Oliver, approved by unanimous vote.


Motion to approve the May, 2001 disbursements made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Zell, approved by unanimous vote.


  1. Granting of a Leak Reduction at 5 Avenida Farralone, AP# 195-191-15, Patrick Figley, owner, Larry Wall-Sneddon, tenant: Mr. Figley summarized the circumstances surrounding the leak. Richard Dinges summarized the Manager's report. The Board and members of the public discussed possible solutions to prevent future leaks that may eventually be implemented as District policy. Motion to grant a 50% reduction in the amount of $1,004.62 with the condition that the owner install a master valve or formally agree to irrigate manually made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Zell, reduction granted by unanimous vote.
  2. Denial of a Variance Application at 8 Marine Way, AP# 195-221-04, Ted Varlow, owner: Mr.Varlow summarized events regarding the lot, proposed plans, and the subsequent variance application. Mr. Varlow questioned what additional studies would be needed and the level of detail required for a hydrology study. Mr. Varlow stated that he was unable to contact Mr. Condit at Regional.
    Mr. Tanner, engineer for the applicant, stated that the applicant was unable to meet the required setback and that the feeling was that the water at this location was flowing towards the ocean and away from the creek although no actual studies had been conducted. Richard Dinges summarized the Manager's report, stating that the applicant had not been able to support the "findings of fact" required by the District and that there was no precedent to grant a setback larger than 10%.
    Troy Pearce advised that the applicant had hired a hydrologist, and the responsibility regarding the scope of the study would be the decision of the applicant's hydrologist. Mr. Pearce further advised that District Code regarding sandfilter systems differed from the Marin County Code.
    Motion made by Director Sapanai to deny the Variance, seconded by Director Zell. Director Sapanai stated that there was no mitigation for a 50% setback. Director Sapanai pointed out possible errors within the variance application including the applicant's statement that the parcel is zoned as residential, which is incorrect, and that according to Marin County Title 22 this parcel is zoned as Coastal Village Commercial Residential which specifically states that new residences will only be permitted if the they are incidental to a commercial use. Director Sapanai further stated that comments in the application by both Mr. Tanner and Mr. Hochstrasser defining the lot as "the last vacant lot in the area" is untrue, when if fact there is another vacant lot on the very same street and within other areas of town, and made the observation that if this was the last vacant lot in the area, building of a residence would be in violation of Title 22 which further delineates that exclusive residential uses in no case shall be permitted on more than twenty five percent of the lots which are vacant. Director Sapanai pointed out that additionally; there were geologic misstatements of facts included in Mr. Hochstrasser's report when defining Easkoot creek flows and when interpreting the previous ERG Hydrology Study which was performed in another area of town and was not site specific to this particular lot. Director Sapanai advised the applicant that he should not perform any additional studies for this particular variance application as the findings for this variance can not be made, and that the applicant should investigate other uses for the property which do not require a septic system.
    Director Zell stated that he would not be willing to vote for granting of a variance because the variance to the setback is too great.
    Mr. Varlow stated that he would prefer to study other uses and consult with his hydrologist rather than having the Variance denied and asked for a continuance.
    Director Zell, Oliver and Sapanai stated that the Board would vote on the variance application in front of them today.
    Mr. Art Moritz, of 15 Marine Way, quoted an article from the June 29, 2001 Point Reyes Light which addressed the importance of evaluation of all septic systems due to potential adverse impacts on the watershed and complimented the Board on it's enforcement efforts to protect the watershed. Mr. Mortiz stated that granting of a variance for this large of a setback would render District setback Code obsolete and further stated that clearing of that lot had jeopardized the riparian habitat.
    Director Sapanai stated that Title 22 Ordinance 22.56.130 states that no riparian vegetation removal can be done, and that the report submitted by the applicant from Environmental Resource Group defines Easkoot Creek as seasonal creek when in fact it is a USGS perennial blue line stream which supports a listed threatened species. Ms. Sapanai stated that District obligation to protect both groundwater and surface water and to uphold EPA regulations was of primary importance in her consideration to vote against granting of the variance. Mr. Varlow stated that he had cleared the lot in order to reduce fire risk, that he was grateful for property rights granted by the Constitution, that the property was subdivided by the County at the turn of the Century and that the Board has an obligation to work with applicants that want to develop properties.
    President Oliver stated that the District operates according to rules, by which the Board is guided today, that have been developed over a period of time, are appropriate in respect to the local area and utilized the best information available today.
    Mr. Dinges stated that the applicant has had ample time to perform appropriate studies.
    Mr. Rudy Ferris, of the Bolinas Lagoon Watershed Team, stated that the full strength of the coalition and of the endangered species act will be applied in order to protect the riparian habitat.
    Mr. Varlow asked the Board and Mr. Dinges what the circumstances of application withdrawal at this time are.
    Director Sapanai stated that the Board would vote on the agenda item before them for hearing and decision today but there was no reason the applicant could not come before the Board with a new application at which time he may also request a fee waiver.
    Mr. Dinges stated that the appropriate time for variance hearing withdrawal would be prior to the hearing, not after the hearing has begun.
    Mr. Varlow stated that he withdrew the application.
    Motion to deny the variance made by unanimous vote.
  3. Consideration of a Resolution Directing the Abatement of a Nuisance at 101 Calle del Mar, AP# 195-191-16, Hal Airey, owner: Mr. Lance Becker, tenant at 101 Calle del Mar, explained the circumstances surrounding attempts to have the system repaired and that Mr. John Washington was recently hired to begin work on the system. Motion to continued the item to the July 11, 2001 Workshop meeting, made by Director Zell, seconded by Director Sapanai, item continued by unanimous vote.
  4. Review of Abatement of a Nuisance Status at 7 Arenal, AP# 195-022-07, Helen P.Iwamoto Kennedy, owner: Mr. Dinges advised the Board that the owner had pumped the tank, made minor repairs to the system and had hired Questa Engineering. Mr. Troy Pearce commented that he had met with onsite at Questa Engineering for percolation testing.
  5. Granting of a Leak Reduction at 22 Onda, AP# 195-162-25/26, Frank and Marsha Fontes, owners: Mr. Fontes summarized the events regarding a leak located within a secondary supply line located at his washing machine. Motion to grant a 50% reduction in the amount of $117.30 made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Zell, reduction granted by unanimous vote.
  6. Adoption of Resolution GB-2001-07 Approving the Fiscal 2001-2002 Gann Appropriation Limit: Motion to adopt Resolution GB-2001-07 made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Zell, adopted by unanimous vote.


  1. Review of the Draft Fiscal 2001-2002 Budget: Richard Dinges summarized the Manager's Report and various aspects of the Draft Budget and requested that Board members review the draft budget over the next few weeks and contact him regarding any suggested changes.
  2. Review of Proposed Rate and Fee Changes: Richard Dinges summarized the Manager's Report, advised of current conservation practices, and commented on possible rate amendment scenarios to promote conservation.
    Richard Reasoner, of 280 Belvedere, questioned the Board regarding the proposed 5% increase, possible rate structure alternatives, water conservation coordinator, membership with the California Urban Water Conservation Council, and District conservation goals. Director Sapanai stated that the reason behind the proposed rate structure amendments was twofold, a necessary basic increase and an increase in the upper tiers to promote conservation.




Richard Dinges reported that a fluctuation had occurred in a stream, which could possibly have been the cause of a "fish kill" and that District staff is monitoring the area.


Motion to adjourn made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Zell, meeting adjourned by unanimous vote at 11:20 a.m.

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