SBCWD BOARD MEETING MINUTES


REGULAR MEETING
SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2006

A.    CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL

President Scott Tye 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 17, 2006, at the District Office located at 3785 Shoreline Highway in Stinson Beach, California.

Directors present:
Scott Tye, President
Elizabeth Sapanai, Vice President
John Gilbert, Director (departed at 11:50 a.m.)
Joe Veit, Director per teleconference
Jim Zell, Director

Treasurer present:
Barbara Boucke

Staff present:
Richard Dinges, General Manager/Secretary to the Board
Raven Schauf, Recording Secretary
Richard Souza, District Wastewater Engineer

B.    PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Ms. Elida Shujman, of 22 Calle Del Pinos, stated that she had not received a response from Mr. Dinges regarding her March correspondence and subsequent correspondence related to a Code violation on her property. Ms. Shujman asked for clarification as to why the inspections were necessary as she felt that these inspections did not make any sense. Director Sapanai stated that the Board members could not directly respond but that they could direct the General Manager to respond to her concerns.
Mr. Robert Finn, agent for 6976 Panoramic Highway, asked if there were any updates regarding the dredging of the Lagoon. Director Tye responded that he could supply contact information for Mr. Finn regarding the appropriate agency.

C.    MANAGER'S REPORT

Mr. Dinges stated that the final application had been submitted to the State by Todd Engineers for the second phase of the hydrology study, and that funding would not be available until 2007-2008. Mr. Dinges stated that additional contracts would be brought in front of the Board for WRA Engineering. Mr. Dinges stated that the Laurel Treatment Plant documents were in the process of being reviewed and that the project would be put out to bid in the first part of July. Mr. Dinges further stated that Mr. Toby Bisson and Mr. Buck Meyer had passed their Distribution 3 exams. Mr. Dinges also stated that three vehicles would be put up for bid next week through June 29th, that the bids would be awarded on June 30th, and that the vehicles would be advertised in the Point Reyes Light.

D.    SETTING OF AGENDA

Motion to adopt the agenda as presented made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Gilbert, agenda adopted as presented by unanimous roll-call vote. The Board later revised the agenda by consensus.

E.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion to approve the May 3, 2006 minutes with amendments made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Gilbert, approved by unanimous roll-call vote.
Motion to approve the May 20, 2006 minutes, made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Gilbert, approved by unanimous roll-call vote.

F.    APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

Motion to approve the May, 2006 disbursements and the submitted Board compensation requests made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Gilbert, approved by unanimous roll-call vote.

G.    PUBLIC HEARING

  1. Denial of a Request to Approve a Variance Application for Property Located at 6976 Panoramic Highway, AP# 195-233-09, Robert Belli, Owner, Robert Finn, Agent: Director Sapanai recused herself from the hearing due to the proximity of her property to the applicant's property.
    Mr. Dinges summarized the Manager's Report stating that a variance to Code section 4.15.621 was required due to the high volume of the proposed system of 400 average gpd and 600 maximum gpd. Mr. Dinges stated that the design incorporates a driveway which encroaches on a District waterline easement and that this issue would have to be addressed as a condition in the resolution. Mr. Dinges stated that the applicant's engineer had lowered the specs to the existing grade to allow for access by the District.
    Director Zell requested clarification regarding three issues; the driveway, the waterline which the driveway passes over, and the wastewater line which crosses the creek.
    Mr. Dinges stated that the wastewater line situation had to be dealt with and that the line would have to be placed under the creek.
    Mr. Souza stated that the driveway material would probably be concrete due to areas which exceed an 18% slope.
    Director Zell expressed concerns as the District does not allow building on its own easements. Director Veit agreed with Director Zell and suggested that the setback issue between the wastewater line and the creek would require a variance to District Code.
    Mr. Souza stated that District Code does not have a requirement for a setback to a wastewater lateral. Mr. Finn, applicant, stated that the driveway had been indicated on the plans to clarify where the leachfield would go and that the construction material had not been determined yet. Mr. Finn stated that the driveway encroaches on the easement in order to allow for the 100 foot setback to the stream and to allow for fire Code.
    Mr. Roger Hurt, of 6986 Panoramic Highway, stated that a seasonal stream existed on the property which was 50 feet from the bottom of the alternative leachfield, 80 feet from the bottom of the proposed lower field, and 100 feet from the center of the lower field. Mr. Hurt stated that there is an existing spring on the property which the District Manager is aware of. Mr. Hurt stated that District Code governing soil profiling requires determinations during wet weather testing and that Questa Engineering had conducted only one wet test at site #T386 in March of 1986, which was a hand bore, five feet in depth. Mr. Hurt stated that the rest of the tests, including T1, were done on November first of 2005 during a very dry period. Mr. Hurt submitted precipitation data for November 1, 2005 for the record. Mr. Hurt stated that the wet soil profiling data was inadequate. Mr. Hurt stated that he believed that a wastewater system can not be located within 100 feet of a spring which runs every winter. Mr. Hurt stated that variance finding "C" and "D" could not be made. Mr. Hurt stated that any run-off would affect the Hunt property and Easkoot Creek.
    Mr. Hurt stated that the wastewater tight line which runs from the barrel property to two tanks requires a variance to District Code and requires public notice. Mr. Hurt stated that the tight line crosses an important water course and a perennial stream which feeds Alder Grove. Mr. Hurt stated that a District letter dated May 2, 2006 to Blaire Allen of the State Regional Water Quality Control Board made no mention of the tight line or the existence of the "Barrel House" and that the intention to utilize it as a second unit.
    Mr. Hurt stated that the driveway which is located over the District easement and a District water pipe should require a variance to Code and public notice. Mr. Hurt stated that Mr. Finn had suggested that the water pipeline be moved onto Mr. Hurt's property but that he would prefer not to have more waterworks on his property. Mr. Hurt questioned whether the location of the driveway, the location of the house, and the subsequent variance request could be considered a "substantial property right" according to variance finding of fact "B". Mr. Hurt expressed concerns regarding conservation. Mr. Hurt stated that the 5,100 square foot residence, the lap pool, the landscaping, and the second unit was being proposed during a time when the Water District is facing problems related to water storage and capacity and that excessive water use should not be encouraged. Mr. Hurt said that neighboring dwellings were about 2,000 square feet. Mr. Hurt stated that in reference to the findings of fact address by Ms. Vasquez, "desiring" a home which is totally out of proportion with the neighborhood and which disregards any concepts of conservation should not be considered as a substantial property right.
    Mr. Val Agnoli, of 7200 Panoramic Highway, expressed concerns regarding the scale of the project, the size of the building, the size of the driveway, and the impact on the entire town. Mr. Agnoli stated that the project would change the nature of the side of the hill, an area which should be preserved. Mr. Agnoli stated that the building site is unnecessarily high and intrusive at the 400 contour and suggested that the building could be lowered to the 370 contour without greatly affecting the applicant's view. Mr. Agnoli stated that reduction of the dwelling size to something more reasonable, approaching the size of neighboring dwellings, would be preferable. Mr. Agnoli stated that the town should not have to endure this type of imposition on the scenery.
    Mr. Paul Pospisil, system engineer, responded that the soil profiles done in 1986 were conducted with a backhoe, not by hand, were conducted during a wet time of year, and that no groundwater was encountered at T386 to 60 inches and at 108 inches at T286. Mr. Pospisil stated that it is clear that no ground water exists within three feet of the bottom of the drip lines. Mr. Pospisil stated there were alternative sites for the leachfield if the issue of the spring area became problematic. Mr. Pospisil stated that six soil profiles were conducted indicating the soil to be sandy clay loam alluvium, not dense clay. Mr. Pospisil clarified that a standard pressure-dosed system had been approved in 2004, and that a standard system could fit in-between the driveway. Mr. Pospisil stated that the proposed system is further away from groundwater than the existing system and that pre-treatment is provided for cleaner effluent.
    Mr. Pospisil stated that the tight line crossing the creek could be mitigated using sealed ductile iron sleeving or horizontal boring.
    Mr. Stephen Martin, of 6500 Panoramic, stated that the proposed size of the structure was in direct conflict with environmental concerns and the concept of "less is more", in a community where most houses are 2,500 square feet or less. Mr. Martin stated that the community value was to tread lightly, that this proposal was inappropriate, and that the foot print was too big.
    Mr. Dave Horning, of 7000 Panoramic Highway, stated that a District letter dated May 25, 2006 indicated that the driveway had to be relocated and asked for response from the Board. Mr. Horning also stated that a letter dated May 31, 2006 was received by the District from ILS associates.
    Mr. Souza responded that the ILS letter stated that the profile of the driveway had changed so that there would be access to the waterline, which addressed the concerns of the May 25th letter.
    Mr. Horning stated that the drainage from the property would drain directly onto his property and asked that the drainage issue be addressed. Mr. Horning stated that the wastewater tight line would require a variance and that the testing conducting in 2005 was not done during the wet season. Mr. Horning stated that the current dwelling has not been fully occupied so the current system has not been adequately tested, and that standing water in the existing driveway could ultimately cause failure of the system.
    Ms. Lokelani Devone, of 55 Dipsea Road, stated that as a community member, the public should be mindful of the site and size of the proposal, and that the Board should be mindful of the location as contiguous to National and State Park lands. Ms. Devone stated that this is a community of environmentalists with a responsibility as stewards of both public and private lands. Ms. Devone stated that in Stinson Beach, the established Codes are not meaningless, reflect the values of the community, and should be well reviewed in variance situations. Ms. Devone stated that the proposal can not meet existing standards and requested that the Board apply very strict standards for this project.
    Mr. Finn, applicant, stated that he was unsure why the public thought he was planning to build a 5,100 square foot house. The Board replied that it was on the plan, and that District approval was based on the submitted plan. Mr. Finn stated that the existing house on the property is occupied 365 days per year. Mr. Finn reiterated that if the leach field needs to be relocated, there is plenty of room. Mr. Finn stated that Mr. Pospisil had dug ten to fifteen feet and had affirmed that the soil was very good. Mr. Finn stated that he had suggested that one possibility was to move the waterline on to the Hurt property but that was not necessarily the only option. Mr. Finn stated that, due to setbacks, it is unknown if the house could fit on an alternative area of the property and that he would not be interested in building the house if it had be to at the bottom of the property. Mr. Finn stated that the proposed location of the house is furthest away from other neighboring houses. Mr. Finn stated that there should be room for individual differences, and that if he was compelled to build according to other person's standards that he may not want to build.
    Mr. Dan Cheetam, architect for the applicant, stated that he was very interested in conservation and that space in- itself is not environmentally unfriendly, it is how the space is used which determines how unfriendly it is or is not. Mr. Cheetam stated that people tend to get nervous without seeing the actual building and that Mr. Finn has a very sophisticated, responsible approach which would have large parts that no-one would even see. Mr. Cheetam stated that the applicant is interested in building a "healthy home" and would probably set a new standard for sustainable design. Mr. Cheetam stated that it should not be assumed that a large house equates to wasteful use of water.
    Mr. Horning clarified that reference was made to a 5,100 square foot dwelling in both a letter from Mr. Finn dated February 21, 2006 and in the letter from Ms. Vazquez dated May 8, 2006.
    Mr. Dinges stated that he had reviewed the soil testing and that it had been conducted according to District standards. Mr. Dinges stated that the area at the bottom of the driveway is where water accumulates but not necessarily where the spring is located. Mr. Dinges stated that the reserve area may need to be relocated. Mr. Dinges stated that the tight line crossing the stream is an onsite lateral which could be bored using a ductile sleeve to protect it without touching the environmental area. Mr. Dinges stated that he did not believe a variance was necessary for the tight line. Mr. Dinges stated that reduction of the onsite storage should be further addressed. Mr. Dinges stated that the District does not have a policy to allow encroachment on its easement. Mr. Dinges stated that the pipeline could be lowered to provide accessibility and protection. Mr. Dinges stated that if the house size was reduced to 3,300 square feet and a standard system was used then no variance would be required.
    Mr. Souza clarified that the soil testing was appropriate and that no indications of ground water was found. Mr. Souza stated that the proposed system is one of the best designed systems in this area because it utilizes the topsoil and provides pre-treatment and very clean effluent.
    Director Veit asked if a 400/600 gpd standard system could be installed without encroaching on the easement and without requiring a setback reduction.
    Mr. Dinges stated that Mr. Pospisil had a plan showing that a standard system could be used; however, the driveway was in the easement. Mr. Dinges stated that the landform had not changed since 1986.
    Director Veit asked if the perc tests were according to District wet weather testing Code because if the perc tests were not valid then there should be new ones conducted. Director Veit commented that the slope in question continued up to 2,000 feet above sea level before leveling off and that if the whole mountain were saturated, the per test results could be quite different from just saturating a small area during the dry season.
    Mr. Pospisil stated that the testing sites had been pre-soaked, and that the types of soil at the location could be tested year-round with accurate results. Mr. Pospisil stated that drip systems are typically sized on soil texture and not necessarily on perc tests.
    Director Veit repeated his question and stated that it did not appear that the tests were done according to District Code.
    Mr. Souza stated that the results from 1986 were valid and that a system had previously been approved using that data. Mr. Souza stated that nothing substantial had changed since then.
    Director Tye stated that it was disturbing that 20 year old data is being used considering an earthquake has occurred since then. Director Tye further stated that the drainage issue had not been adequately addressed. Director Tye stated that the perc tests must adequately support a standard system on the site, not a drip system. Director Veit stated that the issue of the wastewater tight line had not been resolved to his satisfaction as well as issues related to new construction, stream setbacks, and substantial property rights.
    Director Tye stated that two conditions which should be required would be approval of the encroachment and relocation or protection of the waterline.
    Motion to approve a Variance application and Resolution as presented for property located at 6979 Panoramic Highway made by Director Tye, seconded by Director Veit. Motion denied by majority roll-call vote, Veit, opposed, Zell, opposed, Gilbert, opposed, and Tye, abstain.
    Director Tye stated that the variance application is rejected as presented. Director Tye requested that the applicant address the concerns raised at this hearing.
    Mr. Pospisil requested that the record reflect that his interpretation of District Code required a waiver and not a variance for this application because it had been shown that the same area shown as an alternative system could meet standard system regulations.
    Director Tye clarified that he believed that an alternative system, alternative to a standard system, for new construction would fall under a variance.
  2. Adoption of Resolution WW-2006-10 Granting a Variance Request for Property Located at 370 Calle del Mar, AP# 195142-22, David Wilson and Stacia Cronin, Owners: Mr. Dinges summarized the Manager's Report. Director Sapanai stated that oftentimes there are problems related to defining a substantial property right and clarified that this application was a good example of interpreting a property right and utilizing the smallest possible system. Mr. Barry Ruderman, applicant's engineer, recommended that the District revise its Code regarding setbacks to driveways as the traffic rated tanks have been used very successfully. Motion to adopt Waiver Resolution WW-2006-10 made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Veit, adopted by unanimous roll-call vote.
  3. Adoption of Resolution WW-2006-11Directing the Abatement of a Nuisance Located at 22 Calle del Pradero, AP# 195-163-22, First Stinson LLC, Andrew South, Owners: Mr. Dinges summarized the Manager's Report recommending that the Board adopt the abatement resolution. Mr. Barry Ruderman, engineer for the applicant stated that a new proposed system would locate the tanks in the driveway due to setback issues and that the application would include a variance. Motion to adopt Abatement Resolution WW-2006-11 made by Director Sapanai, seconded by Director Gilbert, adopted by unanimous roll-call vote.
  4. Review of Pending Application for a Septic System Located at 15 Calle del Mar, AP# 195-102-07, George and Joanne Hasler, Owners: Mr. Dinges summarized the Manager's Report and requested clarification regarding who may sign the contracts. Director Sapanai stated that there was no reason for Mr. Hasler to sign the agreements regarding system requirements or system design, but that Mr. Hasler would have to sign the system design when it is presented for approval. Director Tye clarified that item 5 of Resolution WW-2006-09 stated that all documents and plans shall be authorized in writing by the property owner. Treasurer Boucke stated that the submitted tax returns for SAS were for the year 2004 and that it was unclear that they had been filed. Director Sapanai stated that she had reviewed the filing on-line and had confirmed that they had been filed. Mr. Trotter stated that he had filed for an extension for the 2005 tax returns. Director Sapanai asked if the chemical toilet contract had been revised as requested by the Board. The Board directed Mr. Trotter to ensure that the contract is revised and submitted to the District. Director Sapanai stated that further verification of ticket sales data may be required if the sales come close to the allowed maximum. Mr. Trotter stated that he would take care of the changes to the chemical toilet contract.
    Director Tye asked the Board if they were satisfied with the current application and temporary toilet for June 20 through October 15th, 2006. Director Sapanai stated that there was no date for the required completion regarding the August 15th deadline, but there was a completion date for construction by October 15th, 2006.
    Mr. Trotter stated that he thought the date for ending the season was October 30th. Director Tye clarified that the Resolution specifies October 15th. Mr. Trotter stated that he had a meeting scheduled with Mr. Tanner and Mr. Temer on Monday, June 19, 2006. Mr. Trotter stated that SAS is a non-profit business and would have difficulty paying for upgrade of the entire septic system at 15 Calle del Mar. Mr. Trotter stated that he was under the impression that he only had to upgrade the portion related to SAS. Director Sapanai clarified that it is the property owner's obligation to provide a septic system that supports all of the tenants on the property. Director Sapanai stated that how the costs were divided was a matter between the tenants and the property owner.
  5. Consideration of Water Use Reduction Request for Property Located at 127 Seadrift Road, AP# 195-051-17, Garrett Seligman, Owner, Peggy Seligman, Agent: Director Tye stated that this item had been carried over from the June 7, 2006 meeting. Mr. Dinges summarized the Manager's Report recommending denial of the request. Director Sapanai stated that there was no repair receipt submitted to validate that the leak had actually been repaired, although there was a receipt for parts. Director Sapanai suggested that the applicant provide written proof regarding the repair and to continue the item. Mrs. Seligman stated that she was unaware of what had or had not been done, that her son was handling the situation, and that she would contact the plumber. Director Gilbert agreed that documented proof was needed. The item was continued by Board consensus.

Director Gilbert left the meeting at 11:50 a.m.

  1. Adoption of Resolution GB-2006-07 Establishing the Fiscal 2006-2007 Gann Limit for Appropriation Tax: Treasurer Boucke requested that the supporting documentation be provided. The supporting calculation documentation was provided to the Board. Motion to adopt Resolution GB-2006-07 made by Director Veit, seconded by Director Zell, adopted by unanimous roll-call vote.
  2. Adoption of Resolution GB-2006-08 Establishing the Fiscal 2006-2007 Employee Benefit Program: Mr. Dinges summarized the Manager's Report. Director Sapanai stated that gender-neutral Manager's Reports would be preferable. Director Sapanai stated that The Board discussed revisions regarding medical benefits, sick leave accrual and pay-out, and week-end duty accrual comp time. Motion to approve Employee Benefit Resolution with amendments, made by Director Zell, seconded by Director Sapanai, approved by unanimous roll-call vote.
  3. Consideration of a Contract with Richard Dinges, General Manager: Mr. Dinges stated that he was not sure how to revise Section 6 of the contract relating to outside employment. Mr. Dinges stated that it would be unclear what the District would be responsible for under the CSA or a CSD if he was to work for Tomales Bay East Shore on a consulting basis. Mr. Dinges stated that a short term agreement could be generated to have the District run the billing for Tomales Bay, but that first the parameters would have to be defined and the costs evaluated. Director Sapanai stated that the existing outside employment paragraph of the contract was a very standard format and that the understanding was that Mr. Dinges was meeting with Tomales Bay East Shore as a District employee and not as an individual, and so this type of work would not apply. Mr. Dinges stated that he would have to work outside of the District to prepare a proposal. Director Sapanai stated that if that was the case, Mr. Dinges would have to come to the Board first and that any employment, whether volunteer or paid, is still employment. Director Sapanai recommended that Section 6 of the contract remain the same as the current contract with no revisions. The District discussed the inclusion of compensation at $112,000. per year, removal of Medicare and SDI reimbursement, and accumulated vacation. The Board clarified that Mr. Dinges shall follow the same travel expense procedure relating to mileage as other employees and shall use District vehicles when traveling within the District on District business to avoid additional mileage submittals. The Board directed the General Manager to bring back a revised contract clarifying the discussed items. This item was continued.
  4. Adoption of Resolution GB-2006-09 Fiscal 2006-2007 Budget: Treasurer Boucke stated that, as a member of the Finance Committee, she had reviewed the budget line by line with staff. Motion to adopt Budget Resolution GB-2006-09 made by Director Zell, seconded by Director Sapanai, adopted by unanimous roll-call vote.
  5. Adoption of Resolution GB-2006-10 Commending Morgan Sanders for Service to the District: Director Tye stated that, at 28 years of service, Mr. Sanders held the record for longevity. Motion to adopt Commendation Resolution GB-2006-10 made by Director Zell, seconded by Director Sapanai, adopted by unanimous roll-call vote.

H.    GENERAL BUSINESS

  1. Granting of a Reimbursement Request for the Stinson Beach Community Center Located at 32 Belvedere Road: The Board approved a reimbursement to the Community Center in the amount of $271.44 by unanimous consent.

I.    COMMITTEE REPORTS

Treasurer Boucke, of the Finance Committee, apologized to the Board and stated that she had incorrectly advised Mr. Dinges regarding approval of vacation accrual pay-out. Director Tye apologized to the Board and stated that there was confusion regarding the application of Title II to employees vs. the General Manager. Director Sapanai stated that she was concerned with how the process had been handled. Mr. Dinges stated that he had given a written request to the Board President for the pay-out so that he could send his daughter to Italy. Director Veit clarified that transparency was an important issue and that the entire Board should have been notified. Director Sapanai clarified that District counsel had confirmed that Title II does not allow for vacation accrual pay-out unless the employee is leaving the District. Director Sapanai stated that this situation sets a bad precedent and that paying out for vacation time is in direct conflict with the purpose of vacation time to have time off. Director Sapanai stated that since it was not appropriate to pay-out the vacation in the first place that it must be returned to the District. Mr. Dinges stated that paying the money back would be a hardship, that he could not get a loan to send his daughter to Europe, and that other districts do pay out for vacation. Mr. Dinges requested that the Board consider those facts and apologized for not processing the request in a proper manner. Director Sapanai stated that it does not matter what other districts do, because they are not bound by Title II regulations. The Board, by consensus, directed that the monies paid-out be returned to the District by the General Manager over a reasonable amount of time.
Director Zell, of the Personnel Committee, stated that the Personnel Committee had met earlier in the week.
Director Zell, of the Garbage and Recycling Committee, stated that the Bolinas-Stinson Resource Recovery would probably approach the District for an additional contribution for operation of the site. Director Zell stated that the project is not currently self-sustaining and that other local entities, including the BPUD, the Bolinas Fire Department, the Stinson Beach Fire Department and the County would be approached for donations.
Director Sapanai stated that a Special Board Meeting should be held as soon as possible to discuss an employee resignation in closed session.
The Board scheduled a Special Meeting on Friday, June 30th, and a Regular Meeting on July 22nd. No July Workshop was scheduled.
Director Sapanai, of the Wastewater Committee, stated that the committee had met to review variance applications. Director Sapanai stated that it may be beneficial to distribute a poll regarding the telecommunications antenna issue. Director Tye stated that endorsement of the antenna was soundly defeated at an SBVA meeting but that it is important to hear from the supporters as well.

J.    ADJOURNMENT

Motion to adjourn made by Director Zell, seconded by Director Sapanai, meeting adjourned at 12:50 p.m. by unanimous roll-call vote.




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