President Scott Tye called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, January 15, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA 94970.

Directors present:
Scott Tye, President
Elizabeth Sapanai, Vice President
Lawrence Baskin, Director
Barbara Boucke, Director
Jim Zell, Director

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Richard Souza - District Engineer
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.




The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.


  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Request for Replacement of a Septic System at 91 Lincoln Avenue, Account #4860, Kathleen Foote & Bill Hogan, Property Owners.
    District Engineer Richard Souza summarized the proposed alternative septic system design, which will replace a failed septic system on a small, approximately 5,000 square foot lot that is improved with a single family residence and detached garage. The old system, which is approximately forty years old, consists of a 1,200 gallon fiberglass septic tank and a single gravity fed leach field. It was limited to a maximum wastewater loading of 100 gallons per day. There is also a cistern and drainage swale on the property.

    The new, alternative type system will have a new 1,500 gallon septic tank, a recirculating textile filter, a 30 inch diameter pump chamber, a UV disinfection unit, a cutoff wall, and dual subsurface drip dispersal fields. The maximum daily wastewater flow would be limited to 150 gallons. The existing septic tank will be removed and the failed leach field will be abandoned. The existing cistern will also be removed.

    The proposed alternative septic system requires a variance to Title IV, Section 4.19.010, Use of Alternative Wastewater System Designs, as a standard septic system is not feasible due to seasonally high groundwater elevations and a shallow impermeable soil layer. A variance to Title IV, Section 4.15.100 Site Criteria - Setbacks is necessary due to the small size of the subject property. A cutoff wall or an impermeable liner will be located upslope of the drainage swale and existing retaining wall to help reduce potential leaching of wastewater effluent through the wall or into the drainage swale.

    In addition, the owner may add approximately 435 square feet to the existing 900 square foot residence. This would consist of a new bedroom, bathroom and TV room, all located in the crawl space of the existing residence. The additional space will not require a new variance. The variance requests and proposed home addition were discussed at the Wastewater Committee meeting held on December 13, 2010.

    Immo Gunzerodt, the next door neighbor to the south, at 83 Lincoln Avenue, is in favor of the new septic system, but he expressed his concern regarding the removal of the cistern and the construction of a new cutoff wall. No one knows from where the water flowing into the cistern originates. He fears the hillside, which is currently stable, may become unstable if excavation is done to remove the cistern. He is also worried that the proposed cutoff wall on the southern portion of the lot may cause the water to flow unto Marcus White's property.

    Troy Pearce, of AYS Engineering, the designer of the new system, responded by drawing a sketch on the blackboard, showing that the septic tank will be located as close as possible to the residence. He is striving to make the system as safe as possible, by utilizing the maximum amount of leach field possible in order to clean the effluent more efficiently. He stated the water flowing into the cistern cannot be made to go away.

    Azalee White, the adjacent neighbor at 407 Calle del Mar, concurs with Mr. Gunzerodt's comments and concerns.

    The Board discussed the abandonment of the cistern, possible foundation upgrade, merits of the cutoff wall, noting that this new system encompasses much more technology than required in previous systems.

    The Board also reviewed Draft Resolution No. WW 2011-01 and its conditions and decided that condition b., on at the bottom of Page1, shall be modified to state: "New construction to an existing single family residence which shall not exceed a maximum habitable space of 1,400 sq. ft., nor expand beyond the current building footprint." Also, condition e. at the top of Page 2, shall be changed to state: "Submittal of a detailed cistern destruction plan and analysis of the subsequent drainage impact on the proposed septic system by the septic contractor and approved by the design engineer prior to construction of the septic system." The resolution, with the aforementioned modifications, was then unanimously approved by the Board.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Waiver Request for Replacement of a Septic System at 30 Laurel Avenue, Account #3100, Bill Sullivan, Bonnie Sullivan, Property Owners.
    Bill Sullivan, Trustee of the Nancy S. Sullivan Irrevocable Trust, stated that, at the present time, the property owner is the Trust of Nancy Sullivan.

    Richard Souza summarized the purpose of a new alternative septic design application to replace the failed septic system with a new subsurface drip dispersal system. The failed system is over 40 years old and consists of a 1,200 gallon concrete bank and a single gravity fed seepage pit. The previous usage discharge permit was limited to 100 gallons per day. The new design includes removing the old septic tank and abandoning the seepage pit. A new 1,500 gallon septic tank, 750 gallon sump tank, Advantex filter, and dual drip dispersal fields will be installed. The loading rate will be increased to 150 gallons per day maximum with an average of 100 gallons per day. Also, a cut off trench will be installed on the downhill side of the property to provide an impermeable barrier above the existing retaining walls to prevent any surfacing of wastewater effluent.

    Because of the small area that is available for the septic system, a waiver is requested to Title IV Section 4.15.100 Site Criteria - Setbacks and 4.19.010 Use of Alternative Wastewater System Designs. The setback waivers requested include the distance from the dispersal field to a property line, building and cut bank. The waiver for use of an alternative wastewater system is a result of incorporating a drip dispersal field and an Advantex filter. Mr. Souza previously met with Mr. Sullivan and Bonnie Sullivan to discuss the project.

    Bonnie Sullivan, the downhill neighbor, at 10 Buena Vista Avenue, presented the Board with several color photos to illustrate her concerns regarding the need to clearly mark on the plans the location of the water main and the stabilization of the wall of dirt between her property and the property at 30 Laurel Avenue. She stated that she is fully in support of a new septic system. However, she noted that dirt has been coming down the hill for years, forcing her to dig out the corner of her solarium structure. She expressed concern about the volume of this dirt being affected by the new system to be built above her property. She would like to hire an engineer to do a soils study.

    The Board noted that the location of the water main is not a permit issue and, therefore, does not merit the Board's involvement. The Board also stated that it is a requirement of the contractor to ensure he is not dumping soil on a neighbor's property, but it is not part of the septic permit issue which is currently before the Board.

    The Board unanimously approved Draft Resolution No. WW-2011-02 granting the waiver requests.


  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a new community outreach effort on the part of North Bay Corporation/Redwood Empire Disposal.
    Steve McCaffrey, Director of Governmental Affairs, North Bay Corporation/Redwood Empire Disposal, referred back to the December 18, 2010, Board meeting where he brought up safety hazards experienced by his drivers and a proposed notification to his customers to address these issues. He introduced Ellie Rowland, head of Risk Management for the Corporation. Ms. Rowland discussed a draft letter to be distributed to the Calles and Patios. They will contact Seadrift Association separately. Mr. McCaffrey also introduced Ismael Martin, the Stinson Beach Route Supervisor, who has been working for the company for 30 years. Mr. McCaffrey stated they are doing their best to keep the rates from going up too high. There have been an abundance of safety incidents over the past year. Ms. Rowland noted that the problems incurred in the Stinson Beach community are not unique to this area. Muir Beach, Inverness, Woodacre and Mill Valley all have similar problems. Parked vehicles cannot be controlled. The garbage collectors' vision is compromised when they are forced to turn around on the narrow dirt roads.

    The Board noted that the draft letter could be shorter and suggested several changes to streamline the desired message. Placing the letter on parked cars would help to get the message across. Perhaps make it a requirement that homeowners bring their cans to the end of their streets. Perhaps the company could purchase smaller, 2 axle trucks that do not require the driver to back up. Ms. Rowland replied that she would be unable to obtain funds to purchase additional small trucks. They do not have small, green trucks for the green waste. The best solution in the Seadrift Subdivision is to charge an extra fee to move their cans to the curb.

    The Board noted that dog poop is a serious problem, especially in the Calles and the Patios. Is it possible that the County can provide dog waste bags and put up small cans on poles, as well as signage: "Dog waste is dangerous." The cans must have a design. Perhaps Redwood Empire Disposal could do a weekly pickup?

    An Ad Hoc Garbage Committee was formed with Vice President Sapanai and Director Baskin to oversee the public outreach efforts by NBC/RED and provide the Board's comments to NBC/RED public notification letter to Mr. McCaffrey. The District will provide a letter to NBC/RED requesting dog waste boxes be placed at the ends of the Calles and Patios.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff to issue a "Notice of Award" to K.W. Emerson, Inc., for construction of a groundwater well at the District's Steep Ravine Tank Site.
    Vice President Sapanai moved to approve "Notice of Award" with draft Resolution No. GB- 2011-02 to be executed and forwarded to K.W. Emerson, Inc. Director Zell seconded the motion. The Board unanimously approved issuing the contract to K.W. Emerson, Inc.
  3. Discussion and possible District Committee Membership changes by the Board President.
    President Tye will leave the Water Operations Committee to join the Wastewater Committee and Director Boucke will leave the Wastewater Committee to join the Water Operations Committee.
  4. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: an amendment to the District's CalPERS Retirement Contract.
    Vice President Sapanai moved to adopt the Amendment to Contract, Resolution No. GB-2011- 01 and the Certification of Final Action of Governing Body. Director Baskin seconded the motion. The Board unanimously approved sending the executed contract documents back to CalPERS for completion of the 2nd tier [2.0% at 60] retirement program.
  5. Request from Noadiah S. Eckman for an extension of time for septic system construction completion for property located at 12 Marine Way, Stinson Beach. Noadiah Eckman, of Eckman Environmental, represented Tim Peterson, Michael Mullin and Donald James in a request to obtain an additional extension of time for the Design Approval Permit until June 1, 2011. The permit expires January 19, 2011. The Board noted that weather conditions at the present time will not hinder the installation of the septic tank in the ground. The majority of the Board voted to grant extension of the Design Approval Permit for 45 days, beginning on January 20, 2011 and ending on March 5, 2011. As a condition of this extension, the Board stipulated a $1,100 fee be paid to the District. Also, this will be the only extension absent the owners showing good cause.


The minutes of December 18, 2010 were approved by unanimous vote.


Director Baskin moved to approve the disbursements for December 16 and December 29, 2010. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved by unanimous vote.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. He and Wastewater Inspector Christopher Kelley have spent a significant amount of time measuring the setback from each septic system on Seadrift Road to the waterline, notating a color coded map. Of the 115 they have measured, only about 5 meet the setback requirements of 25 feet [septic system to waterline.] About 80 of the 115 measured, meet the 10 foot separation requirement [sewer line to waterline.] On February 16, the Water Operations Committee will review a draft Request for Proposal to relocate the waterlines of 7 lots.

The start up of the Water Treatment Plant has been rescheduled from February 15 to March 21. This coming week, the concrete will be poured for the slabs for the raw water tanks.

The Ft. Baker tour might be held on Thursday, January 27.




The Board did not comment on the correspondence in the Board packet.


The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

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