SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2011
A. CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
President Tye called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach
County Water District to order on Saturday, August 20, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson
Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA
Scott Tye, President
Elizabeth Sapanai, Vice President
Barbara Boucke, Director
Jim Zell, Director
Lawrence Baskin, Director
General Manager present:
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.
B. PUBLIC EXPRESSION
C. SETTING OF AGENDA
The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.
D. PUBLIC HEARING
Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Request for installation of a
new septic system using an alternative type system, vacant lot located at Calle del
Embarcadero, APN# 195-132-03, Suzanne Royce, Owner.
District Engineer Richard Souza gave a brief background of the project. This is the 3rd
application over the last 20 years to develop this property. In August of 2010, this application
became before the Board and now it is again subject to a public hearing. The previous
application was withdrawn by owner Suzanne Royce per Board approval, subject to the
following conditions: (1) the applicant would have to pay a redesign fee and site submittal fee
with the resubmitted application; (2) the resubmitted application would be subject to the
previous Title IV Regulations (adopted in Ordinance 2007-01) for an 18 inch depth separation
to groundwater; and (3) the resubmitted application shall be received by the District within
three months of the wet weather testing period. All of these conditions were met. The
project's new design firm, Questa Engineering, performed additional soil testing in the wet
weather season which shows two test holes that support a septic system within the leach field
area. The new soil testing shows that there was 18" separation to groundwater depth. The
septic field was oriented 90 degrees to be within the passing groundwater test area.
The proposed wastewater system would utilize an Advantex recirculating textile filter and a
raised bed system. Because the applicant decided on the Advantex system in lieu of the
standard sand filter system, it is considered to be an alternative type system and subject to an
approved variance from the Board. No comments, either for or against, have been received
from the Regional Water Quality Control Board regarding this project. There could have been
an option to shut off the system in event of high groundwater conditions caused by flooding,
but this is not a requirement that currently exists in the District's Title IV regulations. The
system, as designed, meets the District's Code.
Bonnie Anita Rose, a long time owner of #5 Calle del Embarcadero, whose property is across
the street from the proposed residence, stated that during a heavy rainstorm, the water rushes
down the street. She has experienced the water level reaching the bottom of her house. She
expressed concern about the percolation, not only for herself, but also for the other neighbors
as well. She has a holding tank.
Riley Hurd III, Esq., who represents Mrs. Royce, gave a brief introduction, and stated that the
groundwater was tested extensively during the wettest periods they could find. He noted that
the most interesting result from the tests was that it failed to show what everyone thought the
findings would show, that they would be heavily tidally influenced. He stated that Mrs. Royce
has been through a lot, both financially and emotionally in this project. He turned the
discussion over to Norman Hantzsche.
Norman Hantzsche, of Questa Engineering, explained some of the items in his report, the most
critical being the topographic survey of the property, which had not previously existed. They
found about a one foot differential in the ground surface elevation from the rear of the property
to the front of the property on Calle del Embarcadero. With that important information, they
were able to properly orient the system, based on the surface topography and the groundwater
measurement. The system consists of a septic tank, an advanced treatment unit, and a raised
bed with sand fill. From the point of distribution to the leach field to the water table is a full 36"
from the leach field to the high water table. The 18" minimum groundwater separation from
grade has been met. He stated that in sand conditions such as this, it is very likely that first
there will be downward movement and then horizontal movement once the flow reaches the
Bruce Wachtell, stated that he lives on Calle del Embarcadero, and wanted to give an account
of some old facts. In 1978, 1983, and 1997, storm events produced flooding on Calle del
Embarcadero. The worst flooding takes place at the foot of this street. In 1983, he measured
30" of water there and on the surrounding properties. The smell of sewage was so pervasive
in that area, that Fire Chief Kenny Stevens ordered everyone out of the water. Mr. Wachtell
stated that wave action is less involved than tidal action. It involves usually a confluence of
events, a lot of rain, a high tide, and a swell that is pushing seawater into the Lagoon. He
believes the problem of flooding is going to get worse because Easkoot Creek is getting filled
in, the Lagoon is getting filled in, and with each succeeding year there is less and less of a
flood plain to deal with the excess water. He wonders whether the proposed system can
actually resist an interchange between septic fluids and the water coming in or out and what
precautions should be taken in terms of those recurring events that still permit the proposed
plan to be reasonable.
Mr. Hantzsche explained how septic systems operate when the land is flooded. If a septic
system has a pumping component and is pumping water into a leach field that is flooded, there
would be a potential problem. The way to address that is having the ability to shut off the
pumping operations with a shut off switch. They also have a raised bed system. They have tie
downs for all of the equipment to prevent materials floating away when it floods. There should
be really very little interaction with flood waters during those extreme weather events, so it is
another reason to go forward with the high groundwater level shut off sensor and switch.
Vice President Sapanai stated that she is extremely concerned about this lot because it is a
substandard sized lot. It is in an area that floods frequently and is subject to greater and
greater flood events in the future, but the Code only addresses the ability of this system to
meet our depth to groundwater and to meet the requirements for treatment of the effluent.
This system meets the requirements of the Code. The effluent that comes from the Advantex
filter is very clean effluent. However, she does not want either this project or any future
projects in very marginal areas to have the necessity for a completely seasonal holding tank.
The Code does not allow holding tanks in new construction. Ms. Sapanai is also concerned
about the County's Title 22 merger provisions for lots of less than 7,500 square feet that are in
common ownership and adjacent.
Director Boucke thanked everyone for trying to do their very best for health and safety
standards in working to solve all of the problems that arose on this project.
Vice President Sapanai made a motion to approve the variance, subject to a determination by
the County that this property is not required to be merged with the adjacent property under
Title 22. In addition, the Resolution should also state that the approval of a wastewater permit
does not in any way ensure approval of any County permits. Director Boucke seconded the
Mr. Hurd suggested that legally conditioning a variance for an alternate wastewater system
design on a Title 22 determination from the County is legally inappropriate.
Mrs. Royce stated that the title of her adjacent property is in the name of her separate trust.
President Tye asked for a vote on the motion as presented and amended and the vote was as
AYES: 2 Vice President Sapanai, Director Boucke
NOES: 1 Director Zell
ABSTAIN: 1 President Tye
Since a 3 vote "yes" majority is required, the motion failed to pass. President Tye stated that it
is the applicant's option to bring back a proposal to the Board that would not require a
Discussion and possible direction to staff to approve a New Septic System Design
Permit for property located at 321 Seadrift Road, Benjamin and Patricia Scott-Winslow,
Owners, Acct. #7220.
The Winslows' Septic System Design Permit, which was issued to them on July 20, 2009,
expired on July 20, 2011. Because the initial two year period had expired without a request for
an extension by July 20, 2011, there was no valid permit on which to base an extension. Their
request for a one year extension was therefore denied and was being appealed today. The
system's designer, Troy Pearce, stated by letter that the Winslows' plans were still in the
review process by the California Coastal Commission for much of the time and have not
changed in any way that would affect the septic system design.
Vice President Sapanai made a motion to deny the Winslows' appeal to extend their existing
permit. Director Boucke seconded. The Board voted unanimously to not extend the existing
permit and directed staff to have the Winslows resubmit their plans with a reduced fee of $750.
Then the District's Engineer, Rich Souza, can review the plans again to ensure there are no
new Title IV changes that could affect the development of their septic system. This new
submittal would be valid for another 2 year period.
E. GENERAL BUSINESS
Discussion and possible direction to staff re: (1) A proposed Easement for District
access to a water quality monitoring well, located at 189 Seadrift Road, Richard Volk,
Owner, Acct. #7560; (2) Possible relocation of the water quality monitoring well.
Peter Sandmann, representing Mr. Volk, has drafted an easement granting to the Stinson
Beach County Water District the right to continue to have pedestrian access in order to
conduct water sampling from the existing monitoring well. The easement provides that access
shall be limited to the area of the six foot wide side setback located along the eastern side of
the property. Access would be limited on a quarterly basis per calendar year and the residents
must be provided with a 48 hour advance written notice. Mr. Sandmann expressed his
concern that no motorized vehicles be allowed on the property during the well inspection.
Director Boucke moved to accept the easement agreement subject to the insertion of the word
"motorized" in the second sentence of item No. 1, so that the sentence now reads: "Grantee
shall at no time enter upon the Property with any vehicle or motorized equipment of any kind."
Vice President Sapanai seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously adopted and the
District will prepare a resolution adopting the easement agreement.
Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Water Use Charge Reduction Request
from Ms. Sarah N. Butler, representing Akihiro Yoshikawa, for property located at 184
Seadrift Road, Acct. #6430.
Stinson Beach County Water District Resolution No. GB-2010-02 limits only one loss
adjustment within a five year period. Ms. Sarah N. Butler of Oceanic Realty, on behalf of
property owner Akihiro Yoshikawa, requested the District to cancel a water use charge
reduction granted in May 2010 in the amount of $172.21 and, instead, apply the reduction
request to a much larger leak which occurred in May 2011, when a portion of her 3/4"
galvanized pipe burst. She has repaid the prior leak adjustment by issuing a check to the
District for $172.21. The Board reviewed the receipt from American Leak Detection and noted
that since the remaining visible pipe appears to be only in fair condition, there is a high
probability for future leaks. Tom Wredberg, who represented Ms. Butler at the hearing, will
inform her that the entire water line to the house should be replaced. The Board unanimously
voted to approve a 50% Water Use Charge Reduction of $3,280.70.
Discussion and possible direction to staff regarding the recent Marin County
Ordinance that eliminates most Graywater Permits.
Rich Souza briefly explained the Marin County Ordinance that makes it easier for Marin
residents to use simple graywater recycling systems that do not require a permit for recycling
less than 250 gallons a day from showers and sinks for reuse in yard irrigation. However, this
new Ordinance will not affect the existing regulations and policies of the Stinson Beach County
Discussion and possible direction to staff to place a disclaimer on future septic
system design permits that clarifies Septic System Approvals do not determine the
issuance of a building permit.
The District received a letter from Don Anderson, Coordinator of the Stinson Beach Village
Association, in which Supervisor Steve Kinsey is quoted as saying that the Stinson Beach
County Water District extends development rights for properties when they approve septic
systems. The Stinson Beach County Water District does not approve, endorse or support
development of property. The District's Septic System Design Permit, as established within
the Title IV "Onsite Wastewater Management Code" and which was approved by the State of
California Regional Water Quality Control Board, provides for the regulations to control ground
and surface water only. The Board recommended sending a letter to Supervisor Steve Kinsey
and the California Coastal Commission regarding the aforementioned limitation of the Stinson
Beach County Water District's authority. The Board also referred the disclaimer to the Legal
Committee for review.
Discussion and possible direction to staff to hire Vest Painting to prepare, prime and
apply 2 final coats of paint to the District Office deck.
The Board voted unanimously to hire Joe Vest of Vest Painting to paint the District Office deck.
Discussion and possible direction to staff re: the Stinson Beach County Water
District Seadrift Water Main Relocation Plan.
The General Manager has prepared the Seadrift Water Main Relocation Plan which will be
posted to the District's website. Ideally, the entire pipe replacement would be done at the
same time. However, the estimated cost to have the work done by an outside contractor
would be almost $1,500,000. The District's yearly water revenues are only about $650,000.
District employees can perform the work for about $740,000. The Seadrift Association has
been informed of the project, and is in the process of forming a committee to offer suggestions.
Construction is planned to commence on Monday, September 19, 2011, and be completed by
Wednesday, December 14, 2011. All of the work will be performed by District staff or
temporary employees, following all environmental, safety, and testing procedures.
F. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Vice President Sapanai moved to approve the minutes of July 16, 2011. Director Boucke
seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by unanimous vote.
G. APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The disbursements of July 21 and August 4, 2011 were approved unanimously.
H. MANAGER'S REPORT
The General Manager discussed his monthly report. The Krasny failed septic system citation
was sent to the County for recordation in mid-July. The abatement process has since been
suspended and a new Discharge Permit has been issued.
A follow-up letter and updated photos will be sent to California Fish and Game regarding the
increased construction debris on the Lazarus property.
Aaron Salars of Verizon/OnAir LLC is still pursuing a cell tower site at the Highlands Tank Site.
The road easement issue still remains to be resolved with the Park Service. When all the
plans have been finalized, the District will hold a Special Meeting at the Stinson Beach
A letter was sent to Linda Dahl, Director and General Manager, Department of Parks and
Open Space, supporting the study of a multi-use path around Bolinas Lagoon, without
postponing any work on the existing construction schedule.
No bids have yet been received on the District Office's 1/2 roof replacement/solar project.
On August 23, the General Manager will attend a planning meeting on Sea Level Rise to be
held in Petaluma.
I. COMMITTEE REPORTS
The Board reviewed the correspondence.
The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was
adjourned at 11:50 a.m.