Saturday, October 15, 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, October 15, 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
Lawrence Baskin, Director
Barbara Boucke, Director
Jim Zell, Director
Elizabeth Sapanai, Vice President
General Manager present:
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.
B. PUBLIC EXPRESSION
Steve McCaffrey, Director of Governmental Affairs, North Bay Corporation/Redwood Empire
Disposal, stated that last month they conducted their annual collection of West Marin residents'
cleanup debris. Unfortunately, the flyer advertising the pickup held on September 12-16 did
not reach the Stinson Beach residents. Mr. McCaffrey apologized for the mix-up and will work
with the General Manager to set another cleanup date and send a new flyer in about a month.
C. SETTING OF AGENDA
The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.
D. PUBLIC HEARING
Consideration of Applicant's (Suzanne Royce) Request to Re-Open the Public
Hearing for Variance for Use of Alternative Wastewater System for Vacant Lot Located
on Calle Del Embarcadero (APN 195-132-03).
Director Baskin went on record to say that he had previously recused himself from participating
with regard to the Royce variance request on the basis that he was within 500 feet of the
subject property. He rebutted the presumption that he has a conflict of interest by stating that
he does not believe there is any financial impact to his property by this application. As a
member of the Legal Committee and a member of the Board, he wants to be able to be a party
to advising the Board and participating with the Board in the process of procedure related to
how things of this nature are handled. It is, however, still his intent and his position to abstain
from any actual discussions on motions or voting on such motions, but only to be involved with
process and procedure issues.
The General Manager stated that on September 8, 2011, District Counsel Patrick Miyaki and
he received an e-mail from Mr. Riley Hurd, who represents Mrs. Suzanne Royce in her
application for a septic system discharge design permit, in which Mr. Hurd requested a
rehearing of this matter.
Riley Hurd stated the reason he requested this rehearing is that he thinks the outcome of the
previous hearing was not only unfair but actionably illegal, and he thinks that the Board would
find it more efficient to resolve the matter by having another hearing instead of him bringing a
cause of action against a public entity. He also stated that Mrs. Royce was instructed to go
back and test again and she did this and she paid the District all required fees in order to have
the variance considered. He stated that to be denied at the August 20, 2011 hearing on
grounds that were not mentioned in the past, and if they were going to be grounds for denial,
certainly she should not have been sent back into the field to spend thousands of dollars more.
He stated it was very frustrating for Mrs. Royce and difficult and unfair. He also pointed out
that the variance findings for an alternative wastewater system, which was the only thing that
was being sought at the last hearing, are the same whether or not the property is unimproved
or improved. He stated that the granting of the variance in Mrs. Royce's case was absolutely
essential for the preservation of her property right, and that there is a total diminution of the
property's value if the permit is not granted. He requests that the Board hold a rehearing,
reconsider the evidence and strongly reconsider the decision that was previously reached.
Director Zell made a motion in response to the applicant Suzanne Royce's request to reopen
the hearing and to place it on the next available agenda. Director Boucke seconded the
motion. The motion passed with three aye votes [Jim Zell, Barbara Boucke and Scott Tye].
Director Baskin abstained from voting, but as a matter of process, he thought that the Board
should approve the motion.
If there is new information presented by Mrs. Royce or Mr. Hurd, and if the District Engineer,
Rich Souza, feels he wants to modify his earlier staff report, the new information is required to
be sent to the Regional Water Quality Control Board 30 days in advance of the reopened
hearing date. The 15 day notification process to all the neighbors must be done as well. Thus,
it is premature to set the rehearing for the November 19, 2011 Board meeting.
E. GENERAL BUSINESS
Discussion and possible direction to staff re: the Stinson Beach County Water
District Seadrift Water Main Relocation Plan.
The General Manager distributed to the Board Members a letter dated October 13, 2011 sent
to him by e-mail and copied to the Seadrift Association from Peter Sandmann, who is acting on
behalf of its members. Director Baskin stated that Patrick Miyaki, the District's Counsel, will
advise the District as to the District's response and obligation to provide historical attorney-
client privileged communication.
Mr. Schmidt reported on the District's positive Water Operations Committee meeting that took
place on October 1, 2011. In attendance from Seadrift were Peter Sandmann, Morey Nelsen,
Kiren Niederberger, and Chris Kelly. From the Water Operations Committee were Directors
Jim Zell and Barbara Boucke, the District's Chris Kelley, Toby Bisson, and Ed Schmidt. Many
different aspects of the project were discussed from the geography to finance to pipeline
techniques, ownerships, number of lots, different options for doing the project and the
definition of this project. Mr. Schmidt stated that some individuals in the community are
concerned about the condition of the water main pipe. He suggested having Allan Richards of
Stetson Engineering, who is the District's water engineer, analyze and prepare a written report
of the condition of several different cross sections of the pipe for a cost of approximately
$1,500. The Board unanimously approved of going forward with the pipeline analysis.
Another question that was raised concerned the depth of the pipe. District staff know, from the
construction that took place last week, that the depth of pipe in the trench is about 32".
The General Manager then briefly described a problem encountered by District staff regarding
some of the lots located between the 7 lots [who have paid the $10,000 deposit] that have
major landscaping encroachment issues and have not paid the $10,000 deposit. There is
probably $15,000 worth of landscaping right on top of the water line. Director Zell stated that
the Seadrift Association must be proactive in having the homeowners remove landscaping
from the road easement.
Director Baskin is in favor of proceeding to move the water line in a straight direction rather
than in a zig-zag fashion. He suggested the necessity of the District to establish an ordinance
that permits assessing the homeowner for the cost of relocating the water line when she/he
makes an application to build or remodel. The District's Legal Committee will prepare the
ordinance. However, there are several hundred homes out there that do not need to have the
pipeline relocated because they are grandfathered in under the District's regulations.
The District will convene a Water Operations Committee Meeting on October 19, 2011 to
discuss further the water line relocation project. The meeting's agenda will be revised to
include a site visit by Committee Members at the meeting's conclusion.
Morey Nelsen, a member of the Seadrift Lands Committee, inquired if the old water line will be
removed. The General Manager responded that it was recommended that the old pipe, made
of asbestos concrete, will be abandoned and remain in place.
F. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Director Zell motioned to approve the minutes of September 17, 2011. Director Baskin
seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by unanimous vote. Director Zell
expressed interest in receiving a summary of the sea level rise workshop referred to in the
Manager's Report at the bottom of Page 4.
G. APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The disbursements of September 14 and October 3, 2011 were approved unanimously.
H. MANAGER'S REPORT
The District's Legal Committee is finalizing the draft disclaimer language to be put on future
septic system design permits, and it will be comprised of language taken from the District's
Title IV Wastewater Code.
The District's new auditors, Maze & Associates, will be coming the second week in November.
The Water Operations Committee and the Finance Committee are reviewing the CIP Budget
John L. Ryan, the GGNRA Project Manager for the Park's new proposed septic system, has
requested help with arranging for an all day meeting to be held on November 14 at the
Community Center for various divisions personnel from the National Park Service. The
preferred septic system alternative design will be discussed. The General Manager, Jim Zell
and Rich Souza will attend.
On November 2, 2011, the General Manager, Rich Souza, and Chris Kelley will attend the
California State Water Resources Control Board's septic system workshop titled "Notice of
Availability of Draft Documents and Staff Workshops" in Santa Rosa. President Tye stated
that he is interested from a Board perspective and will attend as well.
The General Manager received a call from Rob Mengel from the California Department of Fish
and Game regarding his inspection of the property at 20 Marine Way, responding to the
District's letter of complaint regarding construction debris. Based on Mr. Mengel's description,
Mr. Schmidt believed that the debris had been removed or relocated on the property; however,
this was not the case. Mr. Mengel agreed to make another inspection, but will notify the
District first of his coming.
A recent sampling along Easkoot Creek showed high coliform levels. Samples were taken of
our potable water at the nearest location to the coliform hits. The result of those tests were
negative and thus did not impact the potable water that is supplied to our customers.
Additional coliform samples were collected from the creek for analysis. Both Chris and Rich
believe a dead animal or algae is the probable cause of the coliform spike. The matter will be
discussed further at the Wastewater Committee Meeting on November 7, 2011.
I. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Director Boucke reported that the Employee Recognition Dinner will be held at the Community
Center on December 13, 2011.
The Board reviewed the correspondence.
The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was
adjourned at 10:45 a.m.