President Tye called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, December 17, 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:
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.




The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.


  1. Discussion and possible action re: Appeal of Design Review Extension Application Denial, 3715 Shoreline Highway, Acct. #00370, Lynette S. Sutton and James H. Sutton, owners.
    Director Zell is a neighbor of the appellants. As he has a conflict of interest, Director Zell recused himself and left the building. The General Manager then briefly described the prior history of the Suttons' Design Approval Permits to install a septic system. The original Design Approval was dated October 29, 2007 and expired two years later, on October 29, 2009. The Suttons' first Design Review Extension expired one year later, on October 29, 2010. The Suttons' second Design Review Extension expired on October 29, 2011.

    The District's Title IV Onsite Wastewater Management Code, Chapter 4, Paragraph 4.07.220, states that: "The Design Approval Permit shall be valid for a period of two years." Paragraph 4.07.750 states that "The applicant may apply for Design Approval Permit extensions. No more than two extensions may be granted, not to exceed one year each. Extensions shall be applied for prior to the expiration date." Title IV does not provide an option for a third extension.

    The General Manager described three options before the Board: (1) Deny the Suttons' appeal, in which case the Suttons could resubmit for a detailed review by the District; (2) Approve the appeal and issue another extension for a period of time; or, (3) Continue the appeal to next month's Board meeting, when the District will have received Allan Richards' [the District's water engineer] analysis of the Suttons' revised drainage plan. District concurrence of a drainage plan is a county condition for the Suttons to receive a building permit.

    Jamie Sutton stated it was his intention to leave the main details of his appeal to Norm Hantzsche, his wastewater designer. Mr. Sutton offered an apology for his prior actions, as he left the property [formerly Elwoods Restaurant] abandoned for 5 years. He was sorry that he had created a negative impression in the community and that he failed to communicate his intention of residing in Stinson Beach. Mr. Sutton noted that the property, which previously was comprised of several lots and on which he originally wanted to build 4 cottages, has now been merged into a single lot. He and his wife are currently living in the existing building, and they both want to become contributing members of Stinson Beach.

    Norm Hantzsche presented the Suttons' case for a resetting of the clock to grant them a 2 year extension to October 2013 to finalize and implement the septic system. He described the timeline that kept the septic system in limbo, citing various delays by the Planning Commission and the Coastal Commission.

    Vice President Sapanai's main concern was that the District's Title IV Onsite Wastewater Management Code does not allow for more than 4 years on a permit, the initial 2 years plus 2 extensions. She cannot support a resetting of the clock.

    President Tye stated he would like to receive feedback from Allan Richards' review of the drainage plan before he would vote to grant an extension.

    Director Boucke stated she was not in favor of denying the Sutton's appeal and thus cause them to have to resubmit a detailed review by the District.

    Kenney Stevens, Stinson Beach Fire Chief, supports the Suttons. He spoke of their intention to install fire sprinklers on the outside and inside of the building.

    After much back and forth discussion, Director Baskin made a motion to continue the hearing of the appeal to next month's Board meeting or later to allow sufficient time for the Board to review Mr. Richards' comments regarding the revised drainage plan. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously with the exception of Director Zell, who had left the building.

    Director Zell subsequently returned for the remainder of the meeting.


  1. Election of Stinson Beach County Water District Board President and Vice President for Calendar Year 2012.
    Each December, the Board of Directors elects a District Board President and Vice President. Director Baskin moved to elect Vice President Sapanai as President and Director Zell as Vice President for the calendar year 2012. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
  2. Discussion and possible action to make an appointment to fill the District's Treasurer position.
    The Stinson Beach County Water District currently has a vacancy for the position of Treasurer. The position has been vacant since Director Boucke was appointed to the Board. It was suggested to Ms. Judy Stemen, who has a business accounting background, that she consider applying for the position. The Board reviewed her application and resume. Vice President Sapanai motioned to appoint Ms. Stemen to the position of District Treasurer. Director Baskin seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous vote.
  3. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: the Stinson Beach Working Group
    meeting of the Marin County Local Flood Control Project.

    The General Manager and President Tye attended a meeting on November 16 of The Working Group (TWG) for the Marin County Department of Public Works Local Flood Control Project. District staff is continuing to assist Chris Choo, Senior Watershed Planner, to gather information concerning Easkoot Creek's storm high water mark, flooding locations, changes to channel conditions, historic photos and creek flow measurements.
  4. First review of the District's Basic Financial Statements and the Memorandum on Internal Controls.
    The Basic Financial Statements of the Stinson Beach County Water District for the year ended June 30, 2011 were received on Wednesday, December 14. The auditors, Maze & Associates, will make a presentation at the January Board meeting. There are no significant changes, and the auditors did not experience any difficulties in dealing with the District relating to the performance of the audit. Director Boucke noted that several of the auditors' Notes to Financial Statements regarding pensions needed clarification.


Director Baskin motioned to approve the minutes of November 19, 2011. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by unanimous vote.


Director Baskin motioned to approve the disbursements of November 16, November 30 and December 7, 2011. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. The District received a claim from Valley Ford Construction for $7,818. The General Manager will have a telephone conference with the CEO of the company to resolve the disputed claim.

The General Manager is continuing to work with Peter Sandmann and Kiren Niederberger of the Seadrift Association to resolve the encroachments to the District's water main lines. Two sections of water main have been relocated so far. Allan Richards has completed his analysis of the condition of the water main lines. His report will be presented at the Water Operations Committee meeting on December 20.

Marin Clean Energy needs more time to perform an energy analysis for the District. Dawn Weisz will make her presentation at the January 21, 2012 meeting.


President Tye circulated a thank you card addressed to the Board for the Employee Recognition Dinner held on December 13 at the Community Center.


The Board reviewed the correspondence.


The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 11:12 a.m. in memory of Richard Gamble.

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