Newly Elected President Elizabeth Sapanai called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, January 21, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA 94970.

Directors present:
Elizabeth Sapanai, President
Jim Zell, Vice President
Lawrence Baskin, Director
Barbara Boucke, Director
Scott Tye, 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, Review of revised drainage plan; 3715 Shoreline Highway, Acct. #00370, Lynette S. Sutton and James H. Sutton, owners, continued from the December 17, 2011 meeting.
    President Sapanai stated that the appellants' request for extension of the septic permit will be discussed first, then followed by the Drainage Plan issue.

    Director Zell asked Director Baskin if the latter had any conflict of interest which would prevent him from voting on this matter. Director Baskin responded that, although in the past he had advised Mr. Sutton regarding an unrelated land use matter, Mr. Sutton is no longer an active client. Director Baskin stated he has no financial or beneficial interest in the outcome of the matter and has no conflict of interest. Director Zell then left the meeting, as he is a neighbor of the appellants and has a conflict of interest.

    President Sapanai stated it is her intent to follow the procedures of Title I, Section 2, Policy Manual of the Stinson Beach Water District, as it relates to Public Hearings, as follows: All persons shall direct questions regarding the hearing to the President. Staff reports will be the first thing heard. The applicant can then present additional information on his own behalf or by a representative. Staff will then summarize. Opponents may speak in opposition. The applicant or his representative may rebut the opposition. The public portion of the hearing will then close. The Board will then discuss the matter and make a decision.

    The General Manager began the hearing by describing the background of his Staff Report. This item was continued from last month's Saturday, December 17, 2011, Board Meeting. At last month's Board Meeting, the Suttons had requested another 2 year extension to October 29, 2013 to finalize their septic system, as their four year Design Review Extension period had expired on October 29, 2011. The District's Title IV Wastewater Code does not provide an option for a third extension.

    The Board had voted, with the exception of Director Zell, to continue the hearing of the appeal to the Board's next meeting on January 21, 2012, in order for the Board to obtain and review a written analysis and recommendation from the District's Water Engineer, Allan Richards, as to the adequacy of the Sutton final drainage plan received by the District on December 5, 2011. The District's concurrence of the Suttons' drainage plan is a County condition for them to receive a building permit.

    Jamie Sutton acknowledged that he created a sense of untrustworthiness in his relations with the Village Association and his neighbors which was unpleasant and counterproductive. He stated he received opposition at many turns, but noted he was also at fault. He reiterated the delays created by the various entities involved, the Planning Commission, Public Works, the Coastal Commission, and the District. He requested that the Board grant him a further extension period to October 29, 2013 instead of being asked to start again with a whole new permit.

    Norm Hantzsche, the system's designer, spoke in support of Mr. Sutton's request.

    President Sapanai stated a permit cannot be extended past its 4-year expiration date and the permit application process must start all over again.

    Director Baskin made a motion to grant another 2 year extension to 2013. There was no second to this motion.

    Director Baskin then made a motion to grant a 1 year extension. There was no second to this motion.

    President Sapanai stated she appreciated Mr. Sutton's comments, but she makes her decisions based strictly on the regulations and not personal likes or dislikes. She stated 4 years was a sufficient time period for the appellants to complete their project. She recognized that this is a difficult site, but cited another project that also experienced delays and objections from various entities, yet managed to meet the completion deadline. She could not agree to change the extension period.

    Director Baskin brought up the CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] issue. President Sapanai replied that CEQA is not an issue in this project, as the County is the lead agency, not the Stinson Beach County Water District.

    Director Baskin then made a motion to deny the appeal of the expired permit. Director Tye seconded the motion. The Board voted 3-1 (Director Baskin voting No and Director Zell not present) to deny the 2 year extension.

    Director Baskin made a second motion to allow the appellants to resubmit a new application based on the final plans that were previously approved by the Board but with a reduced fee of 15% for the resubmitted Variance Application and Design Review Application for an Onsite Wastewater System [Alternative System]. Director Tye seconded the motion. The Board voted 4-0 (Director Zell not present) in favor of the motion.

    Director Tye suggested that staff send a letter to the Suttons detailing the action taken by the Board. The General Manager noted that the Wastewater Committee has been scheduled to meet in the near future and could review the resubmitted design and variance application to help expedite the approval process.

    The Board then heard a brief presentation from the General Manager regarding the revised Drainage Plan. There have been several different versions since 2008. The latest one was reviewed by Allan Richards in mid-January 2012 in which he had a few questions about the calculations and engineering official certification, to which Mr. Hantzsche responded. The General Manager stated he had no reason to disagree with Mr. Richards' version of the adequacy of the Sutton drainage plan, although he [the General Manager] was still concerned whether or not the Planning Department would consider the proposed infiltration drainfield that would be 20' from the edge of the bank subject to the 50' requirement. On January 19 he received an e-mail from Christine Gimmler, Senior Planner, Community Development Agency, Planning Division, cc: to Messrs Hanzsche, Richards, Sutton and Nicholson which stated in part:

    "It appears that the current plan is largely consistent with the approved preliminary drainage plan (submitted December 2008), doesn't increase the extent of impervious surface area within 50' of the creek compared to the approved project plans, and complies with County requirements to maintain a 20' setback between the infiltration trench and the top of bank (20 feet). Therefore, we can find it to be in substantial conformance with approved exhibits and conditions of approval of the Sutton Coastal Permit, Use Permit and Design Review approval. I understand that the attached plan has already been reviewed and approved by our Department of Public Works staff..."

    The General Manager stated he has no further questions concerning the drainage plan, and that it appears to be in compliance with the District and the County's agencies as well.

    Norm Hantzsche noted that the proposed swale, which had been suggested as a way for the water to move between the structures and to continue to the creek, has now been converted to a proposed additional gravel filled infiltration area and matches the existing grades. It was designed for a 100 year flood, to accommodate the volume of runoff projected under those conditions.

    Director Tye expressed his concern about disturbing the streambed if any alterations were made to the property's elevation by excavation and/or reshaping of the contour. Mr. Hantzsche responded that there will be no regrading of the site. He stated there will be excavation for foundations and the ground replacement for the filtration system, but there is no plan to recontour the site. There will be restoration of the creek with a Fish and Game permit. The Board concluded that the Drainage Plan is a staff issue and does not need to come back to the Board as part of the new application.
    Director Zell rejoined the meeting.


  1. Presentation by Jamie Tuckey of Marin Clean Energy (MCE) on the benefits of switching to MCE over PG&E.
    Marin Clean Energy is a program of the Marin Energy Authority, a local not-for-profit public agency formed in 2008. MCE does not use any taxpayer dollars or public funds. Jamie Tuckey, Communications Director for MCE, presented the Board with a chart she had prepared which showed cost comparisons between MCE and PG&E rates. The chart was broken down to show the cost of each of the District's 7 PG&E meters, including the District's office, for September-October 2011, as well as PG&E's 2012 cost. MCE's rates are slightly higher than PG&E.

    MCE offers customers 2 energy choices: Light Green and Deep Green. Light Green energy comes from 27% non-depleting and non-polluting energy sources. Deep Green is 100% clean energy and costs a penny more per kilowatt-hour. Enrollment is automatic unless one opts out. MCE will start sending out notices in April with instructions of how to opt out if so desired.

    The District's office at 3785 Shoreline Highway just recently had solar panels installed, so no cost comparison can be made at this time for switching from PG&E to MCE.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff regarding the Report of the Condition of the Seadrift Water Line.
    The General Manager described the condition of the Seadrift Water Line. Both of the samples sent out for analysis reflected the water line to be in good shape and had a remaining lifespan of 22 - 27 years per Allan Richards' report. As a precautionary measure, a third sample will also be tested.

    Henceforth, the language on any new resolution containing a variance request that requires relocating of the water main line will state that, before a discharge permit is granted, the water line must be relocated either by the District or by a contractor hired by the property owner. If the property owner wishes to have the District do the relocation, the District will provide a cost estimate.
  3. Discussion and possible District Committee Membership changes made by the Board President, Elizabeth Sapanai.
    In January of each year, the new President has the option of changing the composition of the Board's committees: Finance, Legal, Wastewater, Water Operations, Personnel, Garbage and the Ad Hoc Water Reliability and Sustainability. Director Boucke suggested adding another Ad Hoc Committee, the Easkoot Creek Committee, in which Directors Tye and Zell expressed an interest. The General Manager noted that he attends all the Flood Control meetings. Director Baskin made several proposals, which President Sapanai took under submission.


President Sapanai wanted to make it clear that it was at the December 17, 2011 Board Meeting that Director Baskin determined that he no longer had a conflict of interest regarding the Sutton matter. A sentence to this effect should be added to the minutes of December 17, 2011, page 2, beginning at line 39, Item D.1 Public Hearing. With this addition, Director Tye motioned to approve the minutes. Director Baskin seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by unanimous vote.


Director Boucke noted that on the Check Run of December 21, 2011, the payment of $1,307.02 to the Hach Company for Treatment Plant Equipment Service should be shown under the "Capital" column instead of under the "General" column. Director Baskin motioned to approve the disbursements of December 21, 2011 and January 9, 2012. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. He expects to hear from Michael Kolosey of Valley Ford Construction shortly re: his claim and whether or not he will accept the District's offer to settle the matter.

The General Manager met several times with the District's newly elected Treasurer, Judy Stemen, to discuss the District's bookkeeping principles. The District's Bookkeeper, Janice Payne, is doing a good job and will be asked to sign a new contract. The Board approved a payment to Jackie Smale for $240 to reimburse her for her prior year's mileage for getting the District's mail from the post office and picking up the District's sundry supplies from the store.

The General Manager distributed a letter from Katherine Hurley dated January 20, 2012 in which she described District Wastewater Engineer Chris Kelley as being an excellent representative for the water district. Ms. Hurley commended the office staff as well. The General Manager stated he is pleased with the performance of the staff and will shortly discuss their individual performance reports with them. The Board collectively expressed their approval of the General Manager's style and his good leadership.

President Sapanai suggested a tentative date of January 31, 2012 for the Board's Special Meeting and Closed Door Session.




The Board reviewed the correspondence. President Sapanai stated that Board approval is necessary for payment of seminar registration fees. She recommended that the entire Board attend the April 13, 2012 seminar concerning Climate Change to be held in Petaluma.


The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 11:52 a.m.

SBCWD HomeContactCurrent Weather Rates and ChargesMeter ReadingConservationDo's and Don'ts
Homeowner's GuidePermit ProcessDisaster/EmergencyBoard of DirectorsBoard and Committee MeetingsMinutes
BudgetWest Nile VirusPesticide PolicyWater QualityHydrologic SurveyTitle 3Title 4Title 5GlossaryLinks


Current Weather

Rates and Charges
Meter Reading
Do's and Don'ts
Homeowner's Guide
Permit Process

Board of Directors
Board and Committee


West Nile Virus
Pesticide Policy
Water Quality
Hydrologic Survey
Title 3
Title 4
Title 5