Saturday, August 17, 2013
A. CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
Barbara Boucke, Vice President
Sandra Cross, Director
Morey Nelsen, Director
Jim Zell, President
Lawrence Baskin, Director
General Manager present:
Richard Souza - District Engineer
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 213 Seadrift
Road, Caitlin Pardo De Zela, Owner, APN 195-331-39, continued from the July 20, 2013
The General Manager briefly described the following three issues which caused the project to
be continued from the July 20 Board meeting and which were subsequently discussed at the
July 29, 2013 Wastewater Committee meeting: (1) wet weather testing, (2) lead agency for
CEQA, and (3) ten foot separation from the water main line to the septic system.
(1) District Engineer Souza confirmed that wet weather groundwater testing was conducted on
the property in early April of this year. There is at least three feet of vertical separation from
the bottom of the leach field trenches to seasonal high groundwater.
(2) Since a Coastal Permit is required, the County will be the lead agency for purposes of the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The District is thus not responsible for
preparation or approval of the CEQA Initial Study documents.
(3) The District's existing water main line appears to be between nine to ten feet from the
nearest edge of the proposed leach field. If the septic system construction does not meet the
ten foot separation requirement, the owner will be required to relocate portions of the water
main line that are within ten feet of the leach field.
Director Nelsen moved to approve draft Resolution No. WW 2013-02, granting a variance to
the Title IV Regulations Ordinance No. 2012-01, Sec. 4.15.100, to reduce a property line
setback from 5 to 4 feet to a leach line and Sec. 4.19.010, to utilize an alternative wastewater
system. Vice President Boucke seconded the motion, provided that an additional condition is
added to the resolution requiring the installation of water conservation plumbing fixtures. The
motion was approved unanimously by Vice President Boucke and Directors Cross and Nelsen.
Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Waiver Request for replacing an
existing septic system with a new alternative system for property located at 24 Calle del
Resaca, Harold Parker Properties, Owner, Acct. #520, continued from the July 20, 2013
The General Manager briefly described the following two issues which caused the project to be
continued from the July 20 Board meeting and which were subsequently discussed at the July
29, 2013 Wastewater Committee meeting: (1) Cumulative impact of neighboring septic
systems and (2) waiver request for a setback reduction.
(1) District Engineer Souza reported that the District's records show there is at least 36 inches
of separation between seasonal high groundwater and existing grade. A cumulative impact
analysis was not required since groundwater elevation is not within 36 inches from existing
grade. The new alternative raised bed system will significantly reduce the strength of the
waste [Total Suspended Solids and Biological Oxygen Demand].
(2) Troy Pearce of AYS Engineering, the project's Design Engineer, has revised his design
plans to meet the District's five foot setback regulations. Therefore, the only waiver request to
the Title IV regulations relates to the use of an alternative wastewater system design.
Director Nelsen moved to approve draft Resolution No. WW 2013-03 granting a waiver to the
Title IV Regulations Ordinance No. 2012-01, Sec. 4.19.010, to replace the existing wastewater
system with an alternative wastewater system. Director Cross seconded the motion. The
motion was approved unanimously by Vice President Boucke and Directors Cross and Nelsen.
E. GENERAL BUSINESS
Discussion and possible direction to staff re policy and procedures for backflow device
At last month's Board meeting, John Washington, doing business as Stinson Beach
Maintenance Company, requested that the District's backflow testing charge be placed on this
month's agenda. He performs backflow tests and stated that businesses cannot compete with
the District's charge for performing the tests. Mr. Washington noted his expenses include his
cost of attending a mandatory recertification class every three years.
Fire Chief Kenny Stevens, who also performs backflow tests, pointed out that the cost of the
multiple printed forms is another item which impacts the profit margin of the independent
The General Manager surveyed numerous other agencies and contractors for their charge for
testing backflow devices. There is a wide range of charges. Contractors within North Marin
and Marin Municipal Water Districts charge from $45 to $188 per test. The Stinson Beach
County Water District charges $70 per test. The District's estimated cost is $68.80. If the
District's fee does not exceed the cost of providing the service, it is not subject to Proposition
218, because it is a fee for a service requested by the customer and not a property related fee.
If the District fee was more than the cost of the service, then the District would be subject to
Proposition 218 and all its requirements. The General Manager noted that the District is only
one of a few agencies that still do backflow tests, as most agencies have turned over this
function to private contractors.
The District does not wish to take away any business from the independent backflow testing
contractors. The District's customers are free to choose a backflow tester, whether it is the
District or an outside tester. However, if the customer does not respond to the District's
notification letter that the annual backflow prevention device test is due, the District will perform
the backflow test. Director Nelsen recommended modifying its customer letters to state that
henceforth the District will no longer make any repairs to a customer's backflow device. If a
backflow device does not pass its initial testing by the District, any repairs and subsequent
retesting are to be performed by an individual hired by the customer.
After much back and forth discussion, the Board decided to discuss these issues, including the
parameters for requiring backflow devices, at the next Water Operations Committee meeting.
F. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Director Cross was not present at the July 20, 2013 Board meeting. Thus, a quorum was not
met at this August 17 Board meeting, and the approval of the Minutes of July 20, 2013 was
moved to the September 21, 2013 Board meeting.
G. APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
Vice President Boucke moved to approve the disbursements of July 30, 2013. Director
Nelsen seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.
H. MANAGER'S REPORT
The General Manager discussed his monthly report. Maze & Associates, the District's
financial auditor, will conduct their on site visit on September 3.
The Board has received a copy of the General Manager's Operations Manual. The other
employee manuals are in the final stages of completion.
The mixer that will be installed in the District's Steep Ravine Tank by the Pax Corporation in
the next several weeks will be smaller than the model originally presented to the District. He
will notify the Board after installation is completed.
The General Manager will set up a meeting with the Legal Committee and Steve McCaffrey of
Redwood Empire Disposal regarding a possible garbage rate increase.
The General Manager distributed an e-mail from Lance Benjamin of the Pall Corporation,
confirming the delivery of the replacement tank and one year free phone support.
Vice President Boucke requested that the General Manager obtain the geographical
dimensions of the Coastal Zone for Stinson Beach and obtain copies of the FEMA map zones.
She also requested that the Administrative Assistant attend future Wastewater Committee and
Water Operations Committee meetings to take informal minutes of these meetings which will
then be e-mailed to the Board.
Vice President Boucke recommended that the District have an annual workshop to discuss
proposed changes to the District's Title IV Onsite Wastewater Management Code.
The General Manager will notify the Board when new septic projects are listed on the County's
weekly building permit applications and permits issued.
Director Cross suggested that the General Manager issue a press release to the Marin
Independent Journal and Point Reyes Light regarding the EPA's findings of the District's
excellent water quality.
Vice President Boucke asked if the September 7, 2013 meeting of the Village Association
could be held at the District Office, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Director Nelsen will attend the
meeting and open the office.
I. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Director Nelsen reported that he and Vice President Boucke have been reading the Village
Green I and II Parks water meters and then transmitting this data to Richard Reasoner, who is
assisting the District in preparing new water budgets for Village Green I and II. Mr. Nelsen will
obtain plans from Architect Michael Mitchell to determine the square footage of lawn, ground
cover or other plantings in both parks. The General Manager will send letters to the District's
ten largest residential water users to inquire if they wish to participate in a voluntary irrigation
water use plan. These residential water budgets would only be implemented if the District
moved to a Stage III Water Conservation Alert. The General Manager will provide the Board
with the source of the District's authority to require reduction in water use and/or shut water off
for water wasting.
The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was
adjourned at 11:20 a.m.