SBCWD BOARD MEETING MINUTES


REGULAR MEETING
Saturday, September 17, 2016

A.    CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL

President Cross called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA 94970.

Directors present:
Sandra Cross, President
Morey Nelsen, Vice President
Lawrence Baskin, Director
Barbara Boucke, Director
Jim Zell, Director

Treasurer present:
Judy Stemen

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Rich Souza - District Engineer
Helma Schwendig - Office Supervisor

B.    PUBLIC EXPRESSION

None.

C.    SETTING OF AGENDA

The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.

D.    PUBLIC HEARING

  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Application to install an onsite wastewater system at 21 Calle del Onda, Brian Johnson/Modestine Bagwill, Owners, APN 195-162-49.
    At the request of the applicant, Craig Nunes, this matter was continued from the Saturday, August 20, 2016, Board meeting to enable four Board members (President Cross, Vice President Nelsen and Directors Baskin and Boucke) to vote on the merits of the project. Director Zell cannot vote as he resides within 500 feet of the project.

    President Cross reiterated that the Stinson Beach County Water District has a limited scope of review over this project. The District is concerned only with the proposed septic system, and applying to this application the rules and regulations of Title IV, the District's Onsite Wastewater Management Code. The District does not have any authority to create public easements, view easements, or beach access. Ms. Cross requested that the members of the public that are present confine their remarks to the septic system and water quality issues. Other issues are to be addressed to the County of Marin and the Coastal Commission. Director Zell then recused himself.

    President Cross thanked all the members of the public who submitted documentation, arguments and information about the proposed controversial wastewater system. The Board had reviewed a bound Coastal Flood History submitted to the District on September 9, 2016 by community member Scott Tye. The History contained copies of photos, exhibits, letters from neighbors opposing the project, portions of the Draft Marin Coast Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment, Flood Hazard Mapping, and other items from the Stinson Beach County Water District files. Many of the photos came from the files of the Stinson Beach Historical Society.

    Rich Souza, the District's Engineer, summarized the project, which had also been previously discussed at the April 20 and July 6, 2016 Wastewater Committee meetings. The application is for a standard intermittent sand filter system for a proposed residence of less than 2,800 square feet. The variance to Title IV Sec. 4.15.100 Site Criteria - Setbacks to Water Courses and Water Bodies is comprised of the following three individual parts: the setback to the dispersal field to be reduced from 100 to 56 feet, the setback to the sand filter to be reduced from 50 to 36 feet, and the setback to the septic and sump tank to be reduced from 50 to 20 feet.

    The property formerly consisted of multiple parcels which have been merged into a 15,200 square foot lot. An existing residence burned down in the 1980's. There is a sand berm in front of the property, the only berm along the entire beach.

    The design is considered new construction and includes a 1,500 gallon septic tank and 1,500 gallon sump tank. It is a raised bed system and meets 36 inches of separation from groundwater. A concrete 12 inch high retaining wall is proposed below grade and around the septic system components. The purpose of the retaining wall is to withstand erosion from wave run-up during significant storm events.

    A Coastal Engineering Analysis report was prepared by Noble Consultants. President Cross noted that Figure 6 of the Noble report shows that the berm is subject to erosion. She is concerned that the variance setbacks would increase even more over time with sea level rise and storm events.

    The Board's questions regarding the proposed septic system's plans and layout were answered by the system's designer, Troy Pearce, of AYS Engineering Group, Inc. The District recently found out from County staff that the building application has been withdrawn, but County staff thought they (the County) should ultimately be the lead agency on this project for CEQA purposes.

    Several neighboring property owners voiced their opposition to the project, citing health and safety issues.

    Director Baskin made a motion to grant a variance to the requirements of the Stinson Beach County Water District Wastewater Treatment Regulations Ordinance No. 2014-04 to Reduce Setback Requirements to a Water Body for Property Located at 21 Calle del Onda and to adopt the findings made in the March 14, 2016 letter of the applicant, asking District staff to enhance the findings by including a few more facts from the Noble report. Vice President Nelsen seconded the motion.

    Director Boucke could not find that the variances were reasonable or appropriate due to health and safety issues. Ms. Boucke felt she could not support the applicant's findings of fact No. 4 which states: "The Variance will not materially adversely affect the conditions of adjacent watercourses or wetlands, the conditions of subsurface water under adjacent properties, the health or safety of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the property, and/or the general health and safety of the public."

    President Cross stated that there is more at stake here than the approval of the setbacks. The risks involved do not only affect the applicant. It is also the risk to the neighbors if the septic system fails. The precautionary principle to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus (that the action or policy is not harmful), the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action that may or may not be a risk. Ms. Cross felt the requested variances are huge in relation to the normal setbacks and that credence should be given to the District's regulations.

    President Cross called the question: All of those Board members in favor of the motion to approve the request for variance? It was a difficult decision for the Board. Director Baskin and Vice President Nelsen voted "Aye". All opposed: Director Boucke and President Cross voted "No". The motion failed as it requires three "yes" votes to pass.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Application to install an onsite wastewater system at 217 Seadrift Road, James Migdal, Owner, APN 195-331-37.
    This residential wastewater design application is for a new alternative wastewater system on a 60' x 125' vacant parcel located along the Seadrift Lagoon. The system is designed for a single family residential home with up to 1,900 square feet of habitable space, and will have a maximum daily flow rate of 300 gallons and an average daily flow rate of 200 gallons. Based on the proposed use of the raised bed dispersal fields, there is over 36 inches of vertical separation from seasonal high groundwater.

    The variance request to Title IV under Section 4.15.100 Site Criteria - Setbacks, consists of reducing the setback from the property line to the dispersal field from 5 feet to 1 foot, reducing the setback from Seadrift Lagoon to the dispersal field from 100 feet to 94 feet, and under Section 4.19.010, Use of Alternative Wastewater Systems Designs to utilize a recirculating textile Advantex filter.

    The design consists of a new 1,500 gallon traffic rated septic tank, an 810 gallon traffic rated sump tank, Advantex AX20, and dual raised bed dispersal fields.

    The project had been heard at the August 25, 2016 Wastewater Committee meeting, a copy of the application documents and plans had been sent to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and neighbor notifications were sent on August 30, 2016.

    The Board requested that the relocation of the water main line to meet a 10 foot minimum setback to the proposed wastewater system be added to the draft resolution as a condition prior to the issuance of a wastewater construction permit.

    Vice President Nelsen moved to adopt Resolution No. WW 2016-10 Granting a Variance to the Requirements of the Stinson Beach County Water District Wastewater Treatment Regulations Ordinance No. 2014-04 to Reduce Setback Requirements to a Property Line and Seadrift Lagoon and to Utilize an Alternative Wastewater System for property located at 217 Seadrift Road, Stinson Beach. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion was passed by President Cross, Vice President Nelsen and Directors Boucke and Baskin each voting "AYE." Director Zell voted "NO."
  3. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Application to install an onsite wastewater system at 252 Seadrift Road, Maria and John Cogan, Owners, APN 195-340-46.
    This project includes the demolition of the existing 1,873 square foot residence and its replacement with a new single family residence consisting of less than 2,800 square feet on a 23,100 square foot lot located on the ocean side. The maximum and average daily flow rate of the new system will be 450 and 300 gallons, respectively. Based on the proposed raised bed leach field, there is over 36 inches of vertical separation from seasonable high groundwater to the bottom of the leach field.

    A variance is required under Title IV Section 4.19.010 - Use of Alternative Wastewater Systems Designs for use of a recirculating textile (Advantex) filter.

    The design consists of a new 1,500 gallon traffic rated septic tank, an 810 gallon traffic rated sump tank, Advantex AX20, and dual raised bed dispersal fields.

    The project had been heard at the August 25, 2016 Wastewater Committee meeting, a copy of the application documents and plans had been sent to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and neighbor notifications were sent on August 30, 2016.

    Director Baskin moved to adopt Resolution No. WW 2016-09 Granting a Variance to the Requirements of the Stinson Beach County Water District Wastewater Treatment Regulations Ordinance No. 2014-04 to Utilize a New Alternative Type Wastewater System for property located at 252 Seadrift Road, Stinson Beach. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously by President Cross, Vice President Nelsen and Directors Baskin, Boucke, and Zell.
  4. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Application to install an onsite wastewater system at 254 Seadrift Road, Kenneth Frankel, Owner, APN 195-340- 45.
    This variance request under Section 4.19.010 is for a new alternative wastewater system utilizing a recirculating textile filter, with a maximum and average daily flow rate of 450 and 300 gallons, respectively. The system is designed for a new single family residential home with up to 2,800 square feet of habitable space on a 60' x 385' vacant lot, with the ocean along the southerly property line.

    Based on the proposed 36 inch leach line depth, there is over 36 inches of vertical separation from seasonal high groundwater to the bottom of the leach field.

    The wastewater design consists of a new 1,500 gallon traffic rated septic tank, a 1,200 gallon traffic rated sump tank, Advantex AX20, diversion valve, and dual leach fields.

    The application had been discussed at the August 25, 2016 Wastewater Committee meeting. A copy of the application documents and plans were sent to the Regional Water Quality Control Board and neighbor notifications were sent on August 30, 2016.

    Director Boucke moved to adopt Resolution No. WW 2016-11 Granting a Variance to the Requirements of the Stinson Beach County Water District Wastewater Treatment Regulations Ordinance No. 2014-04 to Utilize a New Alternative Type Wastewater System for property located at 254 Seadrift Road, Stinson Beach. Vice President Nelsen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously by President Cross, Vice President Nelsen and Directors Boucke and Zell. Director Baskin had excused himself and was not present for the vote.
  5. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Application to install an onsite wastewater system at 265 Belvedere Avenue, Alicia and Galen Myers, Owners, APN 195-142-25.
    This variance application requests the approval to use an existing wastewater system for increasing the habitable space of the existing living area of 2,215 square feet by 184 square feet, comprised of two detached building structures. The lot is approximately 7,500 square feet. One of these detached units is elevated over a leach line and the other unit is located below the leach line.

    A setback variance is required to the new shallow building pier foundations. A variance is also required to use the existing 1,200 gallon septic tank, as the minimum capacity has been increased to 1,500 gallons since the existing system was installed in 1997. Based on the existing maximum and average daily flow rates of 450 gallons and 300 gallons, respectively, the existing septic tank is sufficiently sized to treat wastewater effluent.

    The application had been heard at the August 25, 2016 Wastewater Committee meeting, a copy of the application documents and plans were sent to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and neighbor notifications were sent on August 30, 2016.

    Director Zell moved to adopt Resolution No. WW 2016-08 Granting a Variance to the Requirements of the Stinson Beach County Water District Wastewater Treatment Regulations Ordinance No. 2014-04 to Reduce Setback and Septic Tank Capacity Requirements for Property Located at 265 Belvedere Avenue, Stinson Beach. President Cross seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously by President Cross, Vice President Nelsen and Directors Boucke and Zell. Director Baskin was not present for the vote.

E.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES

The motion to approve the minutes of August 20, 2016 was passed unanimously by President Cross and Directors Boucke and Zell. Vice President Nelsen was absent at the August 20, 2016 meeting.

F.    APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

The motion to approve the disbursements of August 8 and August 25, 2016 was passed unanimously by President Cross, Vice President Nelsen and Directors Boucke and Zell.

G.    MANAGER'S REPORT

The General Manager discussed his monthly report. The field work needed for the District's financial audit as of June 30, 2016 by Cropper Accountancy will take place on November 9.

Zero Waste Marin has approved the District's $5,000 grant application for recycling. Half of the grant will be used for aluminum water bottles to replace plastic water bottles and the remainder will be for small kitchen compost buckets to reduce food scraps taken to the landfill. The General Manager will arrange for a public meeting at either the Community Center or Chapel where a compost expert will speak on the merits of composting.

Matt Leffert, Director of Development of "One Tam", will make a short presentation at the October 15 Board meeting.

Steve Ortega, GGNRA, will bring the Board up to date at a future Special Board meeting regarding the operation of the Park's new septic system, if there is capacity that could be leased by the District in response to sea level rise, or if any GGNRA properties could be utilized by the District for septic system treatment if there is no capacity in the GGNRA's system.

After additional review, new Section 4.07.071 concerning chemical toilets in the Village Green Parks will be added to the District's Title IV Onsite Wastewater Management Code.

H.    COMMITTEE REPORTS

None.

I.    CORRESPONDENCE

None.

J.    ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m. The next regular meeting will be on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at 9:30 a.m.




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