Saturday, January 21, 2017


President Nelsen called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA 94970.

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

Directors absent:
Sandra Cross, Director

Treasurer present:
Judy Stemen

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

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


Matters not on the agenda: A Board member inquired what can be done regarding the audio septic alarms that go off when the septic system is flooded by high water. The alarms awaken the surrounding neighborhood, as the homeowner is not present to turn off the alarm. Perhaps the alarms can be programmed to transmit a message to the homeowner's cell phone or to their maintenance provider. This matter will be addressed at the next Wastewater Committee meeting.


The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.


  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Variance Application for repair/replacement of a wastewater system at 131 Seadrift Road, Traub/Epstein, Owners, Account No. 7700.
    This application was continued from the November 19, 2016 Board hearing to address the concern regarding the number of requested variances and findings of fact letter. Eight variances to Title IV had been requested, and the project's designer, Noadiah Eckman, of Eckman Environmental Designs, had been requested to reduce the number of variances.

    Revised design plans and a findings of fact letter were submitted by Ms. Eckman and were reviewed by the Wastewater Committee on January 9, 2017. The design plans were revised again and submitted on January 13, 2017. The following are the six variance requests:

    Section 4.15.100 Site Criteria - Setbacks
    * Reduce dispersal field setback to a property line from 5 feet to 1 foot
    * Reduce dispersal field setback to a water body from 100 feet to 90 feet
    * Reduce 5-foot setback to allow parking over the existing non-rated traffic rated septic tank

    Section 4.15.300 Septic Tank Construction and Size
    * Reduce required capacity of septic tank from 1,500 gallons to 1,200 gallons

    Section 4.19.020 Use of Alternative Wastewater Design - Repair or Replacement of Failed System - Granting of Variance
    * To utilize a recirculating textile filter

    Section 4.19.150 Drip Irrigation/Drip Dispersal Field Design Standards
    * Reduce required drip dispersal field capacity from 300% to 175% of the design

    No increase of habitable space is proposed to the existing 1,499 square foot single family residence. However, in the future, the Board recommended measuring the dimensions of the homes that are getting a septic system repaired and also stating in the resolution that habitable space shall not be increased.

    Director Baskin noted that Ms. Eckman's resubmittal was very responsive to the Wastewater Committee's and the Board's concerns. Director Baskin made a motion to approve draft Resolution No. WW 2017-01 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 Driveway, Deck, Property Line, and Seadrift Lagoon and to Reduce the Septic Tank and Dispersal Field Capacity Requirements and to Utilize an Alternative Type Wastewater System for Property Located at 131 Seadrift Road. Vice President Zell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously by President Nelsen, Vice President Zell and Directors Baskin and Boucke.


  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff regarding request for relief of monthly basic water fee and monthly wastewater fee at 7277 Panoramic Highway, Stinson Beach.
    The homeowner, Ms. Kirsten Toussaint, requested relief of paying the basic water fee and monthly wastewater fee totaling $78.20, as she is unable to reside at the residence due to the activities of her next door neighbor. The General Manager recommended denying her request due to the following reasons: If Ms. Toussaint is relieved of these fees, the other water customers will have to pick up that cost. There are many fixed costs that need to be captured with the monthly basic water fee, such as the water treatment plant, water storage reservoirs, pump stations, water lines, water mains, water laterals, computers and vehicles. Many of these charges exist even before the first drop of water is sold.

    The District's budget is based upon every water customer paying this monthly fee. These large fixed costs are spread out over all of the customers. The expense does not go away simply because a customer is not taking water out of the system. Salaries, benefits, a utility billing system, and debt service on capital facilities all exist whether a customer uses any water.

    The monthly wastewater fee should not be waived since the Wastewater Program costs do not diminish simply because the homeowner is not utilizing their septic system. The Board expressed sympathy for Ms. Toussaint's situation and was sorry to deny her request.

    Director Baskin made a motion to uphold the General Manager's decision and deny Ms. Toussaint's request to excuse her from paying the monthly basic water and wastewater fees at 7277 Panoramic Highway, as stated in her e-mail of December 12, 2016. Vice President Zell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously by President Nelsen, Vice President Zell and Directors Baskin and Boucke.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff to purchase two Replacement work trucks from Victory Dealer Group.
    Two of the District's work trucks are worn out and need to be replaced, a 2006 Ford Ranger and a 2006 Ford F-350. These utility trucks were scheduled in the District's Capital Purchase Program for replacement in 2016. The District is able to utilize a fleet discount presently offered to the Stinson Beach Fire Department.

    The Board directed the General Manager to purchase a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab 4x4, V6 engine with camper shell for $33,406.11 and a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD 4x4, V8 engine with utility bed for $41,658.10. The sales tax is included in the cost. Bids and sales of the old vehicles will take place shortly after the delivery of the new trucks.


The Board reviewed the Variance Summary for the month ended November 30, 2016, which had been discussed at the January 11, 2017 Finance Committee Meeting. The Board will next review the quarterly budget figures as of December 30, 2016.


Vice President Zell moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of December 17, 2016. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously by President Nelsen, Vice President Zell and Directors Baskin and Boucke.


Director Boucke moved to approve the disbursements of December 15, 2016. Director Baskin seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously by President Nelsen, Vice President Zell, and Directors Baskin and Boucke.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. The Board asked him to obtain a proposal to analyze the adequacy of the District's water hook-fee which is currently $17,500. He received a proposal from Camp Dresser & McKee CDM Smith for $3,500 to evaluate the fee.

The General Manager prepared a septic system variance summary sheet covering the last ten years, which he distributed to the Board members.

Toby has prioritized a list of small capital projects which will be monitored by the Water Operations Committee.

The Board requested a chart showing the last three years' rainfall.




The Board reviewed the correspondence. The Stinson Beach Preschool is concerned about the future of the Preschool. The General Manager advised Jacqueline Waterman that the variance for the septic system permit is with the School District, not the Preschool and has another year to run before it expires.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m. The next regular meeting will be on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.

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