Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Meeting
February 24, 2001
Terri Bailey, Jim Billups (alternate), Thomas Burton, Karl Bauer (alternate), Elizabeth Getzoff (alternate), Bruce Graves, Susan Humason, Elliott Miller, Michael Pique, Robert Sterner. and guests including Tracy Dixon, Bonnie Phelps, and Jerry McLees.
The PMPO Board meeting was convened 10:08 A.M. February 24, 2001, at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department.
The minutes of the November 18, 2000 meeting were distributed and approved with the correction that Tom Burton and Robert Sterner attended.
The treasurer's report was presented; the balance reported November 18, 2000, is corrected to $22,345.72; donations have been $20, and expenses $33.00 for postage stamps and $33.95 for photocopies. Our current assets stand as $22,298.77 in the bank account. The report was approved.
Debbie Bauer has resigned from the PMPO Board. The Board elected Tracy Dixon to the seat and to the office of Treasurer.
Karl Bauer, Chief of the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD), outlined the PMVFD master plan and issues relating to the use of the PMVFD ``house'' as a Community Center. The fundamental aim of the master plan is to provide improved service, with one goal being to build community support for the PMVFD. Use of the house by community groups would be consistent with that goal as long as issues of zoning, permits, and liability can be successfully addressed. The land is zoned and permitted for a ``Fire Station'': basically, a storage of equipment. The county says use of the land for community events incidental to the fire station and not on a regular and ongoing basis would be in zoning compliance. However, the house has a residential permit only, not allowing meeting and business use.
Jerry McLees discussed the permit and zoning issues in more detail. Improving the house to meet current appropriate building codes is the biggest financial concern. The PMVFD would be going for a type ``B'' occupancy, allowing use by up to 49 people. As long as the upgrade costs are less than $88,000 and at least 20% is spent on handicap access, a so-called hardship application could be requested to avoid having to install major restroom improvements. Improvements would have to satisfy floor loading and non-combustible roof requirements, have wider entry and interior doors, emergency releases, new signage, but not sprinklers. A building contractor recenty inspected the house and is preparing a report.
Jerry reported that he, Karl Bauer, and Bruce Graves met on February 16, 2001, with County of San Diego planner Joe Ferace to review the zoning and site plan. Some parking and setback requirements would have to be met but as long as the house continues to be used mostly for PMVFD board meetings and firefighter trainin, with only infrequent use for PMPO meetings, potlucks, book sharing, a routine zoning approval would be expected, with not even a Minor Use Permit requirement.
The PMVDF board is still examining liability issues and insurance coverage. Tom Burton suggested informing users of risks might mitigate the liability. Bonnie Phelps and Michael Pique complained to Karl Bauer that the sudden and largely unexplained announcement of the closing of the house to the community had angered many mountain residents. Bonnie offered to include a full page PMVFD flyer in her next real estate mailing at no cost to the PMVFD. Susan Humason mentioned the May 2001 PMPO Newsletter as another venue for the PMVFD to inform the community of issues and progress, and that last year Jackie Hill had considered a quarterly PMVFD newsletter at a per-quarter cost of about $140 plus $100 bulk postage.
Bruce Graves, Bob Haase, Michael Pique, Jack Norvall, and surveyor Bob Wallace met with the BLM cadastral surveyor Jack Rabedew and US Forest Service surveyor Ken Whittaker on November 21 at the US Forest Service office in Rancho Bernardo to discuss the rights of the entrymen.
The BLM in a letter sent on December 20, 2000, deemed the PMPO's complaints to be a formal protest and indicated a number of issues the PMPO would need to address to continue the protest. A 90-day deadline for this will expire before the end of March. Bruce Graves, Jack Norvall, and Michael Pique will continue to meet with Bob Haase and any other interested residents to answer the letter. Bob Haase has already sent the BML a separate letter outlining legal cases relevant to the issues.
Althout the PMPO has sent surveyor Bob Wallace several payments, as approved by the Board, he has yet to file any record of survey with the County of San Diego or turn over to the PMPO any copies of his notes or computer records, as the Board required of him in their most recent payment. Tom Burton will help Bruce Graves write a letter demanding a full refund if the record of survey and notes are not forthcoming.
Jim Billups has in-hand three professional rain gauges and a well-monitoring measuring device but has been too busy with professional responsibilities to install and read the gauges or systematically make the well readings. He is appealing for help to implement the study plan.
The county is working on its year 2020 general plan update. Jerry McLees has been attending the meetings on behalf of another client, and brought a map of the Palomar Mountain area, color-coded according to the most recent plan revision. Jerry noted, however, that that entire revision is already scrapped in favor of new options for density projections and control, to result in three new sets of maps in about nine months. On the Summit down-zoning, Jerry will keep in touch with our local planner, Deborah Ledesna.
Jerry McLees reported the County of San Diego instructed Mr. Yale to prepare a draft EIR addressing especially traffic safety, site preparation, and biology issues by December 6, 2000. Although this deadline was apparently not met, Jerry McLees says the county would likely grant an extension since Mr. Yale is working on hiring biologists for the project.
Bonnie Phelps reported the Lodge is up for sale, but the current owners would probably be open to having our annual meeting and pancake breakfast there again, on May 26, 2001. The most attractive other possibility is the Girl Scout camp, and Gitfon Chung will be asked and will probably come to the next PMPO meeting to discuss it.
Susan Humason will prepare the newsletter. Article assignments were made, with text due to Susan by March 31, to be proofed and reviewed at the next PMPO Board meeting April 21.
The next scheduled board meetings are:
April 21, 2001 (Newsletter proof review)
May 26, 2001 (Annual Meeting).
The meeting was adjourned at 11:43 A.M.
Michael E. Pique, Secretary.