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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 9/04/2011 Board Meeting minutes

Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Meeting

September 4, 2011

DRAFT - not approved for distribution

Board Members Present:

Heather Beer, Robert Carlyle, Mike Chesney [Chair], Steve Clark, Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Elizabeth Getzoff, Bruce Graves, George Lucia, Michael Pique, Alan Serry, Linda Thorne, Michael Walsh.

Board Members Absent:

Glenn Borland, Doug Lande.

The PMPO Board Meeting was called to order at 10:03 AM at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department. Chair Mike Chesney thanked the community for coming out (about 18 people), and the Fire Department for the use of their building. Minutes of the February 5 and May 28, 2011, board meetings were unanimously approved as presented. Treasurer Alan Serry reported a balance forward as of February 5, 2011, of $39,646.16. income of $2332.81 (pancake breakfast $484, donations $1804, interest $44.81); expenses $1728.43 (newsletter postage $308, newsletter printing $625.31, directory magnet printing $300, pancake breakfast food and supplies $439.12, PO box rental $56), leaving us with a balance as of September 4, 2011, of $40,250.54. The report was approved unanimously. The three board members authorized to sign checks on the account are Alan Serry, Mike Chesney, and Bruce Graves (moved by Serry, 2nd by Evangenlou, approval unanimous).

Old Business

Traffic Safety:

Alan Serry reported he is in touch with the CHP now that motorcycle season is upon us. CHP has no grants this year for special enforcement, but hopes the South Grade Road rumble strips will help. He showed photos of a South Grade Road mile 43 motorcycle fire.

Fire Safe Council and Tree Removal Program:

Robert Carlyle reported he has funds and a chipper crew ready to go. They can clear trees hanging over houses too. He went to a Forest Service/CalFire meeting - the Bureau of Land Management has been looking at causes of past files and how to improve house loss prevention. Keep defensible space, no plastic lawn chairs stored under the deck, no “almost empty” propane tanks in the shed. Trim back vegetation 100 feet on the flat, double that on slopes.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain (CCPM):

Bruce Graves reported the CCPM is ready to see more activity. Bruce maintains the official calendar, and posts it monthly at the store, the PMVFD, and outside the Community Center. Every Saturday from 9 to noon is “coffee time” and residents are invited to stop by for muffins, conversation, and free Wi-Fi. Terri Bailey asks if we can bake in the kitchen; Bruce says to check with the CCPM Board.

State Park:

Jessica Murany, our Palomar Mountain State Park ranger, says the park is scheduled to close Julyu 2012. Although partial closure (weekdays) was scheduled to occur this month, it has been postponed to November 1.

Two October events are scheduled, a volunteer work day on Saturday October 8 to plant trees, do trail upkeep, and paint a kiosk; and an apple festival on Sunday October 23. A Doane Pond trout derby may be held in May 2012.

The wild pigs have been seen as near as mile 4 of the East Grade Road, causing considerable destruction. She has guidelines for dealing with the problem, available on request. Jessica can be reached at (760) 742-3462,

Rick Barclay, a trail maintenance volunteer in “Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park”, wants to start an organization to raise funds for the park similar to Cuyamacha Park's CRISPIA. ** is "Friends" already existing or is it proposed? ** The group would need officers, directors, a chair. He sees a snag with the lackluster enthusiam with the park's impending closure.

Rosemary Johnson got 100 signatures at the barbecue for the “Save our State Parks” endorsement of State Assembly Bill AB 42. She asks if Friends of P.M.S.P. offers membership benefits. She thinks eventually will need a 501 (c) 3 organization of our own. Mike Chesney offers to post events and links to their sites on our site. If they want PMPO to be a fiscal agent, they should come back with a proposal.

Michael Walsh asked who is working for reversal of the closure decision; Rosemary says that the State Parks Foundation is. Michael Walsh says that AB 42 is about legally allowing non-profit organizations to work alongside State funding for the parks. Rosemary says the store and restaurant will be hurt by the State Park closure, affecting community property values.

Ground Water and Well Level Monitoring:

Linda Thorne said that the well level monitoring program now includes Pedley Valley, Graves, Borlands, and several East Grade wells. Linda has well depth records for Pedley valley PMMMWC wells, and the summit Yoga wells. Because Mike Probert, who does the monitoring, was injured in an East Grade car/motorcycle accident, the monitoring is suspended until he recovers.

Goldspotted Oak Borer:

This invasive bark beetle has advanced north as far the Boy Scout camp by Lake Henshaw. It can kill 90% of mature oaks, all species. Linda Thorne says that carrying firewood up to Palomar Mountain is the main threat. We could put up signs at the bottom of the Grades warning of this, along with providing firewood for the campgrounds (county and state parks). She needs a committee to help her. Alan Serry said Bailey's already has a strict rule, and he suggests putting up signs at once. Terri Bailey said she will contact local TV stations, including KPBS. George Lucia thinks it important that Cleveland National Forest be in with us on this. Elizabeth Getzoff and Terri Bailey will help.

Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD):

Battalion Chief Cliff Kellogg says the department is doing well with 24 members, 107 calls so far this year. Former PMVDF Chief Karl Bauer and his wife Debbie, former PMPO Treasurer, visited this weekend for the barbecue. Jason Baum was named Firefighter of the Year, and the barbecue grossed about $11,000.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT):

Bill Leininger says a $2,500 grant has allowed outfitting an existing donated truck with a hose reel, water tanks, Barricade gel supplies, and tools for emergency road clearing. Bill says CERT distributes a half-page handout about disaster preparedness.

2020 General Plan Revision:

Michael Walsh and George Evangelou have been tracking. George says that on August 3 the county Board of Supervisors approved the 2020 General Plan update. In November, they will review change requests, but none for us. A procedure to amend the plan is being set up. The Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) is preparing an interactive mapping web site to let you see how the new general plan restricts your property.

Mike Chesney asked if DPLU's Eric Lardy told us what happened to the Board's 2020 recommendations, as no response appeared in the mail. Alan Serry says we tried for 10 years to get input to the county and we need to find out what was done with it, if anything. Michael and George will follow up.

DPLU and Building Permits:

George Lucia said the PMVFD has been encouraging the DPLU to be more coordinated with local fire departments on relevant building permit issues, chiefly access and water supply. George Evangelou asks if the fire department desires to be consulted on all projects. George Lucia says the PMVFD is not a “fire district” so have no authority to do that, but that it would be common sense since the PMVFD would be the ones to respond. George Lucia and Doug Lande are to talk to the DPLU about the overall permit process, including dealing with boundary problems and with “past baggage” of construction or remodeling done without permits.

La Jolla Indian Reservation New Casino Project:

Elizabeth Getzoff asked La Vonne Peck, Tribal Chair of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians, for an update on the Tribe's casino and East Grade Road mile 9 water project plans; La Vonne Peck replied “I can quickly answer both questions. 1. Gaming - we are still moving forward with our EA [Environmental Assessment] and meetings with the County and Caltrans. 2. Water Project - our water project is moving along. We rehab the well and we are working on the engineering plans for construction. The land has been in trust for about four years now. As we move forward on both projects I will be happy to give you and Palomar Mountain Planning Organization updates on our progress. Please fell free to contact me anytime.” Michael Pique explained that the “rehab the well” refers to clearing rock debris from the commercial well drilled by William Yale in 1991, which had partly collapsed over the years. On the land transfer from Mr. Yale's business partnership to the La Jolla Reservation, Elizabeth said that a third-party FOIA request listed the transfer as still pending as of February 2011, and she was uncertain of all the legal details.

Rosemary Johnson summarized the project history; that Palomar Mountain has some small spring water suppliers, that around 1991 William Yale drilled a commercial well on his East Grade property intending to pump and sell the water but was unable to get a county Major Use permit, that the Reservation offered to buy his parcel, annex it to the Reservation, and pump the water for sale themselves. She noted it is hard to follow what the tribe wants and what they intend to do.

George Lucia asked if the PMPO monitors water going off the mountain; Elizabeth says the PMPO doesn't, but a California agency certifies water sources as being “springs” or not. Robert Carlyle says he has friends in the spring water business, and they have almost gone out of business because “drinking water” (filtered tap water) has taken the market away from true spring water over the past five years.

Elizabeth told of lawsuits between the tribe and the casino partner, Nevada Gold.

New Business:


Steve Clark will take the lead for 2012. A March meeting may be held to plan the newsletter content and to organize the contributing writers.

Gunfire on Crestline:

Heather Beer has heard shots near the county park, possibly in Palomar Cedars. George Lucia said there is a legal shooting zone in the unincorporated areas of the county (like Palomar), basically 100 feet from cabins or roads. Donna Dose said residents were finding shell casings on their porches. George Lucia said to call the Sheriff if you feel threatened or observe safety issues.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:58 AM. Next board meetings are November 12, 2011, February 4, 2012, and May 30, 2012.

Michael Pique, Secretary. Minutes approved by PMPO board not***yet

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