The Board of Directors of Brooktrails Township Community Services District met in special session on August 7, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. in Brooktrails Community Center.
A. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
B. ROLL CALL
Roll call showed the following Directors present: Whitney, Monteleone, Orth and Estabrook. Also present were General Manager Chapman and District Counsel Neary.
C. ADDITIONS/ ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
President Estabrook suggested items 2 and 3 be combined, and items 5 and 6 be deferred. No objections were raised.
D. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
July 10, 2001
Director Orth moved to approve the minutes of July 10, 2001 as written, seconded by Director Whitney. Motion was passed unanimously by the members present.
E. SPECIAL PRESENTATION
F. PUBLIC HEARING
G. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Alicia Walter of Poppy Drive commented that attendance at Board meetings is poor because of the lengthy discussions by Board members. She pointed out that audience members are limited to five minutes, and she felt the Board members should be limited, as well.
H. ACTION AGENDA
2. CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE EXISTENCE OF A PUBLIC NUISANCE BECAUSE OF WEEDS, GRASSES, AND OTHER COMBUSTIBLE VEGETATION ON CERTAIN PRIVATE PARCELS LOCATED WITHIN THE DISTRICT and
3. GENERAL MANAGER'S REPORT ON THE SPECIAL MEETING OF JULY 31, 2001.
General Manager Chapman summarized the discussion held at the special meeting of July 31st. He reported that the number of lots not in compliance with the hazard abatement notices had gone from 715 to 290. He reviewed the calendar of upcoming items that would be necessary to accomplish the remainder of the abatement program.
Director Whitney pointed out that the list included only Phase I violations.
President Estabrook commented that the parcel which was the subject of a protest heard at the July 31st public hearing, 3159 Blue Lake, had been removed from the list.
Director of Emergency Services, Daryl Schoeppner, provided an update of the program. He noted that he had removed the lots owned by Mr. Porter, as requested at the July 31st public hearing. He provided an updated list to be attached to the proposed resolution.
President Estabrook commented that a future agenda item would be scheduled to discuss the current vegetation management standards. Mr. Schoeppner stated that he would be working with CDF to ensure that the District's standards comply with theirs.
Ginevra Chandler, representing the Deerwood Corporation, came forward to ensure that the letter of formal protest presented at the July 31st hearing had been received.
President Estabrook moved to adopt Resolution No. 2001-20, a Resolution Declaring the Existence of a Public Nuisance Because of Weeds, Grasses, and Other Combustible Vegetation on Certain Private Parcels Located Within the District. The motion was seconded by Director Whitney and the vote was taken as follows:
AYES: Directors: Whitney, Monteleone, Orth, Estabrook
ABSENT: Director Venturi
Resolution No. 2001-20 Adopted.
4. CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 1993-24 TO AMEND THE TERMS OF THE LOAN FROM THE SEWER FUND TO THE GOLF FUND TO A THIRTY-YEAR TERM
Director Orth moved approval of Resolution No. 2001-21, a Resolution of the Board of Directors of Brooktrails Township Community Services District Amending Resolution No. 1993-24 to Extend the Term of the Loan from the Sewer Fund to the Golf Course Fund to July 1, 2031. Director Whitney seconded the motion, and the vote was taken as follows:
AYES: Directors: Whitney, Monteleone, Orth, Estabrook
ABSENT: Director Venturi
Resolution No. 2001-21 Adopted.
5. ANNUAL REVIEW OF DISTRICT INVESTMENT POLICY AND ESTABLISHMENT OF INDEBTEDNESS POLICY
6. REPORT ON HAND HELD METER READERS
7. FURTHER DISCUSSION OF USE PERMIT APPLICATION FOR BROOKTRAILS LODGE
President Estabrook explained that a hearing on the use permit application was scheduled before the County Zoning Administrator for August 9th, and this special meeting had been called in hopes that the Board could come to some kind of a majority agreement to present at the hearing. He outlined the issues faced by the Board, specifically the provisions of Ordinance No. 116, appropriate connection fees, and monthly charges.
General Manager Chapman pointed out the historical significance of the Lodge property, referencing old photographs which were on display. He briefly described the existing structures and those that would be affected by the use permit application.
With the aid of the overhead projector, he reviewed the County staff report, noting the accompanying boundary line adjustment application and the reference to the District's Specific Plan and Utilities Code. He pointed out the County's recommendation that the use permit application be denied, without prejudice, pending resolution of issues with Brooktrails.
He next displayed a diagram of the existing sewer system infrastructure. Director Whitney asked that it be clarified who is responsible for the maintenance of the line where it crosses under the public road.
Moving on, General Manager Chapman suggested the connection fees for sewer be dropped, entirely, to accommodate the District's redevelopment policy. Director Whitney voiced concern about the capacity of the existing system, and its ability to handle the additional residential units.
General Manager Chapman suggested an eighteen month trial period be established, during which there would be no charges other than installation of a new master water meter. He presented a chart which demonstrated his proposed calculation to determine appropriate water connection fees, based on a ratio of projected water consumption due to the change in use, which would be payable after the eighteenth month. He proposed keeping the use of the motel as transient.
As to the monthly charges, he proposed each unit converted to long term use pay the monthly base rate of $24 each, without actually installing a meter on each unit, which he referred to as a "pseudo meter." This would spare the applicant the costly expense of installation and provide revenue to the District for operational costs.
District Counsel Neary summarized his written opinion on the issues, noting that a copy had been provided to Dr. Gitlin's counsel.
As requested by Director Whitney, General Manager Chapman displayed a chart from the Specific Plan, which was included in the staff report, on the overhead projector. Director Whitney pointed out that the chart contains the only reference in the Specific Plan to 40 existing dwellings at the Lodge, and was not intended as a preallocation..
Director Monteleone read aloud excerpts of her written comments, pointing out that there is nothing to stop the current owner from operating the Lodge and motel according to its historical use. She outlined her points of concern, and reiterated her prerequisite for a written redevelopment proposal prior to voicing her support for the project.
Director Orth pointed out the expense incurred by the community developing the Specific Plan and the Board's authority to regulate planning. He voiced support of the General Manager's recommendations.
President Estabrook voiced his support for the senior housing concept. He spoke against converting the motel to long term use. He disagreed with the General Manager's proposal to waive the sewer connection fees, based on the increased sewer flow, but concurred that the formula as presented was accurate. He voiced agreement to waive all connection fees if the applicant would commit to senior housing.
Ginevra Chandler, counsel for Dr. Gitlin, came forward. She clarified that the boundary line adjustment referenced in the General Manager's presentation had been completed, and was not a part of the use permit application. She also noted that the location of the current water meter is at the motel, not the Lodge, that there are twenty cabin units, not nineteen, counting the manager's house, for a total of forty-one units, not forty. She also claimed that the County has recognized eight of the units as "grandfathered in" as legal non-conforming uses. She pointed out that Dr. Gitlin is asking for an additional use at the motel, as opposed to a change of use. As to the twelve cabin units not grandfathered in, those would require a change in use. Director Orth commented that as a utility district, Brooktrails had never hooked up eight units as residences, noting that they would need to be brought into conformance with the utility code.
Ms. Chandler described Dr. Gitlin's envisioned conference center plan for the Lodge and motel, and stressed that the project is not financially viable if the cabins are not permitted for long-term use. She pointed out that the approved use permit is one of the requirements to obtain financing of the project. To clear up any misunderstanding, she stressed that Dr. Gitlin had no plans for "mixed use" at the motel, and explained that it would continue as short term transient occupancy until such time as financing is in place to do a senior housing project, at which time it would be closed and renovated. The other uses he was asking for were worker housing for the manager, and the flexibility for educational seminars lasting longer than thirty days.
She stated their position that because the sewer is in place, a waiver of sewer connection fees is appropriate. As to the water meters, they proposed that Dr. Gitlin be allowed to install meters at each structure, similar to other multi-residential structures in the District, as he had replaced a good deal of the laterals recently. He would agree to be responsible for the maintenance from the street to the structure. She suggested the details be worked out between the parties, as a condition of approval from the County. She provided alternative calculations indicating that the water use would be lower than estimated by the Department of Environmental Health. In response to Director Monteleone's inquiry, she reiterated that renting the cabin units to seniors only was not financially viable.
Director Orth made a motion that a "will serve" letter be prepared, based upon two commercial meters and individual meters per household, with a master meter at the street, and that the letter be provided to the occupant. Also, he asked that it be conditional upon execution of a maintenance agreement for the lines between the master meter and the individual meters and the sewer cutoff point where it goes under the street. He suggested that the connection fees be based upon actual use after a 24 month period, that the initial connection fee be set at the cost to install the meters, and the cost to the District for labor, and that the final connection fee be based upon the differential between the average use for a motel to the differential, as found.
The motion died for lack of second.
Director Whitney pointed out the Specific Plan recommendation that the Lodge be developed according to historical use. He suggested that the commercial meter be left for the Lodge and motel. He stated his support for a conditional agreement, for the purpose of facilitating Dr. Gitlin's application for governmental funding, but would not agree to guarantee utilities, as no detailed business plan for senior housing had been presented in writing. He stated that he was not against long term residential use, but wanted to be sure that the motel is not converted to condominiums without coming back to Board, and that the conditional agreement does not transfer to another property owner.
He asked that general direction be given to the Board that the County be asked to continue the hearing, as he felt that after one more meeting at Brooktrails an agreement could be reached. President Estabrook clarified that Director Whitney was making a formal motion, and asked for a second. Hearing none, he then made a motion that the Board give direction to the General Manager to make the following points at the August 9th hearing, 1) emphasize that we have made recent progress in our discussions with Dr. Gitlin, 2) believe that we can work with Dr. Gitlin to come to a resolution of utilities service to the cabin units, given a business plan for development, justification of over-all social value, assurance of the performance, and agreement of the details of the fees and charges, 3) that we would support the motel use as is, until viable senior housing plan is presented.
Director Orth seconded the motion.
Director Monteleone asked that the second part of the motion be amended to state "when given a business plan." President Estabrook agreed to amend his motion.
Director Orth noted that redevelopment is a step-by-step process. He voiced concern about the Board getting lost in the use permit application process, as opposed to hooking up the lodge property appropriately to the services provided by the District, as would be provided to any property owner. He felt the conditions were too stringent, and may go beyond the flexibility of the business to survive. He stressed the need to provide a "will serve" letter, with conditions, to the applicant so that the process could move forward, and asked that a copy of the letter be attached to the Board's comments to the Planning Commission at the August 9th hearing.
Director Whitney pointed out that there is currently no application for water or sewer service submitted by Dr. Gitlin, nor has a resolution been presented for Board approval. He asked that the statement "We support senior housing, in principal, for long term residency, however, we need a specific project proposal" be added as item number four.
President Estabrook agreed to amend his motion, and Director Orth agreed to amend his second. President Estabrook restated the four points, as follows:
1) Emphasize that we have made recent progress in our discussions with Dr. Gitlin,
2) We believe that we can work with Dr. Gitlin to come to a resolution of utilities service to the cabin units, when given a business plan for development, justification of over-all social value, assurance of the performance, and agreement of the details of the fees and charges,
3) We would support the motel use as is, until viable senior housing plan is presented.
4) We support senior housing, in principal, for long term residency. However, we need a specific project proposal
Director Monteleone asked that the phrase "an acceptable" be included in item number 2, in front of "business plan." President Estabrook amended his motion, and Director Orth his second. President Estabrook pointed out that the Board is being asked to make some fairly significant waivers in District policy, hence the need for the overriding social benefit to the community. A vote was then taken on the motion which passed unanimously by the members present.
Director Orth made a motion that the Board issue a "will serve" letter for water and sewer service to the Lodge property, with these provisos: 1) conditional use is not transferrable without further visitation by the Board to so approve, with any change in the use that is proposed with such transfer 2) conditional, subject to agreement on connection fees per unit converted to long term use, with provisions for credits as they convert to senior uses; 3) Based upon the General Manager's proposal, which was the master meter for the lodge, a master meter for the motel units, change the master meter at the street, with an agreement to be provided for maintenance between the master meter and the individual meters serving each unit converted to long term use. Director Whitney asked for clarification on the motel units. Director Orth referred to the chart titled "General Manager's Recommendations", as per the 18 month list the motel would have one meter and one charge until modified, depending on whether the use was converted to long term use.
Director Whitney asked that consideration of Director Orth's motion be placed on the next possible agenda for discussion. Director Orth amended his motion, agreeing that the proposals be the basis of further negotiations between the applicant and the Board. President Estabrook seconded the motion.
Director Whitney voiced appreciation to District Counsel Neary for his analysis and guidance. He asked that the Board President work with the General Manager to facilitate the process.
Ginevra Chandler came forward, and asked for a break to confer with Dr. Gitlin. A break was called.
BREAK at 10:30 p.m. - RECONVENE at 10:35 p.m.
Director Orth moved to continue the meeting past 10:30 p.m. No objections were voiced.
President Estabrook called for public comments on the motion currently on the floor. Ms. Chandler came forward and asked for clarification of the motion, which was provided by Director Orth. She voiced her, and Dr. Gitlin's, concern that the Board was asking for a concrete proposal, and requested specific details that the Board would like defined.
Director Monteleone reiterated the need for the Board to justify the waivers in District policy, and the need for clear demonstration of the overriding social benefit to the community.
Director Whitney provided clarification of the issues surrounding the water and sewer charges, and connections fees which would be tied to the use of the cabins. He asked her to work out the utility details with the Board President and General Manager, and provided historical insight into past discussions between the Board and Dr. Gitlin concerning the District's jurisdiction over connection fees.
Ms. Chandler made it clear that Dr. Gitlin was not giving up his right to take other measures should the negotiations fail.
District Counsel Neary provided guidance to the Board concerning their right to grant a waiver to the provisions of the District Ordinance.
President Estabrook asked that Dr. Gitlin's business plan include some type of assurance that the property management will not be detrimental to the community, and stressed the Board's unanimous agreement that senior housing is preferable.
He thanked Ms. Chandler for her assistance, and called for a vote on the motion, which was taken as follows:
AYES: Directors: Whitney, Orth, Estabrook
NOES: Directors: Monteleone
ABSENT Directors: Venturi
I. SPECIAL REPORTS - GENERAL MANAGER
J. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Director Orth moved to adjourn and President Estabrook declared the meeting of August 7, 2001 closed at 10:55 p.m.
MICHAEL V. CHAPMAN
Secretary to the Board of Directors