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Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Meeting
April 5, 2003
Terri Bailey, Thomas Burton, Robert Carlyle, Tracy Dixon, Donna Dose, Bruce Graves, Susan Humason, Pat Jones, Elliot Miller, Jack Norvall, Bonnie Phelps, Michael Pique. Robert Sterner, John Tainer.
Guests included Earl Walls, Ian McInnes, Jerry McLees, Brian Covington, Rob Haw Wendy Craig, Victor and Peggy Jevremov, and Nick Richutte.
The PMPO Board meeting was convened 10:10 A.M. April 5, 2003, at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department. The minutes of the October 12, 2002, board meeting were distributed and approved. The treasurer, Tracy Dixon, reported no income or expenditures since the last board meeting. Our current assets stand as $29,874.92 in the bank account. The report was approved
Mr. Yale had given the County a post-dated letter (December 31, 2002) withdrawing his submittal if the Environmental Impact Report had not been submitted by that date, which it had not been. John Tainer said the process left him feeling uneasy. Bruce Graves said he had phoned the County DPLU asking for the status of the project and was told it was ``closed''. He had heard that DPLU Director Gary Pryor had not wanted to do any official act that could become a basis for an appeal so was just going to leave the document dormant. Rob Hawk said that although there would be no prejudice against opening a new project, county groundwater geologist Mr. Peterson had retired. The project would need new fees and the technical documents would expire in three years. However, the same consultants could-revalidate them. Elliot Miller said he thought the withdrawal a major victory for the community and the PMPO.
Jack Norvall is working with Bob Haase to see if the USFS/BLM could administratively correct the boundary problem; otherwise, we might have to go to court, or to try to buy or exchange the land (about 18-20 acres). We know Section 14 is not square but are now using old road surveys to connect the township & range lines on the ground in comparison with the topographic maps. Norvall and Pique are now making transparencies for Haase to be able to use in possible presentations at the BLM.
Jack Norvall believes we need to go back into the field and re-measure the NW corner of Section 19 T10S R2E and the NE corner of Section 13 T10S R1E, where the PMPO has located old tree blazes. The range line between Townships R1E and R2E runs north and south through Dyche Valley; the government-recognized range line corner at SW Section 19 T10R R2E appears to be several hundred feet off from what Haase and Norvall believe to be the original (1855) range line, but need to get permission to re-measure.
Bonnie Phelps knows of 40 acres land bordering the National Forest that might be available for a purchase and exchange. Tom Burton asked who would pay for it. John Tainer said we might do a fund raiser with a web/email notice that clearly stated what the goals and benefits are. Pat Jones asked, if such property is acquired and exchanged, how would it affect the metes and bounds descriptions within Crestline? Jack Norvall and Bonnie Phelps agreed it likely would not, except where the actual USFS border was, as in John Fish's land. John Tainer urged proceeding in parallel on the survey challenge and the land exchange. Tom Burton said that the PMPO's charter does not let it benefit individuals directly, so we would have to structure arrangements correctly. Bonnie Phelps will communicate acreage possibilities to Norvall, Burton, and Haase.
Bruce Graves said that since 1975, it had always been the intent to have a fire station and a community center, together. This is no longer possible because of zoning and building code requirements. The PMVFD Fire Dept board is willing to split up or lease the land, but a community center needs a major use permit and needs funding, possibly through a county grant. John Tainer asks if sharing a community center with the fire station is impossible. Bruce says it is not possible to share the current PMVFD house, which has only residence permits, although the PMVFD is working on obtaining a Class B permit which the PMVFD (but not a community center) could get. A Class B permit would allow the existing building to be used for meetings by non-profit 501(c)3 groups [such as the PMPO], but not for dances, a library, and senior or youth activities.
Wendy Craig reported on progress by the Community Center Project Group, which she heads. The group is drafting plans and working toward applying for a Community Development grant, which chief Karl Bauer says has been used to fund the Shelter Valley community center. Shelter Valley employed three phases of grant proposals: ground preparation, grading, and construction. Bonnie Phelps is eager to see plans, leach field layout, etc. Most lots are now non-buildable due to strict modern requirements, and the county is very reluctant to grant variances. We may need to buy, or have donated, 1 acre and $1/2$ acre parcels now for sale adjoining the fire station.
Earl Walls said he is heading the design drafting. He is planning for four toilets and one shower, and is working on how the County would translate this into septic requirements. One draft plan is a two-story addition to the existing building, but this would be expensive. A second plan is a new one-story, 4320 square foot, L-shaped building containing two 75-90 person assembly rooms with a kitchen in the middle. Earl's draft plans use precut structural insulation panels, which are easy to assemble and wire, Earl figures $150,000-200,000 for a 3000 square foot building. He says we could possibly install the septic system in between the current building and the amphitheater to the north.
Tom Burton thought a new non-profit group would need to be chartered, with its own board. Wendy said this had not yet been done, but the current working group was to meet April 26 at Robert Carlyle's house to work toward this, and to write a Community Center mission statement that would include disaster preparedness, school functions, and private functions.
Tom Burton said he and the PMPO committee are tracking the county 2020 General Plan Update; the county is moving ahead but at a very measured rate. The 13-page PMPO letter was summarized in two or three phrases that probably no one on Palomar Mountain or the PMPO committee would agree with. We have three chief points, one being the downzoning of our small commercial area to residential-commercial. Bruce Graves, Jerry McLees, and Tom Burton went to a January 2003 meeting where they were shown the latest map, which shows zoning as C36 commercial, but only on the 2-acre ``Mother's Kitchen'' parcel, not the five other commercial parcels there. Tom will write to re-request expansion of that zoning to preservation of all existing commercial parcels, total of 10 acres. The PMPO feels that road size, slope, septic, and setback rules will naturally limit development on Palomar Mountain. The board authorized Tom Burton to develop a letter from the PMPO. Jerry McLees said we need to move quickly to talk to county staff because the County Commissioners are going to act soon on the plan.
Nick Richutte said he is working with a logging company that has been clearing near Julian after the 2002 ``Pines Fire''. Nick said the drought has resulted in 75-80% tree kill in parts of Cleveland National Forest. The logging company is cutting dead and dying trees, chiefly cedars, and hauling them to northern California. Nick is seeking large-tract landowners interested in having clearing and thinning done in exchange for the lumber, saying that Ray Carpenter, Voss, the Yoga Center, and the Mortensons on Conifer Road have signed on. Bonnie Phelps said it is important to examine the north slopes on properties, as there has been the most tree death on those slopes. She said the north face of Crestline is very bad and needs owners to work together on reducing fire danger. Susan Humason suggested working through the Fire Safe council.
Bruce Graves announced Russ Day has resigned from the Board. Alan Serry was appointed and approved to fill the vacancy, term expiring in May 2004.
A newsletter-preparation working party is scheduled for 10 AM, May 3, at Bruce & Lola Graves'. The next scheduled board meeting is May 24, 2003 immediately after the Annual General meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 P.M.
Michael E. Pique, Secretary.