Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 5/24/1997 Annual General Meeting minutes
Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization 1997 Annual
Saturday, May 24, 1997 at the Palomar Mountain Lodge
Board Members Present:
Robert Carlyle, Russ Day, Donna Dose,
Elizabeth Getzoff (alternate), Bruce Graves, Susan Humason, Jack
Norvall, Michael Pique, Carol Ravenscroft, John Tainer, Robert
Thicksten, Joseph Weeks.
The annual public PMPO meeting was convened at 11:07 A.M. Saturday May
24, 1997. The Chair Bruce Graves thanked the Palomar Mountain Lodge
and Joe Weeks for hosting the Pancake Breakfast and Annual Meeting.
The minutes from the 1996 annual meeting
were distributed and approved.
We began the fiscal year with $8,759.93.
As reported in the PMPO spring 1997 annual newsletter, our expenses
were $4,279.32 for consulting fees and postal charges, and $5000.00
deposited for a retainer with water-right attorneys Hatch and Parent.
The total donations from our members came to $6,070.30, $3209.02 short
of meeting our expenses, leaving us with a balance of $5,550.91. The
treasurer's report was approved.
Antennas on Crestline:
Bruce Graves considered the PMPO's actions on the Crestline tower
expansion to be one of the PMPO's major successes. Relay Engineering
had intended to increase the height of their 35-foot existing antenna
by 100 feet. The county planning commission has ruled that an
Environmental Impact Report is required and Relay Engineering is
understood to have withdrawn their permit application.
Cedar Creek Water Project:
Jerry McLees reported on the status
of William Yale's proposed commercial development along the East Grade
Road to pump and sell well water. Mr. Yale proposes to pump, from his
7 acre parcel, between 25 and 100 acre-feet per year accumulated by the
570-acre Jeff Valley watershed, with normal use for a 7-acre parcel
being one-half acre-foot per year. Mr. McLees said Mr. Yale is moving
toward his Major Use Permit application but is still in an informal
pre-application process, working out pumping amounts with the county.
The PMPO believes an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required to
address the biological and long-term hydrological consequences of Cedar
Creek drawdown, the traffic safety issues, the pollution and noise from
the planned diesel generator, as well as the possibly precedent-setting
taking of water resources. The PMPO's water attorneys, Hatch and
Parent, have written a letter supporting the PMPO's request for an
John Tainer pointed out three reasons the project causes
concern to the PMPO: one, the scale of the operation, larger than any
existing water project on Palomar; two, the method of extraction being
forced pumping rather than natural spring discharge; and three, the
small parcel extracting much more than its water recharge by draining
an upland valley. According to SDSU's Dr. David Huntley, the granite
rock on the mountain has water-carrying fractures that extend long
distances, so the effect of pumping a well can be felt far away in
unpredictable directions. Mr. Tainer pointed our this meant it could
be difficult for residents to prove their water supply was drawn down
specifically by Mr. Yale's pumping.
Dual Government Survey Problem:
Jack Norvall reported that
a recent US Forest Service resurvey of Palomar Mountain sections 14 and
15 has resulted in the Forest Service gaining 18 acres at the expense
of residents, and may have disrupted the boundaries of all parcels in
those sections. Mr. Norvall said the PMPO hopes to help resolve the
issue with the Forest Service as it would be very expensive to take the
matter to the courts.
Palomar Mountain State Park:
Susan Grove, Chief Ranger,
rejoiced that the loop road to the spectacular Boucher Point lookout is
again open, and she hopes to begin repairs on the historic fire tower
there so it too can be re-opened to visitors. A goal for this year is
restoring an old apple orchard and completing a butterfly garden near
Doane Pond - volunteers to help cultivate are needed. She reported 31
campsites open, with hot showers and flushing toilets, and credited
colleagues David Roberts and Jeff Madison with keeping it all going for
the 65,000 visitors last year. She reminded residents of the
Interpretive Programs from Memorial Day until Labor Day, the Saturday
evening campfire talks, and the Junior Ranger program weekend
mornings. Finally, she invited visitors who simply want to taste the
wonders of the park to ask at the gate for a free 20-minute
U.S. Forest Service:
Norm Noyes reported that Palomar
Mountain has 4 Forest Service fire engines; all of Cleveland National
Forest is being covered by 12 engines, normally 27. The Service has
done a few prescribed burns with one more planned. They have funds to
buy property for recreation along Boulder Creek Road, southwest of
Julian. In 1996 they bought 928 acres and expect to buy 400 in 1997.
Mr. Noyes announced a new tax called the "Recreation Fee Pass" which
costs $5 per day or $30 per year and will be required for parking on
southern California's four National Forests. 80% of the funds will go
to the local area and the pass will be sold by stores and at the Forest
Service district offices. Mr. Noyes said the Service was aware of the
resurvey and recommended talking to the Forest Service surveyor, Kent
Whittaker, who knows the history. All Forest Service surveys are done
under direction of the Bureau of Land Management. Finally, Mr. Noyes
reminded us we should feel free to call our on-mountain ranger, Milt
Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD):
Board President Cliff Ellerby announced two upcoming fund-raising
events, the June 14 Flag Day dinner and square dance, and the August 30
Barbecue and raffle. They hope to earn enough to finish the 10,000
gallon reservoir (needs $2,300) and buy a foam-making machine (needs
$2,500). The foam machine expands each gallon of water into 80 gallons
of wet sticky foam that repels heat; a borrowed foam unit saved the
dance hall during the disastrous Bailey House fire. This year, the
PMVFD received donations of a flag pole (the Clark family), and a
generator and space heaters for the fire station. Fire Chief Scott
Drieschman reported the PMVFD currently has 2 rescue vehicles, 2
pumpers, 1 2000-gallon water tender, and 1 3000-gallon portable tank.
Three firefighters including Assistant Fire Chief Karl Bauer, a former
El Cajon police officer and deputy sheriff, have received advanced
training at the National Firefighter Academy. Scott asked homeowners
to clear brush around their houses, pick up and read a wildfire
brochure, install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and buy a
$12 chimney fire extinguisher. He urged residents needing help to call
and ask for the PMVFD, they are on call 24 hours a day, 7
days a week.
Superintendent Bob Thicksten said
Palomar is wrapping up a complete ``Sky Survey'' that began in 1986.
The interferometer telescope described last year is proceeding well,
and with new involvement by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be used
to observe planets in our solar system as well as distant stars. The
instrument combines light from two, soon to be three, separate mirrors
and will eventually lead to large space-based telescopes. Mr.
Thicksten asked residents to please turn their porchlights off so the
Observatory can have a dark sky for its important work - each light on
the mountain is as bad as 1000 lights down in San Diego.
Fire Insurance Rates:
asked why his fire insurance has gone up 500%, from $380 to $2200. Mr.
Drieschman suggested the California Fair Plan for about $1100 per
Election of PMPO Board Members:
The Chair announced that there
are five open seats on the PMPO Board, with Tom Fortney declining to
run for re-election. A nomination was made from the floor for Debbie
and Karl Bauer, who accepted. The four incumbents running for
re-election were Joseph Weeks, Michael Pique, Terri Bailey, and Carol
Ravenscroft. After statements by these nominees, the motion to elect
them to terms extending to May 2000 was accepted by acclamation. The
other board members' terms are: Bruce Graves, Donna Dose, Tom Burton,
Russ Day, and Susan Humason (terms expiring May 1998), and Jack
Norvall, Bob Thicksten, Robert Carlyle, Halcie Clark, and John Tainer
(terms expiring May 1999).