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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 5/24/2003 Annual General Meeting minutes

Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization 2003 Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 24, 2003 at the Palomar Mountain Lodge

Board Members Present:

Terri Bailey, Thomas Burton, Robert Carlyle, Tracy Dixon, Donna Dose, Elizabeth Getzoff (alternate), Bruce Graves, Susan Humason, Pat Jones, Elliot Miller, Jack Norvall, Bonnie Phelps, Michael Pique, Alan Serry.

The annual general PMPO meeting was convened at the Palomar Mountain Lodge 11:04 A.M. Saturday May 24, 2003, with about 80 in attendance. The Chair Bruce Graves thanked the Palomar Mountain Lodge owners Dale and Angelique Norton for again hosting the Pancake Breakfast and Annual Meeting, Susan Humason for editing and producing the newsletter, and Donna Dose & crew for organizing the breakfast.

Old Business

Secretary's Report (Michael Pique):

The minutes from the May 25, 2002, annual meeting were distributed and approved.

Treasurer's Report (Tracy Dixon):

As reported in the PMPO spring 2003 annual newsletter, our 2002 expenses, totaling $1,587.77, were $71.00 for PMPO announcement stamps, $678.09 for the newsletter printing, $388.42 for newsletter stamps, $402.93 for breakfast food, supplies, and grill rental, $11.12 for photocopies, and $36.00 for post office box rental. The total donations from our members came to $4,502, and we had $308.35 receipts from the 2002 breakfast, a total income of $4,513.35, giving us an ending balance (Dec 31, 2002) of $29,869.77. The treasurer's report was approved.

Palomar Mountain State Park:

Jeffrey W. Lee, Ranger, said the park this year received about two million dollars for upgrades and carrying out deferred maintenance. They have completed dredging and rehabilitating of Doane Pond, and stocking it with trout. The next project in the works is legal transfer of the CDF fire lookout tower, unused since 1986, to the park as a historical structure that will eventually house a museum.

Dead Tree Clearing:

Chuck Nuff reported he met with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to understand issues outstanding with regard to SDG&E's cutting of trees that endanger electrical transmission and distribution lines. Four main points were discussed:

1. What decision criteria are used to decide on a tree's removal? It is up to the inspector, who is looking for brown branches or dead growth on trees, ``flagging''. If questionable, will put tree on ``watch list''.

2. What if a property owner refuses to allow a tree to be cut? The contractor, Davey Tree, will have a release form for that owner to sign. The form will go to SDG&E who will decide what to do: leave, trim, or cut.

3. Is there a dispute resolution process for tree removal? Yes, which includes on-site review, beginning Wednesday May 28. The PMPO has copies of the request form.

4 . What are examples of the work to be done? A 45-minute tour of trees in the Crestline area was conducted. Some firs and cedars were moved from the `cut' to the `watch' list as a result.

Some questions from the floor were answered. SDG&E has employed at least one certified arborist. SDG&E will arrange a central location for slash left on the ground to be taken to for later removal. With regard to the 10-to-20 foot stumps left standing, removal of trees beyond the point at which they are hazardous to the power lines is not within SDG&E's responsibility, but it was suggested to send photos to SDG&E's public relations department. Nick Richutte says SDG&E will now drop the entire tree on request. With regard to dead trees not near power lines, Robert Carlyle and Bonnie Phelps said to contact Nick Richutte, whose Palomar Timber Company is able to clear land of dead trees in exchange for the lumber. This, however, is practical only for large parcels, not the 1 acre or smaller plots typical of Birch Hill and Crestline.

Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD):

PMVFD Chief Karl Bauer said the new ``interface fire engine'' is already operational, and the new $140,000 3200-gallon water tender has arrived and will be operational very soon. Karl now feels we have reliable apparatus to respond to emergencies, address the challenge of insurance, and move ahead to new opportunities. The next project will be to fill the financial gap between the Community Service funds received and the Department's operating expenses. They are now doing cost-recovery on calls involving non-resident incidents, with a ``typical accident'' requiring four pieces of equipment and five firefighters costing about $300.

Karl said the fire danger was very severe this season. Much dry brush, not just trees, and very heavy grass from winter rains. Conditions exist up here common to disastrous fires: too much vegetation near structures, combustible roof materials, narrow winding roads. If we can't get safely to your home - and back out - I will not endanger my crews: we have one firefighter monument on the mountain already, we do not want any more. As a community, we have a little time to address the issue. We need to get limbs cut away from houses 10 to 20 feet up, cleared of dead or brown vegetation at least 30 feet from houses, and thinned by 50% out to 100 feet. We need to bring chippers up here. We need to get street addresses on houses and on the maps. The DPLU has committed to come up and map the area, Karl has asked it be done by the end of June.

Karl reminded residents needing help to call


and ask for the PMVFD, they are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain:

Wendy Craig said their planning group has met several times about building a Community Center next to the fire station. The next meeting is June 7 and they are eager for community participation in writing up how the Center would be used, with the goal of a county grant to pay for construction materials.

Historical Publications:

Bonnie Phelps said the recently discovered historical Aster manuscript has been edited by Frank Spencer. The work includes 46 Palomar Mountain photographs taken between 1903 and the 1930's; additional photographs in the manuscript need restoration. Anyone who can help with proofreading should contact her.

County 2020 General Plan Update:

A PMPO sub-committee led by Tom Burton is representing the ``North Mountain Area'' in the San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use comprehensive year-2020 update of the general plan. This is the highest level of land-use planning in California- the staff is just about done with the ``concept'' phase. A petition is being circulated on the PMPO's position that we need to be able to keep our small (10 acre) commercial zoning, around where the store and Mother's Kitchen are. Jerry McLees has discovered a `Religious Land Use Act' that might exempt the Yoga Center's land in the existing commercial zone from the threatened downzoning. Bruce Graves and Tom Burton have met with Supervisor Horn's land planner to advance our attempt to have Palomar Mountain declared a ``Country Town''. The county planning staff still say that won't work, legally, but we think it will.

Cedar Creek Water Project:

Since 1992, the PMPO has been following William Yale's proposed commercial development along the East Grade Road to pump and sell well water from his 7 acre parcel. Elizabeth Getzoff reported that Mr. Yale has stopped pursuing preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and as of December 31, 2002, had officially withdrawn his application for the Major Use Permit he applied for in 1999.

Dual Government Survey Problem:

Jack Norvall explained how the 1985 US Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service resurvey of Palomar Mountain section 14 has resulted in the Forest Service gaining 18 acres at the expense of residents, and may have disrupted the boundaries of all parcels in this section, which includes Crestline and Birch Hill. The PMPO still needs old maps, particularly of Crestline, and field notes that might show where the section corners and quarter-corners were located and marked during the 1885-1930 period.

Election of PMPO Board Members:

The Chair announced that there are five open seats on the PMPO Board, The five incumbents running for re-election were Terri Bailey, Tracy Dixon, Elliot Miller, Michael Pique, and Robert Sterner. Nomination were received from the floor for Brian Covington and Dale Norton. After statements by the candidates, an election was conducted by Robert Carlyle. Terri Bailey, Tracy Dixon, Elliot Miller, Dale Norton, and Michael Pique were elected for three year terms expiring in 2006.

The complete board member roster is:

(terms expiring May 2004):

Tom Burton, Donna Dose, Bruce Graves, Susan Humason, and Alan Serry

(terms expiring May 2005):

Robert Carlyle, Pat Jones, Jack Norvall, Bonnie Phelps, and John Tainer/Elizabeth Getzoff

(terms expiring May 2006):

Terri Bailey, Tracy Dixon, Elliot Miller, Dale Norton, and Michael Pique

The meeting was adjourned at 12:55 P.M.

Michael E. Pique, Secretary

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