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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 5/28/2005 Annual General Meeting

Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization 2005 Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 28, 2005 at the Palomar Mountain Lodge

Board Members Present:

Terri Bailey, Thomas Burton, Robert Carlyle, Tracy Dixon, Donna Dose, Elizabeth Getzoff (alternate), Bruce Graves, Dale Norton, Susan Humason, Elliot Miller, Jack Norvall, Bonnie Phelps, Michael Pique, John Tainer.

The annual general PMPO meeting was convened at the Palomar Mountain Lodge 11:03 A.M. Saturday May 28, 2005. The Chair, Bruce Graves, thanked the Palomar Mountain Lodge owners Dale and Angelique Norton for once again hosting the Pancake Breakfast and Annual Meeting, Susan Humason for editing and producing the newsletter, and Donna Dose & crew for organizing the breakfast.

Secretary's Report (Michael Pique):

The minutes of the May 29, 2004, annual general meeting were distributed and approved, with the correction that the treasurer's report described the 2003, not 2004, expenses.

Treasurer's Report (Tracy Dixon):

As reported in the PMPO spring 2005 annual newsletter, our balance carried forward from December 31, 2003, was $32,311.00. Our 2004 expenses, totaling $4,564.93, were $37.00 for PMPO announcement stamps, $259.00 for annual newsletter stamps, $285.62 for breakfast food, $219.97 for breakfast supplies, $1000.00 for Community Center start-up expenses, $683.10 for annual newsletter printing and PMPO stationary, $300.00 for Cedar Creek biology report, $1,744.24 for EDAW-Environmental report, and $36.00 for post office box rental. The total donations from our members came to $3,810, and we had $401.05 receipts from the 2004 breakfast, which served 170, a total income of $4,211.05, giving us an ending balance (Dec 31, 2004) of $31,957.12. The treasurer's report was approved.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain (CCPM):

Earl Walls said current planning is for a combined Community Center and Volunteer Fire Department auxiliary building. It would be two stories, about 5000 square feet, with the downstairs partly below ground providing space for Fire Department training, maintenance, and offices. The upstairs would have an auditorium, library, meeting room, kitchen, pantry, crafting room, and emergency refuge. The plan includes removal of the existing small house, which has become structurally unsound, expensive to maintain, and a fire hazard in itself.

Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD):

The new PMVFD Fire Chief, George Lucia, introduced himself as a 35-year ``east coaster'' whose professional specialty is coordinating career and volunteer fire-fighters. He praised his PMVFD predecessors for their amazing job in training and equipping the Department. He thanked everyone for supporting the PMVFD, for cooperating on fire safety, and for clearing brush to create defensible space. The Chief said, ``keep it up''.

Fire Safe Council:

Shana Ackerman said last year the Palomar Mountain Fire Safe Council grant funding cut down 340 dead standing trees and chipped 41 acres of heavy brush on the south side of Crestline Road. This year the Council has one more grant, from the US Forest Service, for clearing and chipping, and already have 104 people on the list to be helped.

Palomar Christian Conference Center (PCCC):

PCCC Director Kim Rosiar reminded Palomar Mountain residents that the Conference Center is always available as a place of safe refuge in case of fires or dangerous winter weather. And even when there isn't an emergency, you have an open invitation to drop by, see what they're doing, and have a meal. The Center serves three meals a day to several hundred guests every summer, and last summer fed and helped the fire crews. There are still openings for the two most popular summer programs, Girl's Horse Camp and Boy's Adventure Camp, so check it out. The County approved the Center's 10-year master plan in 2003, and as part of that, issued a grading permit for 10 RV parking pads, to house volunteers helping out on construction projects at the Center. Next year they hope to begin on a new ``center within a center'' at Strawberry Flats, capacity 110 guests.

Dual Government Survey Problem:

Jack Norvall said the crux of the controversy continues to be the southeast corner of Section 14, alongside what is now Conifer Road. Where the federal government survey placed this corner in 1985 caused the north half of Section 14 to be 100 feet shorter than had been accepted by San Diego County since 1890. The PMPO team did 6 hikes this winter working on retracing the footsteps of the 1885 and 1927 surveys, making GPS measurements of streambeds and ridges. These data cast serious doubt on the 1985 government location, because it isn't consistent with the topography ``calls'' in the original written records and in San Diego county road surveys made around 1900. The PMPO is working with part-time resident Robert Haase on how to present all this to the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

County of San Diego Year 2020 General Plan Update:

The 2020 General Plan update has been on-going for seven years now with no end in sight. The PMPO has been working with county staff from the beginning to restore the commercial zoning for the shopping area at the Summit, and to allow for `clustering': the variety of densities that most towns have, allowing greater landowner flexibility and varieties of use for residents, all through recognition of our `Country Town' status.

This year, the PMPO made solid progress when the San Diego County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution asking the staff to work with the PMPO to allow commercial zoning in that area, and to direct the County Counsel to develop an opinion as to whether the County can designate new `Country Towns' within the Cleveland National Forest, all as covered by the Forest Conservation Initiative.

In a Country Town, a greater variety of densities and commercial zoning (like we enjoyed before the FCI) are all allowed. Although Palomar Mountain was not listed as a Country Town in the FCI map as adopted, we meet all the written requirements in the County's definition, and we showed evidence going back to the 1880's that Palomar had stores and other town-like attributes so that it should be designated as a bona fide country town.

Motorcycle Safety Update:

Bonnie Phelps reported that for months the motorcyclists have been out in droves. She is trying to see how to get the riders in conformance with the law. PMVFD Chief Lucia says that a press release is coming out this week with real positive news.

La Jolla Indian Reservation / Yale Cedar Creek Water Project:

Bruce Graves noted that since the 1980s the PMPO has been actively safeguarding the Palomar Mountain water supply, such as by taking the lead in the development of the San Diego County Ground Water ordinance. He related how, in 1991, Palomar landowner William Yale drilled two large wells near the East Grade Road, adjacent to Cedar Creek, a tributary of the San Luis Rey river. Mr. Yale sought a major use permit that would allow pumping the well-water for export off the mountain. The county required various environmental studies, including a September 1993 48-hour pumping test during which Cedar Creek lost three times as much water into the ground as normal, and wells near the site dropped by as much as 70 feet. The PMPO continued to insist on appropriate safeguards to the Mountain's water supplies, and finally in 2003 Mr. Yale withdrew the permit application.

However, in June 2004 the project resurfaced as a plan in which the La Jolla Indian Reservation would annex the 8-acre property where the the wells are and construct a pipeline through the reservation down to Highway 76. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved this plan in March 2005, despite many public objections to the inadequacies of the project's Environmental Assessment. Because the Reservation is not under County or State jurisdiction, the safeguards the PMPO fought for are no longer guaranteed.

John Tainer noted that the last major fire on Palomar Mountain, the 1999 ``La Jolla'' fire, was stopped at Cedar Creek, and the water that the project plans to take from the Cedar Creek environment will certainly increase the fire dangers. Under the plan approved by the BIA, the project can take as much water every year as would supply 250 residences.

Elizabeth Getzoff telephoned the Sacramento office of the BIA and was told that the next step was that the BIA's Realty Branch would receive an application from the La Jolla tribe for the transfer of the property.

The PMPO board believes the tribe has been misled by the plan's proponents and hopes to arrange a meeting with LaVonne Peck, the tribe's project manager. The Board wishes to explain the well-pumping project's 14-year background and to encourage safeguards for the mountain's water supplies.

Palomar Mountain History Project:

Crestline resident Peter Brueggeman has determined that he can legally reprint the well-known book ``Palomar Mountain: from Teepee to Telescope'' and he is proceeding to do so. Next will come publication of the recently discovered Robert Asher manuscript, ``My Palomar.'' The books will be available at the Store and perhaps in time for sale at the Labor Day PMVFD Barbecue.

Election of PMPO Board Members:

The Chair announced that Dale Norton is leaving the PMPO Board so there are six open seats up for election. The five incumbents running for re-election are Robert Carlyle, Jim Hamerly, Jack Norvall, Bonnie Phelps, and John Tainer/Elizabeth Getzoff. Nominations were received from the floor for Brian Covington, Keith Ronchetti, and Rob Hawk.

After statements by the candidates, an election was conducted by Dale Norton. Rob Hawk was elected to the one-year-remainder of Dale Norton's term, expiring in 2006; Robert Carlyle, Jim Hamerly, Jack Norvall, Bonnie Phelps, and John Tainer/Elizabeth Getzoff were elected for three year terms expiring in 2008.

The Board roster is:

(terms expiring May 2006):

Terri Bailey, Tracy Dixon, Rob Hawk, Elliot Miller, and Michael Pique

(terms expiring May 2007):

Tom Burton, Donna Dose, Bruce Graves, Susan Humason, and Scott Kardel

(terms expiring May 2008):

Robert Carlyle, Jim Hamerly, Jack Norvall, Bonnie Phelps, and

John Tainer/Elizabeth Getzoff.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Michael E. Pique, Secretary.

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