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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 8/22/2009 Board Meeting minutes

Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Meeting

August 22, 2009

Board Members Present:

Glenn Borland [Chair], Cecelia Borland (alternate), Mike Chesney, Heather Beer, Bruce Graves, Robert Carlyle, Alan Serry, Susan Humason, Elizabeth Getzoff, Robert O'Neill.

Board Members Absent:

Michael Pique, Terri Bailey, Scott Kardel, Donna Dose.

The PMPO Board Meeting was called to order at 10:04 AM at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department. Glenn Borland thanked the Fire Department, The Goodie Girl, and the audience for the use of the facility, the refreshments, and their attendance respectively.

Treasurer Alan Serry reported balance forward as of May 23, 2009, of $38,908.51, income of $1,771.18 (donations $1,045, breakfast revenue $452, newsletter advertisement revenue $250, interest $24.18), expenses $136 for breakfast supplies, leaving us with a balance as of August 22, 2009, of $40,543.69. Alan noted that donations are lower than usual this year. The report was approved.

Old Business

Traffic Safety:

Alan Serry reported that a bid for rumble strip on the South Grade will go out in 3 weeks and that the long-promised rumble strip should be installed by end of November.

The project for removing dead and dying trees now proceeding in Mendenhall Valley and Birch Hill should be completed there and on South Grade by end of November.

Several minutes of discussion related to surveillance cameras, more CHP monitoring, and a Vista Sheriff team watching for motorcycle speeders resulted in no action taken.

Community Center:

Earl Walls reported that he hopes to have the Community Center completed by 5 September, the date of the PMVFD annual BBQ, but will need more money in spite of a $500 donation from Walt and Rosemary Johnston, a $970+ donation from the Mountain Church, and $1700 from his own pocket. He continued that the project must be completed by 15 September in order to receive the $5000 reimbursement held back from grant funds, which, Chief Kellogg remarked, already belongs to the Fire Dept. Earl Walls thanked Pete Weisel and Tom Fortney for their continued hard work on the building.

Bruce Graves moved that the PMPO donate up to $2500 to the Community Center of Palomar Mountain project. Alan Serry reminded the board that the PMPO had given $3000 just 7 months ago and that we have only $40,000 in the treasury. Mike Chesney suggested that the $2500 could be a loan and any remainder returned to the PMPO. Bruce Graves reiterated the original motion, which was seconded by Robert Carlyle and unanimously carried.

North Mountain San Diego General Plan 2020:

Eric Lardy and Bob Sutrano, representing the DPLU, presented a map heretofore not seen by the 2020 committee which outlined a proposed semi-rural density of 1 dwelling/4 acres in the Crestline area and 1 dwelling/10 acres in the Bailey Meadow area. Much of the rest of the mountain was designated 1 dwelling/40 acres (depending on slope, etc.), post-FCI, though it was 1 dwelling/8 acres pre-FCI. Elizabeth Getzoff asked if a legal lot of smaller than 4 acres could be built on if it met the other requirements and Mr. Lardy said yes, but not subdivided, and that slope dictates number of units regardless of lot size.

Mr. Sutrano stated that comments on the EIR are expected by end of August and that the county will not address our requests for density/commercial until end of 2009 or early 2010. He remarked that the 4 maps we had been using do not, in fact, concern us and that Palomar Mountain would conform to the EIR for biologically sensitive areas in the rest of the county. He further stated that the county has no plan for a 1 unit / 8 acres designation as pre-FCI, and that the FCI would remain in place until convenient to sundown. There is no default plan.

Gordon Madison noted that the new county map presented today had almost the same area for commercial that our committee adopted, sans the day park and the fire station. There was some discussion about zoning of the firehouse since it is privately owned. Brett Hauser asked about lots with two different development designations and Mr. Sutrano replied that it is sometimes done that way. Bill Leininger asked if there is a check list of issues that need to be addressed; Mr. Lardy suggested that we read the Governor's Office of Planning and Land Use guide and that he would provide us with the important chapters if necessary. He also reminded us that a template is available from the DPLU. The template will be used for the community plan which will be submitted early next year and will be considered with the other subregional plans for the General Plan.

Elizabeth Getzoff voiced concern that if Mother's Kitchen should close and since there is so little area available or suitable for development of any kind, how would we reestablish some commercial here. Mr. Lardy replied that Rural Village boundaries could be redrawn and verbiage written to ease the process for another commercial venture. He further stated that the term ``Country Town'' is not available to us any longer.

Mike Chesney suggested that we release and thank the county reps for their time. We did so.

Fire Safe Council:

Robert Carlyle reported that by the end of the year there will be $250,000 available for clearing Birch Hill of dead trees and chipping on small lots and for developing an evacuation corridor east of the observatory. The funds come from the US Forest Service by way of the California Fire Safe Council.

Transfer Station:

Cecelia Borland reported that the Pala Transfer Station is open to the public and will accept all general household waste, household hazardous waste, used motor oil, recyclables, clean green, batteries, wood, clothes and shoes all the time. They will accept tires the week of August 24-29. Recyclables will be paid for. A notice will be posted at the post office.


Bill Leininger reminded us that CERT will have a table at the PMVFD BBQ demonstrating Barricade gel and radios. He also reported that on September 19, disaster preparedness info would be available here at the fire house and at Mother's, that October 15 is the California Shakeout, an earthquake drill, and that on October 17 there will be a county-wide exercise for coastal disaster.

He thanked Hank Vargas for facilitating a CERT class at the observatory and suggested that we all sign up for e-mail distribution of real-time fire info at

Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Update:

Cliff Kellogg reported that the department now has 19 firefighters, 7 of whom live off-mountain. He requested more help. He said that we are now under the jurisdiction of the SD County Fire Authority and have received a $1.3 million grant from the Chicago Tribune for radios, etc. He also said that the department is working toward a staff of 2 people minimum on site 24/7.

2020 Committee:

Bruce Graves reported on the comments to the Draft EIR which will be presented to the county. See attached. Brett Hauser requested that the order of bullets be reversed. Elizabeth Getzoff made the motion, it was moved and seconded and passed unanimously.

Susan Humason asked about including Tom Burton's findings in the Draft EIR with PMPO letter to DPLU. There was much discussion pro and con and finally Elizabeth Getzoff and Susan Humason volunteered to further research the Draft EIR and report to PMPO. It was moved and seconded to combine info from Tom Burton's and Bruce Graves' docs and e-mail to board members. The motion passed with Alan Serry and Mike Chesney opposing.


Mike Chesney brought 3 recommendations from the communications committee: a. Minutes should be drafted and communicated to PMPO Board within 2 weeks of the meeting; b. all Board members commit to review and comment on Draft minutes within one week of the Draft being sent to them; c. once Draft Minutes are reviewed and ``agreed'' by the PMPO Board they are published to the community via: the E-Mail Distribution, the Web Sites, and the Notice Boards. The bylaws would be amended consistent with recommendations.

After some discussion about Michael Pique's faithfulness and longtime service, his busy schedule, and his frustration at not having minutes read, as well as the difficulty of participating in meetings while taking complicated notes, Robert Carlyle moved that we accept the recommendations and allow for the hiring of a scribe at the next meeting, thus allowing for Michael Pique's input. It was passed with Bruce Graves opposing.

Mike Chesney also made three recommendations for a web site: 1. That we develop; 2. That we develop a distribution list; 3. That we lease web server space for the site from After much discussion Robert Carlyle moved that we accept and and that we find another server. The motion was seconded and passed with Elizabeth Getzoff opposing. Mike Chesney then volunteered to implement the recommendations including collecting and archiving past info off-site. It was moved, seconded, and passed unanimously that we accept Mike Chesney's offer to implement above.

Mike Chesney then presented recommendations for bylaws amendments relative to Article IX Committees. See attached. Internal and External committees were defined as those requiring no public meetings and those requiring great transparency respectively. Committee lifespan and the right of committee members to make a minority report were discussed, as well as the need for minutes or a statement of work from all meetings. The words `Executive Committee and such other' were struck from the first paragraph of the attached document. Paragraph 3 was divided between the second and third sentences, and in section 9.4, paragraph 1 the letters `PMPO' were inserted between `and' and `chairperson' in the third line. No other action was taken.

New Business:

Nominations for Open Board Positions:

Glenn Borland nominated Linda Thorne to replace Rob Hawk on the Board. She was accepted unanimously. He then nominated Martha Vargas and Bruce Graves nominated Brett Hauser to replace Bonnie Phelps. The Board then voted 5:4 to accept Martha Vargas. Alan Serry then left the meeting to attend to a prior commitment.

SDG&E De-energization Proposal:

Glenn Borland presented a letter he had prepared to be sent to SDG&E regarding the plan to shut off power during fire danger and instead to bury the high voltage 250 KV lines. Heather Beer moved that we send the letter. It was seconded and passed unanimously.

State Park Closure:

Letter presented by Glenn Borland re possibility of closing State Park and adjoining roads. Information only.

Tom Burton suggested time limits on discussion to facilitate shorter meetings.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:08 PM.

Next meeting: 14 November, 2009 at 10:00 AM, Fire Station.

Respectfully Submitted, Cecelia Borland

[Edited by Michael Pique]

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