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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 2/02/2013 Board Meeting minutes

Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Board Meeting

February 2, 2013

DRAFT - not approved for distribution

Board Members Present:

Heather Beer, Glenn Borland, Robert Carlyle, Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Elizabeth Getzoff, Bruce Graves, Doug Lande, Mike Pique, Michael Walsh [chair].

Board Members Absent:

Brenda Fromlath, Mike Stevens, Linda Thorne, Yvonne Vaucher.

The PMPO Board Meeting was called to order at 10:33 AM at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, by Michael Walsh, chair.

Mike Pique reviewed the minutes from the August 25 and November 17, 2012, meetings, and the request was made for any questions, comments or changes. The August minutes were corrected as to board members present. Bruce Graves moved to approve both minutes as corrected and Heather Beer seconded the motion, motion passed.

The Treasurer's report was deferred; Chair Michael Walsh said that Treasurer Linda Thorne had informed him that there was nothing material to report at this time.

Old Business

Fire Safe Council and Tree Removal Program:

Robert Carlyle is expecting to receive a grant for $200,000 for tree removal and brush clearing in April or May. This should get us through summer and fall. Residents with brush or dead trees should call him, especially those on the sides of the mountain. Homeowners must pay something, usually 25%, can be 'in kind' work.

The Fire Safe Council sign by the Post Office needs work. Perhaps enlarge it into a “Community” board? Doug Lande, who built it originally, said he has approval from the Post Office for a “Fire Safety” sign only. The grant does have $2000 for education that could be used to fix up and improve the sign. It could also pay for a brochure - such as a new “evacuation” one, or a map with water tank locations and house addresses. Perhaps mail such a map along with the PMPO newsletter? Really need two different maps, a basic one for homeowners and mountain visitors, and a detailed one for firefighters. Cliff Kellogg says the PMVFD has looked at our existing map for people coming up ,especially visitors needing to know where to go. Mike Walsh suggests inserting an updated basic map in the May newsletter, or one of the ones already printed. Can the Fire Safe Council grant pay for postage? Robert believes not. George Evangelou suggests engraving or otherwise mounting the map on the Fire Safe Council sign, and he asks if the map is available on our web site? Heather says she will do that. Who has the PDF computer file of the map? Susan Leiniger did the map; Mike Chesney may have a copy.

Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD):

Deputy Chief Cliff Kellogg says everything is well, 23 members currently, with station staffing at least two firefighters every day, around the clock. The Fire Department is working with the county to re-establish the “Auxiliary” positions, such as to hold stop signs, work the radios, and roll hoses.

Elizabeth Getzoff asked about the Nate Harrison Grade road status, that it would be good to keep it in a drivable state. Cliff says Park Ranger Jessica Murany says it is in poor condition from the January rains, and that the County Road Department has not made any repairs yet. There are some issues with the road at the State Park boundary and Jessica is hoping to get the huge potholes there fixed. Cliff Kellogg says it is not a primary escape route and is low priority for the county. Michael Walsh asks if we've raised the issue with the county. Robert Carlyle says this has been going on for 50 years, between rainy seasons the county comes in once and grades - not every month. George Evangelou asks if there's a procedure in place to block uphill traffic in an emergency. Cliff Kellogg says we have no autority to close roads, but CHP can. The old plan had South Grade “uphill” and East Grade “downhill”, for example

Mike Pique asked for status on the PMPO inquiry as to whether the US Forest Service mission includes “protecting homes”. Cliff Kellogg talked to Wes Ruiz and the answer is `sometimes'. The Interagency Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations, (“Red Book”) edition of January 2013, Chapter 5, says in part, “Fire suppression actions on structures that are outside federal jurisdiction, outside the scope of wildland firefighting training, or beyond the capability of wildland firefighting resources are not appropriate roles for the Forest Service... The Forest Service will apply strategy and tactics to keep wildland fires from reaching structures, as prudent to do so, considering risk management for firefighters and publics, fire behavior, values at risk including natural resources, availability of firefighting resources, and jurisdictional authorities... The agency will NOT routinely provide primary emergency response (medical aids, fire suppression, HAXMAT, etc.) ... nor will the agency supplant the local government responsibility to do so... The Forest Service shall not: take direct suppression actions on structures other than those that tactically reduce the threat of fire spread to them; enter structures or work on roofs of structures for the purpose of direct suppression actions.”

Cliff Kellogg said that at the January “Snow Preparation meeting” many suggestions including metering and signage at the base of the South Grade all boiled down to CHP participation, who did not attend the meeting.

Palomar Mountain Mutual Water Company (PMMWC):

Tom Fortney, a PMMWC Board member, said no problems except for a few frozen pipes during the 19 degree cold snap.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain (CCPM):

Bruce Graves reported on the Community Center: the firefighters will continue to use the facility for temporary housing for at least a few more months. The CCPM board is still meeting and happy to have suggestions for activities: the church groups are now meeting in the Fire Department administrative building.

Cliff Kellogg says the building permits are moving typically slowly; hope to have the site plan done by May so we can move ahead with permits for the work done on the house. The PMVFD and the Community Center are working on a $40,000 grant for a new septic system to serve the house and the administration building.

2020 General Plan Revision:

Glenn Borland reported no significant events; Michael Walsh said a new EIR was in preparation about what to do with the pre-FCI designation lands. Mike Pique noted that two Jameson family members had originally asked to speak about their East Grade properties at the February 2012 PMPO meeting but then said they no longer needed to because their issues had already been resolved. Mike Pique asked if their designation revision, if any, is shown on the current map. Glenn Borland said it was; Michael Walsh thought the issue was more of notification than of designation; the family worked with DPLU's Robert Citrano and their query has been satisfied.

State Park:

Michael Walsh outlined AB1478, new legislation signed into law that the State of CA will match private donations received for the benefit of parks including Palomar. Yesterday, Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park submitted a request to have $38,000 per year matched, reflecting the park's annual net operating loss. They submitted the proposal with a request for three years of matching funds, plus additional requests for matching of private donations. So far, the Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park have written three $9,500 quarterly checks and have provided an additional $10,000 for bathroom improvements. These funds will stay in a dedicated Palomar park account.

Elizabeth Getzoff asked if the agreement can be extended beyond three years. Michael said yes, and hopes to go for five years, but the plan is to get the park breaking even. AB1478 calls for a two-year moratorium against closing any state park. and the new director, Anthony Jackson, already said he won't close any parks. Heather Beer asks if these funds could fix the paved road. Michael: Possibly, bur the focus is on basic operating expenses more than deferred maintenance; Jessica Murany may be pursuing other sources for that. Doug Lande said that if one-half ($10 million) of the $20 million “discovered” park funds went for maintenance, isn't that a small amount for all of California? Michael: yes, but CRISPIA/Friends of Palomar and other park-supporting associations have concentrated their energies on the parks on the closure list (70), half of which had no cooperating association. All in all, the cooperating associations have raised about $2 million to support their local parks.

Doug Lande pointed out that with the closing of the School Camp, the park now has under-utilized water sources. He suggests selling this water could be a long-term source of income for the park, perhaps sales in re-usable containers which would not necessarily cause more truck traffic.

Michael Walsh proposed the possibility of placing emergency water tanks on the far side of the park, probably like the Mutual Water tanks. He believes PMVFD Chief George Lucia would like a satellite fire station there. Doug Lande says the School Camp site has three big tanks, and Robert Carlyle says the Christian Camp has 1 million gallons on-site.


Heather Beer will coordinate this year, calling Susan Humason to see if Susan can again do the layout and printing, and Andy Bowden for a report from the observatory. Michael Walsh will help prod and push contributors. He suggests trying to sell more ads this year. The Palomar bicycle race on Saturday May 11 may affect plans to assemble the newsletter that day.

Pancake Breakfast May 25

Donna Dose will direct, will need setup help the Friday before.

PMPO web site

Mike Pique says that Mike Chesney is still generously operating and maintaining the site. George Evangelou suggests the PMPO ask Mike Chesney to train someone else to be able to make changes and update the site, perhaps have Mike Pique and Mike Chesney jointly operate it. Glenn Borland notes that he has boxes of older PMPO files at his house, some of which should perhaps be scanned and made available on-line. Mike Pique says that older PMPO minutes are available at, not available at the official site yet.

PMPO Board Elections

George Evangelou will direct and invite nominations through the newsletter. The five incumbents whose terms expire in May are Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Bruce Graves, Doug Lande, and George Lucia.

IRS filing

Linda Thorne will file our required statement by the April 30 deadline.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:08 PM.

Next board meeting is May 25, 2013, after the pancake breakfast and Annual General Meeting.

Michael Pique, Secretary. Minutes approved by PMPO board not***yet

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