BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes 09-22-09

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

DATE: September 22, 2009
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
Paul Bowers
Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Stan Mofjeld
Jim Morgan

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Minutes of August 2009
    Lori Christensen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes for August 2009.  Paul Bowers seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Reports
    1. Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC)
      Paul Bowers reported that there have been no meetings of the Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC) for three months.  This is likely due to lack of building activity.
    2. Treasurer’s ReportKelly Cohen reported that the balance in the BRECA checking account is $5,391.63.
  1. Old Business
    1. Butterfield Special Planning Area (SPA)
      Jim Morgan reported that the Notice Of Preparation (NOP) for an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) of the proposed Butterfield Special Planning Area (SPA) has been delayed.  There is no information on when it might be released.
    2. Habitat Restoration for Gristmill
      Gay Jones reported that there had been a site visit about three weeks ago at the Gristmill area that included BRECA representatives, the Corps of Engineers, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), and Sacramento County Parks staff.  Damaged sites were pointed out.  Jim Morgan pointed out a tree with protective fencing that was about two feet below the existing grade, indicative of the thickness of the pad at the Kansas Access staging area.  BRECA representatives emphasized the need to to restore grasslands and visual screening at damaged sites and to restore drainage at the Kansas Access staging area.  There was discussion of the site visit.Jim Morgan distributed copies of the BRECA letter to Lizette Crosbie and Pete Ghelfi with SAFCA.  Jim also pointed out that the revised planting diagram received from SAFCA indicated 20 feet of vegetation free easement on the riverside of the levee, which is erroneous.  It was agreed that a letter should be drafted to SAFCA and the Corps concerning this error.Gay Jones stated that SAFCA and the Corps are addressing the lack of an upstream tie-in of the levee to high ground.  Present plans are for a four feet wide berm that connects the end of the levee to the back yard of the second house upstream from the end of the levee.  The proposed path of the berm results in minimal loss of foliage.
    3. BRECA Picnic
      There was a discussion of arrangements for the BRECA picnic, which will be on Sunday, September 27, 2009.
  1. New Business
    1. American River Parkway Budget and Closures
      Gay Jones stated that County Parks announced that the Gristmill entrance to the Parkway will be closed to vehicles starting on September 14.  Gay stated that she had spoken at the County Board of Supervisors meeting concerning the closure.  She pointed out that Gristmill had already been closed for one year for levee construction, and the upcoming closure will be disruptive for the community.  She noted that three of the five proposed closure sites are in this area, and that Gristmill is an important put in and take out site for kayakers.  She had talked with Parks staff, and nobody could explain why particular entrances were selected for closure, or how much money would be saved by the closure.  In addition to closing the entrance to vehicles, there will be no ranger patrols or trash pick up.There was considerable discussion of the impacts of the Gristmill closure on public safety, trash, parking on the street, and the attitude of neighbors.  Jim Morgan made a motion that BRECA support reopening of the Gristmill entrance.  Paul Bowers seconded the motion.  The motion was approved with 6 in favor, none opposed, and 1 abstention.
    2. California American Water Meeting
      Joe O’Connor reported that the meeting held on September 16 by California American Water (Cal Am) was standing room only.  The Cal Am representatives talked mainly about the change to metered billing, and availability of help for water conservation.  They were unable to explain why the bills had increased by 400% in 7 years.  They noted that increases were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).Paul Bowers suggested that the rate increases may have been driven by debt incurred from multiple acquisitions.  Kelly Cohen stated that the company is publicly traded, and the objective is to maximize returns.Gay Jones proposed that BRECA write a letter to the company seeking answers to specific questions, including justification for rate increases and the budget for 2009/2010.  It was also suggested that a CPUC representative attend the Cal Am meetings, and that Cal Am be invited to a BRECA meeting.  It was agreed that Gay Jones and Joe O’Connor would write a BRECA letter to Cal Am.
    3. Issues from the Floor
      Gay Jones noted that there was a good turnout for the recent American River Cleanup.Gay Jones noted that George Spatta had sent an e-mail about a recent attempted break-in at a neighbors house.  George wanted BRECA to organize a neighborhood watch.  Joe O’Connor sent an e-mail that local people need to organize the neighborhood watch.Gay Jones noted that the slice from the heritage oak on the Parkway was now at the library, and we should think about where to display it at the library.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be on October 27, 2009

BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes 08-25-09

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

DATE: August 25, 2009
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
Paul Bowers
Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Rick Sloan

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Guest Speakers: Pete Ghelfi and Lizette Crosbie
    Lizette Crosbie, with the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), is taking over responsibilities for the Mayhew Levee and Drain site mitigation and restoration work.  She distributed a handout that summarized some of the proposed work.For the upstream oak and elderberry mitigation and transplantation site, near the Gristmill entrance, the Corps of Engineers is expected to maintain the site until December 2010.  At that point, if the transplants are doing well, SAFCA will assume responsibility.  Lizette stated that the large gap through the middle of the site is a sewer easement.  SAFCA proposes to plant native grasses and wildflowers in the gap, if the sewer district approves.

    At the Kansas Access staging area, it is proposed to remove the top pad of soil, and check for bentonite.  Borings are being done to see how deep the pad is.  The current estimate is about 6 inches.  SAFCA thinks that the site needs to be remediated, but what this consists of is not clear.  SAFCA is working with the Corps to modify the revegetation plan that was previously posted on the SAFCA web site.  A modified revegetation plan was distributed.  The modified plan maintains a grassland or open space area for most of the site, with trees to be planted next to the vegetation free space (road) adjacent to the levee.  Pete Ghelfi requested that BRECA send a communication indicating whether BRECA concurs with this plan.

    There was discussion about the erosion of the trail that leads from the Kansas Access to the river.  SAFCA, the Corps, and County Parks will be meeting to develop a plan to address the problem.  Several possibilities were discussed, including rock, soil, biodegradable fabric, and various vegetative plantings.

    At the downstream mitigation and transplantation area, near the Mayhew Drain, SAFCA expects to take over after 2010.  SAFCA proposes to remove invasive weeds, and plant understory California native plants, similarly to the upstream area.

    Gay Jones stated that there were other areas that had been damaged by construction and related activities.  Pete Ghelfi stated that they were not aware of this problem, and that SAFCA and the Corps need to see the areas.  It was agreed that BRECA representatives would accompany SAFCA, Corps, and County Parks staff on a site walk in the near future.

    Pete Ghelfi discussed the situation at the upstream end of the levee, where there is a pathway for water to go around the levee at certain flows.  The Corps thinks that this needs to be fixed, although it is not required by Corps or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations.  Fixing this situation would involve constructing a berm that would tie in to high ground of the back yard of a house about 100 feet upstream.  Alternative paths for this structure are being discussed.

    Pete stated that the Mayhew Drain closure structure work is on track, and should be finished this year.

    Pete also discussed FEMA 100 year certification.  SAFCA is preparing a submittal to FEMA.  One unexpected complication was that a large storm drain was discovered that crosses under the Mayhew Drain from downstream.  This necessitated additional studies to assess the condition of the drain pipe and possible leakage around the pipe.  No problems were found with the pipe.  SAFCA plans to submit a certification request to FEMA in the near future.

    There was discussion of how BRECA should proceed.  It was agreed that a small group of people would meet to write a letter to SAFCA concerning the revegetation plan for the Kansas Access staging area and other issues.  The membership of this group is to be Gay Jones, Jim Morgan, Joe O’Connor, and Kelly Cohen.

  1. Minutes of July 2009
    Kelly Cohen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes for August 2009.  Lori Christensen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Reports
    1. Treasurer’s Report
      Kelly Cohen reported that the balance in the BRECA checking account is $5,286.63.
    2. Cordova Park District
      Rick Sloan reported that the Cordova Recreation and Park District has a very tight budget.  There is money only for maintenance and repair.
    3. Metro Fire District
      Gay Jones reported that the Metro Fire District is selecting a new chief.  Due to budget shortfalls, three fire stations that had low usage are being closed, except for emergency medical response.
    4. Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC)
      Paul Bowers reported that there have been no meetings of the Cordova Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC) for two months.  This is likely due to lack of building activity.
  1. Old Business
    1. Butterfield Special Planning Area (SPA)
      Jim Morgan reported that the Notice Of Preparation (NOP) for an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) of the proposed Butterfield Special Planning Area (SPA) has been delayed.  The most recent information indicates that it may come out in about 30 days.Jim also reported on the meeting of the ad-hoc Butterfield SPA committee.  A handout was distributed.  Two additional conceptual alternatives for the SPA were presented.  One would emphasize a market-oriented approach, by zoning the area south of Folsom Blvd. as residential mixed use allowed, instead of mixed use required.  A second alternative would be for a job center south of Folsom Blvd, with no residential mixed use.
    2. BRECA Newsletter
      Jim Morgan reported the Newsletter is coming along.  Distribution is planned for after Labor Day.
    3. BRECA Picnic
      Lori Christensen stated that the date for the picnic had been changed to Sunday, September 27, 2009.  After some discussion of conflicts, the date was changed to Saturday, September 26.  [Note: the date was subsequently changed back to September 27.]
    4. Folsom Blvd. Tree Planting
      Gay Jones reported that she and a staff member from the Sacramento Tree Foundation had inspected the area between Folsom Blvd. and the light rail tracks for suitability for tree planting.  The Tree Foundation staff person suggested some species that would work in that area, including crepe myrtle.  The process for moving forward on this includes agreements with Sacramento County and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).  An agreement with Regional Transit is not required.
    5. California American Water Rate Increases
      Joe O’Connor reported on a recent meeting concerning proposed water rate increases by the California American Water Company.  The meeting was held before a Public Utilities Commission administrative judge and a court reporter, and was well attended.  Most of the public comments revolved around the question of why the rates keep going up.  Joe stated that most costs are fixed, and that the cost structure needs to be examined.  He questioned why the California American company states that it is losing money, but is still paying income taxes.
  1. New Business
    1. Issues from the Floor

There were no issues from the floor.

  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be on September 22, 2009 at the Rancho Cordova Library

BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes 07-28-09

BUTTERFIELD-RIVIERA EAST COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

DATE: July 28, 2009
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Stan Mofield
Jim Morgan
Mary Ann Winters

  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Minutes of February 2009
    Changes to the draft minutes were discussed.  Lori Christensen made a motion to adopt the amended draft minutes.  Stan Mofield seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Reports
    1. Treasurer’s Report
      Kelly Cohen reported that the balance in the BRECA checking account is $5240.83.
  1. Old Business
    1. Butterfield Special Planning Area: Response to Upcoming Notice of Preparation
      There was discussion about the upcoming Notice Of Preparation (NOP) for an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) of the proposed Butterfield Special Planning Area (SPA).  The most recent indication is that the NOP will go out in about 30 days.  There will then be about 30 days for response.  It is important that BRECA respond because it is an opportunity to specify the impacts and alternatives that will be considered in the EIR.Jim Morgan proposed that BRECA approach the interested landowners in the SPA area and try to fashion an alternative that better meets our collective needs than the draft proposed by County Planning staff.  There was discussion about whether this was a viable idea.  It was agreed that the ad-hoc Butterfield SPA committee would meet and further discuss alternatives and possible meetings with interested landowners.
    2. Steering Committee Elections Budget Adjustment
      Jim Morgan reported that the Steering Committee elections had a cost overrun of $1.97.  Lori Christensen made a motion to approve the expenditure.  The motion was seconded by Kelly Cohen.  The motion was approved unanimously.
    3. BRECA Newsletter
      Jim Morgan stated that additional articles are needed for the upcoming BRECA Newsletter.  Assignment of articles was discussed.
    4. Habitat Restoration for Gristmill
      Gay Jones stated that Pete Ghelfi with the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) would like to come to the August BRECA meeting to give an update on flood insurance relief and other issues.  Gay also stated that SAFCA is having discussions with the Corps of Engineers regarding habitat restoration in the Mayhew-Gristmill levee area.  It is not clear who is responsible.  It was stated that the action to be taken is habitat restoration, not habitat transformation (i.e. from grassland to woodland).Richard Smith reported that, at the washed out site next to the Kansas Access staging area, the plastic sheeting and fencing is not being maintained.  It was suggested that Richard contact Kim Schwab with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, since the Board issued a citation over erosion earlier this year.  It was also suggested that Richard contact the Project Manager for the Corps.
  1. New Business
    1. Issues from the Floor
      Gay Jones reported on a discussion with Pete Ghelfi of SAFCA.  Pete indicated that the Mayhew Drain closure structure is on track for completion by November 1.  SAFCA is considering having a community meeting to discuss flood insurance relief.  There has been a problem with the SAFCA submittal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 100-year flood certification.  It was discovered that a large drainage pipe crosses under the Mayhew Drain from the area west (downstream) of the Drain, and goes to the pump station near the mouth of the Drain.  Evidently nobody knew the drainage pipe was there.  SAFCA needs to do a geotechnical investigation of the pipe to see if it creates a problem.  It is possible that the flood certification submittal will be ready by August.  It is not known how long FEMA will take to make a decision.Jim Morgan reported on e-mails with Grant Kreinberg, also with SAFCA.  Jim had inquired about the upstream end of the Mayhew-Gristmill levee, where there is a two feet deep ditch that would allow water to go around the levee at high flows.  Grant Kreinberg stated that SAFCA and the Corps have had discussions about the situation, but no resolution has been reached.

      Gay Jones stated that it would be good to take possession of the tree round from the largest heritage oak cut down to make way for the Mayhew-Gristmill levee.  The tree round is now stored at the County corporation yard.  There was discussion about where to store, and ultimately where to display, the tree round.  The Rancho Cordova Library management does not want it inside the Library due to lack of space.  Various locations outside the library were discussed.  There is concern that exposure to the sun will damage the tree round.

      Gay Jones reported that there is ongoing discussion about tree planting along Folsom Blvd.  However, she is not getting a response from the County.

      Stan Mofield stated that there was a proposal to stop Light Rail service at 9:00 pm.  Jim Morgan stated that an article in the paper today indicated that a decision on that question had been postponed.

  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be on August 25, 2009 at the Rancho Cordova Library