Approved Minutes April 14 2021

Zoom Meeting
(Video available. Send request to
MarkWestCAC@gmail.com

  1. Call to Order: Chairperson Fies called to order, the regular meeting of Mark West Citizens Advisory Council (MWCAC) 6:00 pm.
    1. Roll Call: Council Members present: Roni Berg, Karen Fies, Willie Lamberson, Pete Lescure.
    2. Approval of Minutes: On a motion by Council Member Lescure, second by Council Member Berg, the minutes of the regular MWCAC meeting, March 10, 2021, were approved. The motion carried on a voice vote. (4-0)
  2. Public Comments on Non-Agenda Items:
    1. Community member Catherine Dodd: Has a concern about a tree on the old golf course site on the corner of Wikiup and Carriage Lane, that appears to be ill. On the right-hand side of Wikiup Dr. there are several dead trees. Want them noted as a fire hazard. She would like to see the sick tree treated, if possible.
    2. Carolyn Wasem, Jackson Family Wines: Is present for questions. She wants to address the trees just referenced. Please email her with clarification if one or all trees are on the golf course site.
    3. Community member Ren Moreno: The dead trees are on the edge of the swim club property. Council Chair Fies will confirm and follow up.
  3. Pending Items: Updates when available
    1. Wikiup Commons: Council Member Berg: Misti Arias, Interim Assistant General Manager of Ag Open Space, and Council Vice Chair Sherwood are discussing the possibility of Sonoma Water taking responsibility for 24 acres and Ag Open Space possibly contributing some money. There are still concerns and confusion.

      Council Member Lamberson: Grants were the confusing part. All talks are preliminary.

      Catherine Dodd said that more community members want to be on the Wikiup Open Space Committee. Further discussion under subcommittee reports below.
    2. General Plan: Council Member Lescure: Drafted a description of the General Plan Subcommittee to post on the Council website. He and Council Chair Fies will discuss the roles of the Mark West Chamber and the Council concerning the General Plan.
    3. Utilities & Water: Margaret DiGenova and Evan Jacobs, Cal Am Water: Filed an advice letter which will result in a rate decrease to Larkfield, over the next 12 months, reporting a net savings of about $10 per month for the typical customer.

      Due to the drought, flow on upper Russian River is being reduced and it is likely they will also be reduced on the lower Russian River. If that happens, we will likely see mandatory conservation. There is enough water, locally, to get through the drought. Yearly consumption has significantly dropped in Larkfield.

      There is a free Water Efficient Landscaping Webinar on Thursday, April 29, 12:00 pm, on the Cal Am website.

      Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership is posting conservation tips in the Press Democrat.

      Council Member Lescure and Community members Catherine Dodd and Ren Moreno shared multiple problems caused by the water. They appear to be causing water leaks, which can be an economic issue for the home owners, having to repeatedly replace plumbing fixtures. Water tests, performed at Moreno’s, showed a high volume of some element (he can’t remember what). Reported it to Cal Am. No response. He wants Cal Am to send someone out and guide him as to how to deal with the problem. The water softener is ineffective. Evan will have a water quality person reach out to him

      The water hardness standards are set by EPA water regulators. Larkfield water is moderately hard. Questions about water conservation or water leaks of any kind: Contact local Cal Am office.
    4. Speed Limits on Mark West Springs Road and Old Redwood Highway: None
    5. HAWK Light in Front of the Larkfield Shopping Center: None
    6. Sonoma County General Plan for Mark West Area: Council Member Lescure None
    7. List of unmet needs projects for Larkfield/Mark West/Wikiup: None
  4. Presentations: Information Only None
    Procedure: 1. Presentation 2. Questions by council members 3. Questions/comments from the public
  5. Presentations of Referrals from Permit Sonoma: ACTION ITEM None
  6. Subcommittee Reports & Discussions: ACTION ITEM
    1. Neighborhood Improvement Funding Program (NIFP): Council Members Berg and Lescure: Johannes is working on the funding for the Larkfield Resilience Fund money. It may be done by now.

      Sidewalks: Jen Mendoza, Field Representative Representing Supervisor James Gore, reported that contracting issues are being worked out with the surveyor. Needs to happen expediently because it is the end of the fiscal year.

      Community Soils wants to pursue the Larkfield Community Garden signage project (15 customized, weatherized, bilingual signs to guide visitors) that was approved a couple years ago. There is no change to the project. The original funding request was $12,750.

      All Council Members, present, agreed there were no objections to reaffirming and honoring this project now.
    2. Rebuild and Fire Mitigation Subcommittee: Council Vice Chair Sherwood and Chair Fies. None
    3. Community Services District (CSD) Subcommittee: Council Members Sherwood and Lamberson: They are working on a planning strategy, believing there is community interest in subjects such as: sidewalk from Old Redwood to Wikiup Drive, widening the bridge over Mark West Creek, walking path around Schopflin Fields, dog parks, etc.

      Council Member Berg: The minutes from last year’s October meeting, with a presentation from Walter Kieser of Economic and Planning Systems, on CSDs, are posted on the County MWCAC webpage. (October 12, 2020)
    4. Wikiup Open Space: Council Members Berg and Lamberson: The committee is looking at: “Should the project come together in some way? How would it? They are creating a survey for the community; hoping to develop wide interest and great ideas to present to the developer. Community Outreach Coordinator Beth Henry will help with getting it out.

      Misty Aries, Interim Deputy Executive Director of Ag and Open Space spoke to the committee. They are interested in getting involved, as a potential project. No one has yet engaged with the Jackson family.

      The Water Agency and Marine Fisheries are interested in the project as an education site. It is ½ mile of Mark West Creek, and one of five major tributaries in California.

      Community member Mike Landon: Would love to see the 25 acres turn into something along these lines. He does not want to see the adjoining five acres turn into what is currently proposed.
  7. Correspondence: Information Only
    1. Discussion, Jen Mendoza: Email to 4th District with concerns about being notified of controlled burns: There was a burn off of Faught Road, with no notification to the area. The fire department normally reports to the County. They did not; so Mendoza suspects it could have been a permitted garbage burn. She is working with the Air Quality people, as they deal with the garbage burns.

      Community member Nancy Wheeler: Wrote the email. It was April 1, a very still hot day, very strong smell and visible smoke. All neighbors were concerned. They would like some kind of notice.

      Community suggestions: Pulse Point. It’s not official but it is a good tool. Perhaps a point on the fire meter. And people would have a web site to go to.
    2. Email from Alicia Mills at the Mark West Unified School District: The Council has the option to return to the Learning Center, for meetings, as of June.

      The Council members will look into possibility of a hybrid. Maybe revisit it monthly. Follow all CDC guide lines and more. The secretary will check on Zoom ability in the room, and email residents, asking for preferences.
  8. Council Member Announcements and Disclosures: Information Only
    1. Council Member Lescure: Would like to post the General Plan on the website and invite the community to become General Plan committee members.

      Also, the sidewalk flooding issue on Lavell Rd. It’s a design problem. He will follow up with Johannes at TPW.
    2. Council Member Berg: Beth Henry is working on re-sizing the logo for the website. Berg is asking members to go through her, with any requests they have for Beth Henry.

      Berg also announced that plant sales are happening at the jail Airport site. They have California natives, drought tolerant plants and exceptional prices. Call the Sonoma County Sheriff office for appointment.

      Mendoza added that If you want multiple plants for a particular plan, you can order ahead.
    3. Beth Henry: The Mark West Chamber Community Faire and Trade Show is Sept 22, 2021, at the LBC.
  9. Future Agenda Items: Potential projects for future meetings and suggestions for the next MWCAC meeting
    1. Susan Sloan, Cope program in Wikiup (TBD)
    2. Chamber presentation (TBD)
    3. Intern Jake Gordon will present a MWCAC presentation to the Council (TBD)
    4. Presentation of Council Budget, Chair Karen Fies (TBD)
    5. Possible speaker on home hardening and vegetation management (TBD)
    6. Report on possible notifications for controlled burns
    7. Discussion on the Council returning to the Learning Center for meetings
  10. Adjourn to Closed Session: ACTION ITEM
    There being no other business to discuss, Council Chair Fies announced that the meeting was adjourned at 7:13 pm

Mark West Citizens Advisory Council

Jenny Chamberlain

4th District Director

Board of Supervisors

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