VIDEO. How Did We Get Here? From the Montara Sewer and Water District (MSWD) board meeting 11/19/2020. Tim Ramirez, Head of SFPUC Natural Resources, presents and answers questions.
Things to ponder:
- 1930’s. San Francisco Public Utilities District (SFPUC) is created.
- August 2019. SFPUC secures Montara Mountain North Gate
- What is the name of the endangered butterfly? San Bruno Mountain Blue Elfin butterfly. It is not named the Montara Mountain Blue Elfin butterfly.
- Why wouldn’t they just put up interpretive signs and a wooden rail fence?
- What happened to the butterfly habitat after bulldozer construction?
- Whiting Ridge Alternative
- Cahill-Fifell Trail SFPUC Crystal Springs Watershed Hike and bike Docent program
MSWD Asks Why SFPUC’s Weather Radar Station Closed Off The Top of Montara Mountain; EIR Less Than Significant?
From Thu November 19 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
VIDEO. From the Montara Sanitary and Water District meeting 11/5/2020.
This item was brought to the MWSD board on November 5, 2020 at the request of Director Harvey and found a great level of interest with members of the board and public. The Advanced Quantitative Precipitation Information (AQPI) system project found general support with all meeting attendees. High Definition Radar Systems will be installed that will allow for immediate and more granulated weather forecast and observation. This can help water managers and the public in planning efforts.
However, the location of the project exactly on the highest peak in the San Francisco Peninsula, the peak of Montara Mountain, and its destruction in the construction process was criticized.
Photos by Coastsider Mark Verlander.
Thanks Mark for taking the hike!
SFPUC MINUTES – AUGUST 13, 2019
Adopt the Final Mitigated Negative Declaration
9. Adopt the Final Mitigated Negative Declaration (FMND), the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (MMRP), and the Findings as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the Montara Mountain Rainfall Prediction and Radio Replacement Project; approve Montara Mountain Rainfall Prediction and Radio Replacement Project to install a weather radar and communications tower on Montara Mountain; adopt the required CEQA Findings, FMND and MMRP; and authorize the General Manager to implement the Project. This action constitutes the Approval Action for the project for the purposes of the CEQA, pursuant to Section 31.04(h) of the San Francisco Administrative Code. (Resolution 19-0160)
Steve Ritchie, AGM Water, introduced the item noting CEQA approval is being requested. He discussed the need for the Montara Mountain Rainfall Predication and Radio Replacement Project and displayed photos of the project site and surrounding area. AGM Ritchie indicated that while biological surveys for the project were being conducted, habitats for the endangered butterflies were discovered.
He stated the watershed boundary security fence was in disarray and that no trespassing signs had been removed. He noted a new gate and fence have been installed to ensure access control to the restricted area. He stated citizens have expressed concern with access being cut-off. He emphasized access has always been restricted and that people were illegally entering the watershed. He displayed photos showing public access areas to SFPUC watersheds.
AGM Ritchie responded to a question from VP Vietor regarding a proposed connector trail.
– Lee Watts expressed concern with the closure of the north peak of Montara Mountain. He indicated he had been hiking the area for years and that he had not crossed gates or trespassed. He stated the trail was a prominent destination for hikers and is shown as a destination in multiple hiking books. He discussed the negative impact of the newly installed fence.
– Sean Handel asked that the item not be approved and that an analysis of recreational use be conducted. He stated he has not seen no trespassing signs. He presented slides including Golden Gate National Recreation Area trail signs for peak access and screen shots from websites containing information for trail and peak access. He discussed the impact of the newly installed fence and stated there was no notice provided or public input. He requested that signs be put up, the fence be removed, and public access be made available.
– Matthew Blain concurred with comments from previous speakers. He noted the butterfly habit has been there for years. He displayed a map showing previous and current access. He requested the commission reject the project due the lack of recreational access.
– Ron Little, Coastside Running Club, read a letter from club president Paula Leuzzi addressing the impact the closure has on the running community and noted the importance of the trail to the Club.
At Commissioner Maxwell’s request additional response was provided in response to the comments made by the speakers. Debbie Craven Green, Permitting Manager, Bureau of Environmental Management, provided information on permitting requirements from the US Department of Fish and Wildlife necessary to avoid impacts for endangered butterflies.
In response to a question raised by VP Vietor regarding the impact of the construction project on the endangered butterflies, AGM Ritchie stated the assessment of potential biological impact on the project resulted in staff discovering that damage to vegetation from hikers was present. He emphasized the importance of a closed watershed due to negative human impacts. He stated the installation of the gate and fence is independent of the project under consideration. AGM Ritchie indicated willingness to meet with individuals and groups to discuss options for alternate access to the connecting trail. A
GM Ritchie responded to a question from Commissioner Paulson about how access might be granted. GM Kelly, Jr. summarized the actions that have taken place and what is needed to minimize impact to the habitat and still provide limited access.
VP Vietor stated community engagement should have happened prior to the installation of the gate and fence. She stated a sign should be placed on the fence informing the public of the situation.
Irina Torrey, Manager, Bureau of Environmental Management, discussed the importance of the project and that the environmental documents presented address environmental concerns. She indicated access and installation of the fence and gate is a separate issue and needs to be addressed through watershed management and planning. She noted the importance of the project and requested that the project be approved.
Commissioner Moran stated that access, fence, and gate issues are separate from the CEQA item presented for approval.
Commissioner Moran stated that access, fence, and gate issues are separate from the CEQA item presented for approval. He stated the watershed needs to be protected. He encouraged staff to talk to interested parties to discuss solutions for completion of existing trails and that they be open to a limited solution to access higher ground (not peak), if possible.
VP Vietor and Commissioner Paulson noted the need to decouple the two issues of project approval and trail access. GM Kelly Jr. noted that even if the Commission does not approve the project that trail access would still be denied as protection for the habitat and watershed.
Commissioner Maxwell stated the community who use the trail are “assets” and their input and ideas are valuable.
GM Kelly directed AGM Ritchie to meet with interested parties and report back to the Commission on possible access solutions.
VP Vietor requested that staff meet with interested parties, that signage and information be put on the fence, and that staff report back with progress.
On motion to approve Item 9: Ayes: Vietor, Moran, Maxwell and Paulson.
Montara Sanitary and Water District (MSWD) Meetings 1st & 3rd Thursdays
Watch remotely. Comments and questions by email.
If you experience technical difficulties or have technical questions prior to or during the meeting, please contact MWSD’s IT support at (650) 728-7843.
Regular meetings are 7:30pm on the first and third Thursday of each month. They used to held at the District office at 8888 Cabrillo Hwy, next to Pt Montara Lighthouse and Hostel.
To receive agendas by email, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to email, we post agendas before each board meeting:
- On the District website here
- Montara post office
- Moss Beach post office
- the bulletin board in front of the MWSD office
Who is on the Board of Directors?
|Kathryn Slater-Carter — President||Term 2016-2020|
|Jim Harvey — President Pro Tem||Term 2018-2022|
|Ric Lohman — Secretary||Term 2018-2022|
|Peter Dekker — Treasurer||Term 2019-2020|
|Scott Boyd — Director||Term 2016-2020|
Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside (SAM) – MWSD is a member of SAM, the agency that collects and cleans our Coastside community’s wastewater before it enters the ocean. SAM meets monthly on the 4th Monday at 7:30pm. Jim Harvey and Scott Boyd presently serve as SAM board members.
Recology of the Coast – MWSD has contracted with Recology of the Coast for trash pickup, recycling, and waste hauling.
Visit County Solid Waste Department for more information about recycling, composting, etc.
In an Emergency
Water Emergencies: Call MWSD at (650) 728-3545
Sewer Emergencies: Call SAM at (650) 726-0124
For emergencies that affect life, health or safety: Dial 911
- 8888 Cabrillo Hwy
Montara, California 94037
- Office Hours:
8:30AM to 5PM Mon-Fri
- (650) 728-3545
Note: Public participation is not permitted during closed session discussion items.
SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
City and County of San Francisco
London N. Breed Mayor
Minutes Tuesday, August 13, 2019 1:30 P.M. (Approved August 27, 2019)
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place City Hall, Room 400 San Francisco, CA 94102
Commissioners: Ann Moller Caen, President Francesca Vietor, Vice President Anson Moran, Sophie Maxwell, Tim Paulson, Harlan L. Kelly, Jr.
General Manager Donna Hood
Secretary For information, contact the Commission Secretary at 415-554-3165
Minutes and other information are available on the SFPUC web site: www.sfwater.org