Minutes- March 16, 2017 (DRAFT)


Thursday, March 16, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm
Little Red Schoolhouse/Cobb Mountain Lions Club
15780 Bottle Rock Rd., Cobb, CA 95426




The Chair called the meeting to order at 6:00PM.

Representatives PRESENT: Eliot Hurwitz, Jessica Pyska, Gary Prather, Jessyca Lytle, Cindy Leonard (alternate);  Barbara Flynn came in late.  


    1. Joanne Saccato – brought trees sitting outside to donate
    2. Glenneth Lambert – tomorrow Black Rock Cafe, St. Patrick’s starts @5pm, activities for youth included
    3. Kathleen Haskett – Village Pub: St. Patrick’s Day event
    4. Inez Wenckus – Neighborhood Watch now has 20 hubs around the lake


  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES from February 23, 2016
  1. Correct last name for Air Quality Management: Doug Gerhardt
  2. Correct last name for Kelly: Fletcher
  3. Kathleen Ahart: Mark Mitchell reported on her and Ron’s behalf on the ReBuild Workshop, it was 63 people not 50, and not including speakers



  1. TREASURER’S REPORT (Gary Prather)

No change for the past several months (only spent $192.70 for the website domain since October); $2808.30 in the bank account; now in the process of filing taxes for the council


  1. Kyle Noble/ Mt Lions’ Secretary – is responsible for the rental of the center. Reach her at mountainlionsclub@gmail.com. This is Cobb’s community center, club volunteered to maintain it; lots of maintenance has been deferred over the years. No one has earned or made any money on the center. Mike Dunlap tried to identify the deferred maintenance for the past several months. Time to transition to the community: a committee to take over the work he was doing, whether you’re a Lion or not to repair and refurbish for the next generation to take over. Renovation Project needs a committee to plan it all out and set stuff out for bid; costs are expected to be $300-500K. We have more experience building than ever before. Meets 2x/mo, delegates responsibilities. Coming to LRSH in May: Yoga, Pilates, Zumba; will come up with affordable rental rate. Crab Feed after expenses raised roughly $3,000 and doesn‘t include the bar. 12-18 Mountain Leos are co-hosting Easter Egg hunt along with Black Rock Cafe 11AM.
  2. Joan Moss, freelance journalist. Lars Ewing has brought up Hobergs 2x to BOS, and it will come up again Tuesday. Hoberg’s got a 6-mo. grace period, and a credit card to go through the dump gate free @$45K. Lars wants to know what’s up ahead? Joan Moss was there when BOS approved the 6month and there is no contract. 2 items of the contract are on the BOS agenda. Gonna figure out how to work this out. Karl will address in his report.
    1. Rob Brown: Interjecting facts, Hoberg’s got nothing.
  3. Robert Stark: Brought in Resolution recognizing the water agencies; copy to be included in minutes for this meeting. Spoke w Eliot earlier today to let him know things are going forward. UC and Sacramento are formulating the groundwork for statewide consolidations using this area as the basis. The survey was successfully completed for the grant.
    1. Barbara Flynn: please address to the meeting, not just to Eliot. Board needs to be informed. (Will do)
  4. Lady: What about Whispering Pines neighborhood, re rains, Arroyo Vista and Maple Shadows roads are now closed. What’s the status of addressing this?
    1. Answer: Since these are County-maintained roads, call Public Works. And there is a backlog.
    2. Brown: Scott deLeon should come up; backlog is one thing, and there’s no money. County is working on getting CDBG. Reminder example on how gas taxes actually work: If everyone pays $500/yr avg at the pump, we only get $25 back from state and feds to take care of 600 mi. in the county, but it’s the property taxes that pay for roads. Just started road impact fee collections.
    3. Q: What should we do in the meantime?

A: Out of 600 mi. of road, they’re working on Bottle Rock, Soda Bay, Lakeview – high traffic volume and so, little roads are low priority. Need to do benefit/assessment districts, such as for Rainbow Bridge; residents vote to tax themselves per year say for 5-7 yrs to pay the money back. People up here have done stuff like that, 75-100/yr for the material, County pays for labor. It’s always an option to organize yourselves, as Bell Springs has done for snow removal, Buckingham, etc.

CDBG might be able to pay for some, but survey has to be done and minimum standards of income are required. We have more miles of roads helped in this district than any of the other roads in the other districts. Roads are indexed regularly to prioritize where the money goes. The quality of the road is considered but first is the traffic. One index was done just prior to fire, and it will be done again in the next couple of years.

We have had traffic we never expected before because of the debris removal. The way the rules work is that counties where the vehicles are registered got the gas tax money, and State assistance so far has only been for the fire-affected roads. Tax amount has stayed the same, so there is less money for all.

We have since pointed out to the state that the dump trucks and PG&E trucks that drove on Red Hills Road, and Davis Lane and such to the dump could not drive on fire-affected roads, and we are still trying to get money for that damage.

Benefit zones would also take care of the crazy winter impacts, so we can pull our community together. Whole thing needs a long discussion with maps (not just 20 minutes), and Scott will be able to get into it. Fox Road was real good but they got their help from a benefit zone.

Properties are still “there” = doesn’t matter whether there is house, just the lot matters.

State Senator McGuire is working on SB1, and State Assemblyperson Aguiar-Curry is working on AB1 to get money to our rural counties: $8M for 6 counties

We’re paying for bullet train and all the state projects–decision is made in Sacramento; Regional Council of Rural Counties = 48% of the vote

Carlisi: County access to bonding authority?  

Brown: Bonding has to be done with other counties

Robert Stark: Will not stand for roads being fixed and then the water company has to come and chop. Fastest we can get money is in 2018 from the State. Have the assessment district, but take this into account. Water district does not want to take a black eye for having to do this again. Starview had to take the road money because of the grant timing, and now are chopping it up.


Flynn: Could we at least get help from community to fix potholes.


    1. Cindy Leonard re Cobb Area Plan: have new watershed map, will install. FOBM has committed to doing a trailside Resources Conservation District behind the school; they paid a high school student to do the writing. Dozen copies, colored, are sitting on the table.




  1. The Trees Project  – Brenda Quintero and Doug Ware (from their milling partner ‘Ocino, in Ukiah)
    1. growth from Community Action Group charitable corporation working with NCO as fiscal sponsor in Boggs Demonstration Forest, using a licensed timber operator
    2. 3 phases running simultaneously:
      1. Timber sale: 80K for building material grants, = $5K grants through NCO and Team Lake Co. Go to website to fill out interest form, or ask TLC about  “Trees as a Resource” or “Phoenix Rising” or “The Trees Project.”
      2. Neighbor hazard trees: cut down and sell them off to fund the project, otherwise will mill into building kits; FE-certified custom milling for siding/flooring/ceiling. So he has a designed cabin kit to manufacture in Ukiah but want to build here in Lake County so jobs and money stay here (over time). Cabin is 900 sqft w loft; architecture and engineer partners and other people have contributed to the project so far. Got 50K board feet from Boggs, and hope to give away 4 or 5 of those as grants. This is one page of an 8-page plan, and you have to take it to an architect and work it out for your parcel. Only one design for now. We can develop as material comes in. Footprint is 20×40 roughly. We’re going to do one in the yard and drive it to show. Structurally sound, post and beam, you can use cob infill that’s nontoxic etc.  
      3. Let us know if you want to donate trees, purchase a cabin or get a grant for one of them. Pre-sales available to capture cost. Have 6 presales now. We‘re guessing a range of $18-20, and resales $25-28; until we build one we won’t really know. You have to be responsible for the foundation and building it out.

Usually do tabletops with ponderosa pine, and envision the mill should come to Lake County; ponderosa pine popular in NY; re the beetle trees – secured until end of March beginning of April. Fiscally, we need 5 truckloads of timber at the same spot to work–takes serious organizing. We have buyers for these trees.


Q: What about the trees that are degrading quickly.

A:  Fir holding up nicely so far, per the folks at the mills. Pine is deteriorating quickly. Timber harvesters will be able to tell.


Q: What about the trees lying on the ground in Loch Lomond by the fire house?

A:  Yes, we would love to pick those long ones up. May need 22ft long truck; can’t put stubby ones on the long trucks (32ft).  Let’s talk offline, Gary. Madeline knows all the people. We really need someone to coordinate and need to move quickly.


  1. Cob Building on Cobb Mountain – Miguel Elliott of Living Earth Structures


Has written book, Living Earth Structures. Builds cob style and earth bags. Has worked with the kids on building a cob oven at the school; arranged with Pyska and Eliot to come in. Proportion is 70 earth/30 clay, then plaster to seal and make waterproof. Slideshow presentation. Check out website: livingearthstructures.com


  1. Lake Co. Broadband – Andy Nester; AT&T was expected but didn’t show.


Andy Nester — background: founded 3 high-tech companies. Built one of the wireless data sites using the old tv frequency Black Mtn Las Vegas. Retired 2006 to Hidden Valley Lake. Business advisor for Small Business Administration: 40 clients in the past 2 years.

Concept Paper (on slides): Goals include covering the majority of Lake Co most underserved and no service areas; carrier grade service; also suitable for private networks such as (hospitals, vineyards, etc.); OES support

For more information contact:

Andy Nester

Lake County Broadband Solutions




Lytle:  Been speaking with AT&T External Affairs representative about how to know if AT&T provides service in your area post Valley Fire. I was told that you personally need to call in to find out where service is possible as there’s no guarantee. You may get it, but your neighbor three doors down won’t necessarily get it.
Kathleen Spencer-Ahart – I worked with a local tech and he was able to help me and other people I know . I have his number if anyone needs it.
Lytle: I’ve been told installing new service depends on how far you are from the hubs that are needed for connectivity (Middletown closest). If you are too far away, then they can not provide service. AT&T does not have current plans for further improvements to expand connectivity in the area at this time beyond what already exists. AT&T is working on rural expansion projects in other areas through grant programs. Rural connectivity *grants* are set by the FCC and do fund connectivity expansion in certain geographic areas. Our area is not currently on their radar as an area to fund for improvement.
Audience member: How do you know who offers the best speeds?
Lytle: Right now Mediacom; AT&T; two line of sight companies –  Digital Path and Valley internet; and various satellite companies. They all vary in upload/download speeds.
Carlisi: You can use Ookla to test the average speeds during the day; also depends on other factors.


  1. Orientation to the update of the Cobb Mountain Area Plan – Byron Turner  – Lake County Planning Dept (Principal planner in charge of long-term planning and compliance)
  1. new here, arrived last November: San Benito County south of Santa Clara, similar size, ag, off the beaten path
  2. Lake County includes 11 area plans and the county plan
  3. Control your densities and destiny (in 10, say, or 50 years)
  4. Cobb, Kelseyville and Lower Lake are the 3 oldest ones so it makes sense to start there; redefine the area if needed
  5. Change from area- to community-plan; law says there’s a difference in the components
  6. Process needs to be community-driven; Staff just puts together the cookbook: what NEEDs to be in the plan, ensures all the elements are there, and that the plan meets the legal requirements, laws and regulations=the baseline
  7. Working with BOS and CAC, get the team together from the community (will be meeting with the current committee)
  8. You can add ingredients to the cookbook
    1. Moss: Want the maps and roads accurate, specially the roads during the fire!
    2. Prather: Jessyca and he were at the office, the navigational programs don’t use the county information. Why is MapQuest and Google posting different information
    3. Chair: Have a half-dozen issues already, spitballing now, please sign up
  9. Timeframe/Procedures:
    1. Wants to get to know the committee
    2. In the next couple of months, the program will be put together and he will come back and present more thoroughly to say what we’re expecting, what we want to see
    3. You’re the first we’re updating=learning curves
  10. Wants to do real planning and not just regulation



March 21, 5:30 pm at Mountain High Coffee House




  1. Abatement monitoring (Karl Parker) — Hoberg’s
    1. Org and name change: Month ago, change from Lake County Partners LLC to Hoberg’s Historical Association because nonprofit status would let permit them to apply for grant from CA Human Resources grant (wages for the team of workers doing wood processing) up to the end of the year=$28K/yr. Same funding source helped Harbin, Adidam, and the County.
    2. County agreement re dump fees: Started with Lars Ewing memo to BOS re unpaid dumping fees; agreement appeared to still be up in the air; Resolution: March 16 agreement signed, to be delivered to County tomorrow and they begin paying next month. Brown says Ewing’s concerns were addressed in the agreement.
      1. Hoberg’s management is also ok
      2. Item is on the agenda for Mar 21, cont from March 7; expects to be passed on the recommendation of staff, now a minor item
    3. Debris removal: Rain slowed the process down; dates are always based on weather permitting
      1. April 3: Jakela Environmental Services return to complete the hazmat (highest asbestos content) removal and disposal
      2. April 10: Local crew takes over, to continue low-level debris removal
      3. April 30: Debris removal complete, soil testing accdg to State protocol, minimum squares of 1 sample/4Ksqft 63×63 for heavy contaminants (depends on heavy issues–did the runoff carry stuff far downstream?)
      4. June 30: Testing, amendment complete; they say 60% done on the wood except for stumps
      5. July: Break up and recycle the concrete onsite long time=a month
      6. August: all done
    4. Re removing concrete in the main house, difficult to discuss in public because they want to keep the place secure.  
      1. Prather: Is it a change of ownership? Yes. And management is definitely the same. You can go to BOS website agenda soon to be posted, and find Mar 7 3 attachments, agreement, draft and promissory note deed of trust to provide extra assurance. There is specific language that links the partners with the new entity. There’s no room to escape. Penalties are also in place. They have future plans, and they know they won’t be able to do it without the care.
      2. Did they dissolve the LLC? It’s ok to change the name every once in a while. This was our opportunity to make the agreement more solid than it was. There hadn’t been any promissory note before, and they didn’t like the idea now. The promissory note is for all the dumping from the very beginning. We wouldn’t subordinate to a second. Original costs would have been only around $200K. Did a similar requirement with Pacific States and they’re doing it, so Hoberg’s must, too. Make it easy for them to do their own cleanup, and not have to charge county rates. We don’t want to get a lien AFTERWARDS. Originally they were supposed to make payments as soon as last load is done. Now we said payments to start 6 mos. after beginning. BOS Agenda posted now and includes this item.
      3. Re street to the left of Evergreen where Hoberg’s owns strip behind those lots–will they clear those trees? Yes, I asked about that hillside, and their designated date includes that area.  
    6. Robert Stark met with Scott: Clients in the future will require zoning and general planning changes. Very different from what it is now. Takes 4 yrs to change general plan. The CAC is doing the area plan, so it would be better to build it in vs have another Hoberg’s disaster. After the hazmat cleanup then the crews will clean the rest of the property except for the concrete foundations–because the concrete is not a hazmat situation. Scott talked Tuesday with Karl and Jessyca as part of the Abatement committee: Hoberg’s will break, grind, and use it onsite for road base, though it’s a serious change from the original.



Neighborhood Watch (Inez Wenckus)

Emergency Communications (Jill Martin/Mel McMurrin)

Relief Monitoring Committee

Emergency Preparedness

Hazard Mitigation


MOTION TO Adjourn: Flynn

Seconded: tall lady in beige plaid workshirt and glasses


Time adjourned: 8:09pm

APPENDIX: Copy of Water District Resolut