Yosemite West Property &
Homeowners, Inc.

YWPHI Board of Directors' Meeting - March 25, 2006

The meeting was held on Saturday, March 25, 2006, at the home of Kay Pitts. The meeting was called to order by President Grace Bartel at 10:10 a.m. and the agenda was distributed.

Directors Present

Jim Andrews, Grace Bartel, Debby Hagan, Kim O'Neil, and Kay Pitts

Directors Absent

Tom Lambert and Carol Ruiz

Committee Chairs Present

Linda Andrews (Treasurer/Membership) and John Mock (Fire Safety)

The minutes from the January 14, 2006 YWPHI Board of Directors meeting by Debby Hagan were changed and approved. The Treasurer's report was presented by Linda Andrews (Treasurer). The balance in YWPHI's bank accounts on February 28, 2006 was $13,052. Income during the last 2 months was $350 from membership dues and $5 from interest. Expenditures totaled $6 for bank service charges and $85 for the November 2005 newsletter. Proceeds from the 2005 Holiday Home Tour of $65 was given to the Friends of the Library in Wawona. The Treasurer's report was approved by the Board. The Membership report was presented by Linda (Membership Chair); there are currently 96 members in YWPHI. This is 22 fewer members than at the end of August 2005.

Committee Reports

Newsletter (Kim O'Neil, Editor)

The next newsletter will be distributed the first week in April 2006, to all property owners even if they are not YWPHI members. This issue will focus primarily on fire safety and preparation for the Memorial Day Weekend Community Clean-up. Additionally a new human interest section will debut. Anyone in the community who wants to contribute content for future newsletters should contact Kim or Tom.

Fire Safety (John Mock, Chair)

The funds expected from approval of last year's fire safety grant proposals (approximately $56,000), have not been received yet. These funds come from the federal budget and will be used for creating a shaded fuel break around Yosemite West, completing the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), and establishing a community Fire Safe Program. Work on these projects cannot begin until funding is received. The California Fire Safe Council is preparing an agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) so the Council can accept the funds for our grants. Another organization with charity status (Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council) will be our fiscal sponsor so YWPHI won't be faced with a tax bill. Brian Mattos and Jan Hooke of NPS are preparing NEPA and CEQA documents relating to the shaded fuel break around Yosemite West. The Red Zone Risk Assessment for Yosemite West has not yet been completed by the Mariposa County Fire Department; this project is part of the CWPP developed by Wildland Fire Associates (WFA) for us. YWPHI is responsible for selecting the contractors to create the shaded fuel break and deciding how to dispose of the cut and piled debris. The NPS will not burn piles which are not on Park property. The grant proposal which was rejected for funding last year was resubmitted. The remaining unfunded project focuses upon fire safety primarily within the community (Yosemite West Defensible Space Program). This proposal was not selected again, probably due to a reluctance to fund work on private property. The advisability of creating a Fire Safe Ordinance for Yosemite West which would address the issue of fuel reduction on vacant lots was discussed. Community support is needed for this project to succeed. Anyone interested in promoting this idea is encouraged to contact John Mock. John Mock and Kim O'Neil have had contact with a group that has expressed interest in using Yosemite West for an academic fire study. This organization is the Center for Fire Research, College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley (see www.yosemitewest.org/firesafe.htm for link). With Board approval, John and Kim invited this group to use Yosemite West as their Sierra fire study. The Center has already begun to gather digital (GIS) data available from earlier studies from WFA and Mariposa County (Red Zone data). Representatives from the Center will be visiting Yosemite West to discuss their evaluation in the near future. A Spring chipping program was discussed. Last year the Mariposa Fire Safe Council provided a chipper and crew for Yosemite West. This program helped to reduce the amount of debris transported to our burn pile, aided residents in creating defensible space, and promoted erosion control. Unfortunately, the free chipper and crew will not be available this year. The Board approved funding this year's chipper program at a maximum cost of $2500. The chipping service will be free to all YWPHI members; non-members will pay $25 to participate. Pre-payment must be received by May 1, 2006, with a participation flag placed on all registered lots for the crew to identify appropriate piles for chipping. Chipping will be done after the Memorial Day Weekend Clean-up.

Website (Kim O'Neil, Webmaster)

A website activity report was distributed by Kim. Monthly hits for the website for this year range between 2700 and 3900. The YWPHI Board of Directors' Minutes is now available in HTML online as well as a PDF download. Members requesting an e-newsletter will now access it through a secure folder online instead of receiving an e-mail document. Updates on creating defensible space for fire safety are now available. A survey on interest in high speed internet access by the county was facilitated on our website.

Nominating (Carol Ruiz and Tom Lambert)

No activity to report.

Hospitality (Carol Ruiz and Jim Andrews)

Helen Yates has volunteered to help coordinate the 2006 Holiday Home Tour. A date needs to be selected soon. The Hospitality Committee will plan and help prepare the picnic sponsored by YWPHI Board of Directors during the Memorial Day Weekend Community Clean-up.

Old Business

Sewer Upgrade Progress-Yosemite West Maintenance Committee Meeting Report

The sewer upgrades have been completed. Sampling for effectiveness is in progress with no problems reported so far. The County Public Works Department plans to propose the lifting the Yosemite West building moratorium to the County Board of Supervisors soon.

Emergency Telephone Tree Update

The emergency telephone tree update was completed and distributed prior to Board approval. The Board agreed to remove one column from the listing and to add a legal-type disclaimer and confidentiality agreement to the update. The revised telephone tree will be sent to everyone who received the first one with the request to destroy the previous copy.

Database Management Update

Database management software has been purchased for YWPHI at a cost of $159. Kim O'Neil is working on updating our current membership information in addition to the property owners of record from the County.

Pacific Forest Trust (PFT)

Grace Bartel has contacted the Pacific Forest Trust several times in order to secure from them written confirmation that they will repair all roads within Yosemite West which are impacted by their logging activities. This statement is needed prior to commencement of harvesting. After requesting help from Supervisor Stetson, an email was received from Jon Remucal (PFT) concerning this issue. It appears as if the harvesting permit will contain a provision for reconditioning our roads, but details are not available yet.

Yosemite West Special Plan Update

The Mariposa County Planning Commission has unanimously approved the draft Yosemite West Special Plan, Zoning Amendment, and negative declaration. The County Supervisors can not consider adoption of this plan until after the County General Plan is approved. Discussion concerning the pros and cons of YWPHI formally endorsing the Special Plan occurred. Previously the YWPHI Board was not in favor of endorsing this plan because all the issues were in debate within the community, and consensus had not been reached. Now that YWPAC has concluded their deliberations and the Yosemite West Special Plan has been reviewed and endorsed by the Mariposa Planning Commission, a motion was passed for YWPHI to support the Special Plan. The Board felt that a majority of those in Yosemite West were in favor of land use reforms, that the draft Special Plan was a compromise reached by the community and endorsed by the Planning Commission, and that since the building moratorium was expected to be lifted soon, it was time for Yosemite West to have a plan for future growth. In addition, the Board discussed the impending time gap between lifting the building moratorium and adoption of the Yosemite West Special Plan. It was decided to notify the Board of Supervisors in writing of YWPHI support for the draft Special Plan and the moratorium lifting, but to request that they consider implementing the key provisions of this Plan when building permits are issued. This is a stop-gap measure to prevent escalation of on-going problems identified by the community for correction. It is important for new homeowners to address issues of concern prior to building, such as off-street parking, building footprint, lighting, etc.

Mailbox Shed

Last year a federal crime was committed in Yosemite West when the locked mailboxes were pried open, the unlocked mailboxes were opened, and mail was stolen from both sources. In response to this illegal activity, the Board asked Ken Wall for suggestions to make the mailbox shed more theft resistant. Ken has provided the Board with two remodeling plans and cost estimates to accomplish this goal. Board members reviewed these proposals and discussed them briefly at the Board meeting. The Board consensus was to postpone security implementation measures until a need for expansion of the shed facility is expressed by the community. All of the mail boxes inside the shed have been sold. Anyone desiring mail service to new homes must add a mail box to the outside structure.

New Business

How to Encourage New and Renewing Memberships in YWPHI

Two suggestions were made and endorsed by the Board. The Spring Clean-up chipping program will be available free of charge to YWPHI members, others must pay $25 to participate. Since membership is $25, this is a win-win situation for all. An "In the News" column will be added to the YWPHI newsletter to emphasize personal interest items such as births, new neighbors, significant achievements of residents, etc.

Memorial Day Weekend Clean-up and Coordination

Grace will handle the volunteer and truck availability list, while Carol will coordinate the picnic lunch assignments and set up. Instructions for property owners concerning fire safe clean-up and the chipping program will be included in the newsletter.

Board Members Reassignment

Tom Lambert will take over responsibility for the YWPHI newsletter from Kim O'Neil. Kim will focus on updating the YWPHI database with the new software, and acting as temporary treasurer following the resignation of Linda Andrews. A new treasurer and membership chair will be announced in the future.

The next Board meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 1, 2006. The location will be determined later. (Subsequently, the meeting date was changed to June 17, 2006 at Grace Bartel's home.) The meeting was adjourned by President Bartel at 12:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Deborah O. Hagan
YWPHI Secretary

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