RID OKs Gyppo Ale Mill in Shelter Cove

The Shelter Cove Resort Improvement District (RID) granted Gyppo Ale Mill conditional approval to proceed with plans to build a brewery and took action on several other items at their regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18. About 30 members of the public attended the meeting and heard updates on the status of ongoing projects.

After more than a year of consideration, meetings, and public input, a mostly single-story design by Trilogy Architects was recommended for the proposed new Shelter Cove Community Center. There was some discussion among the board and public about the plan’s mezzanine, a partial additional upper story. It was generally agreed by the members of the public at the meeting and most of the board members that the design was appropriate and aesthetically pleasing. The board voted to approve the community center’s single-story design with mezzanine.

Shelter Cove residents Julie Peacock and Josh Monschke were at the meeting and described their proposal for locating Gyppo Ale Mill, a brewery, pub and restaurant, in Shelter Cove. Peacock and Monschke said they want to build the establishment on the triangle of land between the Shelter Cove Community Clubhouse and the campground at the intersection of Upper Pacific and Machi Road.

The board and members of the public asked Peacock and Monschke about the water use and wastewater discharge in the brewery process, and in general were very supportive of the project.

The Humboldt County Planning and Building Department had requested a response from RID regarding the district’s approval or denial of the proposed project.

Young reported that district staff had looked at the brewery’s forecast for production and the associated biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) in the wastewater that would be generated in the brewing process, and recommended that the district place a condition of phased discharge in order to avoid bulk discharge into the wastewater treatment plant all at once.

“The plant is running 24/7,” Young said. “Obviously during the darkest hours of the night the demand on the wastewater treatment plant decreases so we can make that part of the conditional approval.”

The board voted unanimously to allow Gyppo Ale Mill to proceed with the project with conditional approval for phased waste discharge.

In his general manager’s report Young reported that he recently learned from the State Water Resources Control Board that the district’s application to appropriate water from Humboldt Creek could take as long as a year to process.

Tim Moran, public information officer for the State Water Resources Control Board, said in an email last month, “The State Water Board is currently reviewing RID’s application to determine whether it is acceptable. As the State Water Board has discussed with RID, the State Water Board’s Policy for Maintaining Instream Flows in Northern California Coastal Streams contains a provision that prohibits the filing of new applications for onstream dams on Class 1 or 2 streams. Since RID’s application proposes an onstream dam on a Class 1 or 2 stream, RID has requested a case-by-case exception from the State Water Board to allow for an exception to this prohibition. The State Water Board is currently considering the request as part of the process for determining whether RID’s application is acceptable.”

Moran noted in a later email that if the application is deemed acceptable there would then be a number of processes the district would need to complete to obtain the required permit. Moran estimated that the process would take a year.

The board voted to approve a draft letter in support of Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District (HBHRCD) obtaining Proposition 1 funding for the Shelter Cove Fish Cleaning Remediation Plan via the Ocean Protection Council. Young explained HBHRCD was seeking grant money to bring the Shelter Cove fish cleaning station operation into compliance with state requirements that prohibit a discharge pipe that puts anything into the Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) which surrounds Shelter Cove. Board member Michael Caldwell pointed out that the proposal would connect fish cleaning water drains to the district’s sewer system.

Young said that development and plans of the project would require the Harbor District to apply to RID for a discharge connection. RID would require mechanical screening and filtration of the fish offal, Young explained.

“I envision there will be two mechanical screens — one will be the bulk stuff and then the second screen will be almost like a window screen — so that only water goes through, water and blood. The blood will definitely contribute to the BOD. We think it is manageable,” Young said.

Young reported that the Strategic Plan Ad Hoc Committee made up of board members Michael Caldwell, David Sommer, and Young had been meeting regularly to produce a strategic plan to help the district define its direction and help in making decisions on allocating district resources to pursue its strategy. He said the draft plan was reviewed by the board at the Aug. 20 meeting and modifications to the draft were incorporated into the plan.

The proposed strategic plan was read aloud, and after discussion and comments in support from the public, the board voted unanimously to approve the plan. They decided that the plan, described by board members as a “living document,” should be reviewed and updated every year.

The board had their required second reading of modifications to district policy 3080 for public facilities use and rental. Young said modifications were to provide equitable use of the facilities, improve security, and address the need to raise revenues to cover operational expenses.

This item was discussed at length at the January board meeting, and there was a brief explanation and only minimal discussion with the public about the changes at this meeting.

The board voted to approve the policy modifications.

The district reviewed the second quarter budget, which Young said was generally on track.