Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement


There was only one presentation on this agenda – an update from Tom Stokely regarding water matters of interest to Trinity County. There were no reports from department heads or the CAO’s office. Reports were provided by each Supervisor. Several items from the Consent Agenda were pulled for discussion. The agenda item focused on an amendment to cannabis ordinances was continued to the next meeting. Supervisors addressed proposed changes to the Limited Density Rural Dwelling Ordinance, discussed a proposed schedule of presentations that will be included in future agendas, and more. The agenda included a cannabis-related appeal hearing and one Closed Session agenda item.

Here are the notes I took regarding the meeting. Please understand that this is not a comprehensive documentation of discussions and decisions.


Clerk of the Board

1.1 Receive a presentation from Tom Stokely, Water Policy Consultant regarding the Trinity River water issues.No fiscal impact.

  • Sites Reservoir – success in changing documented plans so that no water from Trinity Lake will be directed into this reservoir. The Sites Reservoir site is in the Sacramento Valley.
  • Bay Delta Plan Update – Phase II – updates are required every 3 to 5 years… it has not been updated with this frequency. Referenced “voluntary agreements” to which no Trinity County agency is a party. The current plan/proposal will pull 600,000 acre feet of water from Trinity Lake. Noted that Trinity River is not included in their plans/documents.
    • Recommends that we continue to submit comments, and appear in public hearings to raise concerns.
  • Water Right Order 90-5 – temperature objectives are referenced in these documents. Tom shared that current science indicates the temperature objectives are inadequate… and are not being regularly observed. The 600,000 acre ft minimum pool is a part of this plan/document… though this too is not always observed.
    • Water Right Hearing was promised in the past and never held.
    • North Coast …. Trinity River temperature objectives are not considered a priority.
    • April Hearing – feels Trinity County should participate to raise concerns
    • Additional Steps – Tom also covered several additional steps that we could take to support our rights.
  • Water Rights Attorney – Repeated his recommendation that Trinity County engage a Water Rights Attorney to assist in these matters.
  • Re-initiation of Consultation – Trinity County’s local alternative is being considered but timing might mean that decisions are made regarding the CVP. He sees this as our best bet to gain the protections we are seeking.
  • Humboldt County 50,000 acre ft – they have finalized their plans for use of this water right. It calls for increased flows during some periods of the year.
    • Recommends that we participate in ongoing discussions/decisions.
    • Feels that Trinity County could establish rights
    • Acknowledges that Humboldt County is the one who holds this contract.
  • Winter Flows – an alternative to the original winter variable flow proposals was submitted by people representing Trinity County. TRRP responded with something different that was subsequently rejected by the TMC. Suggested that we could pursue mitigations to winter variable flows if/when reintroduced.
  • Delta Conveyance Project – suggested that the county protest the proposed water diversion. Noted that we could also offer letters of opposition to May budget proposals if they include support for this project moving forward.
  • Permanent Water Contracts – offered a “pat on the back” for work in opposition.
  • Minimum Lake Level – recommends 1.2 to 1.5 million acre-feet… absolute minimum of 750,000 acre-feet
  • Summer Flows – raised concerns about proposals to reduce summer flows due to the negative impact on fish and the economy.
  • Trinity Management Council – recommends reform of this organization. Feels that there is insufficient protection from conflict of interest.
  • Pool Depth & Volume Study – recommends this be done to evaluate the impact of TRRP efforts to add material to the river.
  • Klamath Pulse Flow Releases – shared information on these regular releases that are in addition to ROD-related releases.


  • Election – concerns shared regarding the recent election. Believes that the district boundaries created after the census were not used for this most recent election.
  • River – asked why we aren’t removing the Trinity Dam to save fish (as was done with the Klamath Dam)
  • Cannabis Funds – called for a full reconciliation of funds flowing through the Cannabis Division.
  • Cannabis Workshop – recommended a joint (Planning Commission & Board of Supervisors) public workshop with the three primary agencies involved in Cannabis…. before completion of ordinance updates and general plan updates.
  • California Fair Plan – shared that his rates under this plan doubled last year. Asked the board to look into this.


I. Report from Department Heads – None

II. Report from County Administrative Officer – None

III. Reports from Members of the Board of Supervisors

  • District 1 | Ric Leutwyler
    • No out-of-county travel
    • Disaster Council Meeting on 3.12.24 – great information exchange. Two new participants.
    • Community Plan Workshops – joined the Weaverville workshop since a portion of this community falls within District 1.  Strong turnout and great dialogue.
    • Economic Development:
      • USDA Rural Development – met with Dan Johnson,  who shared information about various sources of funding and support available to Trinity County.
      • CA Jobs First – subcommittee meetings taking place later this month.
      • Economic Development Roundtable – work is underway for an inaugural meeting in April.  Goals include building relationships, sharing information, aligning our efforts, increasing collaboration, and identifying and overcoming obstacles.
      • Economic Development Finance Working Group – invited to participate in meetings to learn more about new sources and approaches to economic development funding.
    • U.S. Forest Service – met with Rachel Birkey, Forest Supervisors on 3.15.24. She is well aware of key initiatives and issues within Trinity County. We discussed the Minersville Boat Ramp, Trinity Lake Trail Proposal, and a collection of fuels/forest management projects. We will be meeting quarterly.
    • PSA2 – (Area Agency on Aging) I joined Supervisor Cox for this informative meeting. Supervisor Cox was re-elected to the role of Chair of the Executive Board.
  • District 2 | Jill Cox
    • Travelled to RCRC
      • Insurance – RCRC shares strong concerns and efforts continue
      • The Transportation Secretary spoke to the group. She was able to meet with the CalTrans Director. Noted that our DOT Director is the Chair…
      • Un-funded State Mandates were discussed. RCRC is working with counties to pursue potential reimbursements where possible.
      • AT&T Application – RCRC continues to oppose this.
    • PSA2 – (Area Agency on Aging)
      • Noted the complexity of filing for Medicare, etc.
      • Liz Ritz is a Trinity County volunteer who can help people needing assistance
    • Crosswalk Safety – still working with CalTrans representatives on this matter. The first step (new/different crosswalk painting) is complete. Ongoing work on signage.
  • District 3 | Liam Gogan
    • Douglass City Community Plan Workshop – attended this meeting. Looking forward to the Hayfork meeting in the near future
    • Solid Waste Grand Jury Report – completed as part of this agenda
    • No out-of-county travel
  • District 4 | Heidi Carpenter-Harris
    • No out-of-county travel
    • Prescribed Burn Association Meeting – attended a recent meeting and encouraged participation.
    • Insurance – noted that home hardening can lead to a discount through insurance providers… including the fair plan.
    • NCRP – the next North Coast Resource Partnership meeting will take place in Weaverville in April.
    • Native Homeless Coalition – progress made in helping people get to their appointments
    • RCD Meeting – met regarding CDBG Grant that is coming forward – focused on fuels management where public/private land interfaces and also one private property. This can include prescribed burns on private property.
  • District 5 | Dan Frasier
    • No out-of-county travel – Will travel to Eureka and Colusa County soon on county business.
    • Building Department – discussed building code updates focused on agricultural buildings. Asked for board consent to work with County Counsel on this. He plans to work with the Humboldt County code as a frame of reference.
      • The board chose to have Supervisor Frasier present his ideas to the board during our next regularly scheduled meeting – before determining if there was a consensus to engage County Counsel on this matter.

IV. Reports from Ad Hocs:

A. Cannabis Ordinance – The next meeting is scheduled for later this month.

B. Tribal Relations – Nothing to report.


Public Comment (10:50 AM)

  • Requested item 3.11 be pulled for discussion – focused on the 50% increase in rates proposed… and the inflation proposal that is tied to the San Fransisco area.
  • The board pulled Items 3.11, 3.15, 3.16, and 3.17 for discussion.
  • The board approved all remaining items on the consent calendar.

3.11 Approve the updated Hangar Lease Agreement and the safety and security maintenance modifications for Trinity County Airports. No fiscal impact.

  • Panos Kokkas | DOT Director
    • Rates were last raised a long time ago. Shared that the proposal is less than a 50% increase.
    • A cost of living index does not exist for the area covering Northern counties. Felt that the one selected was complete and relevant
    • Shared that this also ensures that hangars are used only for airworthy aircraft – which can help us obtain more funding via federal grants.
    • Shared that we have a waiting list for the nine hangars in Weaverville.
    • A 30-day grace period will be followed by legal action to remove contents that don’t meet new requirements
  • Public Comment
    • Feels that using San Francisco rates as the frame of reference is inappropriate/inflated. Noted that using inflation as a reference would only increase rates by 30%. Concerns offered regarding the narrow focus of some verbiage in the proposed lease
    • A question was raised about the availability of certified aviation mechanics in Trinity County
  • The board approved this matter as presented.

3.15 Adopt a resolution which approves the sale of tax defaulted properties subject to the Tax Collector’s power of sale. Fiscal impact is dependent upon sales.

  • Terri McBrayer | Tax Collector
  • Property Owners must be delinquent for 5 years before this action is taken
  • Extensive steps are taken to inform property owners of available programs to assist with the payment of property taxes.
  • Payment plan options are presented.
  • There is only a 1.5% interest rate applied for these delinquent taxes
  • Historically, 90% of property owners end up paying delinquent taxes before the date of the sale
  • There are costs associated with the online auction of these homes.
  • We are more consistent with this process now than we had been in the past – which has decreased the number of properties falling into this category.
  • Staff was encouraged to bring forward ideas for preventing property owners from “using the county as a bank.”
  • The board approved this matter as presented.

3.16 Approve SB 964 letter of opposition unless amended. Unknown fiscal impact.

  • Terri McBrayer | Tax Collector
  • Clarified the reasons for the letter of opposition
  • The letter was not part of the backup material
  • The board approved this matter as presented

Trinity County Transportation Commission

3.17 Adopt a resolution of Concurrence to approve the Caltrans District 2 State Route 3 Corridor Plan. No impact to the General Fund.

  • Panos Kokkas | DOT Transportation
  • It was noted that CalTrans incorporated all input provided and agreed to incorporate information from local tribes once it is received.
  • The board approved this matter as presented.


Board of Supervisors (11:35 AM)

4.1 Introduce and waive the reading of an ordinance amending Trinity County Code Section 15.25 pertaining to Limited Density Rural Dwellings. No fiscal impact.

  • Bella Hedtke | Senior Planner
    • Proposed adjustments to decrease the minimum parcel size and to make this accessible to more property owners
    • Healthy discussion with interested parties/agencies.
  • Public Comment
    • Support offered for this matter as presented
    • Support offered for this matter as presented. Shared praise for how this was handled by the Planning Commission.
    • Support offered for this matter as presented.
    • Support offered for this matter as presented. Emphasized that this will especially help Post Mountain.
  • Board Discussion
    • Concern that this refers to parcels with access to services… and was intended to be without access to services.
    • Discussion about using resolutions from the board to provide greater clarity regarding details of what is conveyed from the Board to the Planning Commission
    • Some concern regarding this being tied to state fire code (which can change)
    • Shared additional input regarding the reason for the  “existing structures” aspect
      • Tied to the discretion of the building official
    • Discussed establishing the start of the three-year timeframe to 30 days after final adoption of the ordinance by the board.
    • Suggestion to limit fire standard requirements to parcels less than 5 acres.
    • SUDs (specific use development) include very unique/specific details regarding allowable use, etc.
    • A subsequent motion was made to adopt the ordinance with the following changes
      • Add Ruth Lake Community Services SUD
      • Limit fire safety requirements to parcels less than 5 acres
      • Incorporate building officials’ discretion on existing structures.
      • Add an end date of July 1, 2027
      • Change 5 acre requirement to 1 acre in allowable zones
      • Remove language focused on eligibility tied to local disasters.
      • The board approved this motion.
    • Planning will need to research this further to determine if this will need to go back before the planning commission.

4.2 Discuss and give direction to staff regarding the proposed schedule of presentations to the Board of Supervisors. No fiscal impact (12:50 PM)

  • Public Comment
    • Suggestion to maintain flexibility for presentation proposals that come up
    • Suggest the addition of two presentations
      • Legacy cannabis research program
      • Cannabis Appellations Program
  • Board Discussion
    • Maintain flexibility for inserting presentations as needed.
    • Support was offered for this approach and the proposed presentations.
    • Suggestions
      • Add Tribal presentations in late April or early May
        • 2 to 3 separate presentations of 10 to 15 minutes each
        • Updates, MOU status/expectations, etc.
    • Historically we have used 10 minutes as the standard timeframe for presentations.

Cannabis County Matters

4.3 Conduct an appeal hearing to uphold, modify, or overturn the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the appeal of the Director’s decision to deny a Commercial Cannabis License renewal application (CCL-208) for 480 Oak Ranch Road, Lewiston, CA. (CCL Applicant: Stefan Monev, Appellant: Stefan Monev) (Planning File P-23-09) Unknown.

  • Drew Plebani | Cannabis Division Director
    • At the time the process involved a release form and an application (not a transfer form). The applicant submitted the documents required at the time.
    • Appendix C was received after board action on the Lewiston Expansion Opt-Out
    • Application was received before adoption of the opt-out
  • Presentation by appellant
    • Applied on 11.19.2020 to transfer the license… completed on 11.29.2020
    • Worked on well, construction done
    • 6.15.21 – urgency ordinance passed
    • Communication from the county to the applicant continued during this time regarding how to move forward… including after the opt-out was in place
    • May 2022 opt-out finalized
    • Denial in March 2023.
    • Relied on assurances from and ongoing communications with the county
    • Recognizes competing interests in this situation.
    • Suggests that the board should find that the applicant is uniquely positioned – having spent a lot of time and money… only to have the rug pulled out on him.
    • Suggests that the board apply an exception that applies only to the applicant.
    • Noted the mix of ag properties and farms in the area (winery, llama/alpaca)
    • Stated that the applicant did everything that the county asked him to do.
  • Public Comment
    • Opposition offered to this appeal/application.  His property is between an existing commercial cannabis operation and the proposed operation. States that approval of this application would have a significant impact on the community. Stated that the opt-out request started before this application took place.
    • Applicant shared information about the process. Found the property in March 2020. Asked the planning department if this property would fit the requirements for a cultivation license. Was told it was outside the opt-out zone in Lewiston. No new applications were being received at the time… so he purchased a license (transfer) from someone else. The transfer of ownership was approved. Asked for the board to act fairly.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Feels that the applicant was misled… after going into debt to finance this matter.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Believes that the board should give the applicant a chance.  Asked that we recognize the effort and investment that he made.  Suggests that this be sent back to planning and that a community workshop be held to discuss this further (and explore options) before a decision is made. Noted that this is a large, flat, Ag parcel that does not need groundwater.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Felt the Planning Commission responded in a manner that misrepresents the actions of the applicant. Feels that there was gross negligence on the county’s part in drawing this out so long. Raised concern about conflict of interest.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Shared that his wife and children had to move back to Europe due to financial hardship. Shared that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol… so why does a winery have concerns about cannabis operation? Ask that the board make decisions based on the facts and not on personal relationships.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Shared that the cultivation application process has never been great.  Feels that this applicant faced especially unfair treatment.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Feels that the applicant followed all the rules and that he wasn’t informed about the opt-out in a timely manner. Feels that the opt-out process created a sudden rule change that was not fair to this applicant. Suggests that we not punish someone for a mistake they didn’t make.
    • Applicant’s wife spoke in support of the appeal/application. Suggests that the board consider that he did everything he was asked to do.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Asked that the board consider the impact to the applicant who did everything they were asked.  Noted that the parcel is not visible from the road and that no homes can be seen from the site. Noted that technology can be used to mitigate odors.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application. Stated that he followed all the rules and did everything required to obtain a license.
    • Opposition was offered by someone who lives in the opt-out area. Shared that Kim Hunter clearly stated during the board discussion that there were six pending applications and the board still voted in support of the opt-out. Noted that a court case to obtain a license in the opt-out area was unsuccessful. Acknowledges that this is unfortunate for the applicant… but that making an exception in this situation would cause huge problems. Shared that no notice was provided when three licenses were granted in this area. Asked the board to not make an exception, to deny this appeal, and to support the residents who signed the document opposing this matter.
    • Support was offered for the appeal/application.
  • Board Discussion
    • 9.14.21 – date cannabis program was shut down
    • 4.19.21 – opt-out petition received by the county
    • Jan 2021 – extension letters sent – this license was not active because it was not active on a property at the time.
    • 11.9.2020 – received the release of license to Monev and application for use of the license at the parcel in Lewiston.
  • Motion made to deny the appeal
    • Findings from the planning department were shared by the County Counsel
      • Referenced opt-out language and limitations on approval of applications within the opt-out area.
      • Acknowledgment that there was not an approved/active license before the establishment of the opt-out
  • The board voted to deny the appeal.

4.4 Introduce and waive the reading of an ordinance amending Trinity County Code Section 17.43.050 pertaining to Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Regulations. Unknown.

  • The proposed ordinance was not included in the backup material. As a result, the board decided to continue this matter to the next meeting.
  • The board voted to continue this matter to the April 2nd meeting

Clerk of the Board

4.5 Approve the Board’s response to the Grand Jury Report: 2023 Trinity County Grandy Jury Report – Solid Waste Report. No fiscal impact.

  • Supervisor Carpenter-Harris introduced the matter – highlighting progress, acknowledging concerns, and noting actions taken and plans in place. Also acknowledged quick action by CAO Trent Tuthill and staff.
  • Supervisor Gogan acknowledged the difficulty in addressing vandalism.
  • Public Comment
    • Comments were offered in support of Supervisor Carpenter-Harris’ comments.
  • A motion was put forward to approve the letter with the addition of content from the CAO’s response to item 12 and the correction of typos.
  • The board approved this motion.

Probation (2:44 PM)

4.6 Approve a budget adjustment for FY 23/24 for Probation Asset Seizure – Dept. 8594 increasing Fixed Assets by $58,000. No impact to the General Fund; current cash balance in Probation Asset Seizure – Fund 594 is $149,837.

  • Ruby Fiero | Chief Probation Officer
    • Funds will be used for training – specifically, training related to potentially dangerous situations that personnel find themselves in due to the nature of their work in law enforcement and probation.
  • Lance Floerke | Assistant Chief Probation Officer
    • MILO (multiple interactive learning objectives) System –
    • Hundreds of scenarios – for example, active shooter situations, domestic violence
    • This will allow us to take this training in-house and to jointly train and share with partner organizations (law enforcement, schools, DA, etc.)
    • Helps to meet “perishable skills” training requirements.
    • This augments training efforts, and saves money (and time) for travel & meals, etc.
    • 90 days after purchase to get the system installed and personnel trained on how to use it.
  • The board approved this matter as presented.

Closed Session Readout from 3.5.24 Meeting

6.1 Government Code Section 54954.5(e) – Public Employee Appointment: County Counsel.

  • Direction to staff.

6.2 Government Code Section 54954.5(c) – Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation No. of Cases: 1: FTF Farms of Trinity Forests

  • Direction to staff


5.1 Government Code Section 54954.5(e) – Public Employee Appointment: County Counsel.


Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement


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