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4/25/2024 Letter from the General Manager

Dear Cambrians,

I hope this letter finds you well. We had a productive couple of weeks speaking with several of our allied agencies and stakeholders on issues ranging from the SR4 well, Water Reclamation Facility draft project description, climate adaptation policies, and several grant opportunities we are inching closer to finalizing. Our latest dialog with the Coastal Commission highlighted topics ranging from water production and pumping rates, brine disposal, mitigation in and around San Simeon Creek and Van Gordan Reservoir, and public access and recreation effects on the State Parks campground. Staff has been and continues to address these concerns with our consultants, hydrologists, and biologists. We believe we can address these concerns as we work towards finalizing the draft for Board review. I hope everyone has a great weekend. 

Administration & Finance Departments

California Special District Association (CSDA) Special District Leadership Academy

I recently attended the CSDA's Special District Leadership Academy. This conference is based on CSDA’s Special District Leadership Academy (SDLA) curriculum-based continuing education program, which recognizes the necessity for the board and general manager to work closely toward a common goal.

CCSD Notice of Intent to Fill Parks, Recreation & Open Space (PROS) Committee Member Vacancy 

Notice is hereby given that the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) is accepting applications to fill one (1) seat on the Parks, Recreation & Open Space (PROS) Standing Committee. Applicants must live and be registered to vote within the CCSD boundaries.

The selected candidate will serve until February 1, 2025. The CCSD Board of Directors will consider all applications and appoint a PROS Standing Committee Member to fill the vacant term at the Regular Board meeting on May 9, 2024, commencing at 1:00 p.m. in a hybrid, in-person/virtual format. Members of the public may participate and provide public comment on agenda items during the meeting in person at the Veterans' Memorial Hall at 1000 Main Street, Cambria, CA, 93428, by joining the Zoom meeting or by submitting a written public comment to the Confidential Administrative Assistant at

PROS Standing Committee applications can be delivered to the Cambria Community Services District administration office or drop boxes located at 1316 Tamsen Street, Suite 201, Cambria, California 93428, mailed to Cambria Community Services District, Attention: Haley Dodson, PO Box 65 Cambria, CA 93428 or emailed to Haley Dodson.  

To obtain an application, please download one from the link below. 

Standing Committee Application

Facilities & Resources Department

Contact Facilities & Resources Manager

To submit general inquiries, or to report any issues on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, public restrooms, Cambria Dog Park, or to schedule a meeting with Facilities and Resources Manager Aguirre, please submit your inquiries or concerns here:

Cambria Skatepark

The minor use of the SLO County Planning portion of the permitting process is complete, and the project is currently in the building review process. The District and consultants are working on a response to ground-disturbing activities for the project relating to the archaeological survey. The areas of note include the parking lot, building foundation, and basin, and activities to be performed in those locations are: 1) subgrade prep for the parking lot; 2) subgrade prep for the skatepark paving; and 3) grading for the stormwater basin; and 4) building pad over-excavation and compaction.

The district and consultant are responding to subgrade preparation for the parking lot and skate park paving. 

East Ranch Restroom

The building permit has been issued, and the District will circulate an RFP for site preparation in the coming weeks. Grading, erosion controls, and foundation preparation are targeted for just after Labor Day, outside of bird nesting season, and before the next wet season occurs.

EV Charging Station Relocation

The EV Charging Station relocation installation is complete, and staff is working on permission to operate and activate with the ChargePoint vendor. Thoma Electric will be restriping the American Legion and EV Charging Station parking spots.

Cambria Fire Department

Contact Fire Chief

To submit general inquiries or to schedule a meeting with Chief Burkey, please submit your inquiries or concerns here:

Meet Fire Chief

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Fire Chief Michael Burkey will be working out of the Cambria Veterans' Memorial Hall and would love to meet you and hear your thoughts on anything related to the Cambria Fire Department. 

New Cambria Fire Department Employee

We are happy to announce that Kyle Herrera was recently hired as the SAFER Firefighter EMT. He has worked as a Seasonal Firefighter at Olympic Valley Fire Department and Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services. We are thrilled to have him join Cambria Fire. Welcome, Kyle! 

Wildfire Preparedness Event

The Wildfire Preparedness Event will be on Saturday, May 11th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cambria Veterans' Memorial Hall.  The first speakers will be at 10, and the Fire Safe Focus Group will present the winners of the Fire Awareness Poster Contest, whose artwork will be placed on signs to be displayed in the fire awareness signs around the community.  The United Policy Holders will update the community on Fire Insurance, and our SimTable will demonstrate how a fire could burn down our town.  

Wildfire Preparedness Event Poster

Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) - Forest Health Grant Program

The San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council Forest Health $6.7 million grant application for the Pico Creek, Covell, Fiscalini Ranch, and Cambria Ecological Reserve sites was selected for funding. CAL FIRE will contact San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council within the next 60 days to discuss any project modifications and request any additional documents needed to finalize the grant agreement. 

July 15, 2024 is the deadline to abate and remove the fuels and vegetation for properties requiring abatement. 
Notice to Destroy Weeds were mailed to property owners whose properties require abatement on April 12, 2024

Each year, the Cambria CSD Fire Department conducts a Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program (FHFRP) to abate vegetation and hazardous wildland fire fuels. The FHFRP is carried out pursuant to the authority contained in Government Code Sections 61100(d) and (t) and Health and Safety Code Sections 14875 et seq. and is initiated by the CCSD Board of Directors adoption of a resolution declaring the vegetation and hazardous wildland fire fuels on the identified properties to be a public nuisance. In this respect, it should be noted that the definition of “weeds” in Health and Safety Code Section 14875 includes “Dry grass, stubble, brush, litter, or other flammable material which endangers the public safety by creating a fire hazard.”  

This annual requirement is an effort to reduce the fire hazard caused by the accumulation of combustible materials on vacant parcels. Keep in mind that the forest helps define Cambria, and it is important that we reduce the fire hazard without destroying its ability to regenerate. Make every effort to protect seedlings, young native trees, ferns, and bushes by marking them prior to cutting. Property owners are required to clear all combustible vegetation and/or debris from their property by the deadline of July 15, 2024.

Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP deadline is May 2, 2024, at 12:00 p.m., PST.

The Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) Fire Department is seeking proposals from contractors for CCSD’s annual Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program (FHFRP) for 2024.

CCSD has notified approximately two thousand (2,000) parcel owners to abate their property of dried grass and weeds, downed trees or slash. Those parcels that do not comply with the requirements are placed on the CCSD’s Contract list. Typically, between fifty (50) and one hundred fifty (150) parcels are placed on the CCSD’s contract list.

The contractor selected to abate the nuisance will be required to provide wildland and vegetation fuel removal services as specified in “2024 Cambria Fire Department Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program Policy – Scope of Services” in accordance with the timeline described in “2024 FHFRP Schedule.” An RFP package with complete program details and contract requirements may be downloaded at the link below or available for pick up at Cambria Fire Department, 2850 Burton Drive, Cambria, CA 93428.

Join Mailing List to Receive Updates from the Cambria CSD Fire Department

To receive updates from the Cambria CSD Fire Department on the 2024 Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program (FHFRP) or any Fire Department-related news, click the "join our mailing list" icon at the bottom of any page and subscribe to Cambria CSD Fire Department News & Updates and follow the Cambria CSD Fire Department on Instagram and Facebook.

Upcoming Board Meetings for the Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program (FHFRP)

On April 11, 2024, the Cambria Community Services District (“CCSD”) Board of Directors adopted Resolution 04-2024 declaring that noxious, dangerous, seasonal, and/or recurring weeds were growing upon or in front of your property and, more particularly described in said Resolution and that the same constitute a public nuisance which must be abated by the removal of said noxious, dangerous, seasonal and/or recurring weeds; otherwise, they will be removed and the nuisance abated by the CCSD Fire Department authorities, in which case the cost of such removal shall be assessed upon the lots and lands from which or in front of which such weeds are removed and such cost will constitute a lien upon such lots or lands until paid. Reference is hereby made to said Resolution for further particulars.

On May 9, 2024, the Cambria Community Services District (“CCSD”) Board of Directors will award the Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program Agreement to the selected contractor.

On July 25, 2024, the Cambria Community Services District (“CCSD”) Board of Directors will hold a Public Hearing ordering the abatement of Public Nuisance for the Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program.

2024 Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program Schedule
4/11/2024Declare a Public Nuisance for the Annual Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program and direct staff to proceed with issuing a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) to contractors to abate and remove the nuisance fuels and vegetation.
4/12/2024First Notice to Destroy Weeds sent to property owners whose properties require abatement, which includes a list of local licensed contractors who can perform weed abatement services. Parcel abatement starts.
5/2/2024Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program Request for Proposal (“RFP”) deadline.
5/9/2024Award Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program Agreement to selected contractor.
6/12/2024Second Notice to Destroy Weeds sent to property owners whose properties require abatement, which includes a list of local licensed contractors who can perform weed abatement services.
6/13/2024Public Hearing to confirm the 2023 CCSD Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Itemized Cost Report. After the itemized cost report has been confirmed, the resolution will be submitted to the County. The amounts will be included and collected on each respective property owner’s property tax bill per the provisions of the Health and Safety Code.
7/15/2024Deadline to abate and remove the hazardous fuels and vegetation for properties requiring abatement.
7/16/2024Cambria Fire Department final inspections of properties requiring abatement. Parcels that did not pass inspection on 7/16/2024 will be placed on the Contract Abatement List.
7/19/2024CCSD Contract Abatement List completed.
7/25/2024CCSD Public Hearing ordering abatement of Public Nuisance for the Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program.
7/26/2024CCSD contractor starts clearing parcels that were placed on the Contract Abatement List.
8/26/2024CCSD contractor deadline to clear parcels that were placed on the Contract Abatement List.
8/27/2024Cambria Fire Department final inspections.
12/15/2024First Invoice sent to customer + Administrative Charge
2/15/2025Second Invoice sent to customer + Administrative Charge

The following are guidelines to help you comply:

  • Remove combustible construction materials and trash from the property.
  • Trim weeds and annual grasses to 4 inches in height. Avoid exposing bare soil or creating a situation that would encourage erosion.
  • All downed trees and rounds or dead limbs within 30 feet of any structure must be removed. Tree stumps fallen over shall be cut and retain no more than six feet of the log within this 30-foot zone.
  • All downed trees beyond 30 feet from any structure 12 inches in diameter or greater may remain on the parcel. However, the entire trunk must be completely on the ground. Materials less than 12 inches in diameter shall be cut and removed from the property.
  • All standing dead trees that pose a safety risk to improved property and/or infrastructure shall be removed.
  • Remove ladder vegetation from under trees and shrubs, maintaining 6 feet of vertical clearance for trees greater than 20 feet in height.
  • All Poison Oak, Scotch/Irish/French or other broom-type plants, Pampas grass, Jubata grass, and (Crocosmia) also known as Fire Weed, shall be removed. Isolated specimens may be left with greater than ten (10) feet separation, and all dead material removed. 

The owner of record of the property at the time of notification is responsible for the clearance of the parcel. Property owners having clearance done by local contractors will need to work closely with their contractor to ensure your parcel gets inspected by the CCSD Fire Department. Those parcels not in compliance by the July 15, 2024, deadline will be placed on a list to be abated by the CCSD’s contractor. The cost for abatement for each parcel includes the contractor’s charge for services, plus a $100.00 administrative charge if paid within 90 days of receiving a bill or a $200.00 administrative charge if paid later. The CCSD is not responsible for the contractor’s charges. 


The Cambria CSD and the Cambria Fire Department do not endorse any specific contractor or agency, are not responsible for the work performed or the fees charged by these contractors, and assume no responsibility or liability for both satisfactory and/or non-satisfactory work conducted by these contractors. Below is a list of contractors provided to the property owners of Cambria as a public service for their convenience.

The Cambria CSD Fire Department will inspect your parcel(s) to ensure compliance with the FHFRP ordinance. Parcels not cleared by the deadline will be placed on the CCSD contract list, and all associated costs and fees will be billed directly to you.   

Contractor NamePhone Number
Bushwacker 1(805) 674-3003
Javier Casteneda(805) 927-5124
Mike Rice(805) 927-3310
Roger Salas(805) 909-2293
Paradise Tree Service(805) 360-3603 or (805) 900-0976

For more information on the 2024 Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program (FHFRP), please click here.

Thank you for doing your part to keep Cambria a fire-safe community with a healthy urban forest.
Logos of NFPA and Firewise USA® with the slogan "RESIDENTS REDUCING WILDFIRE RISKS."

Homeowner’s Insurance Public Service Announcement

As many of you are aware, and some of you are undoubtedly experiencing, we’re in the middle of a very challenging homeowner’s insurance environment. On behalf of CCSD and the Fire Safe Focus Group, we want to help and provide information and resources that we hope will be useful and actionable regardless of your circumstances. Please visit our website for more information.

This content will continue to live and breathe as we navigate these difficult times and will be updated with relevant new information as we find it. We will make it a monthly discussion and review topic at the Fire Safe Focus Group meeting. We very much hope you will find this information meaningful.

Water & Wastewater Departments

Coastal Development Permit (CDP)

On April 16, 2024, the Coastal Commission responded with general comments and concerns to our draft project description . We are currently addressing a response to Coastal working collaboratively with our consultants SWCA, Stillwater, and Todd Groundwater. We look forward to returning the final draft to the Board for a public hearing and then formally submitting our CDP application. 

Instream Flow Study (IFS) & Adaptive Management Plan (AMP)

The IFS is a detailed and comprehensive study incorporating years of data collection and analysis. While this study has taken many years and is near completion, a few final studies are still needed. One of these studies concentrates on the Van Gordon Creek/Warren assessments (IFS Task II) and concerns regarding potential impacts. These assessments will take place in June, as illustrated in the proposed project schedule below. Data gathering will continue during the summer season. Staff anticipates receipt of the completed document in October. 

AMP monitoring is ongoing. Per the methods described in the AMP, quarterly surveys are conducted at eight (8) survey sites to collect data and describe survey conditions, habitats, stream flows, surface water quality, 9P7 soil moisture, and observed species. We are currently in the wet season. A quarterly AMP survey will be conducted in May.

We look forward to having a completed report in June. 

SR4 Well at Coast Union High School

The District had mediation with the Coast Unified School District on April 24, 2024. It was a productive meeting, and we will update the community on the outcome as soon as possible. 

San Simeon Well 3

A kick-off meeting and site visit with the vendor was held in mid-April. Evaluations of plumbing, connections, and layout for pump removal and installation were coordinated. Installation materials have been ordered, and once received, a firm date for installation will be scheduled.

Stuart Street Tank Project

On January 11, 2024, the Board of Directors approved an Agreement for Consultant Services with MKN & Associates, Inc., for engineering design and bid/construction phase services to replace the Stuart Street Tanks. 

Our consultant is nearing 30% completion of plans and specifications for installation. Conversations concerning the isolation of tanks during the installation process are being held. The anticipated construction duration is one year due to the absolute necessity of keeping one tank online during construction to maintain adequate pressure in the distribution system for community consumption and emergency fire flows. 

San Simeon Water Line & Effluent Line Well Field Transmission Lines

District staff met with State Parks officials on April 9, 2024, who were pleased to see the project proceeding. However, they have concerns with the wetlands-enhanced zone. State Parks requested additional time to review the Alternatives Preliminary Design Report (“PDR”). A follow-up meeting with State Parks is scheduled for May 9, 2024, to discuss their findings and alignment preferences with CCSD staff and consultants.

Environmental consultants received a Right of Entry Permit from State Parks on April 9, 2024, and completed the wetland delineation survey. Botanical and archaeological surveys are scheduled in the upcoming weeks. Areas being surveyed are in alignments 3 and 4.

The district will hold a collaborative meeting with Cannon and State Parks to finalize an alternative alignment. In the meantime, environmental surveying has begun, which consists of wetland delineation, botanical surveys, and archaeological surveys.

Zero Liquid Discharge Program

The construction of the mobile unit for the Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) pilot is well underway. As of now, the initial target for completion of the mobile unit is October 2024. In June, a consultant from Trevi Systems will be performing a site inspection to determine the on-site specifics for the project, i.e., plumbing and electrical connections and temporary installation location. 

April 18, 2024, Regular Board Meeting Update 

For a more detailed Board meeting transcript, go to

  • The Board of Directors received and filed the Civil Design Studios Cambria Emergency Evacuation Route Report
  • The Board of Directors introduced Ordinance 01-2024, adding Chapter 1.14 to the Cambria Community Services District Municipal Code Regarding Civil Administrative Citations
  • The Board of Directors received a Report and Recommendations of the Finance Committee Revenue Enhancement in the General Fund and recommended accepting recommendations one and two and forming an Ad Hoc Committee consisting of President Gray and Director Thomas to help staff do these studies.
  • The Board of Directors received and filed the Independent Auditor's Report for Fiscal Year 2022/23
  • The Board of Directors chose to finance $680k plus financing fees for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Replacement
  • The Board of Directors adopted Policy 2150: Reserve Policy Recommended by the Staff and Finance Committee
  • The Board of Directors directed staff to advertise for an open position on the PROS Committee
Civil Design Studios Cambria Emergency Evacuation Route ReportOrdinance 01-2024Auditor's ReportReserve Policy 2150

Upcoming May Board Meeting Items (subject to change):

  • Consideration of adoption of a Resolution approving the award of the Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program Agreement
  • Consideration of adoption of Policy 1045 Legal Counsel and Auditor Policy
  • Discussion and consideration of the adoption of a Resolution confirming the Itemized Report of Water and Wastewater Standby or Availability Charges for collection on the County Tax Rolls
  • Discussion and consideration of approval of a Resolution asking the County to repair Rodeo Grounds Road
  • Discussion and consideration of adoption of a Civil Administrative Citation Ordinance 01-2024 for violation of CCSD Ordinances and Regulations
  • Discussion and consideration to fill a vacant seat on the Parks, Recreation & Open Space Committee
  • Consideration of adoption of a Resolution updating the assignment of banking powers for Cambria Community Services District
  • Discussion and consideration of the Third Quarter Budget Report for FY 2023/24
  • Discussion and consideration of 2024/2025 Rate Adjustments to Water and Sewer Rates
    and adoption of a Resolution establishing said rates
  • Discussion regarding District Vehicle Use

On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., I will be working out of the Cambria Veterans' Memorial Hall and would love to meet you and hear your thoughts on everything, Cambria. We will provide coffee and snacks and the ability to engage in dialogue about everything in Cambria. 

As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas. If you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me or any of our management team.

Thank you again for your support; I am at your service. 

Matthew McElhenie

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