Masks Recommended Indoors for all Oakmont Facilities

            Reflecting increasing concern over the recent spread of Covid-19, the Oakmont Village Board voted July 20 to mandate that non-vaccinated residents wear masks and “recommending” that those who are vaccinated be masked indoors at all Oakmont facilities.

            The unanimous vote followed the near unanimous rejection of a resolution that would have mandated masks for everyone—including the vaccinated—when indoors. Director Noel Lyons was the only “yes” vote for his resolution. The final resolution allows fully vaccinated residents meeting in small groups to go maskless.

            Despite Lyons’ call to “err on the side of safety,” Director Mark Randol called the original resolution “somewhat problematic” and urged the board to follow the county guidelines which “recommend” that masks be worn indoors. He noted that Oakmont has a  high vaccination rate.

            It quickly became clear that Lyons’ resolution had little board support. Director

Wayne Van Bockern said he supported Randol’s position and Director Heidi Klyn said breathing is an issue if masks are required in activities like dancing and Yoga and an upcoming Boomers dance. She said it could mean “the demise” of the club.” Two residents who spoke called for a “No” vote on the mandate resolution. “I resent having to wear a mask,” said one presumably vaccinated resident.


            The board unanimously approved spending approximately $7,600 to install three shade sails along the central pathway in the Happy Trails Dog Park. While there are shades on the deck, no shade is provided in the other areas. The shades, which carry a three-year guarantee, will be installed by Mitchell Landscapes of Petaluma, which built the park.

            The board approved spending up to $25,000 toward the cost of replacing a stretch of fence between the Meadowridge HOA and a piece of OVA land bordering on Highway 12. The OVA is contributing half the cost because the fence, burned in the Glass Fire in 2020, is adjacent to property owned and maintained by OVA.

            The board also approved contributing to the cost of replacing the gate, lock and a portion of the fence on the dirt road connecting Stone Bridge Road and Highway 12. Also a victim of the Glass fire, the gate is on Meadowstone HOA property, which may contribute to the cost. The total cost of the project is not to exceed $12,000.

            The meeting was held in person and on Zoom. Those watching on Zoom also saw the debut of closed captions running along the bottom of the image. It’s a new feature just unveiled by Zoom.

OVA Board Meeting of July 21 At a Glance 

  • Harriet Palk 

Committee Reports: 

Building Construction:  There  is a need for shade at the dog park.  Gazebos are expensive and require significant permitting so were ruled out.  Sail shades will be installed with over-the-counter permitting.  ADA requirements that were not in effect when the West Rec was remodeled will be addressed. The unsightly generator in the Berger parking lot will be screened, probably with landscaping.  Noise from the generator is under control.  The Berger Center will be “refreshed” with cosmetic touch-ups.   

Fire Safety:  Homeowner assessments for home hardening are underway.   OVA has 15 trained assessors and was in the process of increasing that number.  Handouts are available to guide residents in planning.  Junk the Juniper removal exceeded expectations.  Mitigation of creek vegetation is being investigated.     

Oakmont Community Development:  Recommended discussions with the city to offer a public access point to Channel Drive through the water treatment plant. Board approved recommendation; OCDC chair Hugh Helm will begin discussion with the city. 

Oakmont Energy Resiliency Project:   The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has placed PG&E under Enhanced Oversight with possible penalties for failure to meet oversight goals and deadlines. PG&E has begun an undergrounding project to be completed in August for distribution wiring from the Rincon Substation,  where circuits energize Oakmont, Melita, Skyhawk, Los Alamos, Eastern Rincon Valley and other areas.  This effort will reduce the number of PSPS events affecting Northwestern Oakmont. There is no active project to harden the overhead wiring from the Dunbar Substation in Glen Ellen which energizes Southeastern Oakmont.  The OERP is recommending the Board a Request for Proposal to research the feasibility of an Oakmont/West Sonoma Valley microgrid. The RFP would include funding for professional consultants in microgrid and energy resiliency technology, community awareness information, public relations, and cost analysis for implementing a local microgrid.  

Veteran’s Day:  Prepared an online video Memorial Day program.  Oakmont Gardens will again provide the lunch after this year’s Veteran’s Day program. Many of the components of this year’s program have been decided with the main speaker yet to be selected.  

Meadoridge Fence Replacement:  Meadowridge HOA experienced the loss of a fence during the Glass Fire of 2020 and lacks funding to replace the fence .  The fence is adjacent to property owned and maintained by OVA.  Approved, with Mark Randol and Wayne van Bockern dissenting, a contribution for half the replacement cost (total cost not to exceed $25,000) for the fence.  

Meadowstone Fence and Gate:  The gate on the dirt road connecting Stone Bridge Road and Highway 12 (on Meadowstone HOA property) and connecting fencing was damaged during the 2020 Glass Fire.  Because the fence and gate are a security issue for all of OVA because of the dirt road connecting to Highway 12, Board approved a contribution for the cost (not to exceed $12,000) to replace the gate, lock (cost TBD) and a portion of the fence. Some of the cost may be reimbursed by Meadowstone HOA which will be responsible for additional needed fencing.Dog  Park Shade Sail:  Approved three shade sails to be installed along the central pathway in the Happy Tails Dog Park for approximately $7,600.  

Masking: OVA recommends that masks be worn in all indoor facilities.  Noel Lyons amended to add that unvaccinated individuals must wear masks.