Policy Committee‎ > ‎2006 Meetings‎ > ‎

01.09 Approved Minutes







Monday, January 9, 2006, 5:00 P.M.

City Hall, Room 421

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102



COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair); Arlene Rodriguez and Christina Desser


Commission Secretary:  Monica Fish


*The January 26, 2006 Regular Policy Committee meeting was rescheduled to a Special Meeting on January 9, 2006.




Public comment will be taken before the Committee takes action on any item.




The meeting was called to order at 5:05 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Desser, Rodriguez (arrived at 5:15 p.m.) and Wald.


2.      ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the November 9, 2005 Special Rescheduled Meeting.


Upon motion by Commissioner Desser and second by Commissioner Wald, the November 9, 2005 Minutes were adopted with no objection (Commissioner Rodriguez absent).  There was no public comment at this time. (Explanatory Document:  Approved Minutes of the November 9, 2005 Special Rescheduled Meeting). 


3.   PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.


Public Comment:  Ms. Allyse Heartwell, San Francisco Oil Awareness, spoke on the importance of petroleum and natural gas to San Francisco’s economic vitality and urged the Committee to propose a resolution acknowledging peak oil as an initial step towards development of a response plan to address possible future petroleum/natural gas shortages and price increases (Explanatory Document:  Statement to Policy Committee received in Committee Meeting 1/9/06. 


4.    PUBLIC HEARING and DISCUSSION:  United Nations World Environment Day Accords.  The Committee received public comment on what the priorities for the Urban Accords should be for the first year and prioritized three key actions for adoption by the Commission on the Environment.  (Explanatory Documents:  Urban Environmental Accords Review, Department Memo to Policy Committee 1/9/06, and Public Comment received in Committee Meeting.) 

SPONSOR:  Commissioner Johanna Wald SPEAKER:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director

     Commissioner Arlene Rodriguez joined the meeting at this time.


Director Jared Blumenfeld advised the Committee that each city’s goal is to adopt three accords every year and recommended and described five (Actions 3, 10, 11, 17, and 21) that the Committee could select three from (see explanatory memo and attachment dated January 9, 2006).  After the Committee selects three actions, the next steps would be to send a Resolution recommending three of the actions to the full Commission for consideration and adoption at the January 24, 2006 meeting and then to the Board of Supervisors.  The criteria for selection of actions was explained: (1) political opportunities to move issues forward in the coming year, (2) available budget and human resources for implementation, (3) current national and regional impact, (4) public visibility aspects, (5) issues that would bring together different coalitions effectively, and (6) something measurable that can be completed in a year.   

Public Comment:  Mr. Arthur Feinstein, Conservation Consultant, also speaking for Ms. Ruth Gravanis urged the Committee to (1) adopt Action 8, (2)  to redefine Action 10 to include the idea that there is a natural component to parks, and (3) stated that Action 11 would not bring in the environmental community except for Friends of the Urban Forest because it does not address natural biodiversity issues. The concept would have to be expanded to bring in a more ecological perspective.


Public Comment:  Mr. Parin Shah recommended (1) adopting only three actions, but to state in the Resolution that progress whould be assessed to see if a larger goal could be achieved,  (2) that the Commission engage citizen advocacy groups and hold convenings for all stakeholders, and (3) recommended Actions 8, 17, and 21.


Public Comment:  Mr. Peter Brastow, Founding Director, Nature in the City, (1) described the mission of Nature in the City, (2) endorsed Actions 8, 10, 11, 12, and 20 and offered suggestions on how to implement Actions 11 and 12, (3) recommended that selection criteria include how actions may interlink with other actions, and  (4) asked when the next three actions would be identified.  Director Blumenfeld replied that the next three actions would be selected in a year. (Explanatory Document Received in Committee:  Public Comment Urban Accords).


Public Comment:  Debbie Raphael, Department Toxic Reduction Program Manager (1) commented that timing might be appropriate for Action 21 as the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has hired a staff person that is charged with doing an ecological watershed plan that looks at stormwater as wastewater,  and (2) discussed Action 17 as it pertains to the purchase of food by City facilities.


Public Comment:  Ms. Alicia Culver, Consultant to the Department of the Environment, Toxics Reduction Program, and EnviroSpec advised the Committee that she was asked to review how the City can implement a Resolution that was recently passed to maximize the City’s purchase of organic foods.  A discussion was held on potential recommendations for maximizing purchase of fair trade and organic-certified products by the City describing potential actions, current purchasing practices, potential benefits/drawbacks and resources needed (see 1/9/06 explanatory memo). 


Public Comment:  Cal Broomhead, Department Energy Manager spoke on (1) how criteria for making decisions is made, e.g. a window of opportunity, building blocks that other things can later be built on, direct impacts, strategic concerns and partnerships, and the motivational momentum success of an issue, and (2) discussed the difficulty of achieving the goal projected for Action 1, renewable energy.


After further discussion, Director Blumenfeld recommended selection of Actions 8, 17 and 21.


Action 8:  Adopt urban planning principles and practices that advance higher density, mixed use, walkable, bikeable and disabled-accessible neighborhoods which coordinate land use and transportation with open space systems for recreation and ecological reconstruction.


(See below for Actions 17 and 21.)


Commissioner Wald recommended that a project plan to describe how actions would be implemented be created.


Committee members chose Actions 12, 17, and 21 to forward to the Commission as a Resolution for consideration and adoption at the January 24, 2006 meeting, and that Action 12 should be a fundamental base for implementing Action 8.


Action 12:  Urban Nature.  Pass legislation that protects critical habitat corridors and other key habitat characteristics (e.g. water features, food-bearing plants, shelter for wildlife, use of native species, etc.) from unsustainable development.


Action 17:  Environmental Health.  Promote the public health and environmental benefits of supporting locally grown organic foods. Ensure that twenty percent of all city facilities (including schools) serve locally grown and organic food within seven years.


Action 21:  Water.  Adopt municipal wastewater management guidelines and reduce the volume of untreated wastewater discharges by 10 percent in seven years through the expanded use of recycled water and the implementation of a sustainable urban watershed planning process that includes participants of all affected communities and is based on sound economic, social, and environmental principles.


  1. DISCUSSION:  Programmatic and legislative schedule for Policy Committee one-year calendar for 2006 (Continued from the November 9, 2005 Special Meeting) (Explanatory Document:  Programmatic and legislative schedule).
 SPONSOR:  Commissioner Johanna Wald

SPEAKER:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director


Continued to the February 13, 2006 Policy Committee Meeting.

6.      INFORMATION: New Business:  No new business was heard at this time.



         Discussion of a project plan for implementation of the three actions.

         Plan for how to choose actions in future years.

Public Comment:  Ms. Allyse Heartwell, San Francisco Oil Awareness asked the Committee to address the peak oil issue as a future agenda item.

8.      PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

9.      ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting adjourned at 7:10 p.m.


** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) on the Commission’s website;  (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or (4) via e-mail at [email protected].


Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709

FAX: (415) 554-6393

Adopted: March 13, 2006

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