Policy Committee‎ > ‎2008 Meetings‎ > ‎

11.18 Approved Minutes







Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 5:00 P.M.

Department of the Environment

11 Grove Street Eco-Center

San Francisco, CA 94102


*The Monday, November 10, 2008, 5:00 p.m. Policy Committee Regularly Scheduled Meeting at City Hall, Room 421 was RESCHEDULED to Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. at the Department of the Environment, 11 Grove Street, Eco Center.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Johanna Wald (Chair), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-Chair), Jane MarieFrancis Martin


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


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment Policy Committee Meeting convened at 5:05 p.m.  Present:  Chair Wald, Commissioners Gravanis and Martin.


2.   Approval of Minutes of the October 20, 2008 Policy Committee Rescheduled Meeting. (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Vice-Chair Gravanis and second by Commissioner Martin, the October 20, 2008 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (Explanatory Documents: October 20, 2008 Draft and Approved Minutes).


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. There was no public comment at this time.


4.   Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point Integrated Development Project. (Informational Presentation and Discussion) Speaker: Ms. Tiffany Bohee, Project Manager, Office of Economic and Workforce Development

·         Status Update on the Environmental Impact Report.  Speaker:, Ms. Joy Navarette, Environmental Review Officer, Planning Department

·         Status Update on the Sustainability Plan.  Speakers:  Ms. Jean Rogers and Mr. Brian Renehan, ARUP

·         Presentation and Discussion on the Habitat and Biodiversity Plan of the Sustainability Plan.  Speaker: Mr. Steve Rottenborn, HT Harvey


Ms. Bohee reported on work that is being accomplished on the overall plan through the Mayor’s Office and Lennar, and through input from the Bayview community, the Shipyard Community Advisory Committee, the Bayview Project Area Committee, and various neighborhood groups.  It was stated that community meetings and workshops have been held, and all the input has culminated into the Urban Design Plan, a vision and conceptual framework for what the project will be (Explanatory Document:  Urban Design Plan).  Ms. Bohee explained that the plan that would be used to create the basis for design and development was distributed to the PAC, the CAC, is on the website, and had been distributed to City staff at the end of September. Work will be done with City staff and the community so that the visionary document can be transformed into a control document that will guide the development.  Ms. Bohee reported on work being done on the Environmental Impact Report and the process for receiving final approvals on the Financing Plan.  


Ms. Joy Navarrete, Senior Environmental Planner, San Francisco Planning Department, reported that she is working on the CEQA portion of the project and discussed the status of the environmental document.  It was explained that a Notice of Preparation and public scoping meetings have been held to hear community concerns.  Ms. Navarrete stated that work has been done on a lot of the background studies, and that coordinating technical studies (on cultural resources, transportation and circulation, noise, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, wind analysis, shadows, biological resources, hydrology and water, hazardous materials, etc.) would take a lot of detailed work since it is a large project.  It was explained that every CEQA section would be analyzed.  The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is proposed for publication in March of 2009 and depending on the number of comments received, EIR certification could be scheduled for October of 2009.  Ms. Navarrete reported that the Draft EIR would require a 45-day review period and hearings would be held at the Planning Commission and Redevelopment Agency. 


Ms. Therese Brekke reported that she manages the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process for Lennar and introduced Mr. Steve Rottenborn, HT Harvey and Associates, who has been working with Lennar on this project and would be speaking on the biological aspects of the project.


Mr. Steve Rottenborn, Ecological Consultant, HT Harvey and Associates, explained that his organization would be providing the project team advice about biodiversity and habitat issues. It was explained that the Sustainability Plan has three main habitat and biodiversity goals (1) protect and enhance existing areas of habitat value; (2) protect existing wildlife species on the site; and (3) create new wildlife habitat areas as the project is designed and constructed.  A number of studies have been conducted on the biological aspect of this area that information was derived from. The one that provided the most data was conducted in conjunction with LSA, the Golden Gate Audubon Society, and Literacy for Environmental Justice.  A presentation was given on topics that include (1) existing biological conditions on Candlestick Point, South Basin, and Yosemite Slough; (2) approaches to protect existing habitats and species and enhance biodiversity; and (3) proposed habitat and biodiversity strategies. The Explanatory Document presentation titled Candlestick Point Hunters Point Shipyard Habitat and Biodiversity can be accessed for additional information.


Ms. Jean Rogers, Principal, ARUP, reported that they are in the process of finalizing the Draft Sustainability Plan in mid-December.  A presentation was given on topics that include: (Explanatory Document:  A Sustainable Future for Candlestick Point and Hunters Point Shipyard. 

·         Current Activities: Stakeholder engagement to help shape strategies into the plan—holding meetings with City agencies and Commissions and presenting ideas and receiving feedback from community groups and stakeholders.

·         How the Plan addresses public concerns such as environmental justice and public health, wastewater treatment strategy, and affordability.

·         Dry and Wet Weather Existing and Proposed Capacity/Condition at the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant.

·         Cost Savings and Affordability Measures through energy and efficiency measures, recycled water, and automated waste collection system.

·         How the Plan addresses City concerns through clean energy, storm water and transportation management measures.

·         Direct heating and cooling.

·         Low Impact Development Storm water Best Management Practices.

·         Sustainable Transport: bikeways, pedestrian mobility.

·         Transportation Modal Shifts and Targets.

·         Carbon Footprint Reduction goals in order to meet City’s two ton reduction goals.

·         Targeted Sustainability Achievements.

·         Needs from partners in order to achieve goals on waste management, district energy and photovoltaics, waste water and transportation.

·         Next steps. 


Commissioners and the project team discussed the integration between the Sustainability Plan and Environmental Impact Report. Ms. Rogers explained that the EIR is looking at ways to mitigate negative impacts and the Sustainability Plan is looking at how the project can be most sustainable and to accelerate positive impacts.  Vice-Chair Gravanis stated that the CEQA process requires analysis of alternatives.  Chair Wald and Vice-Chair Gravanis recommended studying alternatives to the bridge that were recommended by the community.  Vice-Chair Gravanis requested that the presentations not be printed on a black background in order to save on ink and to leave room for notes and to include page numbers.  It was also requested that explanatory documents be provided to Commissioners before the meeting to allow for time to review. 


Commissioner Martin (1) recommended that consideration be given to an emergency potable water supply and other emergency preparedness measures; (2) stated that additional bicycle parking facilities would lead to greater bicycle use and recommended increasing the 3% project travel behavior modal goal for bicycle travel; (3) on the topic of use of the bay water as a heat pump—inquired whether there is an impact to the temperatures of water and whether there is a Plan B.   Mr. Renehan discussed the feasibility of geothermal, that it would be considered, but indicated that solar thermal is the first priority.


Chair Wald inquired about the nonbinding endorsement idea. Mr. Stephen Proud, Project Manager with Lennar, discussed how the financing would be approached for the project. It was explained that all of the plans would be taken through the community process, starting with Urban Design, then Sustainability, then Transportation.  All the draft plans would be subject to review and refinement until the Development and Disposition Plan is presented to lock all commitments.  Chair Wald stated that she is worried that we will get so invested in ideas that it will be hard to change them no matter what the results of the EIR are, which is the risk of the endorsement process.  People would be asked to buy into something without knowing what the EIR results will be. Ms. Brekke explained that there are experts providing input in each area that would be incorporated throughout the process. 


Vice Chair Gravanis inquired about the predictability of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s involvement in the recycled water project and whether a cost benefit analysis had been prepared.  Commissioner Gravanis recommended that commitments from other agencies be attained sooner rather than later in the process.


Chair Wald recommended looking at past Christmas bird counts in order to get more accurate information on the bird population in the area.  On the Biodiversity Plan, Vice-Chair Gravanis (1) recommended making conditions more desirable for the burrowing owl so they can return to the site; (2) recreating past conditions so that horned larks that have long since left the area could return; (3) remove the rip-rap in the area where conditions allow; (4) deal with invasive species in Yosemite Slough; and (5) maintain large foraging areas for raptors.  Mr. Proud indicated that the Biodiversity Plan would be a separate companion document to the Sustainability Plan that would contain substantive information on this topic.  Vice-Chair Gravanis requested seeing the drafts early in the process and provided in Word format rather than a PDF so comments can be made.


Public Comment:  Ms. Laurie Schoeman, member of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Community Advisory Committee for Wastewater, stated that she applauds everyone’s efforts to introduce the concept of solar thermal, PV, the megawatt station and Biodiversity Plan.  Ms. Schoeman discussed work that the SFPUC is doing on a building in the district and explained how extensive the regulatory hoops are for a building with some of the same concepts that are mentioned in this project.  Ms. Schoeman expressed her concern about the issues of waste treatment at the Southeast Plant.  It was reported that a Technical Advisory Committee is being developed on how to deal with the digester, problems with smells, the current budget situation, and community concerns over the smell, etc.  It was explained that core operations are necessary to support right now in this fiscal climate, and there is a great need to invest in existing infrastructure.  Ms. Schoeman recommended that the project team work out issues and discuss alternatives with the Wastewater Committee in order to move this project forward.     


5.   Announcements. (Discussion).  There were no announcements made at this time.


6.   New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion).  Ms. Bohee confirmed that the December 9th  Policy Committee meeting would include an update on the Hunters Point Shipyard Candlestick Point Transportation Plan by Mr. Peter Albert, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and a transportation consultant.  Vice-Chair Gravanis requested a brief update at that same meeting on the Treasure Island Sustainability Plan, specifically on what is being done with storm water and waste water treatment and other Sustainability Plan changes since 2006.  Mr. Stephen Proud, Project Manager, Lennar, reported that there have been a lot of conversations with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on water, wastewater and storm water that a report could be provided on. 


Committee members indicated that strategizing methods for public outreach for better attendance of Commission community meetings may tentatively be scheduled for the January Policy Committee meeting.  Chair Wald requested that the meeting in January include a status report on the Urban Environmental Accords from its onset.  Ms. Kass reported that she is working on an Urban Environmental Accords website that she would provide a report on at the January meeting.


7.   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.


8.   Adjournment.  The Policy Committee meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393


** 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 Committee meeting website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/policy-committee with each agenda or meeting minutes, or (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at [email protected].


*Approved: December 9, 2008 

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